Letter from Jacob Reitan, director of the Equality Ride, concerning the recent Soulforce student action at Liberty University

Dear Equality Ride friends,

The action at Liberty University was a great success. Over fifty students from all over the Virginia area came to take a stand at Liberty. On Sunday night we gathered at First Christian Church in Lynchburg where we had a three-hour training in nonviolence led by the Rev. Mel White. After the training many students went over to Rev. White’s home where they watched "The L Word" and spent time together in fellowship.

At 8:30 a.m. the next morning we boarded the Equality Bus and headed to Liberty University. As we arrived at Liberty, we were greeted by a great deal of police, Liberty security officials, and news crews. For just over an hour we stood vigil outside the entrance to Liberty University with our sign that proclaimed, "Why Does Liberty University Refuse Academic Freedom And Personal Safety For Their Gay And Lesbian Students?"

After the vigil we went onto the Liberty University campus for convocation at 10 a.m. Because all Liberty students are required to attend convocation, it gave the members of Soulforce a good opportunity to meet students and share our stories. Upon entering campus, we were greeted by three Liberty students who had muffins and other baked goods to offer us. The kindness these students showed us was by and large the case with most students. In the time before convocations started we met a range of students. We shared stories, laughed and explained why we had come to campus.

Sadly, in convocation the welcoming tone of the event changed. Dr. Jerry Falwell began by stating that, "Contrary to what others may think, this is not gay day at Liberty." Dr. Falwell then went into a rather lengthy tirade on how Rev. Mel White is living in sin. He ended his statements by declaring that if any Equality Rider passed out anything there was, "a good place to put it — the trash can." This statement was met with wide applause.

Following convocation, we continued our interactions with Liberty students. I had a number of good conversations about the meaning of academic freedom. I also expressed to many students why it is important for gay students to be afforded a safe space where they can go and talk about their feelings, fears, hopes, and dreams without fear of recrimination. I was surprised by how many students agreed with what I was saying — I was expecting far more moments ending with the joint resolution to "agree to disagree."

At 11:30 a.m. the group of Equality Riders went to the school cafeteria in order to eat interspersed with Liberty students. I had lunch with a young girl from Florida who was a recent transfer student to Liberty.

At 1:00 p.m. we held a press conference. We explained to assembled media that we were there to talk about the need for academic freedom and personal safety at Liberty. We presented to the media the items that we planned to deliver to Liberty as a way to ask for these changes.

First, we presented a proposal for a "safe space" program that we were going to bring to Dr. Falwell. The purpose of the program was to solicit just one professor who would put a rainbow sticker on their office door, sending a single to students that their office would be safe place for students to come talk about GLBT issues without fear of repercussions.

Second, we presented a collection of twenty free books with the latest medical, psychological, sociological, historical, biblical, and biographical information on GLBT issues that we were going to deliver to the Liberty library.

Unfortunately, after announcing that we were going to bring these materials on campus, the Liberty Police announced that we were no longer welcome. An officer announced that if we were to come back on campus after this point we would be placed under arrest. It was a sad end to a great day. While there were many students who would have been willing to engage in civil disobedience to display their concern for the sheltered policies of Liberty, we decided to go home without submitting to arrest.

We had done what we came to do. We talked to students, we shared our stories, and in a rather dramatic fashion we demonstrated to the media and the world that academic freedom and personal safety are sorely lacking at Liberty University.

Thankfully, what happened at Liberty is merely a beginning. There are over 100 religious schools and several military academies with similar bans on gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender enrollment. These schools need to hear the case for Equality just as Liberty does. The action at Liberty marked the start of a much larger journey to create change.

Thanks to Liberty, equality is on the move. I hope that you will be part of the movement.

Sincerely,

Jacob Reitan
Director of the Equality Ride
www.EqualityRide.com

Inside Higher Ed Reports on "Gay Freedom Ride"

Gay Freedom Riders

A gay rights group is using the Freedom Riders of the civil rights era as a model to promote a different kind of equality.

