Obama and Clinton to Speak on ‘Compassion’ at Anti-Gay College

Jacob Reitan of Soulforce, which visited Messiah College last year on its Equality Ride (one year to the day of the candidates’ upcoming forum), writes in the Huffington Post:

Messiah“This Sunday, Senators Clinton and Obama will be taking part in something called the ‘Compassion Forum’ at Messiah College in Pennsylvania. Ironically, Messiah College has a severe lack of compassion towards its LGBT students. The school’s community covenant prohibits ‘homosexual behavior’ and effectively bans LGBT students who are open and self affirming from attending Messiah…

“…In spite of our visit last year to Messiah College, their discriminatory policies are still in place. This brings into question why Senators Obama and Clinton would agree to discuss compassion in this setting. Both Clinton and Obama speak about uniting America and both speak against the politics of fear and division. It also calls into question the judgment of John Podesta’s Center for American Progress’ Faith in Public Life program. Why would they select a college where gay people are not welcome to hold a discussion on issues of compassion? There are plenty of faith-based colleges to choose from. I attend one. I am a second year Masters of Theological Studies student at Harvard Divinity School.”

Reitan asks: “Will they speak out against the Messiah’s policy that would bar me and countless other Americans from attending the school? Will they make clear to the American people that LGBT people are wonderfully made in the image of the Creator and loved as they are by the Creator without reservation?”

We shall see if either will rise to the occasion.

Soulforce Trip Continues as Arrests Made at Bob Jones University [tr]
Soulforce Bus Defaced with Gay Slurs in Iowa [tr]


  1. daveynyc says

    I’m sure Obama will do just fine speaking there considering he and Donnie McClurkin are so close. Obama and Messiah College have a lot in common when it comes to their views on gays.

  2. says

    What is the point of only speaking to people who already agree with you? Shunning those that don’t toe the line of what you expect them to believe doesn’t advance anyone, it just creates more division and misunderstanding. Obama has brought up LGBT issues in a variety of forums that were hostile to hearing it. I expect he’ll do the same in this one.

  3. jeff says

    What better way to speak of compassion than a place that says and believes in compassion but can not walk it out with those who they disagree with. I’m sure this issue will be brought up it will be interesting to see the schools response. You don’t want to go to people and places of like kind.

  4. Jason says

    One of the reasons I am voting on other issues after 20 years of following the pre-subscribed gay agenda. My ideaology is 90% conservative (southern Democrat) and I have been voting on 1 issue for 20 years. I thought in 2000 it was the end of the world when Bush won. No black booted thugs came by; not much changed in my gay life. However, I like the tax cuts; I realized that the enviro-wackos have kept us from drilling for oil whereever we need to in these times and we haven’t built a refinery since the 70s. I want privatization of social security and I am a hawk when it comes to the middle east and the military in general so this article just gives me another reason to vote McCain.

  5. John In Manhattan says

    It’s no surprise Obama and Clinton are speaking at an anti-gay college. Neither of them believe in equality for GLBT citizens and have no problem saying so. Still, I’ll vote for either against McCain when election day comes. Let’s just be real about this.

  6. rdc says

    I graduated from Messiah and went to the Soul Force forum. There is a group of gay alumni even with their own website. http://www.gayatmessiah.com. The students on campus were amazingly supportive and even the President sat down with some of us. Somethings take time to change and one visit from a group isn’t going to change a policy overnight. But I can tell you that the mindset among the students has changed tremendously and its onaly a matter of time before the administration comes around. Kind of like our country in general.

  7. Zeke says

    JASON, Wow, just WOW.

    The level of delusion that some people can achieve is simply unbelievable. Not only is it astonishing that you determined your vote on one issue for 20 years; it’s even more astonishing that you would NOW decide to vote REPUBLICAN because they share your views on: the economy (what planet do you live on?); taxes (WHO do you propose pay for the record debt that Bush has run up over seven years? HOW do you propose we pay for it?); when, why and how to send our military men and women into war (the majority of enlisted men/women don’t even support the Republicans specifically because of the fact that the chicken hawks who sent them there (NONE of whom served in the military themselves) sent them based on lies and without a plan for what to do when they got there); and because of the environmentalists (do you also believe the world was created in six days, six thousand years ago?).

