Gay Rights Activists Protest MC | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

Gay Rights Activists Protest MC

Photo credit: Brian Johnson

Photo caption: Soulforce co-director Katie Higgins was among those arrested at Mississippi College Thursday.

Calling for dialogue and reading scripture, members of Soulforce Equality Ride, a Virginia-based gay rights advocacy group, protested just outside the grounds of Mississippi College today. Five members of the group were arrested when they stepped onto MC grounds, trying to speak to students.

The protest, which began at 9:30 a.m., was attended by 100 students who listened from the grounds as Soulforce member and former Hattiesburg resident Michael Ide explained that the group wanted nothing more than open discussion.

Ide, who was later among those arrested when he stepped onto the grounds of the campus, held up a poster showing Soulforce members when they were young children. The poster was inscribed with a passage from the Bible, Mark 9:37, which reads: "Whoever receives one such child receives me, and whoever receives me receives not me but the one who sent me." Ide said that the poster was meant to express "that we are all God's children."

"The Bible says that we enter the kingdom of God as children. We must humble ourselves before God," Ide continued. "We must not rely too much on our own understanding but rely on the spirit."

Trace Roberson, who said she is a junior at MC, urged students to talk with members of Soulforce even if they disagreed. "Homosexuals are outnumbered in this country, but they have a lot of power and passion to help their cause. You have to wonder why we don't see that in our churches more often."

Roberson, 24, said she was married to a seminarian and believes homosexuality is a sin. "Christ on several occasions had people who were asking how to get into the kingdom to give up everything, everything their identity was founded on. That's hard, and a lot of them didn't do that."

The Bible passage to which Roberson referred is Matthew 19, in which Jesus said: "If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me."

"To be a Christian," Roberson continued, "I believe it's necessary to believe in the infallibility of the Bible. To believe that grace and faith alone save us. … Sinners of all forms—drunkards, depression, homosexuality—are all things we suffer from because of our sin nature and because of our brokenness."

Roberson then spent the next hour talking to different members of Soulforce, but she said she still did not think the group should have been allowed on campus. "I think it was very smart of MC to restrict this," she said. "It was smart for the safety of the students and the comfort of the students. I believe they've chosen this university over others because this university does proclaim a Christian background and Christian morals. So students who are still growing in their faith have a safe place to do that in Christian community without threat before they have wholly dived into the doctrine."

Members of Soulforce, who sang church hymns and cited scripture throughout their protest, passed out pamphlets arguing that Christianity is compatible with homosexuality. The pamphlet, which listed Soulforce founder Rev. Mel White as author, points out that neither Jesus nor the Jewish prophets had anything to say about homosexuality, and "only six or seven of the Bible's one million verses refer to same sex-behavior in any way." White argues that we must remain open to "new truth from the Scripture," and cites Rev. Jerry Falwell's turn away from race segregation as an example. "Even when we believe the Scriptures are 'infallible' or 'without error,' it's terribly dangerous to think that our understanding of every biblical text is also without error."

White writes that fundamentalists who claim to believe the Bible is infallible still do not obey Deuteronomy 22, which mandates stoning to death brides who are not virgins and those who commit adultery, along with many other passages. Finally, White engages in a detailed analysis of those few passages that do pertain to "homosexuality" to argue that they have been broadly misinterpreted. For instance, regarding the destruction of Sodom, which gives us the root of the word "sodomy," White cites Ezekiel 16: 48-49 and its description of Sodom's sins, which do not include homosexuality: "This is the sin of Sodom, she and her suburbs had pride, excess of food, and prosperous ease, but did not help or encourage the poor and needy. They were arrogant and this is abominable in God's eyes."

"All we ask the Mississippi College administration is to accept our voices and experiences as valid to this discussion," Ide said. "I'm from Mississippi, and I'm hoping that by coming here and talking to you today, we are helping to build a Mississippi where no more students in high school are told by teachers with ties to this college that they deserve to die. That's what I was told at Pearl River High School. I was told by teachers in the classroom that because I was a gay man, I deserved to be dead."

Soulforce member Amy Scott, who was arrested when she stepped onto school property, said her act was in the tradition of men like Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. "The students and the administration don't agree with us, but I feel like they're able to see the fruit of action. People who care about justice and faith can see us fighting for our rights, and we can build a dialogue with students," she said as she waited to be loaded onto a city van, her hands in plastic cuffs.

Article III Section B of the MC student handbook describes numerous forms of punishable "misconduct," among them Item 16: "Sexual Impropriety. Sexual impropriety includes but is not limited to participation in or appearance of engaging in premarital sex, extramarital sex or homosexual activities."

Soulforce member Stephen Krebs said that he'd had "friendly conversations" with the MC administration but that administrators were ultimately hypocritical. "(Dr. Eric Pratt, MC's vice president of Christian development) told me that this dialogue was very important to the campus, important to the students—he recognized that—but then he would come up with different excuses for why we shouldn't be allowed to share our perspective here. There were a variety of excuses: safety issues—he referred to us as 'bullies,' that we were trying to force ourselves on people. As I indicated to him over and over, we really just wanted to come and be able to talk. We realize that people can disagree, but it's still possible to have a respectful conversation. … I was completely honest, completely upfront and open about our goals and our intentions. We wanted an open line of communication with the school to work together to come to an agreement that would work for all of us. The line of communication was basically shut off."

Royce did not return calls for comment.

When called by the JFP, Pratt said that MC was consistent in its response to Soulforce. The college declined to extend an invitation to Soulforce, as the group had asked, but college administrators did say the group was welcome as visitors if they adhered to the visitor's policy.

"They declined, because they didn't feel like they could adequately communicate their message," Pratt said. "The next step was that they called back and said they wanted to talk about this more. We said, 'Well, we've already given you our response, and you've posted on your Web site for people who want to join you to come to our campus that day, for 25 people who have been trained and are committed to this. To us, this was a very simple thing. We have hundreds of visitors every day, but not knowing who's going to come in support of you or in opposition to you really does cause us a safety concern.' We didn't give a myriad of reasons, we just stuck with that same one."

Pratt said that the event went as well expected considering the circumstances, and he maintained that MC administrators do value dialogue. "We want dialogue and discussion about the issues," Pratt said. "I think every student generation needs to explore what they believe and why they believe it, and why the institution that they attend has the rules and takes the stand that it takes. I think that's part of what the educational process is."

Despite the arrests, the protest was orderly, with students and Soulforce members engaged in animated but respectful discussion. At least 20 Clinton police officers, some of whom arrived in a SWAT van, observed both protesters and the crowd.

Dean Genth, who served as Soulforce's liaison with the police department, said he was "very pleased" with the police department's demeanor and assistance. "The Clinton police force gave us a police escort from our hotel back in Jackson, and personally, I appreciate that. We had rumors that some organizations like Fred Phelps might be here, yelling and shouting at us. There were bloggers online who threatened some horrible things, and so for that, I think the police presence was good."

Later Thursday, around 5 p.m., a Clinton police officer stopped Soulforce's van and ordered the activists to leave the city and return to Jackson. "We were waiting for the five Equality Riders who had been arrested to be released," Krebbs said Friday. "A police officer pulled us over, and our bus driver got out to talk to him. The officer was real aggressive, yelling at him. It wasn't clear what the problem was, but he said to leave town immediately. We couldn't leave because we didn't have all the Equality Riders with us, so we pulled around the corner into a parking lot for a shopping center near MC. The (police officer) pulled up again and started yelling at our bus driver again. ... Another cop car pulled up and was yelling. He said, 'We gave you so many things this morning, you need to leave town.' The gist of it was because they had 'allowed' us to peaceably assemble on public property, that was some kind of gift."

Clinton Police Chief Don Byington did not return calls for comment.

In a March 23 letter to Attorney General Jim Hood, Soulforce co-directors Jarrett Lucas and Katie Higgins described the Thursday afternoon incident, writing that a Clinton police officer threatened their bus driver with arrest if they did not leave Clinton immediately. "Law abiding citizens should be allowed to safely assemble in any town in America," Soulforce wrote. "The role of a police officer is to protect members of the public, not threaten or intimidate them."

Lucas and Higgins threatened to sue for false arrest if any of their members were arrested while peaceably assembled. "We hope that you will take swift action by informing the city of Clinton that such behavior by the Clinton Police is unlawful and will not be tolerated in the State of Mississippi," they concluded.

In a March 20 letter, the City of Clinton set out a number of restrictions on the protest, some of which drew objections from the Mississippi ACLU. For instance, the city sought to force Soulforce to assemble "to a location selected and controlled by the City of Clinton." One provision warned that any attempt by members of Soulforce "to gather or travel outside of the established assembly perimeters in a group of four (4) or more ... will constitute a violation of the provisions of the Parade/Assembly permit thus causing the permit to become invalid and terminated." The letter also stated that any attempt by four or more member of Soulforce to come near the MC campus would constitute a "breach of the public peace."

Later that same day, Mississippi ACLU attorney John Williams sent the city a letter (PDF, 68 KB) objecting that the proposed restrictions were unconstitutional. Williams wrote that Soulforce had a constitutional right to assemble on public sidewalks. "t is unconstitutional and unlawful for your office to deny citizens the right to peacefully assemble on public property. … From a legal standpoint your licensing requirement is wrought with constitutional violations and restrictions on First Amendment grounds."

The city ultimately allowed Soulforce to assemble on a sidewalk adjacent to the MC campus.

This story has been updated many times.

Previous Comments

ID
91494
Comment

I can't believe that the school bans "homosexual activity." What moralists! We are such good Christians that we can stop nature! Morons!

