Help Support Dr. Campolo

Dear Friends,
It’s probably not much of a surprise, but Dr. Tony Campolo has faced a significanteventhome6 backlash since releasing his statement in support of LGBT inclusion. Much of that backlash consists of churches and other events canceling his speaking appearances.

Dr. Campolo is scheduled to speak at Ocean City Tabernacle of June 28 at 7PM in Ocean City, NJ. Ocean City Tabernacle has given assurances that they will not cancel the event. However, there is concern that there could be vocal opponents present at the event; it would be wonderful if those of us who support Dr. Campolo, and who are thankful for his recent statement could attend this event. It is free to attend, and is in beautiful Ocean City. It would make for a great night at the shore…

More information can be found at

Tony Campolo: “I am finally ready to call for the full acceptance of Christian gay couples into the Church.”

OneEastern fully supports and applauds the Rev. Dr. Tony Campolo, and we thank God for today’s statement.

Today, the Rev. Dr. Tony Campolo released a statement calling for the full inclusion of sexual minorities in the Church.

“It has taken countless hours of prayer, study, conversation, and emotional turmoil to bring me to the place where I am finally ready to call for the full acceptance of Christian gay couples into the Church.”

In regards to marriage, Campolo argues, “God intends married partners to help actualize in each other the ‘fruits of the spirit.'”

Further, Campolo compared the Church’s current stance on sexuality to other issues the Church has wrestled with stating:

“I am old enough to remember when we in the Church made strong biblical cases for keeping women out of teaching roles in the Church, and when divorced and remarried people often were excluded from fellowship altogether on the basis of scripture. Not long before that, some Christians even made biblical cases supporting slavery. Many of those people were sincere believers, but most of us now agree that they were wrong. I am afraid we are making the same kind of mistake again, which is why I am speaking out.

Campolo’s full statement can be read here.

“Human Sexuality: A Conversation”

Greetings!  As we begin 2015, OneEastern has admittedly been quiet for a while.  Part of the reason for this is to allow some space for the many meetings and discussions (on various levels) that have taken and are taking place, following the letter to President Obama that Dr. Duffett signed.  A number of discussions have occurred, some of which have been encouraging, and some of which have served as reminders of how much work there is still to be done in order for everyone in the Eastern community to be truly safe and protected.

One of the developments of the last several months was the establishment, by Dr. Duffett, of the Task Force on Human Sexuality.  Part of the task force’s charge is to develop “a dialogue process that engages the entire Eastern University community in conversation on human sexuality in all its facets.”  In working towards this charge, the task force has scheduled a calendar of events this semester that seek to foster dialogue in all areas of human sexuality and its intersection with Christianity. Various groups are hosting these events, and OneEastern is pleased to be hosting a two-part event with Dr. David Gushee, an evangelical ethicist and the author of Changing Our Mind: A call from America’s leading evangelical ethics scholar for full acceptance of LGBT Christians in the Church.

Part one of the event will take place on Thursday, March 26, from 7-8:30PM in McInnis Auditorium and will focus on Dr. Gushee’s personal journey to his call for the full acceptance of LGBT Christians in the Church.  The second part of the event will take place the next morning, Friday, March 27, at 10AM in McInnis Auditorium as part of the weekly Windows on the World presentation; this part of the presentation will focus more on biblical, ethical, and theological issues.

All of the events are open to the entire Eastern University community, and I urge our OneEastern community to attend these events; especially, the session with Dr. Gushee.  The full calendar of events is included at the end of this post.

Concerns have been raised by a number of people in regard to the task force, and even relating to these conversations.  I understand these concerns; I even share some of them.  Nonetheless, while the process may not be perfect, I do believe that these conversations would not have been possible just a short time ago.  I am hopeful that these conversations may lead to true change and protection at Eastern University for all community members, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.

Please join with me in prayer that these conversations may lead to God’s love and justice emerging in a new way at Eastern University.

Peace & blessings,

Ryan Paetzold
Founder & Executive Director, OneEastern

“Human Sexuality: A Conversation” Calendar

Responses to Dr. Duffett

Today, we’re announcing a new section for the OneEastern website. Dr. Duffett’s signature on a letter asking for an exemption to a ban on discrimination, as well as his subsequent reasoning for why he signed the letter- both have caused a number of passionate responses to be written and shared through email and social media. We believe these voices are important, and as a result, have created a new section of the website for “Responses to Dr. Duffett“.  The concept is simple, we hope to bring together as many responses as possible to a single place so that it is easy to see how deeply Eastern University’s policies affect its community, and so that we each recognize that we are not alone.

Posts can be sent to  If you would like to include a photo, and brief bio for the post, that would be welcome.  We will continually update the post page, and plan to regularly feature responses on the front page of website.

And the petition asking Dr. Duffett to rescind his request for the ability to discriminate against LGBT individuals at Eastern University is still active at

Stay strong!

