Suffering’s Fortress – Not Bad or Lost People, But Bad and Lost Theology

Life as an LGBTI individual in most societies, including Canadian culture, remains a difficult hurdle for progress and mental wellness due more to external factors imposed rather than internal variables alone based on health statistics, experiences of violence and hate crimes statistics, laws against their being, and self-reports en masse. In British Columbia, we can see “LGBTQ+” or “LGBTQIA2S+.” It’s a patois. I use the United Nations terminology of LGBTI because of the United Nations LGBTI Core Group. It sets a baseline, as does some of this commentary. Within fundamentalist religious culture, in the land of the damned, individuals who are LGBTI, in some interpretations of Christian holy scripture become this by their nature. In others, they interpret the LGBTI as a relation to homosexual and other, typically, sexual acts. Those deemed sinful acts, not sinful beings or identities. For LGBTI individuals in Canada, this fact of self-identity and natural inclination or outgrowth becomes a factor in mental health, even suicide. Communities can do better. Theologies can march inclusively.

I do not subscribe to the ideas behind the language of “moving forward” or “progress” in some sense of the universe necessarily committing a deep care to human affairs in some absolute terms. If we select a reasonable timeline and contrast the treatment of select sectors, or if the comparison of material wealth and wellness conditions between centuries ago and now, then there has been technological complexification utilized for the improvement of human life. None of this changed fundamental human nature. Thus, material conditions may improve while human prototypicalities may maintain themselves for the same centuries of apparent technological sophistication, which becomes synonymous with “progress.”

In Canada, according to Egale, 500 Canadian youth (ages 10 to 24) die by suicide each year with support from Statistics Canada. They stipulated some further facts with appropriate references in the article entitled “What You Should Know About LGBTQI2S Youth Suicide in Canada“:

  • 33% of LGB youth have attempted suicide in comparison to 7% of youth in general (Saewyc 2007).
  • Over half of GLB students (47% of GB males and 73% of LB females) have thought about suicide (Eisenberg & Resnick, 2006).
  • In 2010, 47% of trans youth in Ontario had thought about suicide and 19% had attempted suicide in the preceding year (Scanlon, Travers, Coleman, Bauer, & Boyce, 2010).
  • LGBTQ youth are 4 times more likely to attempt suicide than their heterosexual peers (Massachusetts Department of Education, 2009).
  • Adolescent youth who have been rejected by their families for being LGB are over 8 times more likely to attempt suicide than their heterosexual peers (Ryan, Huebner, Diaz, & Sanchez, 2009).
  • A study in Manitoba and Northwestern Ontario revealed that 28% of transgender and Two Spirit people had attempted suicide at least once (Taylor, 2006).
  • Both victims and perpetrators of bullying are at a higher risk for suicide than their peers. Children who are both victims and perpetrators of bullying are at the highest risk (Kim & Leventhal, 2008; “Suicide and bullying: Issue brief,” 2011).
  • While suicide is never the result of one cause, bullying can have a long-lasting effect on suicide risk and mental health. The relationship between bullying and suicide is stronger for lesbian, gay and bisexual youth than for their heterosexual peers (Kim & Leventhal, 2008):
    • 68% of trans students, 55% of LB students and 42% of GB students reported being verbally harassed about their perceived gender identity or sexual orientation.
    • 20% of LGBTQ students reported being physically harassed or assaulted about their perceived gender identity or sexual orientation.
    • 49% of trans students, 33% of lesbian students and 40% of gay male students have experienced sexual harassment in school in the last year (Taylor et al. 2011).

A large number of LGBTI youth kill themselves in this country. They self-murder more than their peers for non-mystical, non-supernatural, non-spiritual reasons. They commit suicide due to stigma, shame, guilt, ostracism, lack of self-understanding, poor educational provisions, a condemnatory community, and/or prior mental health diagnoses. These particular youth are not the “damned.” One, the language lacks descriptive rigour. Two, the vernacular fails to take into account modern empirical and behavioural accounts of comprehensive health and wellness. They are the unrealized. Those with fewer pathways to express their real selves, to self-actualize in some meaningful sense.

