DLGP

Doctor of Leadership in Global Perspectives: Crafting Ministry in an Interconnected World

مسیحی منصرف شده در کلرادو اسپرینگز.

Written by: on February 6, 2024

مسیحی منصرف شده در کلرادو اسپرینگز., Cancelled Christian in Colorado Springs (Arabic)

Part 1: Introduction/I think I have been cancelled!

Part 2: What I gleaned from Greg

Part 3: What my peers are saying

Epilogue

 

Part 1: I think I have been cancelled

When I came to Colorado Springs in 2021, I was dead sick with Covid for the 3rd time.  Time passed and I healed up, unpacked the boxes, and moved into our new home. As the newly designated “house husband” (my wife got a job at Focus on the Family) I was looking for activities beyond my husbandly duties.  I gravitated to the Rotary Club.  I was actively a part of the Texas Rotary, whose claim to fame as a community service organization was the reduction of Polio worldwide.

Rotary is also a networking system of businessmen, and I am always looking for donors who might be amenable to my work with sports ministry in Slovakia, Hungary (and now Ukraine).

I arrived at the golf course dining room and started to press the flesh.  Wearing my Retired US Army hat, helped people identify me as a patriot who served his country – this usually works.  NOT TODAY.

I had the opportunity to be sitting next to the Rotary Governor of Colorado – he was visiting his flock.

I spoke about my role in Rotary Texas, and we sat for about 5 minutes enjoying each other’s company.  Then I fell into a conversation pit.  I mentioned that I worked with a Christian based NGO and hoped to marry the resources of Rotary to working with kids overseas and now in Colorado.

The “Gov” said, “I think that would be a hard sell here in Colorado Springs.”   I was floored by his statement.  In Texas, one led with your name and then what church you went to.  It was assumed that the church was a part of your DNA.

Well, I thought, you always come across unbelievers and that is what evangelism is all about!  I moved on to a special meeting with the president of the club later that week.  She was a churchgoer, so she said, however, at the conclusion of our talk she suggested that I find another club.  This one apparently did not look kindly on combining faith and action.

Hmmmm…have I been cancelled because of my faith?

Part 2 – What I gleaned from Greg and Rikki

In their book, The Canceling of the American Mind: Cancel Culture Undermines Trust and Threatens Us All – but There Is a Solution, Greg Lukianoff and Rikki Schlott, describe canceling as, “For the purposes of the book, we define being canceled as being punished, being removed from a position, or getting fired. (p.315)[1]

I would like to add to their definition, “being excluded based on my faith.”

In the books forward, Jonathan Haidt writes, “Sometime around 2014, something big changed in American Society.  It was if a flock of demons was unleashed upon the world, and the first place they flocked to was American college campuses (p.VI).

The authors of this book will have an additional case study in their next book when cancellation backlash is discussed. As the Israeli/Hamas war dominates the air waves, I observed the coverage of University presidents being raked over the coals for their opinions (or lack thereof) on the war. [2]

I personally cheered for those with dollars held higher education to task. (But that is just my opinion).

Going down a rabbit hole for a second, can I ask about microaggressions?

What Is a Microaggression? A microaggression is a subtle, often unintentional, form of prejudice.  Rather than an overt declaration of racism or sexism, a microaggression often takes the shape of an offhand comment, an inadvertently painful joke, or a pointed insult. For example, a person             might comment that an Asian American employee speaks English well. Another might ask where  an American Indian student is from. A woman may cross the street when she sees an African   American man walking toward her at night.[3]

I searched for microaggressions in this book and nothing was mentioned.   As a professor at a small college in Colorado, I was given a video and test on DEI and microaggressions.  I wondered, “WHY?”

I do speak English fairly well, my Chinese sucks, but I would like to think that while there needs to be grace amongst us, that my skin is thick enough to understand that people are being “human” when they make a social faux pa.  I am going to add “forgiveness” of things to do.

Part 3: What my peers are saying.

