The Story of Kayla Bonewell, a 2006 Rider and Seminary Student

Kayla BonewellOn Thursday March 9th, 2006 we boarded the Equality Ride bus and headed towards our first stop at Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University in Lynchburg, VA. Also on that day I received a phone call from my father stating that unless I de-boarded the bus I would no longer have a home to return to. Unfortunately the experience of being turned away from family, spiritual communities, and educational institutions is a familiar experience for LGBT people.

My father is a loving Christian man who has been misguided by a cancerous strain of faith which is infecting our nation’s heart and mind; I am a United Church of Christ seminary student and I see this cancerous strain of faith as one that is counter-Christian. This faith-cancer calls believers to hate instead of to love, to exclude instead of to include, and to injure instead of to heal.

On the Equality Ride 2006 I experienced Christian, Buddhist, Atheist and Agnostic intelligent adults who knew the results that this cancer causes. However, as my mentor Rev. Robin Meyers reminds us, "Knowledge is important, [but] it is not redemptive… Something much more profound is needed: to act together for the right reasons, not just to think the right thoughts."1

An amazing future is out there for all of us; one which does not treat those who have injured LGBT persons with the same poison, but one which calls us all to the table for dialogue and reconciliation. All that is required is for ordinary young adults to stand up with both anger at injustice and love with which to mend it. No one was ever cured of cancer by simply knowing they had it; healing requires action. Are you willing to act and to heal on behalf of our infected nation?


1 Quote from Robin Meyers’ Why the Christian Right is Wrong Jossey-Bass, San Francisco 2006.

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