The Split

Reflect on a time when you questioned or challenged a belief or idea. What prompted your thinking? What was the outcome?

"Next month, we will decide whether or not to ratify our church's newest bylaw: banning gay people from being members. This is to protect ourselves from being sued if a same-sex couple asks to get married in our church." As I sat in the same pew I had every Sunday for my entire life listening to my pastor share why our church was making this decision, something did not feel right. Why would the person who taught me to love everybody equally now be proposing we ban people from our church?

"Hi students, I am Mr. Masincupp and here are my fun facts. I am gay, I taught in Micronesia, and I have a cat." It was the week after my pastor's proclamation and the first day of sophomore English. As my teacher opened up the class with this personal introduction, my first thought was: "Isn't being gay something that people hid from others?" But he was so out there with it. It was just another part of who he is. And because he was so open, soon students also revealed that they were gay, lesbian and bisexual. This was just one part of who they are, just as my religion is one part of who I am. We all attend the same school and share many of the same experiences and challenges.

As a class, we were soon engaged in debates about a wide variety of...

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