President Duffett seeks right to discriminate against LGBT individuals at Eastern University

261310_10151523514365020_675986371_nRecently, Gordon College, a Christian school near Boston, MA, has been in the news after its president signed a letter asking for exemption to a ban against discrimination. While Gordon College received much attention, it is not the only higher education institution to sign such a letter. Eastern University’s President Robert Duffett also co-signed a letter, which seeks the right for Eastern University to discriminate against LGBT individuals.1 Such an exemption would allow Eastern University to discriminate against LGBT students, faculty, and staff.  While Dr. Duffett’s request for the ability to discriminate is disturbing, it is also troubling that his request has not been widely shared with the Eastern University community.  Further, it is also worth noting that Gordon College is potentially jeopardizing their accreditation… something that could very easily also happen to Eastern University.

Below is a petition asking Dr. Duffett to rescind his request for the ability to discriminate against LGBT individuals. Please sign the petition, and ask your family and friends to join us!

Petition to Rescind Eastern University’s Request for Right to Discriminate

UPDATE: (7/18, 7:31PM) Dr. Duffett has issued the following response:

To all our EU alumni, employees, students and others who are concerned about my signature on the Institutional Religious Freedom Alliance letter to President Obama,

Our position has not changed; Eastern University will not discriminate against students or employees based on sexual orientation.

One of the most significant theological tenets of the Baptist movement is the separation of Church and State. This means no government has the right to determine theological views and practices of religious institutions. I signed the petition with this Baptist theological conviction in mind.

The wall of separation that President Jefferson affirmed to the Danbury Baptists must be maintained to the benefit of society and all Christian institutions. It is precisely this wall
that has allowed Eastern University to flourish for almost 90 years.

Bob Duffett



Open Letter to Tony Campolo & Response

UPDATE 04/23/14: Below is an open email to Dr. Tony Campolo. We currently have 204 co-signors! Please stand with us! To add your name as a co-signor, please send an email to with your name and relationship to Eastern University (i.e. “Joe Smith, Class of 2013” or “Jane Smith, Parent of 2013 Graduate” or “Jamie Smith, Professor of History”).

April 10, 2013

Dear Dr. Campolo,
The Eastern University community loves you. For decades, you have been a voice for the marginalized, the oppressed, and the ignored; and you have earned the deepest respect and appreciation of the Eastern University community. It is in that light that I write this letter asking for your clear and public support for all members of the Eastern University community regardless of their sexual orientation and gender identity. Currently, Eastern University is not a safe place for sexual minorities because the university refuses to guarantee that they will be free from discrimination.

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“Caution: This article may corrupt you. (And make you laugh)”

Michelle Katzman2We are very excited to welcome Guest Contributor, Michelle Katzman!

I want to take some time to thank my fellow writers who have posted articles on behalf of Refuge and OneEastern. Your words are encouraging and remind me that I was not alone in any of my experiences at Eastern. There were many times I was singled out on campus, but somehow I never felt alone. I always knew which friends, groups, and professors I could turn to.

Even though I graduated in 2010, I still return to Eastern from time to time. During one of my most recent visits, I attended Refuge. This was 3 years after graduating and I knew very few people on campus at this point. To my surprise, many of the group members greeted me by name and many had already heard of my story.

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“I’m Tired”

AdamWoodWe are very excited to welcome Guest Contributor, Adam Woods!

Editor’s Note: While we recognize and value views such as Adam’s within the Eastern community, we would like to note that our mission is first and foremost to be a sanctuary to all–sides or not.

I’m tired.

I’m tired of watching the news to see what prominent people will say about my value as a person. I’m tired of reading blog posts and articles about what Christians should do about the gays. I’m especially tired of how each post engenders the same played-out debate among its commenters.

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Welcome aboard, Angélique!

We are excited to welcome aboard Angélique Gravely, who will serve as OneEastern’s Editor (in addition, unavoidably, to other roles)! Angélique is a recent 2013 graduate of Eastern University where she double-majored in English and Psychology. She was also a recent guest contributor to OneEastern with her post, “A Queer Experience of Christian College”. Angélique will be managing all of the posts on the website. So, if you know of someone in the Eastern University community who has a post to contribute, send them to Angélique at Welcome, Angélique!

“A Queer Experience of Christian College”

JenKaneWe are very excited to welcome Guest Contributor, Angélique Gravely!  Angélique is a 2013 graduate of Eastern University.

I have this bad habit of telling myself that my personal suffering or experiences of injustice are unimportant, because they are not always the kind of suffering discussed. They’re not that deep traumatic suffering which crushes your heart and shakes your soul when you acknowledge their existence; therefore, my experiences must be trivial regardless of how deeply they still hurt me. I tend to feel like my suffering is not bad enough to share with people outside my close friend group because there are so many people who suffer more;thus,I keep parts of my story to myself in order to make room for those people who really deserve to have their stories heard.

Well, I’m trying to get over that which is why I want to write about my problems with the Christian college I attended. Problems rooted in the fact that I’m queer.
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