Author
pikersam
Date
2007-03-22T19:22:06-06:00
ID
91495
Comment

They actually ban premarital sex as well... By default, that would include homosexual activity. I believe they also have restrictions on PDA as well. Obviously, none are enforced since no one's been expelled from MC for being gay (as far as anyone knows -- including the school). I wish they'd have hit Belhaven instead... They've expelled several students for being gay. It's a very interesting situation for me. On one hand, I fully support what Soulforce is doing, and on the other, I firmly believe in a private entity's right to conduct business as they wish -- especially if those decisions are based on their faith. I don't agree with it but it is their right just as much as it is Soulforce's right to have their position, present it, and protest in public settings. Still, as long as the Southern Baptist Convention supply a large sum of funding for these colleges, they'll always have a list of backward positions on sex and sexuality.

Author
kaust
Date
2007-03-22T21:35:46-06:00
ID
91496
Comment

I wonder if the local gay rights group would have me arrested if I showed up at their offices or on their property peacefully holding a sign saying homosexuality was evil but refused to leave?

Author
Kingfish
Date
2007-03-22T21:37:05-06:00
ID
91497
Comment

King, as the chairman of one of an LGBT organization, we would not hesitate to have you arrested if we warned you to not come onto or to leave our property... So, personally, I can't hold it against MC for having the same position -- especially since such actions could be a major distraction for the bulk of their students. Of course, I'm certainly not apologizing for MC's backward policy. From what I've been told, MC was planning to allow them onto the campus and the communication broke down somewhere along the way... I can't back that with concrete evidence, but it's something I've been told by someone that has spoken with both MC and Soulforce. It's a very interesting situation for me as a gay man, activist and a firm believer in the Constitution. Again, I understand both sides and wish a forum had been organized instead of a sidewalk protest. I think more communication and actual dialog could have happened on that level... I also wish that more of the LGBT participants had been actual MC students and/or alumni. I personally feel it would have had a far greater impact simply because Southerners tend to view activism involving nationwide groups as "a bunch of carpetbaggers." In most cases, it would seem the message/point can be easily lost if it's not personalized by a friend or neighbor (read: someone directly involved). In the end, I'm still glad Soulforce started the discussion... I hope their action has a positive result.

Author
kaust
Date
2007-03-22T22:04:38-06:00
ID
91498
Comment

Knol, I understand your desire to have more individuals at MC come forward. However, most of these kids that are gay/lesbian/transgendered are there by no other choice (as in no other college is available or financially as viable) and are fearful of expulsion if they partcipate. Alumni-wise, I am sure it is the fear of community/economic reprisals that prevented any alumni from stepping forward. A sad comment, yet true. I am glad the discussion was at least started or attempted to be started. Even if one person left with the idea to at least question or examine their beliefs about homosexuality, then it was a success AGamma627

Author
AGamm627
Date
2007-03-22T22:17:31-06:00
ID
91499
Comment

no other choice? BS. THere is JSU. Or are you saying that JSU offers an inferior education to MC?

Author
Kingfish
Date
2007-03-22T22:18:56-06:00
ID
91500
Comment

Kingfish I am saying nothing of the sort. I am saying that some there are awarded such nice scholarships or whose parents will pay for MC but not another school that they are there. There are other FINE institutions of higher learning. That comment was not to degrade ANY institution of higher learning, just a comment on the harsh reality of college finance and being able to live.

Author
AGamm627
Date
2007-03-22T22:39:36-06:00
ID
91501
Comment

I wish they'd have hit Belhaven instead... They've expelled several students for being gay. Wow! I guess the Belhaven English Department must have changed a lot since my time there...

Author
Rico
Date
2007-03-22T22:47:16-06:00
ID
91502
Comment

Cool points Knol. I was thinking the same thing. I'm appalled by the policy; but, understand their right to not allow them on their "private" campus. I went with the religious dig instead - but that 's typical me. The hypocrisy just bugs me.

Author
pikersam
Date
2007-03-22T23:02:01-06:00
ID
91503
Comment

"Private" or not, they still accept government money via Pell Grants and Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grants, not to mention all the government money their parent organization - the Baptist Convention - receives. If you want to get technical, all that "tainted" money donated to MC ($36.5 Million) by Bernie Ebbers should have been returned by MC due to the Worldcom scandal and should have been used to pay government fines. MC did not make any sort of offer for the Riders to come onto campus, not even 2 inches on the grass. They simply stopped talking to Soulforce during "negotiations" last year. Further, they made sure one of their security guards read a "no trespassing or you'll be arrested" placard upon their arrival. Having stepped off the sidewalk onto the grass, Clinton PD was swift with handcuffs open and ready. The fact that the Clinton PD tried to get Riders to sign a "contract" full of unconstitutional provisions, only further proves the setup game that MC and Clinton PD had waiting. Fortunately, the Riders have their own attornies and outplayed the little game. There were quite a bit of MC students who welcomed the Riders and joined hand-in-hand with them in their protest. Alot who don't support gay rights, were still willing to listen and were adamant (sp?) that they had a right to be there. I'm proud of the Riders and what they are trying to accomplish.

Author
Jo-D
Date
2007-03-23T04:35:12-06:00
ID
91504
Comment

The business of them being arrested because they stepped on the grass seems a bit lame. I can't help but think it makes MC look bad and while that group can protest all it wants, since MC is a Baptist school they are not going to say anything "positive" about homosexuality.

Author
GLewis
Date
2007-03-23T06:26:59-06:00
ID
91505
Comment

They actually ban premarital sex as well... By default, that would include homosexual activity. I believe they also have restrictions on PDA as well. Obviously, none are enforced since no one's been expelled from MC for being gay (as far as anyone knows -- including the school). I spent two semesters at MC in the early 1980s. While I was there, I saw someone on campus regularly for counseling (mainly because I was struggling with being gay). When it started to become known that I was gay, he told me that he had seen the following procedure used several times during his years at MC: The administration called you in and asked some pointed questions which you were required to answer; then you were given 72 hours to get off campus. So according to him, several people have been expelled from MC for being gay. I also wish that more of the LGBT participants had been actual MC students and/or alumni. I personally feel it would have had a far greater impact simply because Southerners tend to view activism involving nationwide groups as "a bunch of carpetbaggers." In most cases, it would seem the message/point can be easily lost if it's not personalized by a friend or neighbor (read: someone directly involved). Michael Ide is a native Mississippian. I know because I've corresponded with him and I contributed money to his Soulforce fund-raising. https://www.soulforce.org/michael_ide Best, Tim

Author
Tim Kynerd
Date
2007-03-23T06:40:27-06:00
ID
91506
Comment

Tim, I know Michael as well. I do understand he's from Mississippi... What I was saying is that I feel the impact would have been stronger if LGBT students and alumni from MC would have been on the forefront. I do realize there were Mississippians involved. Again, I'm saying the presence of those that experienced MC's policy would have made the message louder and stronger. I also understand that MC's treatment of LGBTs in the past has not been stellar... I have a friend that was harassed. We're speaking about now where the policy is enforced about like the sodomy laws were... Rarely. Times have changed and there are more than a handful of loud and out MC students. One was on TV last night. Now, if he gets expelled, there's a real call for activism and protest. I'd be surprised to see an outpouring of outrage though... No one screamed and picketed while Belhaven regularly expelled gays and lesbians in the last few years and over the last few decades. "The fact that the Clinton PD tried to get Riders to sign a "contract" full of unconstitutional provisions, only further proves the setup game that MC and Clinton PD had waiting." - Jody Jody, MC has the right to refuse protests and activism on their campus. I'm sure Soulforce is not the only group to be refused. Further, from information that's been passed my way, CPD was called by Soulforce to find out the procedures for trespassing on a college campus. They actually called the police to find out how long, how much, etc... CPD then called MC to inform them of what could easily be perceived as a threat. CPD was doing their job and as noted handled the situation pretty fairly based on MCs desire not to have their campus disrupted. The form: I'd be interested to learn if its a form letter other protesters have been given? Alot of what I read in that initial communication was indeed unconstitutional but it read as if it's a prepared letter for any/all protests... A fill-in-the-blank form... Hell, Clinton hasn't seen a protest in years (if not decades). It wouldn't surprise me if that's some form letter from the Freedom Riders era. Luckily, Brent and the ACLU squared that away quickly. ""Private" or not, they still accept government money via Pell Grants and Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grants, not to mention all the government money their parent organization - the Baptist Convention - receives." - Jody This is my main conflict with the whole Soulforce should be entitled to protest on MC's grounds. Jody, are you insinuating that any private entity or citizen that receives money directly or indirectly from the government loses its rights to privacy and property? I disagree wholeheartedly. I'm sure several LGBT folks, businesses and orgs would be scared at that prospect factoring in small business loans, federal funding for non-profits and housing loans (not to mention FEMA funds distributed to a large sum of LGBT folks). I'm guessing if there was something unconstituional about MC's position not to allow Soulforce on their campus, our friends at the ACLU would have been all over it. Brent, care to speak to this particular issue? They are a college and should remain focused on education and not disruption. It's a business... A business with an archaic policy, but a business nonetheless. My personal stance: I agree with Soulforce's message. I agree that a discussion should be had on these topics. I do not agree that trespassing (especially after being warned repeatedly) is a smart or even poetic move. It says Soulforce disregards laws enforced to protect them and us. Still, and most importantly, I, also, respect the right to privacy and property of private entities because that includes all of us -- this is America after all. We, as the LGBT community, are still afforded that right to privacy and property (on most levels though our property doesn't transfer equally) and therefore challenging that right seems trivial because I don't want another org or entity challenging mine.