DLGP 02 – Tim Clark writes, “The antidote to cancel culture is the church loving one another, listening to one another, respecting one another.”

YES!

DLGP 02 – Jennifer Vernham asks an amazing series of questions. (here are two).

  1. Question: In the community of Christ, are we shrugging off a responsibility by not being willing to listen carefully to each other?
  2. Question: How does the way we do or do not listen to each other in the Church community provide a testament to the grace we have received?

In my NPO the idea of refugee resettlement is assailed by many.  Newcomers can “poison” our society some say.  Unfortunately, I am speaking about many churches.  My response?  I hope to bring diametrically opposed Christians together to view each other and refugees/newcomers as God sees them – made in HIS image.

 Epilogue:

Having been excluded from one Rotary club I was invited by the president of another club.  A devout Muslim man who said essentially said that faith was a non-issue in the new group he was putting together.  While he maintained his own personal faith, he was putting together a group that was faithless (no prayers of invocation) and country less (no pledge of allegiance).

Alas, any faith and loyalty to country have been cancelled in Colorado Springs.

_________________________________________

[1] Greg Lukianoff and Rikki Schlott, The Canceling of the American Mind: Cancel Culture Undermines Trust and Threatens Us All – but There Is a Solution, First Simon&Schuster hardcover edition (New York: Simon and Schuster, 2023).

[2] Sequoia Carrillo, “After a Disastrous Testimony, Three College Presidents Face Calls to Resign,” NPR, December 8, 2023, sec. Education, https://www.npr.org/2023/12/08/1218314691/after-a-disastrous-testimony-three-college-presidents-face-calls-to-resign.

[3] “Microaggression | Psychology Today,” accessed February 6, 2024, https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/basics/microaggression.

About the Author

mm

Russell Chun

interlinkt.org is now ready for your Refugee Resettlement needs. 15 tasks, languages ESL plans coming

12 responses to “مسیحی منصرف شده در کلرادو اسپرینگز.”

  1. Travis Vaughn says:

    Russell, you highlighted Jen V.’s questions. I think Jen’s NPO is also exploring SOME of what you are looking at with your NPO, particularly the part about bringing Christians together with divergent views. There are parts of my NPO that are also addressing how to communicate in healthy ways even when there are different positions, even within the same presbytery or denominational association. Are you familiar with Tim Muehlhoff’s book, Winsome Convictions? (I’ve started to read it.)

    Regarding the Rotary club (I’ve never been a part of that group), did they give you an opportunity to ask why they thought you should find another group (kind of like an exit interview without even having become a part of the group – ha!)?

    Having been to Colorado Springs (we enjoyed staying at Glenn Eyrie), I wonder how many other folks in that city have experienced what you have regarding service to your country and Christian faith.

    • mm Russell Chun says:

      Hi Travis,
      Thanks for pushing through the Arabic.
      I just had a major meeting with Dr. Harvey (my project faculty). As I begin my deep dive into the immigration polarization piece of my NPO, he warned me to stay away from Global issues, legislative issues and potentially political issues.

      This totally surprised me. He warned that AFTER I submit my NPO, that the school will select secondary readers based on the topic. If I address legislation, they would being in a legislator/staff. If I addressed refugee resettlement (which I am) they would seek an expert in that field. He suggested that I FOCUS on interlinkt.org my mobile website rather than related issues.

      The idea is defend the project not the issues surrounding the project…Hmmm…I am reframing my NPO based on that.

      ON Colorado Springs…up the road from Glen Eyrie is Manitou Springs – home of new agers and witches. The Spiritual battle is alive and well in the Springs. Our governor is a gay married man, and the state allows abortion, and recreational marijuana. Just the tip of the iceberg.

      Selah…

  2. Adam Harris says:

    Thanks for sharing your experiences Russell, I know that was probably hard to hear. I liked what you shared from our peers about listening. This whole project has been enlightening as I’ve listened to a diverse amount of stakeholders.

