September 28, 2011

I have something else to say.


Well, two things. Thing 1: I'm sorry I've been gone. Like anything in my life, I cannot breathe/live/move without Him, and right now, God and I are holding off on the put-your-life-on-the-internet thing. He said so. So, still shell-shocked by the move, I'm not blogging for a bit longer. The God-notion, coupled with the fact I've realized I'd make the worst famous person ever because I freak. out. when I get recognized or called "Miss Magnolia" (Really? That is not my name, people.) by a stranger. STRANGER DANGER--Ahh! that can't be good in the 9th largest city in America.

But here's the second.

And it's been a long time coming. And I may get railed over this. But, welp, it's not like that's ever stopped me.

I think that by discounting faith as our foundation, fraternities and sororities are neglecting not only our heritage but the ability of God to showcase His Gospel of love through us.

It drives me crazy every day at work. And it drives me crazy in general. Look at your Creed: You're either Christian in formation, or maybe Jewish. Yeah whatever--I dunno everyone's Creed. Believe or not ADPi's the only one I have framed. But ours bears the following line:

"...exemplifying the highest ideals of Christian womanhood."
We were founded at a Methodist college.
By Christian women (many PK's [preachers' kids]).
At the first college to grant degrees to women in the world.
Because they put a premium on the Biblical truth of equality between men and women.

So it matters. The faith component.
It mattered to Alpha Delta Pi back then.
It should today.

I think as international/national fraternities and sororities, we could be a force. Why aren't we responding to James 1:27? Why aren't we caring for orphans as a unit? Why aren't we loving the poor? Why are we, WOMENS' ORGANIZATIONS, not grasping on to the fact that our sisters are being abused and lied to as slaves and trafficked in some nations (even our own)? Why aren't we helping them??? I'm so thrilled we busy ourselves with leadership institute syllabi, and I'm not discounting the millions we raise for charity. But why aren't we really abiding by what our Creeds, our GOD, demands of us?

Why? Because we're being "politically correct." We're being "inclusive of other peoples' thoughts and feelings." "Ashlyn, times have changed since 1851," someone told me when I brought this up. Ya think? For the same reason you shouldn't get this former poli sci minor going on Constitutionality and our nations founders, don't get me going on this. Like our nation, we too have strayed, fellow Greeks. We've strayed because we instead decided to deign to culture and political correctness.

I mean, our founders never declared they were planting the church of [insert Greek letters here], but they did say the organization was going to back itself with a certain faith. A certain code of morality. A certain Love.

And to be frank, I think we should probably work on this.

Imagine what this generation could achieve.
Imagine how Love could be spread.


  1. This is such a great post, Ashlyn! So respect you for posting it. I wasn't in a sorority so can't relate on a personal level, but in general as a woman in Christ, shouldn't we all be "...exemplifying the highest ideals of Christian womanhood."

  2. Love this. "Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind." Love serving with you and being part of your family at PCC :)

  3. Great stuff Ashlyn! I was never greek but many friends were. Quite a few of them were ADPi's as well.

    One of them ended up giving me great advice one day. She shared with me Psalm 15. I still have it printed out with a note I wrote that says, "Be this man."

    In light of what is happening at Vandy right now, the colleges in the US could really use Greek life standing up for Christ.

  4. I'll never forget during initiation week when I had my meeting with my chapter's president (a woman who I admired- and still admire- so much) to go through all of the bylaws and paperwork associated with being a member. She came to the part in our bylaws about our Christian foundations and before she went through it she prefaced it with "Now, this part talks about God and Christianity, but I want you to know that while it was a part of our sorority at the beginning, we are completely accepting of non-Christian views and would never try to push religion on any of our sisters." It struck me as so odd, almost like she was embarrassed of it and didn't want anyone to think she was "pushing religion" on them by asking them to adhere to a moral code that happened to be laid out in the Bible. I wish I had said something to her then, we need more people like you who can stand up and demand our organizations get back to our roots!

  5. Ashlyn,
    You are such an inspiration and a wise beyond your years kinda gal. I'm a few years older than you, but after finding your blog and following it, I have looked up to you and learned a little about what kind of person I want to be and the relationship I want to have with Christ. You were a catalyst in my spirituality and I appreciate that so much. I'm sure strangers reading your blog are scary, but I used to love reading your updates with your precious words about the God you know and love so well. Please go back to that! You're a wonderful example and a light for the world. Great post today.

  6. As an ADPI and a newer beleiver in Christ I am PROUD of reading this. I am proud there are sorority women out there who are not afraid of our values! I remember being in college at a very Jewish school.. where Adpi happened to be 50/50.. and it was a battle all the time... where we made our values "optional".. since when did God make him as our #1 priority and the PURPOSE of our life.. optional? he didn't.. and he also didn't call us to separate our lives into secular vs. spiritual.. that's simply an American influence gone too far. Amen to you for posting this, and for following the holy spirit on decisions of your own.. blog or not.. I'll keep readin!