Author
kaust
Date
2007-03-23T07:44:12-06:00
ID
91507
Comment

All that being said, from a discussion one member of our board had with MC, they were open to the idea of a forum or discussion panel. Per their contact, they did not want the disruption on the campus or the miscellaneous flyers to be distributed during school hours. Of course, now, it's all turning into a "he said, they said" thing and who's to say MC would be open to the discussion now. Anyway, Brent, Jenni and I have discussed having a forum/community discussion and may pursue it. Obviously, we'd also include Belhaven and the community-at-large. These types of forums are something we've been discussing for some time now and it seems it's time to kick-start them.

Author
kaust
Date
2007-03-23T07:54:50-06:00
ID
91508
Comment

On the topic of CPD, just read Soulforce's blog. Check this out... Today the Equality Ride hit a bump in the road. We ran into police intimidation in Clinton Mississippi. Prior to leaving the town of Clinton Mississippi the Equality Ride bus was confronted three times by the same police officer who told the Equality Ride bus driver to “go on and get out of town.” The final time the officer interacted with the bus driver he threatened to arrest him if he did not follow his order. I urge anyone reading this to contact CPD and even the MS Attorney General’s Office to express your personal outrage. AG: http://www.ago.state.ms.us/contact/ CPD Administration: Chief of Police Don Byington 924-5252 [email][email protected][/email]

Author
kaust
Date
2007-03-23T08:18:21-06:00
ID
91509
Comment

As we posted on MySpace at 3:15 AM this morning... Unfortunately, MC administration has been spreading lies via a "fact sheet" and via media interviews. Such lies include that MC offered to allow the Riders on campus under their "Visitor Policy" rules but that Soulforce said "no". That just isn't the case. MC never made any offers of campus access, not even offers of 2 inches on the grass. MC and the Clinton Police Department were handcuff happy and after going maybe 2 inches onto the grass off the sidewalk, 5 Riders were arrested and charged with Trespassing. All 5 are now out of jail at $331.50 a piece ($250 plus assessments). Further, because the judge felt the need to take into consideration prior trespassing charges from other states for 3 of the 5 arrested, those 3 will continue to be in Clinton until next Wednesday as they perform community service for the Clinton Parks & Recreation Department at the judge's order, beginning today. After court, the Riders walked their way through town back to their bus and a Clinton Police officer decided to harass them even more. Read this from the bus' blog: Last night, while in the town of Clinton, Mississippi, we experienced a distressing form of police intimidation. After a day of dialogue at nearby Mississippi College, we parked our bus in downtown Clinton. We were waiting for the return of some of the members of our tour from area coffee shops. While waiting, a police vehicle approached the bus with its lights flashing, signaling us to move. Our bus driver immediately turned down the nearest road and into a church parking lot to await the Equality Riders. The same officer once again followed us into the parking lot, with his lights on and asked our driver to speak with him. The officer was quite aggressive in demanding that we “go on and get out of town.” Our driver explained that we were still waiting on the remainder of our group, but was still forced to move the bus. At that time, we drove and parked the bus in a lot that was previously designated by the city of Clinton. For the third time, a police vehicle approached us with flashing lights. The officer who approached us was extremely indignant and asked us “what is your problem? We have already given you breaks today.” Our driver explained that we were in the space the City provided for us. In response, the officer asserted that our driver would be arrested if he were to take us anywhere else and not leave the city of Clinton immediately. Soon after, a community member arrived with the rest of the Equality Riders and we left promptly. Needless to say, Equality Mississippi has contacted the Clinton Police chief, Don Byington, and informed him that such harassment by his department and officers will not be tolerated. We are prepared to defend the Soulforce guests while they are in Mississippi. These courageous visitors to Mississippi need to feel some love, support and your thanks! If you're available, join us and them at Brighton Park in Clinton today from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM for a community picnic. This will be their last gathering before they move on to Tennessee. Bring food (remember that some of the guests are vegetarians), bring your smiles and support! For more on Brighton Park and how to get there, follow this link: http://www.discoverourtown.com/MS/local-176308.html

Author
Jo-D
Date
2007-03-23T08:32:52-06:00
ID
91510
Comment

"Unfortunately, MC administration has been spreading lies via a "fact sheet" and via media interviews. Such lies include that MC offered to allow the Riders on campus under their "Visitor Policy" rules but that Soulforce said "no". That just isn't the case. MC never made any offers of campus access, not even offers of 2 inches on the grass." - Jody Jody, the person we spoke with at MC said they'd most likely be interested in a forum/discussion panel on the topic. So, that's why I say this is turning into a big "he said, they said" thing... Since one of our board members is an MC alumni, we will most likely pursue this discussion. As for the CPD's treatment after the protests... Sick. We've mailed our mailing list with the details and encourages all to contact CPD and the attorney general. Of course, Clinton hates tree houses so I can imagine a busload of LGBTs wouldn't be welcomed either. ;-) Doesn't excuse them being harassed. I can't imagine CPD harassing a busload of older gamblers on their way to Vicksburg.

Author
kaust
Date
2007-03-23T08:48:45-06:00
ID
91511
Comment

"Or are you saying that JSU offers an inferior education to MC?"--Kingfish Yes, by all objective standards, national rankings, graduation success rates, and graduate school acceptance rates. The current rankings for the Jackson area are 1. Millsaps; 2. MC, 3. Tougaloo, 4. Belhaven, 5. JSU. Please consult the Princeton Review, Us News and World Report, US Department of Ed., AAUP if you require any citation of this.

Author
Willezurmacht
Date
2007-03-23T08:52:19-06:00
ID
91512
Comment

Yeah, that is a bunch of crap by the "backwards ass" Clinton Police Department. Be sure to take this to the Mayor of Clinton too. They are responsible for the image and policies of the City. Though I agree with Knol about the "private rights" of MC, the police did seem "handcuff happy" as Jo-D says since they immediately arrested whomever stepped on campus. Were any warning given first when a member stepped on the campus? I hope so, but I doubt it. But, for the police to actively follow the bus and make rude comments is unprofessional. Clinton needs to do the right thing, let those protesters go, and not keep them till Wednesday so they can clean the streets of Clinton. That is crap! The officer needs to be reprimanded too! I think this should be national news, and that hopefully a contingent of people will flood the town of Clinton with LGBT's over this skewed punishment!

Author
pikersam
Date
2007-03-23T08:56:29-06:00
ID
91513
Comment

"Though I agree with Knol about the "private rights" of MC, the police did seem "handcuff happy" as Jo-D says since they immediately arrested whomever stepped on campus. Were any warning given first when a member stepped on the campus? I hope so, but I doubt it." - piker MC was notified by CPD that Soulforce had contacted them about the penalties for trespassing on MC per our contact with MC (again, a lot of "he said, they said" and it's difficult to determine where the truth ends with alot of things I've heard). Still, CPD warned Soulforce. If you watch the videos on the news, it's painfully obvious Soulforce knew they'd be arrested for trespassing which is why I have a problem with the trespassing specifically but not with Soulforce's message. It's also painfully obvious that the police overstepped their boundaries harassing the Soulforce bus.

Author
kaust
Date
2007-03-23T09:02:29-06:00
ID
91514
Comment

I don't think the reading of a trespass place-card to the group before hand constitutes a "warning" as we know it. How many speeders in Clinton were let off with a "warning" AFTER they were caught speeding? Yet, they know it is illegal to speed before they do it. Overzealous is an understatement based on what I've read.

Author
pikersam
Date
2007-03-23T09:04:25-06:00
ID
91515
Comment

I wrote that above while you were posting to add to my post, Knol. I agree with you on a whole. But, as I read more, the combination of the trespassing (which Soulforce did do) with the story of police intimidation, and the subsequent harsh sentencing of 3 of the members, I think Clinton needs to reconsider it's actions. Not that we should expect any less from the City of Clinton with what they did do. They ain't going to let anything bad happen to the Univ. of Clinton! ;-)

Author
pikersam
Date
2007-03-23T09:14:08-06:00
ID
91516
Comment

Seems CPD may be the bigger evil in this drama... Jody, you know what's going on as far as the arrests? Any further updates? Is anyone actively communicating with those arrested? Five days is a long time for trespassing. I will say their biggest challenge is that they knew they'd be arrested for trespassing and the group has been arrested similarly during this tour and past tours. So, the judge certainly used that history against them in a "repeat offender" way.

Author
kaust
Date
2007-03-23T09:19:48-06:00
ID
91517
Comment

I have substantively updated this story, so take a second look. More updates are on the way.

Author
Brian C Johnson
Date
2007-03-23T09:28:41-06:00
ID
91518
Comment

FYI: Posted this story to Digg to help it get further attention nationally -- especially about the arrests... Feel free to go there and Digg the story.

Author
kaust
Date
2007-03-23T09:39:36-06:00
ID
91519
Comment

I would rather have Clinton PD than JPD. The only two ways you could get JPD off its collective asses would be if there was a Klan rally at JSU or if Shoneys was offering free lunch. At least Clinton PD answers a 911 call. JPD will put you on hold. However, I have posted my own gripes about Clinton PD: especially with the Home Depot fiasco. Clinton PD isn't perfect, but they are better than some. That being said, I support the message Soulforce brings. MC, however, made a stand as well, and had the law of the land on their side.

Author
Lady Havoc
Date
2007-03-23T09:41:46-06:00
ID
91520
Comment

Lady, did you read where CPD was harassing the bus even after the protest? That's where my major beef stems.

Author
kaust
Date
2007-03-23T09:43:06-06:00
ID
91521
Comment

Yup, I read that, and that's disgusting, I agree. CPD also harassed the third shift workers at Home Depot, and there was no outrage then. My husband was the only one that CPD did not pull over, and he was the only white person on that shift. CPD also harrassed the people who would try to shop at Home Depot who drove rickety old trucks. I promise you, most of them weren't white. No outrage there, either. I guarantee you, no matter what happens or who is right or wrong, most people in Clinton will back CPD and MC before anything else. It's not right, but that's the way it is. I know I don't make much sense right now: it's the cold medicine. Sorry about that.

