Friday, February 10, 2006

I Don't Normally Do This, But...

I don't normally do this, but...

...I am going to put a plug in for a post I just put as my "Worth Your Time" link on my sidebar.

First, I must thank my pal, A. Lo for making me take a look into something that I had previously let my interest pass on by. I recall noticing SOMETHING SOMEWHERE about this "Soulforce Equality Ride" business on an ACU related site, whether that was the Optimist website, or it was a student or alumus' blog-site. Whichever it was, I remember just blowing by it without reading about it and what it was about. But as I am spending this Friday night enjoying some time to myself doing things that I enjoy, such as surfing blogs, I came across A.Lo's blog.

Now, as you'll see, should you visit the "Worth Your Time" read, you'll see that A.Lo's post is basically just a post asking for thoughts on a topic. Though I give her the credit for this blog worth reading, her blog really isn't what you need to read, it is the link IN her blog that sends you to another site (which I will not put here, because you need to go through her site to get it! Look at that marketing for A.Lo's blog...HA HA!) ;)

What that link will take you to is another blog which is a blog of, what I'm guessing to be, an ACU student. About the author doesn't matter though, the important part is the blog entry that is linked from A.Lo's site. This blog really got me interested...

...and I mean REALLY interested! My thoughts were going crazy! I wanted more. I wanted to know what more people thought. I wanted to be on campus when the chapel annoucement was made by Dr. Money. I wanted to hear the crowd reactions myself.

Reading that blog entry and then the comments on it thus far really got me excited and thinking!

And then, as I longed for more information, I quickly took advantage of BOTH the links the author had supplied in his own comment section to two more blog posts about this same topic. Both of these blogs had a LOT more comments...

....I WAS GETTING WHAT I WANTED!!! More thoughts and opinions on the matter! You could see the excitement whirling up within me!

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[Do not proceed beyond this point of the post until you have read about what the "Soulforce Equality Ride" situation is that is coming to ACU in late March by going to the A.Lo post and/or both of the other "blog posts" links.]

I don't normally do this, but...

...I am going to give some of my thoughts on what I've read and come to understand about this ACU situation BEFORE I get my reader's thoughts on the matter.

[I say "I don't normally do this," because though some of you are probably thinking, "whatever, you always share your opinions on your blog and then ask for comments and thoughts on the matter," but that is not ALWAYS the case. Matter of fact, especially recently, if I feel a certain way about something and i'm pretty sure the opinions of my readers might be mixed, or I don't think they will know where I will stand on the matter, I try to lead a non-biased blog and then ask for y'alls thoughts BEFORE I share what I think on the matter. Plus, I believe often times, people can be easily swayed in their opinions on some matters, so I try to hold back my own thoughts in hopes of getting more un-influenced comments.]

As I read over the linked blogs, I couldn't help but go through a mix of thoughts. First, when Dr. Money mentioned the part about having the "visitors" removed from campus and arrested, and the student's clapped and cheered, I'll be honest and say, I could have almost BET you money, I would have been among that group clapping, AS WELL AS LAUGHING. I think the key point there is I would have been laughing with my clapping. Let me explain...

In ACU chapel, when someone says something that gets people worked up and excited (whether excited in a "happy" manner or in an "aggrevated" manner), a commotion will normally break out. That's just how a chapel setting with that many college students is going to be. And what does that bring to someone like me? Laughter and applause out of the humor I find in it. TOTALLY not related to what was said by any speaker.

Second, in reference to this situation (what Dr. Money said and how the crowd reacted), I would be willing to say that a majority of the cheers and claps were for the thought of seeing people arrested and escorted off the campus by police. I honestly do not think the majority of those who cheered in chapel were cheering for the idea that "ACU shouldn't put up with gay and lesbian endorsers on their campus, so we should have them removed because we do NOT tolerate that type of endorsement." I honestly think a majority of those students just cheered for the excitement factor of getting to have people arrested and escorted off of campus. Let's face it, that type of situation is NOT an everyday occurrence at ACU. I would be lying if I said I wouldn't get a kick out of seeing people arrested and removed from campus...HA! Suckers! ;)

Don't get me wrong. There were for sure some genuine cheers and claps in that situation, I'm sure. ["Genuine cheers and claps" meaning cheers and claps that were meant as agreeance with the speakers statement, in that they stand behind the purpose and true meaning of the statement.] I'm sure there are a good number of students at ACU that would like to have nothing to do with someone trying to stand up for gay and lesbian rights, nor would they be willing to give those "types" of people a minute of their own time to listen to their opinions. But...

...as Dr. Money made clear in his next point, those people will just have to stay inside on March 27th, because ACU IS going to welcome the Soulforce Equality Riders to come to campus without the lurking police ready to escort them off.

On to more of my thoughts on this "situation"...