The group — with about 60 students from colleges throughout Virginia — went to Liberty University Monday as the first stop on a protest tour of religious and military colleges where gay students would face punishments for revealing their orientations. The Equality Ride will take place next year, but will follow the pattern of Monday’s events.

The students visited the university and spoke informally with Liberty students. But according to organizers, they were turned away from the library when they tried to donate books about gay people. The organizers were also unable to turn over to Rev. Jerry Falwell, the founder and chancellor of the university, anonymous letters from current students at Liberty who are gay. Equality Ride published two of those letters on its Web site.

Don Egle, director of public relations at Liberty, said "we don’t feel that this situation warrants a comment." Asked about the university’s policies toward gay students, he said only "we follow Scripture."

Local television stations reported that Falwell told students at their morning convocation, "This is not gay day."

Jake Reitan, one of the organizers of Equality Ride, said that the idea was to focus on religious and military colleges where gay students cannot speak out for themselves. Reitan, who is director of youth programs for Soul Force, a gay rights group, said that the colleges to be visited will be announced later. But Equality Ride provides a list of policies at religious and military colleges where gay students can face punishments for their sexuality.

In the visits to colleges, he said, Equality Ride plans to stress the issue of academic freedom.

"If a professor here wanted to say that God really loves gay students, he would get in trouble," Reitan said about Liberty. "If a student told a professor he was gay, he would be reported and urged to attend ex-gay programs," where people are told that they can change their sexual orientation.

Reitan said that the requests the group wanted to make of Liberty were minimal: Accepting books that could be added to the library "that students could decide to read or not," and designating some place on campus where students could talk about being gay without fear of being expelled or having their parents informed.

The campaign comes at a time that many religious colleges are facing demands that they recognize gay groups — and also demands from religious denominations that they not do so.

Reitan said that the issue is not going away. "This was the first run. We’re going to be at a lot more colleges."

— Scott Jaschik

Rev. Jerry Falwell Reacts to the Equality Ride visit to Liberty University

The Rev. Dr. Jerry Falwell wrote the following about the Equality Ride visit to Liberty University in his "Falwell Confidential" which is sent to the members of the Moral Majority.

Soulforce comes to town

by Dr. Jerry Falwell

This week on the campus of Liberty University, a homosexual organization known as Soul Force arrived to protest the university’s policy of prohibiting sexual immorality, specifically homosexuality.

Soul Force is a group led by Mel White, one-time husband, Christian author and Fuller Seminary professor. But somewhere along the way, Mel determined that he was a homosexual; he subsequently abandoned his wife and children and his career, turning to homosexual activism in the name of Christianity. He has also written a book that suggests that the Bible contains no condemnation against homosexuality. (I wonder if he actually becomes blind when he gets to the passages that plainly and unmistakably prohibit homosexuality.)

Mel has persistently urged me to renounce the biblical design for the family. He wants me to follow the path of many modern-day clerics who have abandoned biblical principles, instead embracing societal whims that suggest that homosexuality is acceptable in the eyes of God.

To do so, I would have to rip pages out of my Bible. Marriage is a solemn covenant between a man and woman, exclusively designed by God, and it would be fraudulent for me to suggest otherwise.

Mel may not realize it, but sin remains sin, no matter who says otherwise.

A few years ago, I agreed to call on the evangelical community to denounce violence against homosexuals. I believe that all Americans have the right to live without threat to their way of life. But that’s where my relationship with Mel ended. So he continues to call me a bully and suggests that my message is creating a dangerous environment for homosexuals.

His claims are empty. And he continually takes my words out of context to suggest that I have an anti-gay agenda. This is patently untrue. My ministry has a history of reaching out to homosexuals; thus, we have seen several former gays renounce their lifestyle after they have committed their lives to Jesus Christ.

Sadly, Mel has lost his ability to understand that the Christian’s relationship with Christ is damaged when he/she chooses to walk in darkness. A homosexual who is truly a Christian will abandon his/her lifestyle and will seek to walk in the Spirit of God. That is the message of the Bible, and it holds true for everyone.