Author
Lady Havoc
Date
2007-03-23T10:09:16-06:00
ID
91522
Comment

So the police of Clinton arrested gays and lesbians who "stepped on" the property of MC inadvertently. What about the gays and lesbians who stepped into the Office of Administration, paid tuition or used grant money and are now official residents of the College? They are living in the dorms, using the cafeteria, library and attending school related functions. When will MC have them carted off the campus and arrested? There are many many gay and lesbian people here. They have a right to be here! They are human beings - nothing more, nothing less. Arresting someone because of their sexuality is akin to closing the gate after the horses are out. We can't un-ring the bell. This was truly an exercise in futility. My hope is for equality and fair treatment to all and that the next bus ride for these students will be for academic or sports related events: not an event geared towards acceptance based on sexual preference. Our kids deserve more than having to fight a battle over their sexual orientation.

Author
justjess
Date
2007-03-23T10:12:47-06:00
ID
91523
Comment

justjess, I hear ya... Still, they were arrested for trespassing not being gay or stepping onto the campus inadvertently. It was intentional trespassing which is why I suspect the judge wasn't very nice. From everything I know and limited communication from Soulforce riders, the bulk of those arrested on these tours knew they would be and did it as a sign of protest/solidarity/action a la the Freedom Riders.

Author
kaust
Date
2007-03-23T10:16:46-06:00
ID
91524
Comment

Look at the adminstrative record of MC. One former president was an embezzler and spent this money on prostitutes. One former president spent the college into an unimaginable amount of debt and had a shady personal life. They have run off several of their best professors and students with the increasing "fundamentalization" of the campus. And yes, gay students have been quietly asked to leave or intimidated into doing so. Students and faculty are afraid to speak because they are in fear of losing scholarships and/or jobs. There is plenty more going on if someone wants to dig for it.

Author
Willezurmacht
Date
2007-03-23T10:20:42-06:00
ID
91525
Comment

Any anti-gay Christians reading this blog who think scripture will back them up ought to check out Homosexuality and the Bible: Scripture is not the ally Christian homophobes think it is by Bishop John Shelby Spong

Author
Izzy
Date
2007-03-23T10:40:55-06:00
ID
91526
Comment

(Here is a passage from that essay, regarding supposed scriptural authority on this matter): There are seven biblical passages that are regularly cited by fundamentalist Christians and their fellow travelers to justify their condemnation of homosexuality. Three are in the Old Testament and four are in the New Testament. However, three of the four found in the New Testament are highly suspect and appear to refer to sexual anomalies such as temple prostitution, pederasty or forced sexual activity which are quite unrelated to homosexuality. So the biblical texts that actually condemn homosexuality as we today understand it, are only four in the entire Bible and none of them, interestingly enough, is found is the Gospels. According to Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, Jesus never said a word about homosexuality.

Author
Izzy
Date
2007-03-23T10:42:08-06:00
ID
91527
Comment

OK. I am done, for the moment, updating this story, so please look it over again. By the way, I got confirmation from Soulforce that they were twice intercepted by Clinton PD yesterday. Watch for further updates as this story evolves.

Author
Brian C Johnson
Date
2007-03-23T10:42:56-06:00
ID
91528
Comment

Willezurmacht, it's about time for *those* people to speak up! Without their PERSONAL STORIES, it's just a "bunch of outsiders" trying to change Mississippi. It all changes when your neighbor, your sister/brother, etc takes the stand tells their story. Seriously. Mississippi's always been the place where outsiders come in to fix the problem. It's time that changes. The law protects us all and there are several organizations/groups prepared to defend those willing to challenge the status quo that get burned for some reason. So what's the problem? Getting those people to open the proverbial closet door. They didn't when Mississippi was passing a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage; they didn't when Mississippi passed legislation banning gay couples from adopting; they didn't when Mississippi upheld sodomy laws in custody cases involving gay men or women. Beaten into submission or simply don't care? I think it's alot of both. This is the problem Mississippi's always had... Apathy -- including apathetic communities directly touched by this type of policy and/or legislation. It's the reason the Freedom Riders came through and the same reason the Equality Riders do. Why can't we as Mississippians (gay or not) take a stand against our neighbors, preachers, and legislators that spread hate, bigotry, or misinformation? What does that take? As it is, it's a handful of activists grunting and sweating for entire communities (straight, gay, white black, et. al).

Author
kaust
Date
2007-03-23T10:45:03-06:00
ID
91529
Comment

Where is Tom Head? He would have some good points to make here....Not that you aren't all making good points.....you are.

Author
ATLExile
Date
2007-03-23T11:25:57-06:00
ID
91530
Comment

FREE TOM HEAD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Author
Kingfish
Date
2007-03-23T11:28:41-06:00
ID
91531
Comment

ATL: I wonder if he gave the Internet up for Lent. The timing is about right...

Author
Lady Havoc
Date
2007-03-23T11:28:42-06:00
ID
91532
Comment

Video is now posted: http://www.soulforce.org/blogs/

Author
Jo-D
Date
2007-03-23T11:38:50-06:00
ID
91533
Comment

as an alumni of MC (and not necessarily proud of that fact), i can say with certainty that there were several homosexual students who were there when i was, and none of them truly "came out" until they left. i had no idea about students being asked to leave because of it, but that doesn't surprise me. many of my friends who are now "out" were at MC on scholarships or were strongly encouraged to go there by their parents, and they felt there was no other place to go. i did get a good education at MC, but if i had it to do over again i would not go there. we used to say that we lived in a "bubble" over there in Clinton, sheltered away from everything in the real world. that is totally true, and this incident proves that is exactly how the administration wants it to be. i don't recall there being anything in the handbook banning homosexuality and premarital sex when i was there (it was just a few years ago) -- but then again i didn't read the handbook cover to cover, either. as a faith-based entity, they do have the right to put things like that into their handbooks. but that doesn't mean it is right and i do not think that a student should be asked to leave because of it. it is such a hypocritical thing from the college that is notorious for hiring embezzlers and taking money from them. and the CPD is a whole 'nother story. they were wrong wrong wrong for harrassing the bus riders and driver that way.

Author
andi
Date
2007-03-23T11:40:07-06:00
ID
91534
Comment

Amen, andi... Jody, thanks for the video post. I do love that the MC students eventually took the poster with the Equality Riders to the statue. We need more of that.

Author
kaust
Date
2007-03-23T11:47:08-06:00
ID
91535
Comment

Or are you saying that JSU offers an inferior education to MC?"--Kingfish "Yes, by all objective standards, national rankings, graduation success rates, and graduate school acceptance rates."-- Willezurmacht So based on that line of thinking, Blacks are inferior to whites based on income, standardized test scores, etc. And we can rank the inferiority of every race on those scales. Because of course statistics never lie and there is never more to the story than the straight numbers! Sure nothing should ever be taken into consideration other than some statistics.

Author
jd
Date
2007-03-23T12:48:52-06:00
ID
91536
Comment

Well I attended the protest yesterday, and the funny thing is that Michael Ide neglected to tell the media that MC was willing to allow them on campus as long as Soul Force agreed to follow the visitors rules...BUT they didn't want to do that. ALSO I don't think they truly have read and understand the Bible because IF they had they would have read this passage: 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 9 Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders 10 nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. They truly wanted Mississippi citizens to believe they were oppressed, but they were given the opportunity to come on campus. They just declined.

Author
krissy
Date
2007-03-23T13:57:17-06:00
ID
91537
Comment

So does this mean, Krissy, that Mississippi College does not allow "the greedy" on campus, either?

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-03-23T14:01:13-06:00
ID
91538
Comment

I'm with Jay: The "objective" standards y'all are referring to were created by white men and, inevitably, benefit them. And I love that "graduate success rates" are considered "objective"? Are we positive?

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-03-23T14:02:55-06:00
ID
91539
Comment

MC allows everyone on campus. BUT if you read the passage in the handbook it says B. Conduct -- Rules and Regulations Any student or student organization found to have committed the following misconduct is subject to the disciplinary sanctions outlined in Article IV (This list is offered to give students fair notice of the types of conduct which may result in sanctions. This list is not all-inclusive and should not be inadvertently perceived as a contract which addresses only misconduct listed.): Sexual Impropriety. Sexual impropriety includes but is not limited to participation in or appearance of engaging in premarital sex, extramarital sex or homosexual activities. So in reading that I guess I could say that because they won't allow me to have sex on campus as a heterosexual then I am being discriminated against...right??? WRONG

Author
krissy
Date
2007-03-23T14:10:29-06:00
ID
91540
Comment

Krissy, that passage isn't very clear. They don't say commit homosexual acts in the student union; they said "found to have committed ...." What meaning lurks in that passive? Secondly, you avoided my other question. You quoted 1 Corinthians, I assume, to back up your argument against homosexual activity on campus somehow, but it also talks about "the greedy." Are "the greedy" also banned? If not, why quote that passage?

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-03-23T14:13:11-06:00
ID
91541
Comment

[quote] I guess I could say that because they won't allow me to have sex on campus as a heterosexual then I am being discriminated against...right??? WRONG [/quote] [quote]They don't say commit homosexual acts in the student union; they said "found to have committed ...." What meaning lurks in that passive? [/quote] Exactly. It does not say "on campus." It says "found to have committed..." which could be anywhere. Let's just say that if the hetero- side of things were firmly enforced at MC, many of the people I knew when I was in school there would have been sent home. I'm just sayin'. If they're going to put it in the handbook, it really should be more specific and relate to on-campus activity, unless it is an off-campus event where the student is representing the school -- I could see that. I believe one of my professors (who is no longer there) told us that he could not drink off-campus in public because he was an employee of MC and there was a policy against it. I guess because he represented the school? *sigh* Thinking about MC makes me tired.

