Maybe I can share something...

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Gay Rights Activists Target Mid-America Nazarene University(MNU); University Respectfully Responds By Sharing It's Message

Taken from

Olathe, Kansas
Friday, March 23, 2007

During a day and a half of meetings with a group of gay-rights activists traveling the country to battle discrimination on college campuses, MidAmerica Nazarene University (MNU) accomplished its goal of communicating the love of Christ to its visitors without approving of the lifestyle they have chosen.

Soulforce, a national gay-rights organization, initiated a program last spring called Equality Ride in which young adults travel by bus to Christian campuses to confront administrators, faculty, and students with policies and practices that Soulforce considers to be discriminatory against gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender students.

Soulforce Equality Ride was not invited to the campuses, but did give prior notice that they were coming. This year MNU and Northwest Nazarene University (NNU) are among the Christian universities targeted by the organization. The Ride is scheduled to visit NNU on April 13.

Many targeted colleges ban the activists from campus, and in most cases, the Riders have been arrested for trespassing on campus property. Before arriving at MNU on March 15, the Riders were arrested at the University of Notre Dame and Wisconsin Lutheran University.

In contrast, MidAmerica chose to welcome the activists, hosting them for a dinner with student leaders on Thursday night and six classroom presentations on Friday.

“We viewed this as an opportunity to listen to where they’re coming from and share the love of God with them,” said April Hansen, MNU's director of public information and on-site coordinator for the visit. “We disagree, but there’s no reason to be afraid to talk to each other, to dialogue, and express Christ's love, even in our disagreement.”

At an exit meeting, several Equality Riders expressed their appreciation for the kindness and openness with which they had been received by members of the university. One Rider tearfully expressed her thanks.

“When you told us you were offering Christ’s love to us and that you wanted to listen to us, we kept waiting for you to say, ‘but….’ and then share your condemnation," the Rider said. "You didn't do that. Thank you.”

For some of the Riders, it was their first experience with Christians being willing to love and listen to them.

"[The Riders] expressed how life-changing this has been," Hansen said. "Those comments were very affirming and meaningful to all of us who helped plan the university's approach to the visit."

MNU President Ed Robinson said the visit and the campus' preparations actually strengthened MNU's commitment to its policy on homosexuality.

"Our position on the prohibition of homosexual behaviors from biblical and theological foundations was strengthened in the hearts and minds of the administration and, more importantly, students," Robinson said in an e-mail report to MNU's Board of Trustees. "You would be very proud of their spiritual discernment. The preparation we invested in students was beneficial and yielded the outcomes we intended."

One of the Equality Riders wrote in his blog after the visit, “I know many, if not most, of the students differ with us in their views on homosexuality, but we were able to share fellowship. They truly modeled a Christlike response.”

MNU wishes to express its gratitude for the prayers offered around the world by churches and constituents during the visit. Most of all, thanks be to God!


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