John Gechter's story has been troubling me ever since I read it in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette (http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09128/968674-298.stm)on Friday, May 8th. Gechter was set to graduate from Grove City College, Grove City, Pennsylvania which is about 65 miles north of Pittsburgh.
The college is situated in a rural area, and was founded in 1879 as a strict Christian institution, which it remains today. It prides itself as an authentic Christian institution. The college is also listed as one of the top ten conservative schools in the nation. Sex outside of marriage, heterosexual or gay is forbidden, according to the student handbook, and will result in disciplinary action.
Gechter found out first hand this week that the rule book was serious. The discipline was harsh after it was discovered he was working in the adult film industry as a 22 year old porn star. While there was no on campus porn film activity, the student, working towards a degree in molecular biology, was suspended indefinitely and can not re-apply until late 2010.
Gechter, who worked under the name Vincent DeSalvo, has received over 200 threatening emails, according to the Gazette newspaper, and he has also had food thrown at him in the dining room at the Christian College.
According to the account, the student who flew to various cities on the weekends for film shoots, used the money he earned for college tuition and expenses. Tuition alone at the college is listed at over $12,000 per year.
The student, who claims he is bisexual, says he remains a believer and a Christian, although the incident has forced him to re-evaluate his beliefs. He, according to published reports, says it was wrong to participate in the industry. He admits he was wrong and at the same time says the Christian college is not demonstrating Christian values.
I tend to support the porn star and think the Christian Grove City College has mishandled the situation. Forgiveness is a key tenant of Christianity; as I recall there was a good thief and a bad thief crucified along with Jesus, and there are other teachings about sexual misconduct and who should cast the first stone. And we only need to recall the words "Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who have sinned against us."
I do understand this is a very difficult situation and the only information is gleaned from a public newspaper. And I would be sure there were some officials who agonized over the issues. However, the actions by some students and administrators at this college does not seem to be in keeping with Gospel. What are your thoughts?
(Note: I did check out some Web pages for Vincent DeSalvo and yes it is pornographic by almost every definition. Now the photo of the snake I have included is not to demean snakes which I think are pretty cool creatures. But I did not want to submit porn and besides it was the mythological serpent snake in Genesis that brought about a lot of trouble.)