When religious institutions, organizations, communities, or collectives, duly maltreat LGBTI youth, they put the lives of the youth at risk. This should be condemned. Because the individual is harmed peripherally or directly. This makes a natural claim about natural events rather than attributing some moral act to some transcendent and/or immanent identity. To attribute an identity of a moral act to a transcendent object, it does not make the act more established as ethical or not. It becomes a useless step. Religious communities can do better. Some of the more fundamentalist Christians can do better. Indeed, the Evangelical Christians can do better in providing for these LGBTI youth, including the institutions of private higher Christian learning. Those lone or few voices exist amongst the youth, the staff, the academics, and the administrative classes. Some fear making a public face with pro-LGBTI stances.

Not in all cases, in many, though, the LGBTI youth remain the aspersed, the banished, the denounced, the reprobated, even the self-hidden. To the last, unknown to others so long as to feel not known to themselves. A false self presented for communal consumption and individual self-murder: the forced into becoming the walking dead. If their God proclaims, “I am who I am,” then they whisper, “I am not who I am.” Those made in the image and likeness of their God. Those children loved infinitely. Those with a cosmic, objective plan for their little, subjective lives. Those coerced by community into rejecting a fundamental claim to reflective identity with YHWH. They cannot claim they are who they are with “I am who I am” because they must present a lie in the communion of fellow believers in public. A rejection of their union with the Most High. Some have been working against this at the premier Evangelical Christian institution of higher learning for the liberal arts in Canada, One TWU at Trinity Western University.

One TWU believes in equality for all and “LGBTQIA2S+ community members are in no way inferior, abnormal, or less than their heterosexual or cisgender counterparts.” They speak to the humanity of individuals as themselves and as the heterosexual and cisgender community as well. From their point of view, “…homophobia and transphobia are affronts to our Creator God. We stand in opposition to the stigmatisation of people who identify as Queer just as we stand in opposition to racism, sexism, and the like.” It’s an affirmation of fundamental humanity in a universalized language while taken to mean objective, as in an ‘affront to their Creator God.’ I disagree on the point of a necessary Creator God or on the claim to objectivity, while the universal nature of the moral message seems statistically true.

They consider Christian love as something deeply felt rather than something “characterized by condemnation and judgment” without regard to “how carefully worded or well intentioned the church’s statements on the LGBTQIA2S+ community may be.” They refer more to the “Community Covenant” of Trinity Western University.  One TWU continues, “While we accept that we will not always see eye to eye on every issue, we refuse to engage in judgment or tearing down one another. We will always seek to express discordant views in a way that respects the humanity of others.”

The community of One TWU, as an independently run group without formal affiliation with Trinity Western University, understands institutionalized rejection based on theology because of existence on the receiving end of it. Yet, they still have the conscientiousness and love to speak in these terms, “We believe reconciliation and healing is needed to bridge the gap between the Christian church and the LGBTQIA2S+ community at large. For too long, the relationships between Christians and people who identify as Queer have been characterised by distrust, cynicism, and even hatred on both sides. Instead of accepting this as the status quo, we believe that this is a situation that can change, and we seek to be catalysts in bringing people together.”

If you have read the news, some names may emerge more often than others, including current leadership with Kieran Wear[1], Elisabeth Browning[2], Queenie Rabanes[3], and Micah Bron[4]. Then you’ve become acquainted with some of the important names of One TWU. Not all likely will be public in some manner. Only a few will do this. They wrestle with difficult, to them, internal issues of psychology, identity, and theology. In personal terms, it seems as if an easy theological issue to completely comprehend and resolve as a ‘paradox’ and more something to act on in community for base level respect as a start rather than cloaked in some obscure, “carefully worded” backhand to the face of each and every LGBTI member of community and ally of said community. These kids are not unwell because of who they are, who they love, and what they see as a relationship with their Creator God; the theology, the hermeneutics, is not well because it causes unnecessary suffering of individuals.

