Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Look, Ma, We're In The News!

I'm actually not as excited as the title makes me sound. Read it again, this time with sarcasm and just a dash of frustration.

You might want to read this before continuing with the rest of my post.

. . .

No, this is not an April Fool's joke.

See now, I don't know if my frustration is justified in any way, but I am honestly more than a little miffed. Whoever wrote that article did a botched job, I think; unless they were trying to leave out some important details, in which case they absolutely excell at their job. The greatest offense is that the article doesn't mention the "terms" discussed between the two parties, but instead leaves it to the imagination influenced by the power of press-made suggestion. As far as I have been told, the Covenant administration tried to extend multiple opportunities for the Equality Riders to come onto the campus; they would be allowed to talk with the students, the faculty, attend chapel, and have lunch in the Great Hall. Soulforce would not agree, so they were not permitted to come onto the campus property at all. After three hours of dialogue between the students and the Riders, four of the protesters came onto Covenant property in full knowledge of prior warnings, and consequently were arrested.
...also, the article left out that the Covenant students took boxed lunches to the Equality Riders. But that might just be me being nit-picky.

I think Channel Three has a better article than The Chattanoogan, but Channel Nine has a video with the coverage that I believe is the most fair and balanced for both parties. The Chattanooga Times has a pretty decent article, too.

Now, I know where I stand on all this, but I want to know what y'all think.
For your consideration:
the Soulforce homepage
Covenant's statements regarding the Equality Ride visit

The Soulforce on-the-road blog updated with their take on the visit.
I must say, when I read it, I didn't know how to react. I still don't. My mind is still trying to muddle through conflicting experiences of indignation, distress, and confusion.

But I put all this up for you, the reader, to make your own decision based on all the evidence (or literature) that surrounds the Soulforce visit to Covenant College. I hope you will take everything into a careful evaluation of what happened this last Monday morning.

1 comment:

Jobber said...

Thanks for posting all this in one place.
One discrepancy I've noticed is that members of Soul Force have repeatedly told reporters and students that the administration only offered them dialogue with administration-picked students. This is false. Dean Voyles said that in his conversations with Soul Force he said that any student who signed up could come to the planned forum. He said he would not turn any student away.
On a more general note, I'm relatively glad with how it turned out. We got the discussion we were eager for, in a situation where only people who wanted to talk and listen needed to. I would have preferred that Soul Force not get their media attention, but anyone who looks closely can see that they were treated fairly -- as the administration says they would treat any group that behaved as they did. And their coming has sparked lots of thought and good instruction about where the Bible stands, how we should deal with homosexuality, hey, it's even made me think pretty hard about methods of public protesting!