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Endeavoring to define myself outside of a "job title." I'm a nomad of sorts who fell in love with technology, activism, and helping others. I run a web & media consulting firm, have a blog specifically for activists & non-profits, and travel often. I love talking about theology, politics, and social change. I love doing something about it even more. I also like to be a well-rounded and fully present person. That's why I write here. Connect with me on twitter

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Justice, Peace, and Reconcilliation

We had our first and only day on campus today at Fresno Pacific University in Fresno, CA. FPU was founded by the Mennonite Brethren which places a strong emphasis on justice, peace, and reconciliation for scriptural and spiritual understanding of faith. I was interested to see how this would play out on a campus that refuses to recognize GLBT individuals as valid members of the Christian community.

I spent the first half of the day speaking with GLBT-affirming students, faculty, and administrators. Pressing them to do more to create safe spaces on their campuses for this discussion and for GLBT individuals. With over 1,200 students there must be gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people amongst them. Why don't they feel safe to be honest about who they are? I'm not sure if any of these supportive voices had taken the time to think about if they were being supportive enough. I trust many had and I hope that they will be inspired to continue these conversations and this discussion after we left.

Aaron and I were able to visit an Ancient Near East history class and really dig into the Old Testament clobber passages. We looked at Genesis 19, the Leviticus texts, touched on Eziekel and Judges, and really unpacked Ancient Israelite culture. It was personally enriching for me and I feel as if everyone walked away from that class knowing a whole lot more than they walked in with. The time seemed to fly by and I had to continue a few discussions after class.

Today really felt like the Equality Ride. I constantly observed groups of students talking with riders. They were clustered around our tables and pulling people aside. They were crashing out meals to continue the discussions and asking to get out of work or classes early to meet with us.

I spent the entire time after my 4:00 presentation, all through dinner, and even went to the debriefing session late to talk with one student in particular. I understand his view of religion and the Bible a lot better now and I hope and trust that he understands my experience as a gay Christian better as well. I also hope that he, and others that we spoke to today, are able to consider how they view the Bible and what they think it says, and really contrast that with how we as Equality Riders see the Bible and what we think it says. And to consider the perspective of the many other GLBT Christians in their community, churches, state, and nation.

We have much to learn about each other, about how we treat people, and how we serve our God. I hope that Fresno Pacific University continues to grow in their love and understanding of the GLBT community within and outside of their university and faith.

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