Matthew Wigmore[5], Bryan Sandberg[6], and David Evans-Carlson[7] are the co-founders of One TWU. Other names are Nate/Nathan Froelich[8], Kelsey Tiffin[9], and Robynne Healey[10]. Matthew Wigmore in “LGBTQ At TWU” stated:

To lay the context for those not completely familiar with TWU, there are two important documents for staff and students at Trinity Western. One is the “Statement of Faith,” which is signed by staff and faculty, that dictates what the university believes. It expresses TWU’s overarching worldview. Some may argue the Statement of Faith is an inclusive document as it allows signatories to write in some qualifications or clarifications. The other document is the “Community Covenant,” which regulates the behaviour of all members of the TWU community. While the Statement of Faith may raise some eyebrows, it’s the Community Covenant that’s at issue in the current Supreme Court case…

…TWU insiders know the Community Covenant, especially recently, is rarely enforced. Why go to such great lengths to defend it?…

…LGBTQ+ persons are disproportionately targeted by the religious freedom claims. For example, there’s been very little backlash over the ease at which couples can divorce, especially compared with half a century ago. Indeed, fundamentalist evangelicals boast about the same levels of divorce as their non-religious counterparts. Surely this poses a threat to “traditional Biblical marriage,” considering the apparently intertwined nature between religious freedom and heterosexual marriage, and the religious freedom of Christians in Canada…

…It seems that although this debate, outside of the legal context, often masquerades as a debate about religious freedom, the core issue is the treatment of, not just belief about, LGBTQ+ persons. Take the LGBTQ+ factor away from the equation and religious freedom might be doing better than we’re giving it credit for.

Wigmore knows full well, as with many others. The issue comes from theology, not religious freedom. The writing looks diplomatic more than direct. The treatment of LGBTI peoples remains the core issue because the theological interpretation, as such, condemns them either as they are, as they behave in sex, or both.

As their “Statement of Faith” states:

As the verbally inspired Word of God, the Bible is without error in the original writings, the complete revelation of His will for salvation, and the ultimate authority by which every realm of human knowledge and endeavour should be judged… In union with Adam, human beings are sinners by nature and by choice, alienated from God, and under His wrath… The true church is manifest in local churches, whose membership should be composed only of believers… With God’s Word, the Spirit’s power, and fervent prayer in Christ’s name, we are to combat the spiritual forces of evil… We believe that God commands everyone everywhere to believe the gospel by turning to Him in repentance and receiving the Lord Jesus Christ. We believe that God will raise the dead bodily and judge the world, assigning the unbeliever to condemnation and eternal conscious punishment and the believer to eternal blessedness and joy with the Lord in the new heaven and the new earth, to the praise of His glorious grace. Amen.

‘Love and believe in me, or endure eternal conscious torment” – signed, A Loving Creator God. Anyhow, the implication within community comes in judgment of ‘human beings as sinners by nature and by choice’ (answering the “theological interpretation” point above as neither ‘as they are or as they behave in sex,’ but both), where LGBTI peoples are sinners by nature, as with all other unrepentant peoples, but also behaviour if enacting intimacy with those who they love. We can state with this certainty because Trinity Western University believes “the Bible is… ultimate authority by which every realm of human knowledge and endeavour should be judged.” Thus, the LGBTI who remain unrepentant are considered under God’s wrath, by nature and action. These are some of the “spiritual forces of evil” the TWU community must “combat.” Otherwise, rather than no soup, it’s no blessedness for you. On this basis, Wigmore seems ‘more diplomatic than direct’ on this communal issue. Something many TWU students still face in silence. Sometimes, they come from fundamentalist homes in which this became the only option for postsecondary education for them. Parental influence can be overwhelming with heaven and ‘right’ theology at stake.

