Persuading a friend not to be gay

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — An assignment given to several middle schoolers at Christian Academy of Louisville encourages students to persuade an imaginary friend to reject homosexuality.

And parents, members of the LGBTQ community and others are not happy.

The mission, which was due Thursday, was revealed on Friday, when JP Davis, a Kentucky-based business owner, posted screenshots of the mission on social media.

CAL officials confirmed the mission late Friday afternoon.

Davis told the Courier Journal that a close friend with a child who attended CAL showed him the homework and was “visibly and understandably upset with the assignment.”

“Her child is in the class that received the assignment, and he and she are both uncomfortable,” said Davis, owner of consulting agency JP Davis Partners. “She doesn’t know how to handle it. …And her child is upset.”

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Screenshots show the assignment asking students to write a letter to a hypothetical friend ‘struggling with homosexuality’ and persuade him that ‘God’s purpose for them is good’, ‘homosexuality does not won’t bring them satisfaction” and “you love them even if you don’t”. approve of their lifestyle. »

“Let’s say you’ve known this friend since kindergarten, attended the same church, and have been really good friends over the years so far,” the assignment’s screenshot reads. “…The purpose of your letter should be to tell the truth with love and compassion to the person you are speaking to in a way that does not condone any sin. God for them.”

In an email Friday afternoon, Christian Academy of Louisville school system superintendent Darin Long said the assignment was given to students in a Bible elective class in middle school.

The assignment was “part of a study unit that discusses ‘What are humans and where is their identity? .”

“This hypothetical conversation between friends was intended to allow our students to review class discussions and their views on the subject,” its statement read. “Going forward, we will review this mission to make sure its purpose and language are clear.”

The Christian Academy school system is a private school system in the region with a Christianity-based curriculum. It has four campuses in Louisville and southern Indiana. More than 3,000 children are in school.

Davis said the issue was personal to him. He spent the first 23 years of his life hiding his homosexuality, he said, before coming out as a gay man.

It took him a long time to muster the courage to go public, he said, and as he nears 40, Davis said he doesn’t want the next generation to face the same struggles.

“The stats speak for themselves on suicide among LGBTQ+ people, and these are seventh graders who are being subjected to hate and division, and that’s not necessary,” Davis said. “I know it’s a Christian school, but it’s not my Christianity. It’s not my values. And it’s not what Jesus, if they want to make this point, stood for. didn’t ask people to judge and tell others how wrong and ashamed they are.”

A screenshot of an assignment given to a number of students at Christian Academy in Louisville.  May 13, 2022

A 2002 CAL graduate with ties to the school, Kylee Marcy told the Courier Journal she was also outraged when she heard about the mission on Friday morning through a social media post. She said she immediately contacted other former students, as well as parents who have children at CAL.

She was angry, she said. But she wasn’t surprised.

“I wouldn’t call it out of character in any way,” she said. “But I was still really disappointed because I’ve been gone for 20 years, and I would have hoped that in 20 years they might have learned that love is the way to go, as opposed to hating the fire and brimstone. But that doesn’t seem like it to me.”

Marcy said the text and content of the assignment indicate that it was assignments delivered in the school’s Christian Worldview classroom. She questioned why CAL would focus a mission on a single sin — “if you believe homosexuality is a sin, which I personally don’t believe” — and called on the school to make changes moving forward .

“I would like them to apologize and change the curriculum for the Christian Worldview class, and I would like this specific teacher to at least apologize to parents and students,” Marcy said.

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In Long’s statement, he said CAL teaches content “with a biblical worldview” and said the school believes marriage should be between a man and a woman and also encourages tolerance.

“We believe that God created the covenant of marriage between a man and a woman (Gen. 1:27, Gen. 2:24). We believe that sex is a good gift from God, to be celebrated within the bounds of marriage, agreeing that all other sexual expressions are against God’s purpose (1 Cor. 6:18, Gal. 5:19),” Long’s statement said.

“We believe that all individuals are created in the image of God, and therefore should be treated with compassion, respect, dignity and love at all times, even when there is disagreement.”

Lucas Aulbach can be reached at [email protected], 502-582-4649 or on Twitter @LucasAulbach.

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