We asked Katie Higgins to give us the word from the Soulforce bus after they visited Liberty University on their way to Columbia today.
Our visit to Liberty University is an excellent example of why we do push the envelope on the college campuses that say that our voices are not allowed. In 2005, Jerry Falwell allowed over 60 young adults from Soulforce to join students on campus. In 2006, over 20 were arrested and this year, his son, Jerry Falwell, Jr., repeatedly told the media that we would not be allowed on campus. Obviously, we were allowed on and as always, there were many students who were eager to speak with us. So many in fact, that we had to bring them off campus to where the rest of the Riders were. Had we not moved forward with our intention to be on campus, we would have fallen short of our goal for LU students to have the chance to talk with us about our message of inclusion and justice. More so than any year before, we have heard from many LU students who are LGBT and desperately need us to be a voice of reason on their campus.
As we drive to Columbia tomorrow, I will be hoping that the folks of my home state make the right decision and allow us on campus. Columbia International University has gone to great lengths to keep their students from speaking with us and I know this because a few have contacted us out of disappointment in their university. That is probably the hardest thing for me to understand- What about our message is so threatening? Is it the delivery? We are a small group of young adults who have dedicated their lives to learning the philosophy and methods of nonviolence and we stand at a school's gate with our Bibles and open hearts. CIU has said that if we walk onto campus, that we would be arrested under South Carolina's trespassing laws. I have to believe that they are better than that; I have to believe that when they see that we bring with us nothing but our own truths, we will be welcomed. My mom is joining us on Monday and with that, I am finally ready to make my home an active part of my journey for justice.