After such a successful visit from Dr. Tony Campolo and Mrs. Peggy Campolo for our Crossroads Series, I really felt like their conversation left students and the rest of the TCU community reflecting and thinking. I asked Drew Curd, a Co-President of TCU Catholic Community to write his thoughts and reflections after hearing and speaking with the Campolos. We are so grateful for his insight and his willingness to share his experience with us about this once in a lifetime opportunity! Our prayer is that you enjoy reading this reflection.
–Katherine Wright, TCU Office of Religious and Spiritual Life Social Media Intern
Division truly is the disease of the Christian tradition. If we were to think about the history of Christianity, divisions and schisms have left the Christian community beaten and torn down. While some of these disagreements were necessary, many have been unnecessary and have left the faith an argument-laden mess. If one were to read the headlines, one would the greatest cause of division in modern Christianity and its relation to homosexuality.
On that mild November Texas night, Dr. Tony Campolo and Peggy Campolo came to TCU’s campus to have a discussion on homosexuality in relation to the greater Christian community. It should be noted that both Dr. Campolo and Mrs. Campolo both affirm the dignity and the personhood of those who members of the LGBT community. The Campolos had a difference of opinion of romantic relationships of those are who homosexual. Dr. Campolo believes that those who are gay or lesbian should be celibate. On the other hand, his wife Mrs. Campolo believes that those who are gay or lesbian can be in loving, monogamous relationships. The night centered on this difference of opinion and how we as a community can discuss this issue without falling into discord and hatred.
The most powerful moment for myself during the discussion came during the question and answer session. During this time, the Campolos brought up how they are asked on they avoid getting volatile on issues such as this. Dr. Campolo mentioned how they begin every discussion with the phrase “I could be wrong.” This phrase has stuck with me for the past few days and was a calling to myself on that I do not know whether I am right or wrong on truly any issue. Truly, I only have my lived experience, which is an ongoing process. On this issue, I must admit that I have been at times unkind to those who take a more conservative stance on this issue. After being in the South for twenty-two years of my life, I have gotten cold to those who argue against my more progressive position on this issue. And on this November night, I was reminded and called to humility on this issue and to love someone no matter where they come from.
I will close with one story. The greatest grace of our time with the Campolos was the open and welcoming atmosphere that Tony and Peggy created. The Campolos reminded us that love must be at the center of our being and we must embrace whoever we encounter. People shared very intimate parts of their lives in relation to this issue. One young man spoke of his struggles being a gay man in the South with a family that is not welcoming. As I listened to this young man, tears weld up in my eyes. Looking at my own Catholic tradition, I began to reflect on hurtful comments that a small but loud minority of Catholics have made to the LGBT population. My heart sank as I held back tears. After the talk, I went up to this young man and stuttered out how sorry I was that some Catholics have made such hurtful comments. I said how they did not represent people like myself and begged for forgiveness for these comments. I tried not to cry as this young man hugged me and told me that it was okay and that he loved me. On this mild November night, this straight Catholic man encountered the risen Christ in the form of a young gay man in Fort Worth. Thanks be to God!