Mel recently stated that there are 300-400 homosexual students enrolled at Liberty. I don’t know how he came up with such a wild number, but when pressed to identify these students, he acknowledged he had no such list of names. I wonder if he ever tires of being so outrageously wrong. Liberty does have a handful of students who struggle with same-sex temptations, and many of these kids are involved in campus counseling programs that are designed to help them live in the fullness of Christ.

Once again, we can see the fraudulence of Mel’s "ministry." Yet he continues to suggest that Liberty is brimming with students who feel persecuted because they are gay. Because Liberty is a Christian school, we do not allow the use of alcohol or drugs, nor do we allow the practice of sexual sin – heterosexual or homosexual. It is true that students who openly break our biblically based rules of conduct get in trouble. But they know our rules when they enroll.

Mel White knows what the Bible teaches and yet he has decided to ignore God and do his own thing. I can think of no greater tragedy.

Liberty allowed the Soul Force "demonstration" this time because we hoped the demonstrators would see and hear Christ in our students. I believe this happened. While Mel makes a living stirring up controversy. We can only attempt to show the love of Christ to those who hate our message.

The Liberty demonstration was another attempt to tell his financial supporters he is still "fighting the good fight." Again, for Mel, it is all about money and notoriety. He is in Lynchburg only so he can get the media’s attention because he is in "Jerry Falwell’s town."

But Mel’s message is getting tired. One day he’ll look around and no cameras will be there. I wonder what he’ll do then. In the meantime, I will continue to direct Liberty University as we train thousands of young people to be bold and compassionate (and morally pure) representatives of Christ in a lost world.

 

Alert 8 to Participants

April 27, 2005

Are your bags packed? The weekend we’ve been waiting for is almost here!

Here are a few last bits of information that we hope are helpful (you can visit the Soulforce website at www.soulforce.org/televangelists/dobson/2005action/index.shtmlto review previous alerts in case you missed some.

1. AN OFFICIAL WELCOME TO COLORADO SPRINGS
We have just learned that Soulforce and all those attending the MAYDAY rally will be welcomed by the Vice-Mayor of Colorado Springs, Richard Skorman. Vice-Mayor Skorman has courageously stood up for the rights of the LGBT community in Colorado Springs, even as the Mayor and some city council members have not. Please help us give him a warm and enthusiastic reception.

2. WEATHER
As of today the weather forecast for Sunday, May 1 is 48 degrees, with a 30% chance of rain. However, weather changes quickly in Colorado Springs. We encourage you to check again before you leave by going to this link: www.weather.com/weather/local/USCO0078?par=internal&site=viewer&promo=english

Folks in Colorado tell us we should be prepared for rain, snow, or shine. The general rule is to layer your clothing so that you can take off or put on layers as needed. You might want to bring a rain jacket and/or umbrella as well. Remember that the rally is a go regardless of the weather! Our hearts will be warm even if our ears get cold and our feet get wet.

3. CHILDREN
We are pleased to announce that Soulforce veteran, Jeaneane Hill has agreed to facilitate a brief discussion/training for children who attend Saturday night or Sunday Morning training with their parents. In age appropriate language, she will help the children talk about why Soulforce is in Colorado Springs and to prepare them for the possibility of some counter-protestors. Also, we encourage all parents to bring their children and to have a talk with them about social justice and nonviolence before you arrive in Colorado Springs.

4. FOOD
Hotdogs, sandwiches and drinks will be available at the rally. However, if you prefer something a bit different, there are several restaurants at the Shops at Briargate, adjacent to Focus on the Family. These include Biaggi’s Ristorante Italiano, California Pizza Kitchen, Champps Americana, Maggie Moos Ice Cream Treatery, Panera Bread Co., PF Changs China Bistro, Qdoba Mexican Grill, Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, Ted’s Montana Grill, and of course my personal favorite . . . Starbucks Coffee.

