Soulforce is made up of a lot of LGBT people who don’t fit the stereotypes still tossed around by many of our opponents to defame us. For one thing, most Soulforcers are people of faith. Yes, there are right-wing Christians who will tell you that one cannot be gay and Christian. Well, sweethearts, those people — some well-meaning, some not — are wrong. Period.
This is why Soulforce is such an attractive activism venue for gays of faith: For one, the group doesn’t discriminate. Gay, heterosexual, trans, bi, questioning, two-spirit, Jewish, Catholic, Pagan, Baptist, Mennonite, atheist, Buddhist, et al… it doesn’t matter. You’re welcome and needed. Secondly, Soulforce is centered around nonviolence in word and deed. Third, the group meets you where you are in the journey, using truth and kindness to spread its message of equality and hope.
You don’t believe people can be changed through building common ground and treating them with respect — especially when civil disobedience is part of the mix?
Last week, we lost one of the most influential newspersons journalism has known, the late Walter Cronkite, so this story from the Washington Post is really timely.
Walter Cronkite’s illustrious career is remembered for the historic events he covered, from the assassinations of John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr. to the moon landing and the Vietnam War. But Cronkite also reported on burgeoning social movements, including the struggle for gay liberation. After becoming a target of that movement, Cronkite would become a behind-the-scenes ally.
The reason: Mark Segal — today the power behind the Philadelphia Gay News and a gay-press icon, but then a 19-year-old do-gooder — was civilly disobedient to protest wrongdoing by the network. His direct action took the “CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite” briefly off the air, leaving only screens of black across the country. He paid the price, as many Soulforcers do, with a trip to see a judge, some manhandling, and a fine. When given an opportunity to make his case, he responded with truth and in kindness. Walter Cronkite listened. And heard. And acted.
That is all a big tease, I know, but you really should read this article. And you really should consider the good Soulforce does by following the same approach that opened the eyes and touched the heart of the Most Trusted Man in America. (RIP, Uncle Walter.)