  7. I'm the National Chaplain for my fraternity and I share your sentiments. The struggles we have as organizations stem directly from the departure from our ideals. At a time when we are under attack, we need to realize that this is the only way we can save ourselves.

    Whenever I meet with our undergrads, I make it a point to let them know where we came from why our ritual and creed say what they do. It always gives my hope when I see just how receptive they are to our Christian foundation as I make it clear what our founders intended.

    I keep reminding myself that the change starts at the root of the organization, by making an impact on the student leaders in the local chapters. I'd love to make a sweeping change but I know that this is something that can't be legislated.

    Keep up the fight, you are not in it alone.

  8. Love this Ashlyn. I totally agree. This is what I am trying to do as I speak to these chapters about ALL four of the Diamond points. I have a story to tell, not because it is mine or because I am anything special but because it is HIS story and ADPi plays a part of that. 150 years ago women were still women, wanting stories of being rescued, redeemed and being recognized. We have the ultimate answer and an amazing venue to share, we just have to trust that Gos will honor it when we do.

  9. Excellent post, Ashlyn. I am very proud that before I was given a pledge pin, I was asked 'Do you believe in God?'. It's a practice that still goes on today - and is the first and most important part of the exclusivity of being a part of the organization.

    I am with you, though - I do wish it trickled down and affected other facets of the organization.

  10. I agree, but it's definitely a tough subject because I can imagine it would be difficult for sisters whose faith is different. I think the important thing is owning and discovering your faith and being strong in it, like you are. I really admire that about you! I'm a brand new Alpha at Queens University of Charlotte, and I really have enjoyed looking through your blog!

  11. I've been texted 4 or 5 times about your posting - so clearly you struck a nerve, which means you have the courage of your convictions and a point of view.

    What struck my friends and I as interesting was your tone of voice in this entry. Faith is very hard to evaluate, and the voices of more than 200,000 Alpha Delta Pi's, and more than 4 million sorority women in all affiliations can never be supported or affirmed in a blog post. But it's sad that you felt the need to say that the "holiday card" verses a "Christmas Card" would make you frustrated. "Yeah whatever, I dunno everyone's creed."

    Good. Let's start there. Take a peek at the creeds. They are all callings, and call out to a diverse group of young women. The call does not often come from Christ. It comes from the Founders.
    "Deigning to culture" did some great things for our organizations. It made us a more diverse, reflective, supportive and inclusive collection of women.

    I would ask you to evaluate a couple of things, because you post in a public forum, by choice, and you clearly are comfortable with differing opinions.

    This posting assumes a lot. "But why aren't we really abiding by what our Creeds, our GOD, demands of us?" Well, for most organizations, the ritual is not faith based, but faith affirming. That is by design. Yours is rooted in Christian principles, but mine isn't, and to to assume "our creeds" demand anything faith based is just, well, kind of a reach. I am a Christian woman, and a reflective person, and I know you are too.

    And I believe that "political correctness" and "being inclusive of other people's thoughts and feelings" are faith affirming when done right. Inclusiveness got us away from racially divisive and culturally divisive and illegal practices. That "inclusiveness" makes us relevant. That "inclusiveness" means I can look at a sister who is not in the same faith-place as myself and not judge her. When we were NOT inclusive, we were unwilling to accept women of color, Catholics, and Jews into our organizations. (That happened very recently - for decades.) We closed the door on the very practice of diverse faith. And that is a sad, sad thing.

    There are wonderful organizations that offer more directed, transparent outlets for Christians, Jews, etc. to serve fraternities and sororities under the auspices of faith. Greek IV is one.

    I encourage you to consider that your belief in the needs of Alpha Delta Pi are valuable and come from a place of love, and the conversations that come from inclusiveness are developmental and valuable. You seem to step over inclusiveness and cast it aside like a bump on the "politically correct highway."

    I know you are transparent about your beliefs, and that has always been something my friends respond to. But think about what Alpha Delta Pi would be like without that consideration for women not like yourself. Would it be as strong? As appealing? As ephemeral and "forever?"

    I loved the part about global service and relevance, and agree - I just wish the tone didn't equate "political correctness" - doing something just to seem kind and open, with what our organizations are choosing to do, which is BE kind and open. I hope things get better for you - and I appreciate you reading this.

    Phil 4: 6-9,"...whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things."

    Inclusiveness, to me, is a noble thing. As is sorority, when done right.

  12. Whatever your feelings, please remember that as an employee of Alpha Delta Pi, you speak for the whole organization.

  13. I just completely fell in love with your blog. SO glad I came across it! I am an ADPi alum and completely agree with all of your opinions. Nice work.. I'm proud you are representing our organization.

  14. I MISS YOU! COME BACCCKKKK! I sure wish you'd come back to the blogging's just not the same without you :)


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