Wigmore knows this community because he had to know the strong positives of living within a loving Christian community bound by mutual respect and dignity towards one another as Christians, and the strong negatives and xenophobia against LGBTI peoples from the same community coming straight out of the same theology. He marks the more direct statement in the place in which less diplomatic stances are required, on the One TWU website, in “This is not about a Law School… but it kind of is.” He states:

despite whether it’s used or not, Trinity Western continues to reserve the right to expel LGBTQ+ persons, specifically those who are in relationships…

…we have yet to receive an apology. In 2016, the Mars Hill Newspaper (see the story here: http://www.marshillonline.com/) published a story featuring the experiences of LGBTQ+ alumni. This was followed by a spotlight in the Vancouver Sun (http://vancouversun.com/news/local-news/queer-at-twu), and an even more in-depth story by Daily Xtra (read it here) Before these stories were written, we had several meetings with President Bob Kuhn and other members of the administration. This was not a calculated attack. This was the result of being methodically ignored for several years. And when our stories finally came to the surface, and into the public sphere we still did not receive an apology.

Finally, the persecution complex is perhaps the highest it has ever been. President Bob Kuhn has said this case is fighting for the freedom of all Canadians. Ironically, he states, “In Canada… We don’t protect the rights of one community by extinguishing the rights of another. This is not a time to start down that path” (read the full story here). And yet TWU continues to fight for the right to expel those who cannot subject themselves to this premise: namely, LGBTQ+ students. Considering this is what this case hinges on, we have to wonder, “is our freedom being fought for?” Moreover, if Canadian-wide freedom is being fought for by those seeking the freedom to continue withholding the power to discriminate against LGBTQ+ students, is that really a freedom we want extended Canada wide? The answer is no. But at the end of the day, the discourse not only tries to equate being discriminated against for being gay with being “discriminated” against for being homophobic, but pushes further to suggest that in fact the LGBTQ+ community is the chief discriminator, not TWU.

I met Bob Kuhn. He permitted a long interview with me. A nice man, someone who endures horrible suffering from Parkinson’s Disease. Yet, as a community at that time, and now, the issue becomes the LGBTI community rather than the freedom of religion, as per the reasons described above by Wigmore. There are many stories to be told, to unfold over time, and to be covered in the future articles, which will cover some of the other inter-related commentaries. Wigmore seems as if a relevant and important place for the co-founder status of One TWU and to the public image in the media provided via advocacy and leadership on Trinity Western University and its LGBTI community.

As an outsider to these parties, I would strongly argue for and encourage a public, recorded sit-down chat or informal conversation between LGBTI members of the Trinity Western Community, in and out of One TWU, and the relevant movers and shakers[11] in the TWU communal-scape. It would be, at a minimum, educational. Something to open dialogue and alter internal culture based on understanding to build both compassion and a theology deserving of the title “Mighty Fortress.”

[1] Kieran Wear’s biography states:

Name:
Kieran Wear
.
Pronouns:
They/Them
.
What are you studying?
English and Philosophy
.
Where are you from?
Missoula, Montana
.
Who’s your favourite author?
“Jean-Paul Sartre”
.
What are you looking forward to doing this year?
“I am excited to be leading with One because I love participating in and sharing the narratives of our community. Hearing the stories of people’s pasts, sharing my own, these work to reimagine a continuing narrative: together.”

[2] Elisabeth Browning’s biography states:

Name:
Elisabeth Browning
.
Pronouns:
They/Them
.
What are you studying?
Social sciences with a human services certificate
.
Where are you from?
Winsted, Connecticut. (Tiny state on the east coast known for its fall leaves!)
.
What’s your favourite drink
“Chocolate milk”
.
What are you looking forward to doing this year?
“I’m excited to make One TWU a more visible and tangible resource for students. I want everyone who might need our support to know who we are and how to connect with us. This is all while protecting the anonymity of our members and making One a safe space for all involved.”

