Soul Forces Hate Rhetoric Blames Personal Consequences Of Homosexual Perversion On Baptist Doctrine
Monthly Nonviolent Protests Continued April 7 Outside Village Baptist Church
in OKC (Oklahoma City) Forty-three gay lesbian, bisexual, and transgender
(GLBT) individuals and allies stood in the wind and the rain outside Village
Baptist Church, 10600 North May Avenue, in Oklahoma City on April 8, 2002,
conducting the fourth monthly vigil during church and Sunday school
services. Soulforce in Oklahoma, Inc. is conducting these relentless vigils
outside the church in an effort to get the pastor, Rev. Kersh and others to
dialogue and negotiate a plan to help stop violence against gay, lesbian,
bisexual, and transgender (GLBT) persons.
"Southern Baptist policies lead to ruined lives, suffering, and death," declared Ken Jennison, Oklahoma City Coordinator. "We are committed to continuing our relentless vigils outside Village Baptist Church until dialogue and negotiations resume. This violence must stop."
Soulforce in Oklahoma is a local group loosely affiliated with Soulforce, Inc. a national interfaith movement committed to ending spiritual violence perpetuated by religious policies and teachings against GLBT people. Both organizations teach and apply the nonviolent principles of M. K. Gandhi and Martin Luther King to the liberation of sexual minorities.
"Standing in the wind and rain with 43 of my brothers and sisters, holding pictures of people who have been murdered or committed suicide because of their sexual/gender orientation was a very powerful and emotional," stated Karen Weldin, founder of Soulforce in Oklahoma. "We stood together and shared the stories of these victims on Sunday in an effort to help the members of Village Baptist Church understand the severity of the problem of violence against GLBT. We are not going to be silent about the effects of misguided religious teaching and policies used to commit violence against us."
Southern Baptist policies teach that homosexuality is a "choice...a very poor and sinful choice with devastating consequences." Southern Baptists also describe homosexual relationships as "always sinful, impure, degrading, shameful, unnatural, indecent and perverted."
"We must expose the ignorance and distortions in the Southern Baptist teachings," stated Paul Barby volunteer of Soulforce in Oklahoma. "These teachings literally kill not just GLBT's but others unfairly targeted by the homophobia being taught as well."
Vigils are planned the first Sunday of the month, outside Village Baptist Church, 10600 North May Avenue, in Oklahoma City. The next vigil will be May 5, 2002. Rev. Dr. Mel White, author of Stranger at the Gate and founder of Soulforce, Inc. will be present. Training for the vigil will be May 4, 2002 from 2:30- 6:30 pm at The Church of the Open Arms 3131 N. Penn Ave. Oklahoma City
Additional Contact Information: Karen Weldin - Karen@SoulforceInOklahoma.org Phone: 918-452-2761 Ken Jennison - Ken@SoulforceInOklahoma.org Phone: 405-524-2292 For more information, see www.SoulforceInOklahoma.org
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