A Sampling of Reactions to the 2006 Soulforce Equality Ride

The Equality Riders at the 2005 stop at Liberty University

Statements that reflect the desire of administrators to work with the Soulforce Equality Ride:
"We share some hopes even though neither I nor our presidents are going to embrace some of your ultimate goals. But we can agree that the ride should advance education, civil dialogue, learning to respect differences, and making safe places for students exploring their own sexual identities."
— Dr. Robert Andringa, President of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities

"We are committed to working with you on the details of your visit to Bethel to make it a good learning opportunity for our students."
– President George Brushaber, Bethel University

"Students unprepared to grapple effectively with the kinds of issues raised by your visit would be poorly educated, indeed."
– Dr. Stanton Jones, Provost Wheaton University

Statements from administrators that reflect the close minded nature of some administrations:
"If Liberty ever embraces their agenda, I want you burn it to the ground."
– The Rev. Dr. Jerry Falwell, Chancellor of Liberty University"

"In my opinion, it would be irresponsible of us to offer any public forum, on such a serious issue, to a group of individuals whom we do not know, and who do not know us, who have no investment in our campus culture or life here together, and no accountability to any of us before or after their visit."
— Dr. Paul Conn, President of Lee University

"Be advised that accessing the Academy grounds for the purpose of protesting or engaging midshipmen, faculty and staff, may subject you to arrest and prosecution by the appropriate Federal authorities."
— Captain Helen Dunn, Deputy Chief of Staff, United States Naval Academy

Statements from closeted students on campuses the Soulforce Equality Ride will visit:
"I don’t think that most of the Wheaton community has any idea how unsafe and unwelcome GLBT people feel here."
– a closeted student at Wheaton College, IL

"One of the biggest struggles that I face today is isolation. I have found it difficult to be close with most people on this campus. I cannot fit in or be open with students and faculty who, were they to know that I am gay, would either refuse to have anything to do with me or even become hostile."
– a closeted student at Bethel University

"I don’t know what God thinks about me being gay. Why would he make me like this in the first place? I did not choose it. Regardless of what God thinks I know what everyone else thinks. They would think I’m evil if they knew. I’ve never even been with a guy. I really hope that someone could talk some sense into the school and Christians in general. I’m tired of being all alone."
— a closeted student at Liberty University

"They all say I am going to hell…I can’t help how I feel inside, but I have to hide it. My parents and pastor, and other Christian friends just wouldn’t get it. Thanks for trying to let people know that we are just like them and we have a right to be on the same campus, God loves us all!"
– a closeted student at Lee University, TN

Statements of support from straight allies on campuses the Soulforce Equality Ride will visit:
"I’ve heard that you plan to visit our campus on March 27. I’m personally excited about your visit and about getting to meet you all. My roommates and I want to offer our house for a few of you to stay if you wish."
— a student at Abilene Christian University

"I wanted to say that I was glad to hear of your visit coming up in April. There are those of us that in no way agree with the university’s stance on the enrollment of GLBT students. This is a policy that needs to change as the university evolves into a more Christ like environment, welcoming all children of God."
— a student at Colorado Christian University

 

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