5. TRANSPORTATION & GETTING AROUND COLORADO SPRINGS
If you’re staying at the LeBaron hotel, there is a free shuttle from the Colorado Springs airport to the hotel. You can call the hotel at 719-471-8680. To make shuttle reservations for pickup at either Denver or Colorado Springs airports call 877-587-3456 (see Alert #4 for costs of shuttles) We are attaching a map to this Alert for those who can open it. Here are the addresses and times to pay attention to:

Sat evening & 9am Sun. – 1102 – S. 21st St. – MCC Church
Sun. 10:30am – Univ of Colorado Gym. 1420 Austin Bluffs Dr.
Sun noon – 8685 Explorer Dr. – Focus On the Family picnic
Mon. 8am – 1810 Briargate Parkway Hilton Garden Inn – training

OTHER SOULFORCE HOTELS:
7245 Commerce Ctr. Dr.
314 W. Bijou St.

6. CLERGY
We would like to ask all clergy to wear their collars if they are comfortable doing so. We want to show the media that many clergy stand in support of the LGBT comunity.

7. ON SITE REGISTRATION
Registration begins Saturday, April 30 at 5pm at Pikes Peak MCC 1102 S. 21st Street. Those coming in on Sunday, May 1, can register beginning at 10am at University of Colorado Gymnasium, 1420 Austin Bluffs Parkway (adjacent to the University Center). Those who have pre-registered should stop by the registration table to receive your name tag, song sheet for the march around Focus, and other materials. For anyone who has NOT preregistered, we will have people with clipboards wandering through the area, registering folks.

8. PREPARE YOUR HEART
It is absolutely critical that we all practice the Soulforce principle of "absorbing the suffering" at the rally on Sunday. May 1. In practical terms, that means that each of us must be willing to ignore and refrain from interacting with any counter-protestors. Focus on the Family would love to have one of us "act-out" (yell out in anger, confront a counter-protestor, etc). Their media machine would take that and spin it to continue perpetuating the untruth that we are all unhappy, violent, angry "militant homosexual activists".

In a documentary on Martin Luther King, Jr., there is a powerful scene that takes place during a training session in nonviolence. In this scene, the trainees role-played by having some people pretend to be counter-protestors. They yelled obscenities and slurs, while those in training simply practiced standing silently in the vigil line or walking silently in the march. You can do this training in your own mind. Close your eyes and imagine the ugly signs, imagine the ugly words, and most importantly, imagine yourself feeling peaceful, loving, and calm, despite the negativity of those protesting your presence.

The most powerful thing you can do is to simply have a good time and let it show. Smile. Laugh. Talk to your friends, your family, and your children. Focus (no pun intended) on the love that is evident around you among beautiful LGBT people and our allies. Cheer and applaud for the speakers and performers. Sing along to the music. Dance with us during the family slow dance. Help your friends and others around you ignore the negativity of counter-protestors. Celebrate the truth in your own heart and allow your own spirit to be renewed with love, even in the face of hate.

The Colorado Springs Police Department has been friendly and very professional during the planning of this event. They are well prepared to keep the peace and maintain safety for everyone. Common sense precautions are always a good idea: stay with one other person or with a group of people, and don’t walk alone. If you need help, look for one of our Peacekeepers and they will be happy to assist you.

Finally, I want to thank each of you for your courage in standing and marching peacefully with Soulforce during this action. My favorite saying related to social justice work is"A drop makes a hole in the stone not by its weight, but by its constant dripping."

One day we will win full equality for ourselves, our loved ones, and our children. Your "dripping" the truth in love this Sunday will be part of that eventual and historic victory.

Please print out the Event Flyer from the Soulforce website www.soulforce.org/televangelists/dobson/2005action/schedule.shtmlfor the most current (and final) list of times and locations. Blessings to you all and please travel safely to Colorado Springs!