Author
andi
Date
2007-03-23T14:24:03-06:00
ID
91542
Comment

What's remarkable how many truly progressive I know you went to MC. Maybe the rules are having the opposite effect. That would be funny. ;-)

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-03-23T14:29:54-06:00
ID
91543
Comment

"I'm with Jay: The "objective" standards y'all are referring to were created by white men and, inevitably, benefit them."--Ladd Funny, those same objective rankings put Tougaloo above Belhaven. And I think you will find the boards of those organizations have many women and minority members. Look, I have been a professor at white colleges and an HBCU. The comment was about "quality." I will put Tougaloo up against MC any day--it isnt race. It is the fact that JSU has low admission requirements, huge classes, and many of the faculty are more concerned with research than teaching. That is why you get a better QUALITY education at a small liberal arts college than a large university. I know the names of all my advisees, their family situations, how to contact them if I need to, and what classes they are having trouble in. I cant do that at a major university. People with advanced degrees teach the courses, NOT graduate students. "Graduate success rate" means the percentage of the freshman class that graduates. And yes, Im positive.

Author
Willezurmacht
Date
2007-03-23T14:30:08-06:00
ID
91544
Comment

I did answer your question by saying they don't ban people, I can't help the fact that you didn't carefully read the post. I quoted that passage to show the reason Christians on the MC campus were not welcomed I did not say that 1 Corinthians was the passage that MC recognized in their what you call "banning" THEY DON'T BAN PEOPLE. While MC is NOT my favorite school I am happy they uphold their Christian beliefs. They wanted soul force to hold discussions with their students to give MC students the chance to minister to those lost people. BUT soul force declined to follow visitor policies, and by the way were you even there yesterday???

Author
krissy
Date
2007-03-23T14:30:59-06:00
ID
91545
Comment

[quote]and by the way were you even there yesterday???[/quote] who me? or Donna? i didn't know about this until it was overwith. but i probably wouldn't have driven all the way out to Clinton anyway. none of what happened yesterday surprises me at all.

Author
andi
Date
2007-03-23T14:45:32-06:00
ID
91546
Comment

They'll keep people off campus who want to talk about their cause, but they'll sure as hell take their money when they want to apply. This is why we left the Southern Baptist church. Hypocrisy abounds.

Author
Lady Havoc
Date
2007-03-23T14:55:31-06:00
ID
91547
Comment

I have updated this story for the last time today. Krissy, I think one of the arguments the Soulforce folks would make is that all Christians make choices about which parts of the Bible they choose to emphasize. For instance, almost no one thinks Leviticus 11:19, which prohibits eating the hoopoe bird, is something we ought to take very seriously. Yet, there are only a few more references to homosexuality than there are to the hoopoe. Condemnations of homosexuality are very far and few between in the Bible, and it's debatable whether those condemnations cover modern homosexuality at all. Also, Jesus lived in a hellenized society, i.e. one that had, to one degree or another, a Greek culture following conquest by Alexander the Great, in which male homosexuality was probably common, at least in large cities. Yet, Jesus said absolutely nothing about homosexuality. Why not? Does this not indicate that, at the very least, Jesus thought homosexuality unimportant compared to--say--our obligation to take care of the poor?

Author
Brian C Johnson
Date
2007-03-23T14:56:06-06:00
ID
91548
Comment

Krissy, as a Christian, I think the most obnoxious thing about putting Jesus in an "educational" box is the assumption that what you define as "lost." I know and love MC graduates, but in hindsight now, they would suggest MC look a little more into their own "lost" planks in their eyes and quit pointing out the splinters in others. I'm onboard with the private university making it's own choices, but as long as we've got FEDERAL dollars going there, there is no separation of church and state. And their "Christians" beliefs are not my Christian beliefs. I'd love for MC to hold discussions with their ex-presidents to give the MC students a chance to minister to THOSE lost souls. I mean really.

Author
emilyb
Date
2007-03-23T14:56:12-06:00
ID
91549
Comment

Yes. The hoopoe bird is an abomination. I wonder if the SBC, the AFA and other "non-profits" could make a dime off that bird. Sex sells doesn't it?

Author
emilyb
Date
2007-03-23T14:57:59-06:00
ID
91550
Comment

andi said, Exactly. It does not say "on campus." It says "found to have committed..." which could be anywhere. Or anytime. MC could ban me because of my past "misdeeds."

Author
Lady Havoc
Date
2007-03-23T14:59:03-06:00
ID
91551
Comment

Chrissy, thanks for being involved in the discussion. I agree with Emily and Brian, in terms of how Christianity is defined. If Jesus (according to the gospels) did not even mention homosexuality, isn't it shameful how "conservative" Christian politicians have used the hatred of homosexuality to rally their causes? It's a straw man to me. Christians should rally to abate poverty. To strengthen values, that most important being the value of "LOVE" that Jesus preached for every man.

Author
Izzy
Date
2007-03-23T15:32:46-06:00
ID
91552
Comment

Hey, look! The Ledge finally posted about this at 3:41. They are so advanced, it's scary. /sarcasm

Author
Lady Havoc
Date
2007-03-23T15:33:35-06:00
ID
91553
Comment

and Brian thanks for getting the story out there. I'd love to see a forum on Christianity, Education and Homophobia or the like and could probably be involved in planning such a thing. My good friend is at Belhaven & in the closet. I hate that this person has had to lie about their true self in order to partake of the many worthwhile Christian values espoused there.

Author
Izzy
Date
2007-03-23T15:34:45-06:00
ID
91554
Comment

Krissy sounds like an MC administration official megaphone.. the fact is, MC told them from the get go that they were not welcome and better not come. The further fact is, unlike the lie Krissy is telling above, is that MC never made an offer that they could come on campus as anything.. not as a protesting group and not as simple "visitors". MC has done nothing but spew lies via their "fact sheet" and media interviews. BTW, the community picnic today in Clinton with the Soulforce riders was fun. Every now and then a Clinton PD unit would roll through but that's about it. An undercover came through once as well. Food was plenty but what was most plenty were current MC students, gay and straight, who were there to support the Riders and to offer their own testimonials of being gay (or being straight and believing in equality) at MC. I'm so proud of the Riders and everyone else that made their visit as hospitable as possible under the circumstances of such a corrupt and bigotted police department. I also invited them back next year - for a visit to Belhaven College. Jody Renaldo; Executive Director Equality Mississippi www.equality.ms

Author
Jo-D
Date
2007-03-23T15:43:33-06:00
ID
91555
Comment

In the policy, "homosexual activities" is grouped with premarital and extramarital sex. Why doesn't M.C. not say "homosexual sex"? I suspect it's because "homosexual activity" is meant to cover homosexual romantic expression, not merely sexual acts. Would two boys holding hands on M.C.'s campus constitute "homosexual activity"--or "the appearance of engaging in" homosexual activity?

Author
Brent Cox
Date
2007-03-23T15:54:41-06:00
ID
91556
Comment

I did answer your question by saying they don't ban people, I can't help the fact that you didn't carefully read the post. I am reading carefully, but I'm confused by your statements. OK, if they don't ban people, that means that don't ban homosexuals, right? Homosexuals are people. Are you saying that they are only banning public acts of sex on campus? I'm just not following. And based on your post from the handbook, it sounds like they can ban anyone who they think (know?) have ever participated in a homosexual act. Granted, it's written poorly, but which is it? I quoted that passage to show the reason Christians on the MC campus were not welcomed I did not say that 1 Corinthians was the passage that MC recognized in their what you call "banning" THEY DON'T BAN PEOPLE. Krissy, your sentences aren't quite making sense to me here. Maybe you can rework that last paragraph so that it makes sense. As written, it sounds like you're saying that Christians aren't welcome at MC, and I doubt you mean to say that. As for 1 Corinthians, my point is that it mentions a number of things in addition to homosexuality, including greed. Why would someone cherrypick the verse and ban one and not the other? Can you make this make sense to me?

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-03-23T15:55:22-06:00
ID
91557
Comment

I also don't understand why you're asking if I was at the march. My comments, so far, have nothing to do with the march itself. I'm asking you about the Bible verse you quoted, trying to get you to explain its selective use to me. I didn't need to be at the march to read that Bible verse on your posting, right?

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-03-23T15:57:13-06:00
ID
91558
Comment

Free Tom Head!!!

Author
Kingfish
Date
2007-03-23T15:58:03-06:00
ID
91559
Comment

Brent, MC's policy includes PDA... So, I'm guessing it's premarital sex, PDA, and homosexual activity. Those bans are pretty much directly in line with the Southern Baptist's positions on sex and sexuality whether gay or straight. I'm just curious... If gay marriage were allowed, would MC remove that specific homosexual reference and leave it at premarital sex and PDA? Also, does MC have a policy regarding adultery which is A BIG NO NO in the Bible? Would they expel a person that is an adulterer? If not, it's evident how rank the hypocrisy is that's spewing from their handbook. On one hand, I'm all about MC's right to have policies within their scope of faith... But, if they're not applying it even-handedly for all the "sinners", there's certainly a big issue to be resolved.

