Frequently Asked Questions

WHAT IS "SOUL FORCE"?
"Soul force" is one of the names Gandhi (and later Dr. King) gave to the principles of relentless nonviolent resistance. Both civil rights leaders believed that we were created to do justice and that when we take one step in that direction it renews our spirit (releases our own "soul force") as it helps transform our society.

WHAT IS SOULFORCE?
We are a network of volunteers and staff committed to research, teach, and apply the principles of nonviolence as taught and lived by Gandhi and King on behalf of sexual and gender minorities. Founded in 1998, our headquarters is on the web at www.soulforce.org. Our Director of Operations is Karen Weldin at karen@soulforce.org. Our Director of Communications is Laura Montgomery Rutt at laura@soulforce.org. Our Executive Director is Mel White mel@soulforce.org.

WHAT IS THE PRIMARY GOAL OF SOULFORCE?
We believe that religion has become the primary source of false and inflammatory misinformation about lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered people. Fundamentalist Christians teach that we are "sick" and "sinful." Liberal Christian denominations teach that we are "incompatible with Christian teaching." Most conservative and liberal denominations refuse to marry us or ordain us for ministry. The Roman Catholic Church teaches that our orientation is "objectively disordered" and our acts of intimacy "intrinsically evil." They teach that we should not marry, adopt, co-parent, teach children, coach youth or serve in the military. Members of Dignity (the Catholic GLBT organization) are refused the use of Church property and the presence of a priest to conduct a Dignity Mass. We believe these teachings lead to discrimination, suffering, and death. Our goal is to confront and eventually replace these tragic untruths with the truth that we are God’s children, too, created, loved, and accepted by God exactly as we are.

HOW DOES SOULFORCE PLAN TO REACH ITS GOALS?
During the past summer we launched the FIRST STAGE in our Soulforce Campaign to STOP SPIRITUAL VIOLENCE. We trained 1,000 volunteers on site at the national conventions of the United Methodist, Southern Baptist, Presbyterian, and Episcopal Churches. After silent, candlelight vigils, more than 500 of us were arrested in carefully planned acts of nonviolent dissent. On November 12-14, 2000 we conducted similar vigils and protests at the National Conference of Catholic Bishops in Washington, DC

WHAT IS "THE SECOND STAGE" IN THE SF CAMPAIGN TO STOP SPIRITUAL VIOLENCE?
Gandhi said, "It is as much our moral obligation NOT to cooperate with evil as it is to cooperate with good." For decades we have funded our own oppression with our tithes, offerings, and special gifts to the churches that condemn us. For decades we have played their organs, led their choirs, taught their classes, and filled their pews. We are their pastors and priests, their deacons, trustees, Sunday School teachers and superintendents. On January 1, 2001, Soulforce launched a major NONCOOPERATION CAMPAIGN against untruth in the Christian churches. By refusing to fund our own oppression we will reclaim our dignity and demonstrate our powerful, loving presence.

HOW DO WE FIND OUT MORE ABOUT SOULFORCE?

PO Box 3195
Lynchburg, VA
24503-0195

Ph: 877-705-6393
Fax: 434-384-9333

Web site: www.soulforce.org
Email: info@soulforce.org

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