[3] Queenie Rabanes’s biography states:

Name:
Queenie Rabanes
.
Pronouns:
Her/She
.
What are you studying?
Environmental studies and Biology
.
Where are you from?
Abbotsford, BC
.
What instruments can you play?
“umm… The acoustic guitar, electric guitar, bass guitar, ukulele, piano, flute, clarinet, tuba, trumpet, percussion, melodica, harmonica, percussion and the euphonium.”
.
What are you looking forward to this year?
“I believe it was God that gave me a unique connection to the LGBTQ+ community. During my time in high school and at Trinity, God brought me into friendships with queer people in a way I’d never experienced before. These friends taught me a lot about diversity and God’s love. I’m excited to co-lead One TWU because I want to help create a space for our friends in the LGBTQ+ community to be heard and to be loved.”

[4] Micah Bron’s biography states:

Name:
Micah Bron
.
Pronouns:
He/Him
.
What are you studying?
General studies and education.
.
Where are you from?
Hamilton, Ontario
.
Who’s your favourite author?
“Dietrich Bonhoeffer, cause that man is a role-model for reconciliation and eye-opening experiences. And also liberation theology.”
.
What are you looking forward to doing this year?
“One has been a valuable home for me, and I’m super thankful for the environment we’ve created together that allows us to be real about our *whole* lives without shame. My hope is that this year we’ll be able to share more of who we are with the campus community, and that we’ll be able to show just how much One has grown (in so many different ways) over the years as a group. .”

[5] Wigmore’s Unchanged Movement profile states:

I became aware of my identity when I was 10 years old. I have the fitness magazines at the local grocery store to thank for that. Early in my life, I believed a couple things about LGBTQ+ Christians:

  • They were so rare that they didn’t deserve THAT much attention
  • They were mentally ill or recovering from broken relationships
  • They weren’t in relationship with God
  • They were choosing a “lifestyle” over what was truly important in life 

Because I was a part of Exodus International for five years, I bought into the beliefs that if I prayed hard enough, built enough positive male relationships, and repaired the relationship with my Dad that I wouldn’t have these feelings anymore. Not only were those “IF’s” inadequate measures of success, but they had relatively little to do with my sexuality. I believe that God, being love, created all my intricacies in love. Meaning my sexuality is not just about who I’m attracted to; it’s a framework through which I fight for the underdog and continuously re-evaluate how my actions, consciously and subconsciously, affect others.

In terms of the clobber passages, both my envelopment in and distancing from the Evangelical church has taught me truly what the Bible is. It’s a library of letters written from and to contexts that are entirely foreign to the modern reader. The idea that ANY of the biblical writers could’ve been addressing the contemporary examples of same-sex unions and gender fluidity is so impossible that the Church’s obsession with opposing these topics serves to undermine the Church as we know it today.

Meeting other LGBTQ+ Christians (who immediately smelled more like Jesus to me than most people I had met in Bible college), working for a Christian org, and going to church were instrumental in my journey towards affirmation. Their existence and truth gave me the confidence and affirmation I needed. In terms of my last thread with Exodus, it was the behaviour of my conversion therapist (ironically). But it was also Lisa Ling’s Our America documentary series, which made the evidence against Exodus so overwhelming. I also felt like anyone who wanted to tote the idea that my sexuality was reversible was going to struggle arguing with me, considering my existence had proved the opposite.

I don’t think we’re ever meant to fully RECOVER from something like conversion therapy. It’s traumatizing, particularly because it can destroy relationships and also teaches us to undermine ourselves and our feelings. As much as I’m more confident in myself and my capacity to make decisions, I do believe that the parts of me which continue to remain morphed because of my time with conversion therapy are so for a reason. They give me empathy, a reminder of how far I’ve come, and a sort of “gay commissioning.”

I attended Trinity Western University during one of it’s most tumultuous times and started One TWU with some of my friends, an LGBTQ+ organization. It was discouraging to see LGBTQ+ rights pitted against religious freedom, but I think that served as a wake-up call for many that we can’t go on treating people like this. Seeing people come forward with courage and to tell their stories truthfully has been one of the most healing experiences in my life.

My life now is full, but also in anticipation of the good, the bad, and the ugly to come next. I guess I’m just less afraid of it now.

