Letter to the Editor: Speak up in opposition to CRISTA's misguided policies

Saturday, September 21, 2019

To the Editor:

Many in Shoreline were surprised to read in the September 9th Seattle Times that the CEO of CRISTA has required a newly instituted commitment from teachers and staff that marriage can only be between a man and woman and has also expressed anti-gay language. Jacinta Tegman in her previous role advocated to repeal our state's gay-rights law and led opposition to same-sex marriage.

This unwelcoming school climate conflicts with the city of Shoreline's official position as a "welcoming community" as reflected in a position adopted in 2018. That statement further reaffirmed an earlier Resolution #401 which declared that Shoreline shall be free of discrimination for all the typical situations it described including "sexual orientation, gender or gender identity."

But beyond values of tolerance and acceptance is the destructive impact of discrimination and rejection on kids who are grappling with their sexual identity. As a physician I've consistently worked with kids experiencing the trauma of rejection, hatred and discrimination for their sexual orientation. We know that a very large percentage of homeless and street kids are casualties of both family and societal trauma due to their sexual orientation. Now that atmosphere has been newly created at King's Schools. These newly iterated positions, parents report, are tearing at the fabric of the school.

I believe residents of Shoreline should speak up in opposition to these misguided (and embarrassing) policies. Please contact CRISTA's leadership - CEO Jacinta Tegman, board president Steve Gray and board chair Dennis Guhlke - as well as other board members and express your concerns about the destructive educational climate they are creating for students, teachers and staff. Emphasize that Shoreline is a welcoming community, and while religious institutions are exempt from anti-discrimination laws, most Christian denominations and their institutions have moved beyond Biblical literalism when applied to homosexuality and same-sex marriage. CRISTA may be legal but it is not right in our modern "welcoming" city.

Bruce Amundson, MD


Anonymous,  September 21, 2019 at 7:12 AM  

Thank you for writing this. I completely agree and, as a graduate of the school, am disappointed and angered by the school's discrimination-both as policy and in the overall school culture. Its important that we share our concerns and the harm these actions cause.

Ian Taylor,  September 21, 2019 at 2:59 PM  

I agree with the writer's points and perspective. CRISTA is not practicing Christian love with its discriminatory policies; it's practicing bigotry, pure and simple.

Doug September 21, 2019 at 5:03 PM  

Crista’s policies are not unwelcoming, nor are their practices. Kids with same sex attraction are welcomed, but they are not going to be told that same sex intimacy is God ordained. Nor are they going to be told that premarital sex of any flavor is also ordained. This us not hate. This is teaching God’s best. “Misguided” is a loaded word. It is saying that a policy that reflects the clear teaching of Scripture, that Crista unapologetically tries to adhere to, is not acceptable to YOUR standards (or secular society’s). You seem to think that your opinion is higher than scripture’s. Perhaps yours is misguided.

Anonymous,  September 22, 2019 at 12:05 AM  

The city should designate Crista's campus as a Community Renewal Area and force them to sell it to the city for affordable housing and a new public school to address Shoreline's growth.

Anonymous,  September 22, 2019 at 11:48 AM  

CRISTA is NOT welcoming. They forced our a gay sports coach and a gay board member in the last few years.

Doug September 23, 2019 at 7:48 AM  

So Crista acted consistently in their practices and creeds? They want their teachers and leaders to exemplify their beliefs. What is wrong with that? It is like having a political party not allowing anyone in leadership who doesn’t agree with the party’s beliefs.

Stephen Triesch,  September 23, 2019 at 10:58 AM  

I agree with CRISTA's position, which represents a Biblical understanding of human sexuality and - contrary to other letter writers - does not represent a new teaching or a departure from Christian tradition. Also contrary to the other writers, adhering to this tradition is not the same as practicing "hate," no more than taking a moral position on ANYTHING necessarily implies hatred of those who take an opposing view or who succumb to some sin or failing.

Anonymous,  September 24, 2019 at 12:04 PM  

Does scripture not also say that Womem should not be in positions of authority over men? It does, very clearly. If CRISTA is going to go with the position that the Bible is erroneous then Perhaps Jacinta Tegman should step down and stop trying to turn a non-denominational Christian organization into her own hypocritical, self-righteous church. Telling students they are unnatural is not welcoming. Forcing God-fearing Christian teachers to resign because they wont condemn the sexual orientation of vulnerable teens is not welcoming. Perhaps those who support CRISTA should ask themselves who here is without sin, before they stone these children and their advocates with their words and teachings. The writer is not asking anyone to agree with his interpretation of scripture but he is reminding CRISTA and Kings that God never called them to sit in judgement either. You seem to think your opinion is higher than scriptures, since you like to cherry pick scriptures to suit your purposes. Perhaps you are the one who is misguided.

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