Dear writer of “Where are the Opposing Voices,”
Due to your letter being sent anonymously, it is difficult to tell if you are faculty, staff, or student.
I am a member of the staff and have been for more than a decade.
I was recently involved in a listening process where the group was divided about whether or not to change EMU’s policy regarding the hiring of LGBTQ individuals in committed relationships.
I did not hear any fear from those expressing concern over a change in policy.
They voiced their concerns well and I appreciated their candor and honesty.
I am not a theologian.
I believe that we all read the Bible with different eyes and different opin- ions.
I think if you read your Bible (Old Testament and New) you would find at least a few things that you do in your life now that were considered sinful at some time.
And you will find some things that were OK in the Bible that we are horrified by today, such as slavery.
I am Jewish and quite guilty of violating kosher dietary laws on occasion (being from Baltimore, I love Maryland blue crabs).
But I recognize that times have changed and reasons behind the dietary laws may not be as relevant.
If Jesus had not recognized the need for change and rebelled against the status quo, Christianity may not have come into existence.
Most important to me, both the Old and New Testaments emphasize the importance of love, compassion, and equality throughout.
I do not think there is any dispute on this point.
I believe that the numerous mentions of moral principles of acceptance and love outweigh the few verses that are used to support anti-homosexual attitudes and are many times ambiguous.
I would love to continue this conversation with you in person and to hear from all voices on this campus.
I do not know what serious consequences you feel you would face and if they are personal or professional.
It concerns me that anyone at EMU on any side of this issue would be afraid to state their opinion on this issue.
My name is Bill Goldberg.
I am Jewish.
I am married to a Mennonite.
I have lived in this community for more than 15 years.
I have worked at EMU for much of the last 14 years.
I have my master’s degree from EMU.
And I am in favor of changing EMU’s policy to be inclusive of LGBTQ lifestyles.
Let’s keep talking so that we can understand each other.
Bill Goldberg, Director of the Summer Peacebuilding Institute