Archive for Saturday, July 23, 2005

KU perceived as heart of bleeding-liberal ethos

July 23, 2005


The rest of politically and socially conservative Kansas often views Lawrence as a liberal oasis - a "blue" island in a "red" sea.

And much of the reason for that seems pointed at Kansas University, seen by many as a veritable den of iniquity and a breeding ground for all sorts of countercultural troublemaking.

So what's it like to be a conservative Christian pastor working at the very heart of Lawrence's bleeding-liberal ethos?

The Rev. Steve Swanson doesn't mind a bit.

In fact, he's thankful for the opportunity to lead a campus ministry at KU, home to student groups such as the Society of Open-Minded Atheists and Agnostics.

"It seems as if facing the challenges and questions raised by those outside of your Christian worldview focuses it even more so ... a tempering of it so that your Christianity is, in the end, stronger as opposed to weaker," says Swanson, director of Chi Alpha Christian Fellowship.

Chi Alpha is an extension of the General Council of the Assemblies of God, a conservative Christian denomination based in Springfield, Mo.

"I would say that I look at Lawrence and the campus of Kansas University as a great opportunity to represent the Christian worldview among the many (ones) that are resident here with us in the community," Swanson says.


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