H. Adam Ackley
“I did not get a sense directly from the individuals with whom I was speaking that they had a theological problem with transgender identity. I did get the message that it has to do with their concern that other people, such as donors, parents and churches connected to the university will have problems not understanding transgender identity.”
H. Adam Ackley was not fired from his teaching position due to poor performance, student complaints, or misbehavior. According to statements, he was not even let go for violating Azusa Pacific University’s, the private Christian college, theological position on transgender.
No, H. Adam Ackley was let go because he might make some potential donors feel icky. My words, not his, not the college’s.
The current evangelical church in America, and across the world are finding themselves facing a real theological divide, one that is more generational than biblical. The Christian bible is pretty clear on its stance towards homosexuality with passages in both the old and new testaments proclaiming death or damnation for homosexuals and effeminate men. However, this same holy book, supposedly written by an all knowing and all seeing god, didn’t appear to anticipate a world where we accept some people are not born the gender their genitals would have us believe.
Gender is not binary, human sexuality is more complicated, and for a group like the Christians who continually try and impress upon how “fearfully and wonderfully” made we are, they seem reluctant to embrace the wonderfulness of diversity.
There are many Christians who are willing to reinterpret their holy book, to forget the nauseating passages regarding bigotry, in the same way they forget or reinterpret the passages pertaining to genocide, infanticide, rape, and slavery. While I think they are fooling themselves, and I believe as a whole the world would be better off without religion, the LGBT movement should remember these liberal religious folks are our allies.
Its sad to see anyone lose their job over bigotry, perhaps the Christians on the left should begin to stand up to their brethren on the right. Perhaps the Christians who have chosen to define their faith in a manner that encompasses love and compassion for all their fellow humans regardless of gender or sexual orientation, should make their voices heard. Make colleges like Azusa Pacific University fear losing your donation, support, and future education dollars, not just those from the bigoted right.