My first obvious thoughts were related to what I think about homosexuality and ACU's policies and what I think about all that...but those thoughts honestly didn't last very long, because, while this might sound really weird, I did not see that as the big point of this "situation." Let's face it, I HIGHLY doubt this "Ride" coming through campus is going to change ANY policies at ACU, so with that being the case, why even really discuss my thoughts on the matter. And please do not take that comment to mean I lean one way or another on that topic. I am totally pleading the 5th on that topic for this blog entry. Catch me another time if you're interested! ;)

What I do find SOO interesting, and what became my next thoughts on this situation, was the whole idea people STANDING UP Ffor what they believe, AS WELL AS, and JUST AS IMPORTANT, people WILLINGLY being OPEN to listening to others who are sharing an opinion that they most likely will disagree with!

I don't normally do this, but...

...PRAISE GOD! HA! ;) (in reference to a Christian University, as well as a blog audience that is HEAVILY populated with Christians, I use that phrase as a way to get my point across!)

Those are two things I really admire...

People standing up for what they believe in a RESPECTFUL and MATURE manner. And people being open-minded and willing to listen to an opinon that very well might turn out to be an opinion they disagree with.

What is the hurt, or what lose is it to you, if someone shares an opinion with you, that you don't agree with? Nothing. If you haven't changed your mind, that's fine. It didn't HURT you to listen. If anything, it gained respect for you from the one you listened to because you were willing to be open to them to at least hear them out.

And then to the Soulforce Riders, I don't say "this will be a wasteful trip," since I already stated that I HIGHLY doubt any policies will be rewritten, but I DO say this: I applaud your willingness to, first of all, make this "ride" across the country, but even more than that, I applaud your courage and passion to "look the enemy in the eye," so to speak. The Riders are definitely going to hit some places thoughout this "free" country of ours that will DEFINITELY "hate" them for what they are doing, as well as totally disagree with EVERYTHING they might have to say. With that being the case, I wish them the best in their journey and say, I applaud them standing up for what they believe.

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Finally, as I read these blogs about this "situation" I couldn't help but get interested, and THEN, totally excited! Honestly, for some phyisological reason, my heartbeat increased the more I read about this stuff and people's opinions. I'll go with adreneline on this one! ;)

My excitement started as, "I can't wait to read about how this all turns out," via the Optimist and blogs of course. Then it turned too, "I'm marking this on my calendar!" and me thinking, I honestly think I might consider going out to Abilene for this, and try to keep a low profile and just watch as this all goes on. Then it turned too...

I don't normally do this, but...

...I want to protest! HA! Honestly, I'm not one really for "protesting" anything. I'm just too laidback and "I don't care" kind of attitude, but something in me was like, "I am SO for this...the standing up for what you believe and people being open to listening" that I wanted to go out and "protest" my support for BOTH of these things!

Here is what I was envisioning...

I honestly am thinking how much I want to take like white t-shirts and write on them in Sharpies, (yes, make them look like that, then they WILL be read and less likely to be overlooked) and like be, in the background, at places where these "riders" are "working." Wherever they happen to be getting to talk, and ACUers have chosen to listen.

The important point there is "be in the background" because I want to make sure people are aware that I am not protesting WITH the Riders but BECAUSE of the Riders.

Be sure to note that my actual "protest" would be FOR people standing up for what they believe AND people being wiling to listen to people and be open about topics, whether they disagree or not. I would be "protesting" AGAINST close-mindedness.

ONCE AGAIN--NOTE: I would in NO WAY be protesting for or against homosexuality. Remember, I said, I do not see that as the biggest point in this "situation."

P.S...I've had some thoughts cross my mind as to what I'd actually write on the white t-shirt, but I'm still working on that part, so I am not going to post that part at this point.

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I realize I've put a LOT before my readers in this one blog (take potty breaks, as well as time outs to think about some of the points, whenever needed...HA!), but I want to end with one comment I found VERY interesting that was on one of the sites (you might have read it already). The author of this comment stated this question "I have to wonder if ACU would be as ‘welcoming’ of the protesters if they were to show up on lectureship weekend instead of a benign day in March? "

Now THAT is a question that sadly, we will never know the answer too, I guess. But you can't help but think about it and wonder. Honestly...

...I think I'm going to end this post by doing what I NORMALLY do and leave this "question" for your thoughts and opinions BEFORE I tell what I think. ;)

Do YOU think had it been the "lectureship weekend" when our "visitors" had decided to "ride" through things would have been any different or the same? Do you think Dr. Money's comments would have been the same? Do you think the "openness" of campus would have been any different?

12 comments:

julesforstenholm said...

Hmmmm...

FeedingYourMind said...

That's what I thought! ;)

A. Lo said...

Who knows? For now I'm just grateful that they're being welcomed at all.

And the post I linked to is actually an ACU alum who lives in Abilene, but he usually has pretty good info on what goes on there. And he has a totally hot sister! (That's me.)

Thanks for the plug, Kim! I feel so famous. . .

Katey said...

