I respect M.D. Harmon, but I disagree with his June 27 column, “Bowdoin College makes headlines for institutional arrogance.” I believe Bowdoin’s act simply restored its institutional integrity.
In this particular case, it had been a long time coming.
I attended Bowdoin in the late ’40s, and I remember my shock at having an openly and flamboyantly gay fraternity brother I’ll call Jack. My culture had taught me to call Jack a “homo” and treat him with a mean sarcasm – until his younger brother confronted me. Then I realized I had a bias.
I was raised to believe a bias was a character weakness. So I sought to make friends with Jack to deal with it. Jack made me aware of the wide underground of gays that existed at Bowdoin, and he helped to broaden me.
The more I wrestled with the issue, the more I began to believe gays were naturally the way they are.
When my nephew came out of the closet, he had attitudes that could make him a pain in the neck. But since then, as if a huge weight had been lifted from his shoulders, those attitudes completely disappeared, and he has been a wonderful human being.
So it is a matter of integrity that Bowdoin treat all of its students equally.
The Bowdoin Christian Fellowship’s refusal to open their leadership to any Bowdoin student clearly indicates a biased organization.
I don’t happen to belong to any church or Christian sect. But I do try to practice what I believe are Christian principles daily. I know others, including gay people, who do the same.
A Bowdoin Christian Fellowship would benefit from students like us – not enough to determine its leadership – but to help create what a college fellowship should be.