Author
kaust
Date
2007-03-23T16:35:20-06:00
ID
91560
Comment

Tim, I know Michael as well. I do understand he's from Mississippi... What I was saying is that I feel the impact would have been stronger if LGBT students and alumni from MC would have been on the forefront. I do realize there were Mississippians involved. Again, I'm saying the presence of those that experienced MC's policy would have made the message louder and stronger. ... Times have changed and there are more than a handful of loud and out MC students. So where were those "loud and out MC students" yesterday? Why didn't they offer to stand up with Soulforce? My other objection was to your description of the Soulforce riders as "carpetbaggers," which is why I pointed out that Michael is a native Mississippian. -- Tim

Author
Tim Kynerd
Date
2007-03-23T16:45:22-06:00
ID
91561
Comment

Tim, I was not calling them carpetbaggers... I was saying that's how many Southerners perceive people from out-of-state coming in to tell them how to do things whether on an activist level or not. Also, there were quite a few MC students (and non-MC students) SUPPORTING the Equality Riders at the campus and today at the picnic. I'm sure there will be far more next year at Belhaven. ;-)

Author
kaust
Date
2007-03-23T16:51:54-06:00
ID
91562
Comment

Kingfish, it dawned on me that Tom may have given up bloggin for Lent. He's missed! So, it's probably out of the question to have a vibrator on the campus of MC! ;-)

Author
pikersam
Date
2007-03-23T17:03:45-06:00
ID
91563
Comment

I was at the demonstration, and saw many, many M.C. students wearing clothes of mixed fibers in violation of Leviticus 19:19. I thought of reporting them but, hey, live and let live.

Author
Brent Cox
Date
2007-03-23T20:11:29-06:00
ID
91564
Comment

I'm an MC alum ('01) and had a fair bit of contact with the administration (albeit the previous administration) through student government and the like. Just a few broad observations, for what they're worth: First, my sense is that the students and many professors are significantly more liberal than the administration and board of trustees generally, and much more tolerant of debate on social issues like gay rights and abortion. And the administration is significantly more moderate than the board. Many in the administration quietly hope for more open discussion and intellectual diversity (although many also quietly hope that Christian conservative ideas will ultimately win out). Unfortunately, the board still takes a hard line Southern Baptist view on campus rules, theological orthodoxy, etc., and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. But the board can't run the campus on a day-to-day basis, which means that in practice, much of the hard line theology gets pushed to one side. MC students drink -- not usually on campus, but there are exceptions. (Back in the day, the theatre students kept a fully stocked fridge backstage for use during intermission. I'm, ahem, sure this doesn't go on anymore.) I was a poli sci major and had plenty of nice, robust debates with liberals in class, often about MC's policies, without even a hint of approbation from profs or administrators. And yes, there are openly gay students at MC. All that said, MC is still a carefully constructed, artificial world. Virtually all campus politics --among students, profs, and admin-- require at least paying lip service to fundamentalist ideas. Gay students, political lefties, and nonconformists are generally pushed to the fringe, although not out the door, in much the same manner that staunch conservatives, celibate Catholics, etc., were marginalized when I was at Harvard. I've always been pleasantly surprised, though, at how open-minded the students at MC are, at least in relation to their predecessors. (This is in contrast to what I saw up East, where the well-fed scions of suburban ex-hippies seemed more smug and dismissive, if a little less shrill, than their elders.) Hopefully, the politics and theology of the Convention and MC will moderate in the coming years as these folks phase into leadership positions.

Author
laughter
Date
2007-03-23T20:13:29-06:00
ID
91565
Comment

pikersam said, Kingfish, it dawned on me that Tom may have given up bloggin for Lent. He's missed! I said that a few posts above yours. Shows just how insignificant I am. :(

Author
Lady Havoc
Date
2007-03-23T20:21:00-06:00
ID
91566
Comment

Also, to the handful of folks above who have suggested that MC's right to promulgate misguided policies is somehow compromised by its receipt of federal dollars --whether as a legal matter or a moral one-- let me clarify: no it isn't. Government gives money, directly and indirectly, to all sorts of entities with policy preferences not necessarily shared by tax payers or the state. E.g., controversial artists, colleges and high schools that don't admit males or females, poet laureates of New Jersey who think 9-11 was an inside job by Wall Street Jews, abstinence advocates, safe sex advocates, and all manner of institutions with sincere, deeply held, and deeply wrong religious beliefs. Sparing you the case citations, let's just say that we've made a choice --on a constitutional and a policy level-- that, given the omnipresence of government and taxation in our society, we're not going to require every recipient of government largesse to become a full-fledged arm of the federal government, advocating everything the government advocates and remaining mute where the government is silent. And, on balance, that is a good thing.

Author
laughter
Date
2007-03-23T20:27:51-06:00
ID
91567
Comment

Sorry about that Lady H! Props to your astute observation. Today was a flurry on the blogs, and I skimmed right past it. You are one of my favorite bloggers. :)

Author
pikersam
Date
2007-03-23T21:03:49-06:00
ID
91568
Comment

Law talkin.... those suggestions just show their real agenda.

Author
Kingfish
Date
2007-03-23T22:02:19-06:00
ID
91569
Comment

I will say as a MC student at the law school, the issue of homosexuality etc was discussed at a diversity day I went to. A very conservative, yet nice professor got REAL embarrassed even mentioning sex and homosexual acticity (of course as law students we demanded details, mainly to watch him blush even more) Here was the grand take we were given. We do not ban homosexuality, we ban the actions, much like the army. (he also admitted there was no leg to stand on constitutionally so the law school would NEVER expell anyone, but had to keep the policy in writing to keep funding from main campus) Just a point from an alumni that believes nothing in the main campus ideas. VIVIA la REVOLUTION, Succession for the law school!!! We can be the independent lawschool of Jackson. Come on! I am back in MS, succession is huge in these parts :)

Author
AGamm627
Date
2007-03-23T22:40:30-06:00
ID
91570
Comment

Also, to the handful of folks above who have suggested that MC's right to promulgate misguided policies is somehow compromised by its receipt of federal dollars --whether as a legal matter or a moral one-- let me clarify: no it isn't. Government gives money, directly and indirectly, to all sorts of entities with policy preferences not necessarily shared by tax payers or the state. E.g., controversial artists, colleges and high schools that don't admit males or females, poet laureates of New Jersey who think 9-11 was an inside job by Wall Street Jews, abstinence advocates, safe sex advocates, and all manner of institutions with sincere, deeply held, and deeply wrong religious beliefs. Sparing you the case citations, let's just say that we've made a choice --on a constitutional and a policy level-- that, given the omnipresence of government and taxation in our society, we're not going to require every recipient of government largesse to become a full-fledged arm of the federal government, advocating everything the government advocates and remaining mute where the government is silent. And, on balance, that is a good thing. Um, no. While there's nothing wrong with the government funding a variety of ideas from all sectors of society, there's an exception. It's called religion, and it's specified in the First Amendment. The government May Not Fund Religion, and that's all there is to it. As long as MC promulgates discriminatory policies based on its religious convictions (and if you don't think it does, head over there sometime and pick up an application for employment -- and read the file print), it should not be receiving Federal funding through any vector at all. To the extent that the Supreme Court has decided otherwise, the Supreme Court is simply wrong. -- Tim

Author
Tim Kynerd
Date
2007-03-24T08:30:25-06:00
ID
91571
Comment

Tim, I was not calling them carpetbaggers... I was saying that's how many Southerners perceive people from out-of-state coming in to tell them how to do things whether on an activist level or not. Hey Knol, I didn't mean to imply that you had called them carpetbaggers yourself; that's what comes of writing too fast. I'm sorry for that. I simply wanted to point out that nobody should be viewing Michael, at least, as a carpetbagger, since he's from "down here." :-) Best, Tim

Author
Tim Kynerd
Date
2007-03-24T08:32:21-06:00
ID
91572
Comment

Tim-I work for a religiously based non-profit that receives very large amounts of state and federal funding. Because of these religious beliefs they are a "pro-life" organization and, as an employee, birth control is NEVER covered under my insurance benefits. I'm mystified by this. But, obviously they can do it. I find it remarkably similiar to MC's ability to take federal funds and then chose their own policy regarding homosexuality based upon their institutions religious beliefs. I guess what I'm saying is this. I chose to work for this organization so therefore I choose to adhere to their policies of not paying for birth control. Students at MC chose to attend their institution so they choose to adhere to their policies regarding homosexuality. Just as I find my organization's policies regarding birth control offensive and oppressive to women, I also agree that the organization does way more good in the community than not. (and ya'll KNOW this is hard for me to say..in fact, I'm sort of vomiting a little in my mouth). I'm not saying we shouldn't fight against it. I'm just saying there are numerous instances where the federal government supports discriminatory "religious based" policies by their appropriation of funds. And, where in the hell is Tom Head? Has someone checked the bat cave? What's going on here? I'm back in Jackson and finally have time for the computer and Tom leaves me hanging??? (And to whomever made the statement about JSU graduates...I have an interesting take on this subject as well. Has anyone thought about the fact that JSU is mainly an African American college and that maybe their "employment rates" after college have to do with discrimination regarding their students? I mean, I know as a WHITE JSU grad that I was able to obtain a job. But, I'm in the minority there.) Oh yeah, and its so good to see you guys again. My workplace somehow finds it okay to BLOCK the JFP website while allowing me access to the Clarion Ledger website. Don't worry Donna, I'm all over it. I've started the letter writing campaign.