I've been kind of following this too- just because I think it's interesting. I don't think they would have been openly welcomed if they decided to come during Lectureships. I think there is a simple reason for that- ACU still have some highly conservative alumni who give large amounts of money to the University and the University is way more interested in their money and these Alumni's opinion of the University than this issue. Part of is disgusted by that- because at a place of higher education, differing opinions are ways to not only teach, but at times a way to question and then reinforce ones own beliefs. I am proud of the fact that I am an Alumni of a proudly Christian University who is letting others express their beliefs on their campus so that students aren't in a vacuum. I'm proud of ACU for trying to burst the bubble.

GITCHA said...

Hummm, I wonder if Harding University would be as accepting. I think it is interesting how they are planning on going to Oral Roberts and not Harding. Oral Roberts is an extremely conservative university so I do wonder how they are responding. As far as those guys coming on lectureship I would not be offended at all if ACU turned them down on that week. It is highly populated with those from an older and separte generation from my own and I think it would be offensive to them to subject them to that. One thing that I am big on is respecting my elders and I bet Royce it too.

A. Lo said...

ACU35, I have to disagree. It is one thing to respect your elders and quite another to never tell them what you really think in order to avoid confrontation or loss of financial support. (I know many of our elders supported segreation, and I can still "respect" them while disagreeing with their opinions.) What I believe about homosexuality (or anything else for that matter) won't change based on who's around or what time of the year it is. And I think that we AND our elders need to understand that we don't always have to agree on everything.

And from what I understand about the Equality Riders, they don't want to visit ACU to protest, they want to visit to TALK. They have meetings scheduled with administration, and I'd bet they will be very mature and understanding. I think they were wise not to visit Harding, because I think they understood that their reception at ACU might be a better, more useful one. What's the point in stirring up trouble just for trouble's sake?

Ellison said...

Most of you will be in town this weekend and if you want to really know what I think about this topic and about what most of you have said, just ask me. However, I encourage you to research the topic, have your facts straight and know where you stand on the issue before you talk with me. I would hope that when researching this issue, you use actual sites and not blogs. Blogs are, afterall, only opinions.

Bottom line, I encourage you to all pray for the university, faculty, staff, administration and students. I also encourage you to pray for the "riders."

No matter how bad you want to be on campus during this visit, no matter how sad you are that this didn't happen while you were on campus, no matter what you think you would do in this situation...I encourage you to remember those that are making the hard decisions, those who are on campus during this visit and those that are still searching for an identity.

GITCHA said...

A.Lo.,

I think it is one thing to push an agenda and another just to talk about it. It would be pushing the agenda to have it on Lectureship week. If ACU did have this during lecturship there would be a poor turn out and ACU would lose millions that they recieve and depend on each year. I'm not the one keeping the university going....it is the older, wiser folks. Money talks and Royce knows that I'm sure. That is why this whole thing outside of ACU has been so hush...hush. I also disagree with the fact that Harding is not as open as ACU. Harding is open minded, but also knows when to draw the line. For that they have my respect.

A. Lo said...

ACU35 said:
"Harding is open minded, but also knows when to draw the line. For that they have my respect."


Could you clarify, ACU35? What does that mean? I'm avoiding jumping to conclusions.

FeedingYourMind said...

I love respectful discussions. I'm enjoying sitting back and listening to the discussion! =)

GITCHA said...

Harding's mission is to provide a quality education that will lead to an understanding and philosophy of life consistent with Christian ideals. Some of their goals are the following:

1. The promotion of citizenship within a global perspective - developing a Christian understanding of and respect for other cultures through an emphasis on liberty and justice.

* A university that was not open minded would not have this as their goal.

2. The promotion of Christian ethics - creating an atmosphere that emphasizes integrity and purity of thought and action.

* Note that Harding does draw the line when it comes to Christian ethics. They not only throw in purity, but integrity of action as well (adherence to moral and ethical principles).

Hardings mission statement is consistent with Christian excellence (e.g.,"philosophy of life consistent with Christian ideals"). They in essence do draw the line to only Christian ideals within their university, however they teach liberty and justice for all.

It is possible to be open minded while at the same time having morals to live by. While they may believe that couples who engage in sex before marriage can equally receive liberty and justice, I highly doubt that they would have someone come in and hand out condoms to students because they have standards and rules within the university. Even though sex before marriage is the norm these days Harding does promote a set of moral rules in which to live by. Does this make Harding a "BAD" university while discriminating against people who have sexual relations outside of marriage? No, they just have a different set of norms set up within their university to live by. The same can be said for the Bible and ACU. There is a standard and they do draw the line clearly according to their mission statement and goals. I respect that.

As far as respecting my elders goes, I do believe that life is not all about me and what I think. I would not want to push an agenda. That would be selfish. And there is a difference between just talking and pushing. Having these guys show up during Lectureship or Sing Song for that matter would be almost like pushing an agenda because these are special events with a large population of older more conservative folks that attend. Yes, you are right we can disagree with them, but we should not try to push an agenda that they morally do not believe in. That is a personal choice and matter.

Matthew said...

if you want to listen to Money's speech, I've posted it.