By Una Tingvik Haave, Guest Writer
Through a documentary and discussion, members of the Pacific Lutheran University community learned about the complexities of homosexuality and Christianity.
The documentary “For the Bible Tells Me So” played Feb. 25 in the Phillip A. Nordquist Lecture Hall.
The University Congregation is an ecumenical, Reconciling in Christ faith community, which means it is open and affirming to all religions, sexual identities and races.
“We [the PLU Congregation Council] wanted to offer a place for students and staff to discuss the topic of homosexuality in the church in a welcoming way,” senior Tommy Flanagan, the president of the University Congregation Council, said.
The documentary “For the Bible Tells Me So” illustrated how many Christian denominations today believe the Bible condemns homosexuality.
The documentary, however, presented Christian families and scholars that have found themselves swayed or more open to homosexuality after having examined the Scriptures carefully.
Members of the religion department as well as the documentary itself acknowledged that many Christians have thought all of their lives that the Bible condemns homosexuality.
Over time this has turned into a deeply rooted belief.
“To change deeply rooted beliefs is tough,” Seth Dowland, assistant professor of religious history, said.
Marit Trelstad, an associate professor of religion and chair of the religion department, also mentioned the possibility that many people’s fear of homosexuality is rooted in a fear of their families crumbling.
“I did see the fear of our families crumbling, and crumbling just means they’re being reshaped into something you can’t predict and don’t recognize and are not in control of,” Trelstad said.
The panelists brought up several questions that created a dialogue between them and the audience.
Senior Chelsey Oedewaldt was one of many who got involved in the discussion. “I think the intersection of homosexuality and religion is interesting,” Oedewaldt said.
As a congregation that welcomes people of all religions, sexual identities and races, the PLU Congregation Council has organized several similar events where it has discussed the issue of homosexuality in Christian communities.
More events are to come in the future.