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I get it, at first glance the title of his article appears to be quite the oxymoron. Looking at the traditional meaning of each word, “liberal” and “Christian," it definitely is an oxymoron. In reality, my life does not reflect this oxymoron. The home that I grew up in and the family that raised me did so with a faith foundation, Christianity being our religion and part of our daily lives in a number of different ways. My parents taught me and my brother that it was really all about LOVE: being loved and loving others. For all of pre-school and about half of elementary school I went to a private Lutheran school, where church and school overlapped in almost all that we did. Prayer and the telling of Bible stories were a common practice each day working its way into the curriculum and once a week, on Wednesdays, we would attend chapel as a school. Then, in the third grade, I was thrown into the world of public schooling. While all I knew were uniforms and incredibly small class sizes, the transition was not all that bad, and I adapted quite quickly to the changes that came with it. 

When I reflect back on the early years of my life and the morals and values that have been instilled in me because of my Christian faith, not much has wavered even as I grew up. I am grateful to have grown up in the San Francisco Bay Area, home to all types of people with different backgrounds and experiences. Had I not spent just about all of my life there, up until this point, I certainly do not think that I would be as open as a person as I am now. I was exposed to the lives and stories of people with unique upbringings and societal views. While I continued to stay grounded in my faith I began to explore what was not necessarily talked about in the church: real people who do not look or act like you, but who are just as deserving of equal love, respect, justice, and compassion. In the last four years or so, I feel as if the word/meaning of “Christian” seems to have been hijacked in some areas, especially politics. Words, ideas, and the idea of “religion” have been warped by man, when in reality it is not about the religion but the relationship with God and the fellowship in the community. 

[bf_image id="5zbwx4cxbh5cjjvh5wq3wp3"] As a Christian, there are a few values that I hold with me and will continue to hold with me as I grow older, hopefully to be able to share with a family of my own one day. However, looking back at the typical meaning of what it looks like to be Christian, I would say that I skew away from the definition just a little bit. I am a registered Democrat, a feminist who believes that Black Lives Matter, supports LGBTQIA+ rights and I recognize that as a white woman I am of privilege. I still have so much to learn but I work hard every day to hold back any judgment that may creep into my mind every now and then. The way I see it, I think is really quite simple; what is wrong with wanting all people to live a happy, successful, and love-filled life?

In the Bible it is taught that we are ALL God’s children and that is simply what I believe; why spew hatred onto others when we are all equal in God’s eyes? No matter what you look like or how you identify or who you love, I don’t think changes that one bit. We are taught to love our neighbors and pray for our enemies. I write for Her Campus, an all-female-run magazine publication, and also lead a Bible study once a week with my peers at College Life Chrisitan Fellowship, diving into the Bible to find clearer meaning. I am not saying that the way I live my life is the only “right” way to live, I respect the opinions of others and the fact that they are entitled to believe what they want. But I just wanted to make it known that you do not have to be put into one box according to society's definitions – you can bend and create a space in between that works best for you.

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Ashley is a senior at the University of California, Davis. She is studying Communication and getting her minor in English with the hopes of one day having a successful career in one of the two fields. Ashley enjoys spending time with her family and exercising in her free time.
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