Ray Boltz, an award-winning with 2 RIAA Gold Certified albums, recently announced a new project on his blog. Two songs on this new project, TRUE, give nods to Soulforce.
You can listen to “Who Would Jesus Love?” and “Don’t Tell Me Who To Love” embedded in the article announcing the project launch.
by Brian Murphy
We are delighted and humbled to join in celebration with the Episcopal Church USA and welcome their newest bishop, Rev. Mary Glasspool, to her post. Rev. Glasspool is the church’s first openly lesbian bishop and the first openly gay bishop to be consecrated since Bishop Gene Robinson’s controversial installation in 2004. Congratulations Rev. Glasspool! And congratulations to the Episcopal Church USA for your open embrace of God’s love for all people!
Read more on the Episcopal Church website
by Rev. Dr. Cindi Love
Today is the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO) coordinated by the Paris based “IDAHO Committee.” In honor of this Day, Soulforce is officially calling for universal decriminalization of homosexualilty and transdender identification and, in particular, support for decriminalization by all US based political and religious leaders.
IDAHO has been directly linked to a call for the universal decriminalization of homosexuality in a statement signed by Desmond Tutu and other Nobel prize winners as well as highly respected thought leaders and artists, Jacques Delors, Meryl Streep, Cindy Lauper, Elton John and David Bowie. Rev. Mel White, founder of Soulforce, issued a statement on February 2010 confronting several prominent USA based religious leaders about their tacit sanctions of criminalization in Uganda.
For 2010 and 2011, the IDAHO campaign is about religion and asks religious leaders to weigh in on the issue of spiritual and physical violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons.
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by Darren Arquero
Sitting in Meadowlark Coffee & Espresso after our 14th school stop at Union College, the only thing that came to my mind was one thing: I was tired. I was tired from the lack of sleep and countless hours on the road. I was tired of watery hotel coffee. But most of all, I was tired at defending my humanity.
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by Brian Adkins
Editors note: Brian Adkins, a 2010 Equality Rider, composed this note to his fellow Equality Riders. We reprint it here with his permission.
I joined the 2010 Soulforce Equality Ride not because I am queer, but because I am a Christian. I wanted to be a part of the dialog around the intersection of faith and sexuality and justice. Along the way, I have seen the best and the worst of Christianity. I have seen love beautifully and unconditionally expressed, and I have heard oppression called love. I have at times expressed my own truth eloquently, but more often I have fumbled with it clumsily like the lyrics to a song I have never heard before. My truth is a song still being written.
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by Rev. Dr. Cindi Love
On May 4, 1970, our National Guard opened fire on student anti-war protesters and bystanders at Kent State. Four students died and nine other people were wounded. That was a dark day for our country and the families of all who died and were injured. Some sociologists now believe that Kent State may have triggered the next forty years of fear-based politics in the United States and catalyzed the growth of radical fundamentalism within Christianity.
Certainly there is evidence that the events of that day gave ultra-conservative Christians and their privately held institutions of higher learning a bonfire of fear to fan, and they did so with vigor. Preachers with pulpits full of confused and mourning Americans opened a flood-gate of condemnation against pot-smoking, atheist, radical hippies and all “suspicious acting and looking” people who could conveniently be lumped in with them.
Continue reading on The Huffington Post
The last time I blogged for the interwebs, the Equality Ride had just finished its first stop at Valley Forge Christian College, several weeks later and now I am here to talk about our stop at Southwest Baptist University (SBU). The day was interesting starting off with a little gathering with our hosts in a conference room where we had a little chat and told them exactly why we were here: 1) Their policy clearly discriminates against the LGBTQ and allied students/faculty on the campus 2) To spread love and affirmation to said persons 3) to engage in true dialogue to foster change and provide safe spaces for those who identify to being LGBTQ and allies.
Next was chapel, which left quite a few riders in emotional turmoil as the topic was about missionary work and the speaker seemed ignorant about what he was saying and just condemning people to hell. I know I felt the spirit move me out of the chapel quickly, just get away from the rhetoric spewing out of that man’s mouth. After the chapel, a few of our Riders, particularly Isaiah and Asher, went and conversed with the speaker about their feelings and how offensive they found this chapel service. I hope the man actually took the words spoken seriously and will try a different approach to things in the future.
Skipping ahead, the awkward conversation about racism is blooming at SBU, a group of riders, students, and faculty members were a part of a panel that talked about what Soulforce was and the topic of LGBTQ persons on campus. One of the faculty members was just plain combative and could not even see a LGBTQ person as an actual human being. I give kudos to all the Riders that dealt with that woman because she was just plain rude!
With emotions still high, and many of our Riders experiencing spiritual violence, the Dean of Students, with permission, got on the bus to “talk” to us about how we experienced the day. If “talking” to us, was a rant about how we betrayed his trust by holding a vigil later that day, then yeah, we had some “great” dialogue. Several of the riders, challenged the administrator to actually listen to what we felt, and he did.
After this, the Equality Riders set up camp right outside the campus and some ate food from the awesome PFLAG parents, talked to community members and students, or simply just sang songs. It felt like a nice, sweet closing after the tumultuous and emotionally exhausting day defending our humanity and dealing with the rampant issues of racism on SBU’s campus.