Yesterday I gave a seminar for some Christian high school principals, counselors, teachers and pastors on the issue of homosexuality. I was grateful for all those gathered and their willingness to begin thinking about the multi-faceted dimensions of this difficult topic.
At one point one of those present made the observation that we need “compassionate institutions”. It was an interesting turn of a phrase. Indeed, one might even have called it an oxymoron. Well okay, perhaps oxymoron is a bit harsh. But institutions certainly do have difficulty in being compassionate. As a case in point consider the story of a high school student who survived cancer and decided as a way to give back he would grow out his hair so that he can donate it to “Locks of Love”, a charitable organization that seeks to provide wigs for those fighting cancer. His good deed has since seen him suspended from school because his hair violates the school policy on the length of hair for male students.
Come to think of it, maybe compassionate institution is an oxymoron after all.