Author
Lori G
Date
2007-03-24T09:46:12-06:00
ID
91573
Comment

Go get'em LoriG!!!!!!!! Welcome back, Larry

Author
Larry
Date
2007-03-24T10:02:24-06:00
ID
91574
Comment

When I came to MS to finish my undergraduate degree my biggest dream was to attend a historically black university. I was interested in civil rights and liked the idea of telling my white acquaintances and relatives that I was going to Jackson State. Then reality took over. I had applied three years in advance for minority scholarships offered to marginal races (in this case Caucasian) only to be told that the funds were already committed three years in advance. I thought, “Wow, this university really stays on top of things.” WRONG! I sent transcripts to JSU on three separate occasions only to hear from admissions that they never received any of my transcripts or applications. Once I even resorted to having a three-way conference call with the local post-master and the person responsible for receiving incoming credentials. The woman basically told the post-master and myself that we were liars, that she never received anything in the mail. About the same time this was taking place, Mississippi College sends me a letter wanting me to come to their school. They offered me a heritage scholarship and a leadership scholarship. I had not done anything to receive such. I sent them my application and transcripts, which they never lost and I’m set to earn my degree in December. MC wasn’t my first choice. On the day that would have been my first day at JSU in Fall 2005, a student was shot in the JSU cafeteria. I have not heard of any shootings at MC thus far. I’ve spoken with several JSU students since all of this and they assure me that you should never send anything to JSU or they will lose it (even transcripts you pay to have sent).

Author
Skinnyp
Date
2007-03-24T10:44:58-06:00
ID
91575
Comment

The whole conflict that has arose from the Equality Ride in my mind is the fact that MC administration, primarily Dr. Eric Pratt, kept telling everyone that SoulForce chose to break off conversations that would allow them to be on the Mississippi College campus. SoulForce organizer Stephen Krebs claims that this is a misrepresentation. He claims that MC administration did not want them on campus. Maybe the story should be where this conflict is. What really happened? Who do we believe? MC may have these policies, but homosexuals at MC have been given awards, played sports, been editor of campus newspapers, and one of our presidents was in fact allegedly gay. I have spoken with MC President Lee Royce and he assures that the policy isn’t clearly defined, but there is no “witch-hunt” going on to uncover a person’s sin. In fact if you ask Jim Turcotte in student affairs he will tell you that most of the disciplinary problems on campus involving “sexual impropriety” involve students from the heterosexual ranks. In other words, it’s like an old Jim Crow law that is on the books, but never enforced. Trust me… MC wants your money no matter who you are. We have Muslim, Jewish, Hindu, gay, straight, increase the list ad infinitum. Believe it or not, many of our professors are very liberal (even in the Christian Studies Department). Plus the Jackson Free Press is distributed in many places on MC’s campus. All you have to do is thumb through that to find a homosexual roommate, articles about gay priests, along with various homosexual views and alternative liberal philosophies. Nobody is trying to take that away (the students would riot if they did). People come to MC to get an education. If they want Christianity they can get that too. I was a Christian before I came to MC and will be once I leave (maybe even better).

Author
Skinnyp
Date
2007-03-24T11:05:38-06:00
ID
91576
Comment

Tim, was I not sufficiently clear in explaining that MC's policy is discriminatory and that I disagree with it? As to your substantive point, there are other --and greater-- evils in the world than discrimination. If a church (or a feminist activist group; don't laugh, it happens) conditions its willingness to educate, clothe, or feed the poor on not being forced to deviate from its doctrine, and requires some amount of public aid to accomplish its mission, it's difficult to argue that the government should stand on principle and concomitantly force people at the margin to do without. The decision not to make the perfect the enemy of the good is, on balance, a sound one. To the extent your argument is rooted in the Establishment Clause, it's baseless. Again, sparing you the case citations, the idea that a Baptist's "religious" opposition to gay rights is substantively different than a Marxist's "political" opposition to low taxes is silly. Both are rooted in non-falsifiable ontological assumptions, and the courts and the government, in most cases, wisely refrain from trying to sort between the two.

Author
laughter
Date
2007-03-24T12:50:46-06:00
ID
91577
Comment

Tim, was I not sufficiently clear in explaining that MC's policy is discriminatory and that I disagree with it? Yes, you were. Why do you ask? As to your substantive point, there are other --and greater-- evils in the world than discrimination. If a church (or a feminist activist group; don't laugh, it happens) conditions its willingness to educate, clothe, or feed the poor on not being forced to deviate from its doctrine, and requires some amount of public aid to accomplish its mission, it's difficult to argue that the government should stand on principle and concomitantly force people at the margin to do without. The principles embodied in the Fourteenth Amendment beg to differ with you. To the extent your argument is rooted in the Establishment Clause, it's baseless. Again, sparing you the case citations, the idea that a Baptist's "religious" opposition to gay rights is substantively different than a Marxist's "political" opposition to low taxes is silly. Both are rooted in non-falsifiable ontological assumptions, and the courts and the government, in most cases, wisely refrain from trying to sort between the two. Oops, no. The Establishment Clause actually REQUIRES the courts and the government to sort between the two. Only religion is mentioned in the First Amendment in this way (and with good reason). If the First Amendment also said, "Congress shall make no law respecting a political establishment," your point about Marxism might hold some water. But it doesn't. Whether the courts actually DO this is another matter. And you can spare me the citations because I've probably read the relevant USSC opinions already anyway (and already know I disagree with them, and why).

Author
Tim Kynerd
Date
2007-03-24T14:43:11-06:00
ID
91578
Comment

Tim: 1. You suggested in your prior post that I might not "think [MC] does" discriminate. That's why I ask. 2. By "principles embodied" I take it you concede this isn't the law. Nor should it be. No one ratifying the Fourteenth Amendment in 1866 viewed it a per se bar to federal aid to, e.g., women's aid societies or colleges with anti-gay policies. If by "principles embodied" you mean "my own political preferences" --and I'm sure you do-- we just return to the moral debate over making the perfect the enemy of the good. In short, your second comment amounts to "I disagree with you." For the sake of all the poor black kids who get great educations from urban Catholic schools that discriminate against female priests, I'm glad the courts agree with me. 3. Really? So you'd be okay with a college saying, "Gays don't reproduce, and therefore don't share the load in perpetuating human civilization, and on that basis, we don't want them around. Please ignore the fact that we also happen to have a religious belief that homosexuality is bad. That's irrelevant here. This is political." Far better to look to the nature of the aid, and whether it's actually used for religious purposes, than to invite such arbitrary distinctions and disingenuousness. BTW, funny to see you go from "penumbras and emanations" to an attempt at hardcore textualism in the space of 100 words.

Author
laughter
Date
2007-03-24T16:14:52-06:00
ID
91579
Comment

i spoke with michael ide previous to Soul Force's trip to MC. i asked him specifically about his groups preparations for interacting with the campus and the police department. He relayed to me that they had contacted MC and were working with them to be allowed on campus for discussions but that it seemed like that process may come to a stand still. He said the administration was aware that they would be coming and if they were not allowed on campus because they were homosexual, they would be trespassing to bring attention to the stance they were taking. Soul Force communicated with CPD as well in ascertaining the best way to break this law so as to create minimal tension among the two respective parties involved in the event. CPD also worked with them to choose and secure a park for their afternoon picnic. - MC has a right to enforce rules as a private entity. - No private entity should be allowed to discriminate. - Discrimination by MC is tough to apply to this situation of trespassing because their stance is easily interpreted as a move to ensure orderly conduction of regulary scheduled class which is their main function. - Discrimination could be easily applied to a situation happening directly to an MC student in regards to enforcement of established rules. - The Soul Force crew were their to draw attention to the schools discriminatory policy. - Breaking the trespassing law willingly was a way to draw a maximum amount of attention to the disputed policy. - The Soul Force crew are honorable in that they have forced public discussion on this issue. Discriminatory policies such as those perpetuated by MC are reflections of societal currents of opinion. Allowing the policy to stand regardless of how often it is enforced is to silently consent to oppression. In order to change this policy, the realm of public opinion must be engaged. The Board of MC are acting "in good faith" to their supporters. They will only change if those supporters feel intimidated by (the right demographic of) public opinion. The only way to speed up the almost absolutely eventual elimination of such policies at MC are to bring these policies to light by forcing MC to act upon them...even if it ultimately manifests in trespassing violations. - The fact that this boiled down to only trespassing violations is a testament to the progress we have made in expressing disagreements as communities with some degree of respect. - The officers acting outside of the rules of conduct for the CPD in harassing the Soul Force crew should be immediately and publicly reprimanded to ensure that the CPD maintains their image of justice and respect for the sacred documents our country expresses herself through. It is inspiring to see an organized group seek to peacefully work through the system to bring discriminatory policies held by reputable educational institutions such as MC to light. It is sad to note (thanks Knol) that Mississippians are historically dependent on citizens from outside our state to rally us to action in defense of our rights. From my experience, it is because the vast majority of our citizenry are completely detached from the established processes by which people have secured their rights in the past. Not only are we unaware how to utilize the power we hold as citizens and groups of citizens, but we also hold the belief that nothing we could do would matter anyway. This disempowerment is precisely the goal of oppressive establishments.

Author
daniel johnson
Date
2007-03-24T17:25:23-06:00
ID
91580
Comment

I saw the Soulforce bus going down County Line this afternoon around 4pm. I didn't know they were still in town: thought they'd be off to the next stop on the tour by now.

Author
Lady Havoc
Date
2007-03-24T19:38:38-06:00
ID
91581
Comment

Lady, they aren't scheduled to be in their next destination - Jackson, Tennessee at Union College - until Monday so they had some time to kill.

Author
Jo-D
Date
2007-03-24T21:28:29-06:00
ID
91582
Comment

Cool. I wish them luck and prayers for their journey. Thanks so much!

Author
Lady Havoc
Date
2007-03-24T21:38:28-06:00
ID
91583
Comment

They might have gone sight-seeing elsewhere had they not had 3 of their members sentanced to 5 days of community service in Clinton.