[6] Sandberg’s article “Dear Trinity, I’m Game and I Love You” states:

Can I express how much I love you? When I first arrived here in 2010 as a closeted 18-year-old who was deeply burdened by heavy rejection from other Christian circles, I wasn’t sure I would… but guess what? I do love you and I love you a lot. You’ve proven yourself over and over to be a loving tribe of people, full of compassion, acceptance, and graciousness, and I have been honored to count myself among you. However, as we all know, things have not been easy for Trinity as of late, with the recent story about Bethany Paquette being just one more example of the mischaracterizations many of us have had to face. Speaking as a gay Trinity student who loves this community wholeheartedly, I have a few things I absolutely need you to know moving forward as controversy continues to surround our school…

… I want you to know that as a gay Trinity student and soon-to-be alum, I love you all without hesitation. Like many other students who have passed through TWU’s open doors, I too have found a second home here, one I will doubtlessly cherish for the rest of my life. No, I don’t agree with everything everyone thinks, but is that really the heart of the matter? I would take being loved over being agreed with any day of the week, wouldn’t you? So do not allow unfair criticism and accusations to tear you down as the controversy around TWU continues into the future… God’s watching over you and he knows what you need. Much love to you all!

[7] Chrisaleen Ciro in ““Still a lot of Work to Do”: How the leaders of One TWU believe its history intersects with the future” stated, “At the time, Wigmore felt that the only “foolproof” way to go about this would be to “get a press shield.” He wanted to know that in a worst case scenario situation––if TWU took action against him––it would be on the record. He met with reporters to share his experience as a gay student at TWU. In 2014, Wigmore and fellow students, Bryan Sandberg and David Evans-Carlson (an alumnus), founded One TWU with the intention of providing a safe space for queer students on campus. Wigmore recalls intensely appreciating the solidarity and awareness of the presence of other members of the LGBTQ+ community on campus that came from that group.”

[8] Nate/Nathan Froelich in in “Nathan Froehlich: Out of Hiding” stated:

From a young age, I knew there something that made me different. I didn’t know quite what it was; a society saturated in toxic masculinity taught me to believe I would only be “enough” if I fit western culture’s ideal mould for a man. Although those who know me well enough will know that is a mould that I have never quite fit. Growing up, most of the boys around me wanted to go hunting, fishing, talk about girls, and spend their time on other stereotypically “masculine” activities. By contrast, I gravitated towards shopping, creating miniature plays and performances for my family, and admiring Chris Pine in Princess Diaries 2. I bought into a lie that told me that because I didn’t fit the ideal male characteristics shared by my male counterparts, that I was less of a boy, and I would never be enough of a man.

I remember waking up one morning and going into my family’s living room where my Dad sat reading his Bible in his usual spot. He invited me to read with him, as he so often did. Together we read Genesis 19—the story of Sodom and Gomorrah. He read aloud, “All the men from every part of the city of Sodom—both young and old—surrounded [Lot’s] house. They called to [him], ‘Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us so that we can have sex with them.’” With the familiar sensation of shame burning through my chest, I sat confused and full of fear, wondering how I, an eleven year old boy compared to those terrible men in Sodom that God wanted to destroy…

…The language often used by Christians to describe homosexuals made it seem as though gays shared more characteristics with Shelley’s Frankenstein than they did with actual people; as if LGBT people are a purposeless and irreparably broken people beyond redemption. The church promoted a culture of love, hope, vulnerability, and authenticity, but only within comfortable lines; they held an attitude of hostility towards homosexuals that kept me silent in my pain. Sharing a negative view of homosexuals caused me to view other gay people through a distorted and loveless lens, developing a ‘hate the sin, not the sinner’ attitude that left me feeling better than the superiorly broken “worldly” homosexuals. For twenty years, I sat in church services where I heard messages of God’s goodness, His ability to heal those who are sick, pull people out of sin, and radically alter people’s lives. I’ve witnessed healings, experienced the power of God’s presence, and seen radical change in the lives of others so I pleaded with God to change me too. I prayed relentlessly, hoping for just enough faith to release me from my sexuality, but my prayers fell as empty words and I was left confused, questioning God’s silence…