Jeff Lutes,
Co-Chair, Colorado Springs Direct Action

"Become Faithful Dissenters" – A Message from the Soulforce Catholic Team

The Soulforce Catholic Team calls on all Catholics of good will to display publicly their grief at the election of Cardinal Ratzinger to the Papacy. We declare that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is one of liberation and freedom, not fear, exclusion and division. Our beloved Pope John XXIII said that history was the teacher of life. Cardinal Ratzinger’s history over the last twenty five years has been a path of oppression. In his role as head of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith (the office formerly called the "Inquisition") he was responsible for creating the following infamous declarations, which:

  • opposed providing birth control information and condoms to the poor of the world, thereby contributing to the spread of AIDS and the death of millions in Africa and Asia;
  • denied the ordination of women & "claimed" that this doctrine is matter of papal infallability;
  • demanded governments & politicians follow the Church’s misguided dogma of "justifiable denial of human rights" to gay, lesbian, bi-sexual and transgender people.

As Catholics we have a long history of dissent within our faith, and now it is time again for us to actively become "faithful dissenters." We call on all those who are grieving this election to publicly acknowledge their grief by making a black arm band (a symbol of mourning) and wearing it to Mass this Sunday and subsequent Sundays.

We continue to affirm our belief during this resurrection season in the power of the Holy Spirit to transform fear into the spirit of compassion, acceptance and love, for all God’s gay, lesbian, bi-sexual and transgender children. Therefore we will continue to pray for the miracle of resurrection within our Church.

Kara Speltz, Chair – Soulforce Catholic Team

60 Lesbian, Gay, and Allied University Students from 12 Virginia Universities to Bring Plea for "Academic Freedom" and "Personal Safety" to Falwell’s Liberty University for Liberty’s Lesbian, Gay, Bi, and Transgender Students

******************************************
SOULFORCE MEDIA ALERT: April 21, 2005
For Immediate Release
Contact: Jake Reitan, Director of Youth Programs
952-212-8311 jake@soulforce.org
******************************************

(Lynchburg, VA) At 9 a.m. Monday morning, April 25, 2005, approximately 60 students from a dozen Virginia universities will arrive by bus at the entrance to Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University determined to spend the day exchanging views about sexual orientation and gender identity with LU’s students, faculty and staff.

At 1:00 p.m., after eating lunch with Liberty Students, the Equality Riders will hold a press conference and then set off as a group to deliver books to Liberty’s library; letters from suffering students to Liberty’s Chaplain; information on a "Safe Place" program that guarantees lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender students at least one person on campus where they can be heard without recrimination; and an Open Letter to Chancellor Falwell requesting academic freedom and personal safety for all students.

"Our Equality Ride to Dr. Falwell’s school takes place within 10 days of the 44th anniversary of the Freedom Rides launched May 4, 1961," explains Jake Reitan, the Director of Youth Programs for Soulforce, Inc. "Only this time we are riding for the rights of our lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender sisters and brothers to a school where those rights are denied."

After interviews and emails with dozens of gay and lesbian students at Liberty, Reitan reports that Falwell’s students have "no access to the latest scientific, psychological, historical, or even biblical evidence about sexual orientation" and professors, students, and guest speakers at their compulsory chapels regularly "caricature and condemn homosexuals, insisting that God can change them through prayer, discipline, and even getting married. What’s worse," Mr. Reitan adds, "Liberty’s gay and lesbian students are forced to live closeted lives, always fearful that if found out they will be expelled with their transcripts locked and their tuition lost."

One of the letters Reitan will deliver reads in part: "I am currently a junior at Liberty University. I am also gay. No one knows. I don’t know if I will ever be able to tell anyone. I know if my family found out they would disown me…I don’t know what God thinks about me being gay. Why would he make me like this in the first place? I did not choose it. Regardless of what God thinks I know what everyone else thinks. They would think I’m evil if they knew. I’ve never even been with a guy. I really hope that someone could talk some sense into the school and Christians in general. I’m tired of being all alone. Please don’t use my name!"

