Sure, you can call a duck a cow, but it ain’t agonna give milk
Social dancing—that bane of Baptists and other religiously conservative denominations—has long been banned at my alma mater, Taylor University (along with drinking, smoking, gambling, homosexual activity and other diversions deemed verboten). The no-dancing policy been something of a joke, an anachronism, the school outlawing something that most of the rest of the world has long since made its peace with.
So it’s big news that the school will now permit a limited number of dances to be officially sponsored on campus. Big news. Major shift for someone stuck in 1873 to be stepping into 1974.
And how does the school announce it?
The most recent alumni magazine carries a story headlined (and I kid you not): “When a Dancing Policy is Not About Dancing.”
The article notes the new change allowing a limited number of on-campus dances, but is very careful to point out that this policy is not at all about the university finally changing gears and finally sanctioning an activity long denied its students. Oh, no. Not at all. Instead, “this change provides new ways to place students in face-to-face activities that reach across gender, ethnic and residence hall lines. This change wasn’t a call to dance, but a call to community.”
I imagine that a hundred years from now, when in 2113 the university finally gets around to saying, “OK, we’re changing the policy to recognize that we have LGBT people in our midst and that they are in fact people, and that they should be treated in humane fashion,” the announcement will be titled, “When an Inclusion Policy is Not Really About Inclusion,” and end on the sentiment, “This change wasn’t a call to accept LGBT people, but a call to make allowances.”
I’d rather they call a spade a spade, and a duck—what else?—a duck.
What mental gymnastics have you used to accommodate yourself to change?
For action (or penance): Envision three people, objects, places or institutions. Call them to mind one by one. Speak aloud the true name of each one, whatever it is that describes for you the truest thing you know about them.