On Saturday, January 4 the men’s basketball team of the (Jesuit) University of San Francisco faced off against the Pepperdine Waves at USF’s War Memorial gym. The game was also billed as an “LGBTQ Community Celebration.” The “Upcoming Events” page on the USF Dons website read “Featuring Performances by the SF Gay Men’s Chorus and Cheer SF. LGBTQ community leaders will be recognized. For $10 tickets use promo code EQUALITY at checkout.” Since the “LGBTQ Community” defines itself by fornication with persons of the same-sex, an “LGBTQ Community Celebration” is by definition a celebration of sin.
It is fortuitous that the first ever LGBTQ celebration coincided with a game against Pepperdine. Both USF and Pepperdine are religiously founded and affiliated schools: USF with the Society of Jesus, and Pepperdine with the Churches of Christ. But there is a stark difference between the two schools’ teaching on sexuality, and to the sin of homosexuality in particular. While USF has an LGBTQ Caucus (not to mention a cadre of openly homosexualist professors and priests) Pepperdine allows no such group. Indeed, Pepperdine’s refusal to allow a “Gay-Straight Alliance” on campus has led to demands, including a petition on change.org, that the school recognize such a group. So far Pepperdine has held firm. It does have an “LGBT Legal Society” “…for the limited purposes of discussing LGBT-related legal issues and networking for legal employment or professional development” and, in 2013, Pepperdine created a needs-based scholarship available to those who “advocate and promote the health (mental or physical) and wellness of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered (LGBT) community.” But it still does not allow the Gay-Straight Alliance.
Respective statements from the school’s handbooks on sexual relations on campus are equally divergent. Pepperdine: “In keeping with Pepperdine University’s Christian mission and its heritage in Churches of Christ, all members of the University community are encouraged to consider and respect the teachings of Jesus and historic, biblical Christianity. Pepperdine University affirms that sexual relationships are designed by God to be expressed solely within a marriage between husband and wife. This view of sexuality and marriage is rooted in the Genesis account of creation and is maintained consistently throughout Scripture. Sexual relations of any kind outside of marriage are inconsistent with the teaching of Scripture, as understood by Christian churches throughout history, including Churches of Christ. Therefore, as a matter of moral and faith witness, all members of the University are expected to avoid such conduct themselves and to respect this understanding of sexual relationships.”
By contrast, Jesuit USF’s Overview of Sexual Misconduct Policy Expectations mentions neither marriage nor Christianity nor Jesus. The only “misconduct” the Jesuit school mentions is “consent,” or lack thereof (to what is not specified): “The expectations of our community regarding sexual misconduct can be summarized as follows: In order for individuals to engage in sexual activity of any type with each other, there must be clear, knowing and voluntary consent prior to and during sexual activity.” While for Pepperdine, then, sexuality is to be a positive “matter of moral and faith witness,” the USF Jesuits’ view of sexuality is negative: no good is envisioned, all that is mentioned is an evil (lack of consent) to be avoided.
The players were unconcerned with the extraneous activities. Behind a strong defense, Pepperdine held USF to 19 points in the first half, and led 27-19 at the break. But with less than a minute remaining in the half, the Waves lost one of their best players, Malcolm Brooks, and he was out for the rest of the game. USF’s coach, Rex Walters, made adjustments at halftime, and in the second half, behind excellent three-point shooting by forward Mark Tollefson (16 points) and guard Tim Derksen (15 points) the Dons overcame the deficit and pulled away to win 77-66. USF’s athletic and energetic forward Kruize Pinkins led all players with 19 points, along with 11 rebounds. Pinkins made one extraordinary play, a leaping save of a ball going out of bounds under the Pepperdine basket. His save started a fast break with the Dons having a 3-to-2 advantage, but the Dons, like the USF Jesuits, were unable to convert.