"It’s terribly sad," says Mel White, Soulforce director "that Jerry’s confusion about a handful of Bible verses leads to so much suffering for so many students. I am so glad that these Equality Riders are planting truth on Liberty Mountain. It’s long overdue."

PRESS CONFERENCE AND DIRECT ACTION
1 PM, Monday, April 25, 2005
Main Entrance Liberty University, Corner University Blvd. and Eriksson Dr.
Lynchburg, VA.

For more information go to www.soulforce.org/liberty

Soulforce Statement Regarding the Selection of Cardinal Ratzinger as Pope Benedict XVI

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SOULFORCE MEDIA ALERT: April 19, 2005
For Immediate Release
Contact: Laura Montgomery Rutt
717-278-0592 laura@soulforce.org
******************************************

(Lynchburg, VA) In 2001, Soulforce tried to meet with Ratzinger while we were in Rome. He not only refused to meet with us, but his administrators threatened to call the Swiss police. His refusal to meet with us indicates his unwillingness to even acknowledge the Spirit evident in the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people.

The Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, the office from which he was promoted, was the old office of the inquisition. Now he brings the inquisition to his appointment as Pope.

It is time for Catholics of good will to take a stand for justice and equality within the church and society.

Alert 7 to Participants

April 18, 2005

Dear Friends,

Next week you’ll be packing your bags for an exciting journey. Together, we will face one of the most powerful and influential sources of discrimination against our families. Registrations for this event are at an all time high and folks are coming in from at least 26 states to do justice with us! Where else can you go and make a difference while eating a hotdog with your kids and listening to powerful speakers and musicians?

Later this week you will be able to go towww.soulforce.org and write a personal note to James Dobson about the way antigay rhetoric like his has hurt you or someone you love.

A few things . . .

About Parking: The Picnic and Rally will take place in the closed street just in front of Focus on the Family headquarters in north Colorado Springs. We do not have any designated parking; however it is believed that there will be plenty of parking available since it is an office district and a Sunday. You may want to arrive a bit early, so that you have plenty of time to walk to the rally site. Just listen for the music and look for the covered stage and balloons.

About Food: Beginning at 12:30 there will be a stand selling hotdogs, burgers, chicken sandwiches and cold drinks. You are also welcome to bring your own picnic.

About "Necessities": There will be porta-potties and at least one will be wheelchair accessible.

Next week we will send you some last minute details, including the weather forecast. For now, the most important thing you can do is to prepare yourself mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Training Saturday night, April 30 (6pm) or Sunday morning, May 1 (10:30am) is encouraged as part of this preparation. However, we highly recommend that you spend some time getting ready before you arrive.

It’s possible that some counter-protestors will be present with ugly signs and even uglier words. The media will be watching and it is imperative that we control our anger, ignore counter-protestors, and show the world that we are peaceful, loving people.

While writing about the fact that nonviolence does not come naturally, Walter Wink says:

“We have not been prepared for it through millions of years of conditioning . . . We do not come to these things by virtue of a sunny disposition but by conversion, practice, imagination, and risk. Nonviolent training needs to become a regular and repetitive component of every change-oriented group’s life; it is not a last minute strategy that can be donned at will like an asbestos suit . . ."

The speakers are guaranteed to be powerful and the music inspiring . . . but it’s our smiling faces and the laughter of our children that will show the world (through the media) the truth about our lives.

I look forward to the moment when we surround Focus on the Family and through our loving presence confront the “Mountain of Misinformation” called Focus on the Family.

See you soon!

Jeff Lutes,
Co-Chair, Colorado Springs Direct Action

James Dobson Faces Moral Dilemma Monday, May 2, 2005

FOLLOWING A SOULFORCE PICNIC AND RALLY AT FOCUS ON THE FAMILY WORLD HEADQUARTERS ON MAY 1, VOLUNTEERS TRAINED IN NONVIOLENCE WILL CREATE A DIFFICULT MORAL CHOICE FOR JAMES DOBSON

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SOULFORCE MEDIA ALERT: April 13, 2005
For Immediate Release
Contact: Laura Montgomery Rutt
717-278-0592 laura@soulforce.org
******************************************

(Lynchburg, VA) On Monday, May 2, 2005, James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family will have to make a moral decision. Will he receive a Soulforce delegation of gay and lesbian people of faith and families, friends, and clergy into his massive world headquarters? Or will he lock them out?

