Sheriff Simpson is now trying to justify the massive show of armed force with a statement about “internet chat” suggesting that “more confrontational groups” might suddenly appear. We breathlessly await details, as he certainly can’t be referencing PFLAG. At least the statement implies knowledge that the Equality Riders posed no threat of disruption whatsoever.
April 18, 2007
By Shannon Sollinger
A new idea might have infiltrated Patrick Henry College in Purcellville April 12, but a small army of state and local law enforcement made sure no one from the Soulforce Equality Ride got on campus…
…Patrick Henry was the 12th stop on the Soulforce eastern tour. The purple and orange bus, emblazoned with the message “Social Justice for Gay, Bisexual and Transgender People,” arrived at Patrick Henry shortly after 10 a.m., and left the next day for Messiah College in Grantham, Pa. Messiah, like Patrick Henry, has a written policy condemning homosexual behavior. Unlike Patrick Henry, it invited the young activists on campus for breakfast, to attend class and to participate in a discussion led by the college’s pastor.
“It is important for our students to see us modeling gracious Christianity,” said Beth Lorow, Messiah College’s assistant director of public relations. “At the end of the day, we affirm our understanding of scripture on this issue, but the students learn how to interact with people they disagree with respectfully and with dignity.”