    While at a Christian workshop on writing, one of the speakers mentioned the need to be “savy”. This may be something you will have to employ while in Colorado!

    • mm Russell Chun says:

      Thanks Adam for your comments.

      While Colorado Springs is clearly struggling (morally), there are 161 churches.

      I am hoping that as the overflow of asylum seekers spill over into the Springs, that I will have an opportunity to engage with churches who are on the fence.

      Selah…

  3. Cathy Glei says:

    Thank you for your post Russell and for bringing up the topic of microagressions. In the public school system (and state) in which I work, employees are required to take a series of eight video modules followed by tests about topics such as sexual harassment in the workplace, blood-borne pathogens, equity and inclusion, hazardous communication, allergy management, FERPA, seclusion and restraint, diversity for employees, and child abuse recognition. The content of each module presents laws, scenarios, questions and more. When I started teaching in the 1900s (1995 to be exact), the requirement was to complete four assigned modules (blood-borne pathogens, sexual harassment, hazardous materials and child abuse. While it is a format for training all employees, it is disheartening that the world has deformed in this way. I am reminded of Jesus’ words (John 16:33), “In this world you will have trouble, but take heart, I have overcome the world.”

    • mm Russell Chun says:

      Hi Cathy,

      I didn’t know what a microagression was until my daughter at the US Air Force Academy said that she has a monthly class on DEI and microagressions.

      I gather that military academies are under the microscope because of some sexual assault issues.

      So in part I am glad people are talking about.

      I don’t want to be over sensitive to the training inflicted upon us, by colleges/universities. But I think I am. Just yesterday I signed a letter from Dallas Baptist University signing a letter that I believed in Christian Moral values. I signed it know that soon they will be under the gun for hiring those instructors who believe in Jesus Christ.

      Selah…

  4. Hello Russell. I love the time you put into your posts. You wrote: “I hope to bring diametrically opposed Christians together to view each other and refugees/newcomers as God sees them – made in HIS image.” After this week’s reading how are you feeling deep down inside about bringing together Christians who are diametrically opposed to each other?

  5. mm Dinka Utomo says:

    Hi Russel!

    Thank you for your very enlightening post. I’m intrigued by your words. You wrote, “What Is a Microaggression? A microaggression is a subtle, often unintentional, form of prejudice. Rather than an overt declaration of racism or sexism, a microaggression often takes the form of an offhand comment, an inadvertently painful joke, or a pointed insult.”

    In your opinion, can microaggressions be the seeds of cancel culture? Can microaggressions develop into something bigger and more harmful? If so, what can be done to detect them?

    • mm Russell Chun says:

      ABSOLUTELY,

      Microagressions in and of themselves can be totally harmless. It speaks to this oversensitivity to those around us. Good grief it is like living on egg shells.

      Still microagressions can also be simple mistakes made by humans to other humans.

      When an elderly women asks me how I got my name, (meaning don’t I have a real Chinese name?), I smile and said, “Oh, my parents gave it to me.” She was trying to be pleasant and in her world there are no Chinese Americans. I probably was her first Chinese person that spoke English.

      My skin is thicker than that. Lately, however, I have a response to, “Oh you speak English so well.” Yes I reply I have been speaking it since 1960.

      Too funny….

      Selah.

  6. mm Jana Dluehosh says:

    wow russ. How hard that move must have been. It’s funny to hear you say in Colorado Springs you were canceled for your faith! I have always understood Colorado Springs to be a Christian Mecca because of Focus on the Family. ‘prophet not accepted in their won hometown” case?

    • mm Russell Chun says:

      Hi Jana,

      I do think we tend to forget about the spiritual battle.

      Yes, the Springs had a major tax break and MANY Christian organizations moved here. However, when Focus on the Family moved into the Springs, there were bumper stickers that said “Focus on your own F***ing Family.”

      The battle is real.

      Sigh…and Selah.

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