October 25-27, 2002, Lynchburg
Can you believe it’s been nearly three years since Soulforce’s Journey to Lynchburg in October 1999? With 183 accredited media there, it was quite an inaugural event for Soulforce national events! Perhaps most important, it was the beginning of strong friendships among us and with our allies in Lynchburg.
In October 2000, we returned to Lynchburg to build a home with Habitat for Humanity. Twenty-one churches and other faith groups in Lynchburg supported us during that effort, supplying workers, opening their homes to us and even bringing boxed lunches to the worksite.
So now, we’re returning to Lynchburg again, this time to hold Jerry Falwell accountable to the promise he made to us in 1999 to tone down his antigay rhetoric. Since then, following Gandhi’s principles, we’ve monitored his direct mail appeals, sermons, editorial pieces and his electronic "confidentials."
He seemed to moderate his rhetoric for the first few weeks. But soon he returned to his former behaviors. The most public relapse occurred on Pat Robertson’s "700 Club" on September 13 when he said that gays and lesbians, among other groups, were partly responsible for the terrorist attacks of September 11. He appeared to retract that remark after he was criticized nationwide but then used the remark in a subsequent fund-raising appeal.
His terrorist comments, unfortunately, are just the tip of the iceberg. He still appears unaware of the tragic consequences of his teachings to the gay, lesbian, bisexual and trangender community.
Though our plans are not fully in place, we tentatively plan the following:
- a Museum of Intolerance, which will display examples of Jerry’s rhetoric, juxtaposed with fact and expert opinion;
- a print case study describing (and responding) to Jerry’s untruth with truth; and
- the premiere of the next Soulforce video, The Rhetoric Of Intolerance: An Open Letter Video to Jerry Falwell.
Register now to join us in Lynchburg, October 25-27, when we again will bring the truth about homosexuality to Jerry Falwell. Read Mel’s first letter to Jerry, in which he informs him of our return. And check the Soulforce website regularly for updates on the Return to Lynchburg, October 25-27, 2002.