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Kansas University Turns Ash Wednesday into Gay Pride Celebration

Fort Hays State University is turning Ash Wednesday into a gay pride celebration.

Ash Wednesday is meant to be a day of fasting and prayer – marking the first day of Lent. Catholics and Protestants typically wear a marking of the cross in ash on their foreheads – a symbol of our mortality.

But at Fort Hays – students are being invited to mix the ash with glitter. The taxpayer-funded school in Kansas is painting faces of students with biodegradable, purple glitter mixed with traditional ashes. The event was sponsored by the United Methodist Church campus ministry.

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The school says glitter is an inextricable element of queer history and mixed with ash – it’s a queer sign of Christian believe.

The group sponsoring the event defended the desecration of the Catholic ceremony.

“There is a tradition of exclusion, and we don’t feel it really reflects what Jesus was about,” Cheryl Duffy, Us4U adviser, told the Hays Post. “Jesus was about love and inclusion, and we want to open up that tradition to everyone. Ash Wednesday is a meaningful, inflective day. We want everyone to be able to experience that.”

The university issued a statement distancing itself from the sacrilegious ceremony.

The “Glitter + Ash” event scheduled for today (February 14) on campus is sponsored by Us4U and the United Methodist Campus Ministry. Both are recognized Student Organizations at Fort Hays State University, and both followed established protocols for creating, announcing, and holding this event. As with any Student Organization-led event, email communications about this event included an FHSU-branded header graphic. The inclusion of the university brand mark in the header is not intended to serve as an affirmed or implied endorsement of the beliefs and views held or expressed by any Student Organization. In the interest of ensuring that the First Amendment right of every individual is respected, FHSU remains viewpoint-neutral on this and other Student Organization-led events. We are in the process of updating our student organization event announcement procedures to clarify that these are announcements from the Student Organizations, not the university, and the content of the emails and the events themselves may not reflect the opinions/beliefs of the university or university leadership. The Kansas Board of Regents and Fort Hays State University are committed to the free expression of ideas and beliefs, and we are united in our commitment to full and open inquiry and discourse and the robust exchange of ideas and perspectives. The principles of freedom of speech and freedom of expression are fundamental rights guaranteed under the U.S. and Kansas Constitutions.

Fort Hays State University

The university club says the queer ash will stand as a witness to the gritty, glittery and scandalous hope that exists in the marrow of the LGBT movement. Their words, not mine.

But in truth what Fort Hays is doing is a mockery of the Christian faith and a desecration of Ash Wednesday. And God will not be mocked.

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