Columns / Discourse / October 26, 2018

The F-Word: InterVarsity Christian Fellowship is complicit in violence

I stand with Common Ground, with queer folk. I stand with justice and I will not be complicit.

The truth of the world is that being heterosexual and cisgender is the norm and all else is not. As a result, social constructs of hetero — and cis — normativity marginalize queer folk. This truth is undeniable.

We all live and function within the hierarchies that are in place. We either benefit from these hierarchies or we are oppressed by them. That is how hierarchies work. Hence, if we are not actively advocating for the ones our privilege is oppressing, we are ignoring our role in upholding systems of oppression.

Fortunately, we are all familiar with the concept of being an active bystander. Knox encourages all its students to report wrongdoings they witness. It is our commitment to each other to not be neutral. Furthermore, ignoring any issue makes one complicit in its continuity. Because of this, an absence of action, regardless of its intent, has a negative impact.

InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, on the national level, states that it believes that Holy scripture clearly condemns homosexuality. This belief is in line with the already-existing marginalization of the queer community. The oppression of queer folk assumes inferiority of LGBT+ identities and experiences. According to a TKS interview with Maddie Schacht 19 — who is the president of Knox IVCF — some members of the Knox InterVarsity Christian Fellowship completely agree with this. In other words, these members do not deny that they think queerness is negative, inferior, wrong, immoral. These are not the beliefs of every Knox IVCF member. However, these remaining members are standing by in silence.

Silence in the face of injustice helps uphold the status quo because if no one complains, if no one stands up for what is right, the cycle of oppression continues. This is not a new or strange concept. If no one stops inequality, it will go on. If no one stands up against bullies, violence will continue.

It is fact that queer folk are an oppressed community. Consequently, to not want to be actively pro-queer or anti-homophobia, to want to conveniently ignore the voices of queer people on the matter is neutrality. Neutrality is complicity. And most importantly, complicity is violence. Period.

Eden Sarkisian, Discourse Editor
Eden Sarkisian ‘19 was Discourse Editor for The Knox Student from May 2017 to June 2019.

Tags:  common ground F-Word homophobia ivcf

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1 Comment

Oct 31, 2018

If we had a KKK chapter on campus that didn’t agree with all the policies of the national organization and allowed black and brown students to participate, would we be having this conversation?

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