« la litterature, part one: henrik ibsen's a doll's house | Main | the word gay is not synonymous for stupid »

soulforce

i was watching the news tonight and a certain segment caught my attention about "protestors at a local lutheran college in milwaukee that want to end discrimination against gays."
the line that originally caught my attention was "protestors try to go to church but end up getting arrested." that seemed silly to me. the anchors went on to talk about a group of young activists, including a female priest, that want to end discrimination based on sexual identity. the majority of the group just stayed off the property of the school and help banners depicting their message, but several students went on to the campus to have open discussions about the issues at hand. they tried to have conversations with the college students but most didn't even want to talk to them or learn from them. one girl said that the protestors brought a lot of attention, a lot of media, and a lot of negativity that she "didn't appreciate" yet later that same girl said that she just wants everybody to love everybody and that would make our world so much better. the two statements that she offered seemed to be contradicting to me, or at least projected her ideas that seem to contradict what she said. on one hand, she didn't want to talk to the students about the discrimination and prejudice against certain individuals because of their identity, but she thought that everyone should just love everyone, but that doesn't seem to be the prinicple that she follows. one activist said that "these students are ill-prepared for the world if they require their conversations to occur only within a closed community that all thinks the same way" and i think she is referring to the little box that people are supposed to fit into.

my friend and i were just having a conversation last night about religion and openmindedness and the glbt community. for instance, how it is unfair to say that a woman can't be a priest, if a person has a passion for god and his or her faith, why should that individual be denied the opportunity to spread the word of his or her lord? it's not about gender, it's about one's love and commitment; it is a completely separate issue. also, we were talking about how the bible was written so long ago, how can all of it's teachings be applied reasonably to today? variances in sexual identity are more common in our society today than it has been in the past and we decided that if jesus was here today, he wouldn't restrict his following to straight individuals that strictly male or female, staunchly condemning in their beliefs. he would love everyone. this reminds me of a line from the movie "saved!"-- the main character says

"if god wanted us all to be exactly the same, why would he have made us all so different?"

i looked up the organization on the internet and found their website and the soulforce mission statement:
"The purpose of Soulforce is freedom for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people from religious and political oppression through the practice of relentless nonviolent resistance."

Wherever you are on your journey of faith,
Whatever your sexual orientation or gender identity,
Whatever your religion, race, age, ability, color, or creed,
You are welcome to join us in learning, teaching, and applying
the 'soul force' principles of relentless nonviolent resistance
as taught by Gandhi and King
as we work together to stop spiritual violence
against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender people
that flows out of the teachings and actions
of religious leaders and their communities of faith.
-The People of Soulforce

What is Spiritual Violence?

Spiritual violence is the misuse of religion to sanction the condemnation and rejection of any of God’s children.

Misusing religion and/or God to support society’s bias against sexual and gender minorities also inappropriately justifies psychological, legal and physical violence against them. Some zealots blatantly articulate spiritual violence against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people when they scream "God Hates Fags."

Mainline churches may be less blatant and more sophisticated, but they are no less guilty of spiritual violence. It is just as violent spiritually when pastors and parents—quoting scripture—condemn and reject members of their congregation and their family. When this happens, God’s gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender children also feel condemned and rejected by their Creator as well.

this makes me think about:
- discrimination
- the little box that everyone is supposed to fit inside
- religion
- unfair actions
- glbt community
- activism