Author
daniel johnson
Date
2007-03-24T22:44:28-06:00
ID
91584
Comment

"- No private entity should be allowed to discriminate." - Daniel WHAT?

Author
kaust
Date
2007-03-24T23:31:38-06:00
ID
91585
Comment

LoriG writes......"I'm back in Jackson and finally have time for the computer and Tom leaves me hanging???' Ok I got...i got it.....I'll post something real "theologically" inaccurate about the "Homo" issue with the old and new Testaments and see if I can draw his fire......y'all just play along...... seriously......very good thread....one of the best yet.....

Author
ATLExile
Date
2007-03-25T08:18:33-06:00
ID
91586
Comment

It is a good thread. And I am missing Tom Head, too. Hope he'll come back soon...

Author
Izzy
Date
2007-03-25T09:12:39-06:00
ID
91587
Comment

No private entity should be allowed to discriminate. ok, i'll clarify. In my opinion, members of the public, especially those being targeted, should not allow private entities to discriminate without making it an issue through forcing dialogue, nonviolent action, or, if need be, confrontation. When and if the government steps in, hopefully the people have preceded it.

Author
daniel johnson
Date
2007-03-25T09:42:36-06:00
ID
91588
Comment

The term discriminate has road application. Rather than try and state when discrimination is ok and when it is not, i assert that anytime someone feels slighted through discrimination they should take action. i'm not much for stating objective right and wrong. i do encourage everyone to assert their own versions of right and wrong for the good of our culture and advancement. - No one who feels discriminated against by a public entity should allow that public entity to continue without engaging them.

Author
daniel johnson
Date
2007-03-25T09:49:25-06:00
ID
91589
Comment

i assert that anytime someone feels slighted through discrimination they should take action. i'm not much for stating objective right and wrong So any time someone gets their feelings hurt they should raise hell and scream discrimination? You have to have some kind of objective standard.

Author
Kingfish
Date
2007-03-25T09:51:34-06:00
ID
91590
Comment

Yeah DJ that’s the infamous liberal pledge of allegiance for the post-modern aesthetic. Do what you think is right over societal/cultural standards…because after all, human beings always know what’s best for themselves.

Author
Skinnyp
Date
2007-03-25T11:23:29-06:00
ID
91591
Comment

This has gotten long, but to go back to an earlier point made about MC administration proposing a discussion forum. I had heard this rumor as well, but got some clarification on the matter. In a rare instance, by the day of the protest, Dr. Eric Pratt of MC and Stephen Krebs of SoulForce gave me identical answers: Both said that a formal debate/discussion forum was never made available. However, MC did make an offer for the founder of SoulForce, Mel White, to come and debate. White declined. Pratt would not explain why he would allow the founder to debate rather than let the Riders themselves. Given the number of students who came to that sidewalk to engage in a discussion with the riders, I hate that MC administration would not allow them a formal setting to debate. Everyone would have benefited from hearing SoulForce and some of the Christian Studies professors going head-to-head.

Author
choctaw
Date
2007-03-26T00:19:25-06:00
ID
91592
Comment

Skinny, no offense, but hardly any liberals are postmodernists, and I have a feeling you know little more about the postmodernist "aesthetic" than what you've heard screeched on right-wing talk radio. I don't mean to presume, but your comments expose ignorance. What kind of "postmodernism" are we talking about? Feminism (and what kind)? Foucault's call for democratic normativity? Derrida's obligation to the other? Lacan? There are many different "postmodern" thinkers, and just about the only thing they have in common is that they hate the label "postmodern". I think that you meant some kind of radical "moral relativism," but postmodernism is not so vulgar. I challenge you to name an actual thinker who advocates as much. Otherwise, we will know that you are simply flapping around that beloved red herring of the right in its rabid response to identity politics. I paraphrase it thusly: "If we take seriously the perspectives of minorities, not only will we destroy our country but we will become atheistic killers, too!" One of the stupidest claims, made over and over again, by conservatives is that if we don't embrace a biblical morality, we have no choice but to embrace relativism. That is astoundingly ignorant. Most importantly, true liberals, almost by definition, are moral absolutists. They believe in universal rights, egalitarianism, etc. That is distinctly un-postmodernist, to the extent the term means anything at all.

Author
Brian C Johnson
Date
2007-03-26T08:46:33-06:00
ID
91593
Comment

have at it: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Post-modernism

Author
Kingfish
Date
2007-03-26T08:59:38-06:00
ID
91594
Comment

i attended both MC and Belhaven several years ago in the late 90s... i started out at MC and kind of "came out" while there... to me, i found the professors more liberal than the students... one of my english professors told us about shakespeare being gay and stuff and having to quell outrage from students that it was possible... i ended up leaving MC and started going to Belhaven... i thought it would be better since i didn't live on campus but i found that at Belhaven the students were the more liberal and the professors were extremely conservative, to the point that i listened to professors calling walt whitman a fag and virginia wolff a dyke... i experienced a lot of this kind of stuff at Belhaven... i don't think either school will change much as long as they get their money from conservative churches... i grew up southern baptist and came away with the thought that anyone including murderers and rapists could get into heaven but that nobody gay could ever get into heaven.. and what is strange is that some leader in the southern baptist convention a couple of weeks ago said that it is possible that homosexuality could be biological, but that he would favor parents being able to change their kids in the womb if the fetus was found to have the "gay gene..." this shows me that no matter what, these people are going to demonize gay people for whatever it is worth...

Author
southernboyinla
Date
2007-03-26T12:45:34-06:00
ID
91595
Comment

wow, very interesting comments. Esp. about Belhaven. Sheesh!

Author
Izzy
Date
2007-03-26T13:34:53-06:00
ID
91596
Comment

Yeah, this clan has no love for Albert Mohler. The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary is one of the most conservative campuses around. I don't like that women can't study for the ministry.

Author
Lady Havoc
Date
2007-03-26T14:14:59-06:00
ID
91597
Comment

In case anyone missed it, here's the Mohler story courtesy ABC.

Author
Brian C Johnson
Date
2007-03-26T17:01:09-06:00
ID
91598
Comment

What's funny about the Mohler story, in my opinion, is that he really did shoot himself in the foot. The vast, vast majority of Americans would be disgusted by the idea of altering fetuses in the womb because of their sexual orientation. (Set aside the fact that genetics is, at most, a component of sexual orientation, so that some sort of genetic test, if it were possible, would not tell you for sure whether a child would be gay. Set aside also that no one has yet found a genetic basis for lesbianism.) Some parents would want such "therapy" for their own children, but as a question of public policy, people would be disgusted. Furthermore, I can't see the AMA or other organizations endorsing such surgery, especially since the APA has removed homosexuality from its list of mental disorders. (And screw them very much for putting it there in the first place.) That being the case, Mohler has painted himself into a corner. If genes make men gay, then that means God makes men gay. If God makes men gay, it undermines the whole backwoods theology embraced by the Southern Baptists. You could still argue that God put these men in some sort of Job situation, but the argument would begin to look even more ridiculous than it does now. But then, Southern Baptists have been shooting themselves in the feet for 150 years. After all, they split from the American Baptists because they believed the Bible endorsed holding slaves. That worked out well, didn't it?

Author
Brian C Johnson
Date
2007-03-26T17:09:19-06:00
ID
91599
Comment

You know, every time I think I've seen every different kind of crazy there is in the world, people like Mohler pop up.

Author
Lori G
Date
2007-03-26T20:48:55-06:00
ID
91600
Comment

BTW, Mohler also says it's a sin for fertile couples to refuse to have children!!! Yep, according to him - being deliberately childfree is a sin! http://www.beliefnet.com/story/167/story_16748.html Thankfully, a lot of Southern Baptists I met don't adhere to the rigid interpretation of scripture that Mohler does. There may be hope for the denomination yet.

Author
Philip
Date
2007-03-27T16:49:26-06:00
ID
91601
Comment

From the Lexington (KY) Herald-Leader: "Police arrested three people yesterday when a gay-rights group tried to talk to students at the University of the Cumberlands, which found itself embroiled in controversy last year after expelling a gay student." Later on in the article: "...police told the activists that they could not stand on a public sidewalk beside the campus, but rather would have to keep walking or face arrest." At least MC let them stand on the sidewalk...

Author
Lady Havoc
Date
2007-03-29T20:21:17-06:00
ID
91602
Comment

I've met too many Baptists who are willing to practice indefinetly to believe they'll all suddenly start sprouting families.

Author
Ironghost
Date
2007-03-29T21:26:23-06:00
ID
91603
Comment

So any time someone gets their feelings hurt they should raise hell and scream discrimination? You have to have some kind of objective standard. - Kingfish i said any time someone feels discriminated against they should take action. If someone feels the need to raise hell and scream, i think it is in the best interest of society for them to express that and then go through the process of being reacted to by their communities. If someone thinks it is a better idea to address their concern with the offending party in a calm and collected manner - more power to them. No doubt their will continue to be cultural and judicial standards to our behavior - but we must interact with them to keep them alive and evolving. Yeah DJ that’s the infamous liberal pledge of allegiance for the post-modern aesthetic. Do what you think is right over societal/cultural standards…because after all, human beings always know what’s best for themselves. - Skinnyp If you think something is right over societal/cultural standards - be it nonviolent conflict resolution or solving your problems with a gun - you should certainly follow your conscience. We must open ourselves up for critique and be willing to challenge the assumption of our neighbor. On matters large and small we must engage ourselves with the questions and progress together. If someone thinks solving their problems with a gun is a good idea i certainly want them to make themselves known so that we can respond as a compassionate community with a directed plan of rehabilitation.

Author
daniel johnson
Date
2007-03-30T14:15:19-06:00

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