Monday, May 06, 2013

Josh Ritter Defends Gay Rights At Christian College Performance

It takes balls to make a strong statement when one is in a hostile setting.  And few settings are more hostile toward gay rights that so-called "Christian" colleges that preach an anti-gay mantra and often require students to sign statements of faith, etc., that condemn homosexuality.  Messiah College in Pennsylvania is one such college, yer singer Josh Ritter lobbed a bomb if you will during his recent performance at the campus when he spoke out for gay rights.  No doubt the powers that be at the college were less than happy.  Huffington Post looks at Ritter's challenge to bigotry.  Here are highlights:

Singer-songwriter Josh Ritter is making headlines after speaking out in defense of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community during a performance at a private Christian college which allegedly has an anti-gay policy in place for its student body. 

After his performance at Pennsylvania's Messiah College, Ritter took to Facebook with the following message:
"Messiah College requires all students to sign a 'Community Covenant,' promising to, among other things, 'avoid such sinful practices as…homosexual behavior….' This policy, which I see as exclusionary and bigoted, could not run more counter to my personal beliefs. If I had done my homework, and read about Messiah's policies ahead of time, I would never have agreed to play there."
When he took to the stage, Ritter says he "chose to use the opportunity to talk to the students -- to encourage them to seek openness and change," adding, "I spoke honestly about my personal views -- that we should all have the right to love -- and to marry freely, no matter what our sexual orientation. Everyone was respectful and kind, and it is my hope that they'll continue to demand a change to the Community Covenant."

Vowing never to perform at Messiah College again "until they welcome, in word and deed, all members of their faith regardless of sexuality," Ritter is donating his earnings from the performance to The Trevor Project, the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) youth advocacy organization. 

In 2011, Messiah College's "Community Covenant" made headlines when an openly gay student opted to transfer out of the school, saying he had been harassed by fellow students and even a professor because of his sexual orientation. 

No one is less loving than the "godly Christian" folks.

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