Courage to State the Obvious

Lake Ingle is a senior at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, where he is a religious studies major. At this point, however, his planned graduation, scheduled for May, is in doubt. Why? Because he challenged his professor in the classroom, pointing out that officially, biologists say only two genders—male and female—exist. You can find out what is happening to him here.

The class, taught by feminist professor Allison Downie, is “Christianity 481: Self, Sin, and Salvation.” On February 28, Dr. Downie showed this 15-miniute TED Talk video featuring transgender Paula Stone Williams. Reporting for Fox News, Caleb Parke writes that after the class heard Williams discuss

Paula Stone Williams / YouTube

the “reality” of “mansplaining,” “sexism from men,” and “male privilege,” the professor asked the women in the class to share their thoughts. When no women in the class said anything, Ingle spoke up, challenging the professor on biology and the gender wage gap.

And before he was through, Ingle had stated that biologists believe only two genders exist.

Dr. Downie kicked Lake out of the classroom and told him not to return. The school’s Academic Integrity Board (AIB) has taken up the matter. While Ingle officially has been accused of being disrespectful and disruptive in class, he disputes this, saying, “[T]he wording in the documents is not only exaggerated, but more than one line is entirely untruthful and is done so purposefully to discredit my views and paint me as intolerant and ignorant.”

On Friday, March 9, the board held a hearing. It plans to release its ruling on Monday, March 19.

Mr. Ingle sees his case as an issue of First Amendment rights:

My professor is violating my First Amendment rights because of the fact that my views and ideology is different from hers. So she took it on herself to silence and embarrass me—bully me—for speaking up in class.

Expressing his desire to one day become a professor—even if the AIB rules against him—Ingle also said,

When you see that kind of misuse of intellectual power, you want to be the person that comes back and does it responsibly and with morals. Instead of being the purveyor of your ideology, you can be an educator.

Sadly, this is the kind of day and world in which we live! It is undeniable that confusion over gender and gender identity issues clearly has intensified since June of 2015 when the Supreme Court struck down laws limiting marriage to one man and one woman in all fifty states. And quite likely, it is going to grow even worse! Everyone, and every institution, will be affected. Even, and perhaps especially, churches!

Go here to learn about one church’s recent experience.


Here is an update on Mr. Ingle’s situation.

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Copyright © 2018 by B. Nathaniel Sullivan. All rights reserved.