Editorial 30 - July 2006 - Equality Ride
Soulforce and Equality Ride people went to visit some private
Christian colleges to peacefully protest how gay and bisexual people
are treated by the colleges and to talk to the students. Over thirty
people spent seven weeks traveling across the United States visiting
Christian colleges and universities that have policies against gay,
lesbian and bisexual students. The
Equality Ride web site states over 200 Christian post-secondary
institutions have policies against gay, lesbian and bisexual
students. According to the Equality
Ride web site, they visited 19 Christian post-secondary
The reception received by the Equality Riders might be described as the good, the bad and the ugly. There were elements of each.
There is the bad and the ugly. Both appear to have been in force at Regent University. Unfortunately, the thought and fear police were in full force when they went to Pat Robertson's Regent University. The Equality Ride people were on public property close to Regent University. Reports on the Equality
Ride web site indicate the police at Regent University were
preventing some students who wanted to talk to the Equality Riders from getting close to the peaceful protesters. The police appear to have been functioning as thought and religious police, discouraging students from leaving university to talk to
Equality Ride people. So much for the principle of separation of
church and state. Evidently, open freedom of religious belief and
freedom of speech are not allowed on public property. Members
of the Equality
Ride report that the police set up a yellow police tape on
campus. The Equality Ride people were not allowed to cross the
yellow tape or they would be arrested for trespassing.
A yellow police line. The color seems appropriate. Yellow has long been a color associated with fear and cowardice. In elementary school, a boy who seemed to be afraid was called yellow or a chicken. As kids grew a little older, their language became more colorful.
Boys who were not deemed to be brave enough were referred to as
chicken shit. Those childhood memories come back when I picture the
reaction of Regent University. Here a Christian college that claims
to have the truth and to know the truth is chicken. Not just minor
chicken here. Major chicken. Chicken shit. No nice way to put it.
Just chicken shit. An institution that has some of the finest minds
in the area, some of the most intelligent and educated Christians
within miles is scared to death of a few gay Christians getting close
to their students. Chicken shit. The brand of faith lived out at
Regent University the day the Equality Riders came to town is chicken
shit faith. Obviously, the people at Regent University could not
comprehend an all powerful God is who is able to protect His people.
Chicken shit faith is based on a concept of a weak, emasculated God,
a God who is powerless and is unable to protect His people.
Then there is the good and the bad mixed together! The Equality
Ride bus was defaced in Cleveland, Tennessee. Some of the students from a Christian university, Lee University, worked hard to remove the words “fags-mobile” that had been spray painted on the bus. I applaud those brave Lee University students. They showed God's love in action. Those students showed they believe in a strong powerful God and that their faith is not chicken-shit faith.