Monday, May 2, is a normal workday for more than 1,000 Focus on the Family employees. Soulforce volunteers, trained in relentless nonviolent resistance, are determined to deliver to Dobson and his staff thousands of letters that illustrate the tragic consequences of the anti-gay rhetoric of Dobson and other fundamentalist Christian leaders.

"If we are locked out of Focus on the Family," says Jeff Lutes, MS, LPC, a psychologist and family counselor from Austin, Texas, who is heading up this nonviolent intervention, "the nation will see clearly that the truth about gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people is being locked out with us."

Over 1000 people of faith from Colorado and all across the country will be joining with Soulforce in Colorado Springs outside of James Dobson’s organizational headquarters at Focus on the Family. Just outside the entrance to Focus on the Family on May 1, there will be a press conference at 12:45pm, a family picnic, and a rally with speakers and entertainment. During the rally, cards will be passed out on which people can write their letter to James Dobson to add to the thousands already collected to be delivered the next business day, May 2.

"On Monday, May 1, James Dobson has to make a moral decision," explains the Rev. Dr. Mel White, Executive Director of Soulforce. "Does he welcome this delegation of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people with supportive clergy and other people of faith? Or does he lock us out and force us to risk nonviolent civil disobedience and arrest? We can’t just go away and ignore the terrible consequences of Dobson’s ignorance and bigotry."

"If Dr. Dobson denies the opportunity for interaction and dialogue by locking us out, he is saying that he is not open to the latest scientific and biblical evidence that homosexuality is simply another example of God’s glorious and diverse creation," said Reverend Robyn Murphy, staff pastor at Pikes Peak Metropolitan Community Church in Colorado Springs.

"We are calling this a family intervention, as we are all really part of the same family," Jeff Lutes explains. "As a member of the human family, James Dobson is our brother who has become a dangerous and misleading force to millions. We are coming to Colorado Springs to show him that his refusal to hear the truth about God’s gay children leads to wasted lives and ruined families. We pray that this time, James Dobson will hear us."

Soulforce has documented many of the hurtful words of James Dobson, in a booklet entitled A FALSE FOCUS ON MY FAMILY: Why every person of faith should be deeply troubled by Dr. James Dobson’s dangerous and misleading words about the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community.

MEDIA ACCREDITATION,more information, and a pdf version of the booklet, go to www.soulforce.org. Click on "For media only" for accreditation form.

Alert 6 to Participants

April 11, 2005

Dear Friends of Soulforce,

In less than three weeks we will be standing in unity to peacefully confront the untruths perpetuated by James Dobson and Focus on the Family.

Perhaps you have friends that can’t attend the action, but would like to support you and Soulforce in some way. Here’s how they can help:

A note-card is attached to this email (and copied below for those who can’t open attachments) . Please print out 5-10 of the attached note cards and get friends who can’t attend to write a brief message, in the spirit of nonviolence. You can bring these with you to the rally and we will collect them there. Feel free to forward this attachment to others. All cards/messages should be emailed directly to me at jeff@soulforce.org. A note-card will be available during the Family Picnic and Rally on May 1, in which those in attendance can write a brief message to Dobson.

On Monday, May 2, 2005, we will be conducting a "Family Intervention" inside Focus on the Family. We plan to hand deliver messages from people around the country who have been hurt, or have a loved-one that has been hurt, by the false words spoken by James Dobson, and others like him.

Thank you for helping us with this project. See you soon!

Sincerely,

Jeff Lutes,
Co-Chair, Colorado Springs Direct Action

(You can now write your note to Dobson directly on the Soulforce website at: www.soulforce.org/televangelists/dobson/2005action/letters/index.shtml