…I’ve come to understand that scripture is not black and white when it comes to discussing homosexuality. As any churchgoer understands, it is important to investigate the context of the Biblical text to come to an accurate understanding of what is being taught. This same approach must be taken when it comes to discussing same-sex relationships, such as in 1 Timothy and in 1 Corinthians. Such verses, share the same Hebrew word (arsenokoitas) that was originally translated to “homosexual,” used to describe male prostitutes, is not what we define homosexuality as today (i.e two men in a loving, consensual, monogamous relationship). I believe that God blesses monogamy between a same-sex couple just as much a heterosexual couple. What I had thought for so long were scriptural tenets, were actually North American Evangelical cultural  standards. When I brought myself back to the bible, and away from these standards, the answer I had been searching for became a lot more clear…

…I once told someone that one of my greatest longing is to be fully known; to no longer be in a constant state of reclusion. So, here I am, Nathan: a son, a brother, a grandson, a nephew, a friend, a lover of snowboarding and of traveling, of music and of photography. I am brave, I am kind, I am strong, I am loved, and I am gay. My identity is in Christ, being gay doesn’t change that. I am enough just as I am. I no longer live under the fear of the opinions and convictions of others, I am loved by God, and by my family. I am owning my faith; I am done living in fear, and I am out of hiding.

I would interpret “God’s silence,” in all due respect, as reflective not of a self-identity bound to the Creator God in waiting of some communion, but, rather, reflects the naturalistic account of the matter. In that, it’s not a God of deep personal care to individuated human life who penetrates the brain so as to commune with its self-born child and to convey some meaningful answer to a troubling query in some extra-natural sense. It’s silence qua silence. Silence manifested by the nature of that which is present, silence itself. No god to deliver a message because the god is not there and never left in the first place, because there was no god. A community rejecting LGBTI individuals with the expectation of ‘repentance’ and then condemnation to place the communal rejection on themselves, the individual LGBTI persons. The culture produces the hardship in this domain. Duly note, the healing and improvement in mental wellness happened outside of the walls of the institution.

[9] No proper citation at this time.

[10] Professor Healey’s biographical information on the Trinity Western University website states:

Professor of History, Co-coordinator Gender Studies Minor, Co-director, Gender Studies Institute…

Her Google Books biographical sketch states:

Robynne Rogers Healey is Professor of History and Codirector of the Gender Studies Institute at Trinity Western University. She is the author of From Quaker to Upper Canadian: Faith and Community Among Yonge Street Friends, 1801-1850, and the coeditor of Quaker Studies: An Overview; The Current State of the Field.

[11] Its current president and current vice-chancellor is Dr. Mark Husbands, and was Bob Kuhn. Its Board of Directors is comprised of Board Chair Frederick Fleming, Board Vice-Chair Matthew St. John, Board Treasurer Leighton Friesen, Board Secretary William Francis, Chair of the Staff Association Dan Burnett, Angelica Del Vasto, President of the Alumni Association Aaron Fedora, Julie Kerr, Matthew Kwok, President of the Student Association Daniela Lombardo, Ross Reimer, Aaron Rogers, Arnold E. Sikkema, Executive Director of the Evangelical Free Church of Canada William Taylor, Chair of the Faculty Association Allan Thorpe, and Priscilla Vetter.

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

Scott Douglas Jacobsen
Scott Douglas Jacobsen
Assistant Editor, News Intervention, Human Rights Activist. Scott Douglas Jacobsen is the Founder of In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal and In-Sight Publishing. He focuses on North America for News Intervention. Jacobsen works for science and human rights, especially women’s and children’s rights. He considers the modern scientific and technological world the foundation for the provision of the basics of human life throughout the world and advancement of human rights as the universal movement among peoples everywhere. You can contact Scott via email.

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