View Full Version : Is soulforce just tackling oppression from christian denominations...
11-11-2005, 06:49 PM
...or is it tackling any religious and political oppression? e.g. from other faiths (such as islam) and community groups....
11-11-2005, 10:44 PM
Soulforce has always been an interfaith movement. We've had Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddists, Unitarians, and others actively working for LGBT equality. But your question wasn't about that -- it was about whether Soulforce has worked to end oppression in other religions besides Christianity.
Well, out of our 33 national actions, 32 of them were associated with Christianity and 1 was the Equality Ride Naval Academy action. So in our seven year history, the national actions have pretty much all been to counter the anti-gay teachings coming from large fundamentalist and conservative Christian groups.
I would love to hear from other Soulforce veterans on this topic, but I would say this is due to a couple of factors:
A majority of the people in Soulforce are Christian
The majority of anti-gay teachings in America come from Christian denominations (perhaps for the simple reason that the majority of Americans are Christian)
Soulforce needs more volunteers from other faiths if we are to work to heal the oppression in those faith traditions
That last one is probably a biggie. For example, if the people of Soulforce were to try to negotiate an end to the anti-gay teachings and policies of orthodox Judaism, it would be very helpful to have Jewish folks to share their stories and be "out in front."
This is an area where we could really use some creative ideas and discussion! Not only on how to tackle prejudice against gays being promoted by groups in religions other than Christianity, but also on how to carry the Soulforce movement beyond the United States.
Catt of the Garage
11-13-2005, 07:41 AM
I think Jamie is right. To a certain extent your hands are tied in tackling such a controversial issue as this, as you are limited by your understanding of the faith community you are talking to.
It seems to me that the Church has not responded well to some challenges to its attitude to homosexuality (and other issues) in the past because it percieved these attacks as coming from "outsiders" who were seen as attacking, not just the stance on one issue, but the whole identity and faith of the Church as a whole. Only when Christians challenge Christians about their attitudes, in love and fellowship, will the Church begin to see this, not as an issue of "defending the faith" against the forces of the world, but an issue of examining its attitudes in the light of God's love.
Similarly I cannot see the Jewish, Muslim or any other community responding well to a campaign which is led by Christians - it would be seen by many as an assault by outsiders, and offensive. If you want to meaningfully dialogue with a Jew about the Jewish stance on homosexuality, you probably have to be a Jew yourself or have a lot of Jews on your team. At the very least it would help.
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