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Homosexual Soulforce Org Blames Christian Teaching For Deaths Of Gays Because Gay Man "Contemplated" Suicide At Southern Baptist Convention

From: Soulforce journey@soulforce.org
Sent: Tuesday, June 19, 2001 3:05 PM 
To: jwarrene@surfsouth.com 

The photos of our Soulforce jazz funeral, vigil, and civil disobedience at the Southern Baptist Convention's June 12-13 meeting in New Orleans say it all. Check them out! http://www.soulforce.org/nola/june13b/index.htm  Then register to join us (or get more information on) future direct actions in Indianapolis (August 10-12), Salt Lake City (October 6-7), Washington, DC. (Nov. 12-15). http://www.soulforce.org/app2001.html

In New Orleans on Monday, June 11, almost two hundred volunteers were trained on site in the "soul force" principles of Gandhi and King. Join us at the Lutheran (ELCA) direct action in August, or in October with the Mormons, or in November at the National Conference of Catholic Bishops. You, too, will be trained in the principles of relentless nonviolent resistance, principles that will help renew your spirit as they help transform our society, principles you can take home to "do justice" in your town, in your church, or even in your family.

On Tuesday,June 12, twelve thousand Baptist "Messengers" could see us standing vigil at every major entrance to the Superdome. At least five thousand accepted our printed invitations to the Soulforce Jazz Funeral. We wore our STOP SPIRITUAL VIOLENCE shirts and carried our 21 foot banner warning that "SOUTHERN BAPTIST TEACHINGS LEAD TO SUFFERING AND DEATH FOR GOD'S LESBIAN, GAY, BISEXUAL, AND TRANSGENDER CHILDREN." You don't have to be arrested to stand vigil with us. Most volunteers choose not to be arrested (at least the first time). And by taking just a few days out of your busy life to obey God's call "to do justice" you will see your own life renewed and redirected.

On Wednesday, June 13, a police escort led our jazz funeral procession - including a casket filled with stories of Southern Baptist suffering - through the streets of New Orleans. At our national press conference, surrounded by the media, dozens of police, and Fred Phelps' protestors carrying their hateful signs, six of our ex-Southern Baptist clergy and laity (including an 18 year old gay man who contemplated suicide) told stories that illustrated the tragic consequences of Southern Baptist antigay teachings. Email us your story or the stories of your friends or family. We especially need Lutheran, Mormon, and Roman Catholic stories to help make our case in Indianapolis, Salt Lake City, and DC.

Last year at their Annual Meeting in Orlando, more than a hundred Soulforce volunteers stood vigil and twenty-eight of us were arrested, spent 36 hours in jail, and paid large fines hoping their leaders would hear us. This year in New Orleans when Southern Baptist leaders refused again to meet with us to condemn violence against sexual and gender minorities, we attempted to carry the casket filled with tragic stories into the largest enclosed coliseum in the world. Thirty-four of us were arrested, handcuffed, and driven to jail (where, in an act of compassion) the New Orleans police released us without charges or fines.

We don't know yet exactly what will happen in Indianapolis (August 10-12), Salt Lake City (October 6-7),or Washington, DC. (Nov. 12-15). We are always surprised by what the Spirit of Truth does to us and through us on these Soulforce Journeys to Justice. But of this you can be sure. If you don't join us, you will miss a wonderful opportunity to help change minds and hearts (not just of those who hate and fear us) but of our closeted sisters and brothers who see you taking your stand and feel hope for the very first time. Join us! Whatever happens, we promise you that your own life will be changed forever!

By the way, doing justice is expensive. These direct actions cost Soulforce and the Soulforce volunteers a lot of money. If you can help, your donation is tax-deductible. Donate on line with a credit card or send a check or credit card information to Soulforce, Inc., PO Box 4467, Laguna Beach, CA. 92652. You'll receive a year-end receipt and our sincerest thanks! http://www.soulforce.org/shopsite_sc/store/html/join.html#donation 

Mel White, Executive Director, Soulforce, Inc. Jimmy Creech, Board Chair Karen Weldin and Bill Carpenter, National Action Co-Chairs


To respond directly to Mel White, please send an email to: melwhite@soulforce.org 

Please use the journey email box (journey@soulforce.org) for subscription changes only.

Mel White endeavors to read every email sent to his personal attention. Given the current volume of email Soulforce receives, we gratefully appreciate your patience if you require a response. ======================


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