    Frankly, if these are your political opinions then you’ve been in the wrong party since the late sixties. You should have jumped over to the Republicans during the Reagan administration when the rest of the Dixiecrats did. It’s not too late to do that. I really don’t think you’ll be missed.

    As far as Senators Clinton and Obama speaking at Messiah College, I’m going to give them the benefit of the doubt until I see how they use this opportunity. Like someone above said, you don’t change hearts and minds by only talking to those who agree with you. Obama has been making this point for a while now. They will both have a perfect opportunity to speak out against the College’s discriminatory policy while explaining why they disagree with such policies on a personal, spiritual and political level.

    If they don’t take advantage of this opportunity I reserve the right to have both their asses on a plate at a later date!

  8. Alan says

    Jason — I’m glad you’re enjoying your tax cuts. If I should be so lucky to have children, and they should be so lucky to have children, then I’m sure my grand-children won’t mind paying your debt.

  9. Landon Bryce says

    I’m assuming Obama will do his one sentence “Maybe we should be less mean to gays” thing. Will that be enough to justify his presence there? And will Clinton really say anything that addresses discrimination? She has not shown his willingness to even mention gays to potential hostile constituencies.

    I cannot see either of them doing anything that would offset the damage they are doing by lending credibility to an evil institution. If they would not speak to groups that ban women or blacks, they are hypocritical in taking this engagement. No one can now legitimately criticize McCain for speaking at Bob Jones University when the Dems are doing the same sleazy shit.

  10. Another Matt says

    I agree with everything Jason said (except for voting for McCain…I will not be doing that). I don’t understand one-issue voters on anything, and think that that we should put into perspective how we, as gays, are able to live our lives here, compared with gay men and women in countries like Iran. Would it be nice to have more? Sure, but things really aren’t that bad. I can date who I want, love who I want and sleep with who I want without fear that I’m going to be rounded up by some sort of Gestapo.

    I’m a little disappointed in the way people here have been responding to non-liberal posters and our views. Part of being tolerant and open-minded (qualities that I understand liberals pride themselves on) is being able to at least listen to an opposing viewpoint without responding in a hostile, sarcastic or snide manner. I’ve found that quality is sometimes lacking in liberals, especially on the internet, and it really is counterproductive to having thoughtful discussions.

  11. Jimmyboyo says

    Well another matt

    That might be because conservatives for decades saying that we liberal gays are a plaque, cursed, going to burn in hell, etc

    Funny how you are trying to flip the hate of the right into a fault of liberals.

    Now that conservatism is dieing, you all want tolerance.

    Peace be with you

  12. Zeke says

    ANOTHER MATT, if you’ll read my post again you’ll notice that I didn’t challenge JASON from a liberal perspective I challenged him on the issues HE claims are important to him by way of the ACTUAL RECORD of the Republicans that he says have the best plan for these issues.

    You can’t tell me that you support the Republican Party because you support SMALL government and states rights (the federal government has expanded more in the last year more than at any time since the great depression) or because you support fiscal responsibility (NO other government has been more fiscally reckless than the REPUBLICAN government of the last seven years. Pork barrel spending and earmarks have NEVER been greater) or because you support personal responsibility or support the military or because you believe the government should stay out of people’s lives as much as possible or because you believe in family values.

    Don’t get defensive and angry just because liberals have the audacity to point out that your claims of conservative values doesn’t in any way match the Republican Party.

    I say all of this as a former Republican who finally realized that the conservative values I supported had long since been abandoned by the GOP.

    That’s not being snide or intolerant. That’s just calling a spade a spade.

  13. says

    As a bisexual woman, I wanna share my ideas with you just as those I have put on the bisexual dating site forum (bimingle.com). How we ladel our sexuality is a problem at first. Others don’t think women should not be bisexual. Then we are easy to affected by others. But women do really would like to experiment with both sex relationships. That’s true.

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