I left Ohio University almost eight years ago, but I’ve found that my work life and my college life still have something in common. That was true this morning when I came across this article in the Athens News.
Ratio Christi, a student organization, brought author and American Family Radio host Frank Turek to campus for a book talk on his I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist. Turek and his other book, Correct, Not Politically Correct: How Same-Sex Marriage Hurts Everyone, are no stranger to People For the American Way; we’ve written about them on our Right Wing Watch blog.
Turek’s hit parade includes:
- Turek Intensifies His Attacks on Gays and Lesbians
- Turek Rails Against Gay Pride And Diversity Training Programs
- Turek: Homosexuality Is A "Road To Destruction," Like Getting Run Over By A Truck
- Turek: Gays And Radical Muslims Have United To Destroy Western Civilization
Recognizing that radical record, OU students took a stand against Turek’s extreme agenda:
About 25 members and supporters of OU’s LGBTQ student organization, Open Doors, held signs that read "Standing On The Side Of Love" outside of Baker Ballroom in protest.
Ratio Christi president Josh Welch said, "We respect the right of people to protest, and we hope that they respect our rights too."
The Rev. Evan Young, the campus minister at University Campus Ministries and the minister of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Athens, said that he took part in the silent protest in opposition to the views expressed in Turek’s other book, "Correct, Not Politically Correct; How Same-Sex Marriage Hurts Everyone."
"As a longtime advocate and ally for the LGBTQ community here at Ohio University and in Athens and in southeastern Ohio," Young said, "I feel like when that community finds itself threatened with being pushed to the margins, finds itself facing the message of hate or the purveyor of hate against them, my place is with them. I stand with them."
The banner under which Reverend Young and the students protested, Standing on the Side of Love, is a public advocacy campaign sponsored by the Unitarian Universalist Association.
This is a time of great hope and possibility, yet our communities are threatened by the increased prevalence of acts motivated by fear and hate.
No one should be dehumanized through acts of exclusion, oppression, or violence because of their identities.
In public debates over immigration, LGBT rights, and more, religious people stand on the side of love and call for respect, inclusion, and compassion.
PFAW has often found itself standing on the side of love with UUA and other allied organizations in defense of LGBT Equality and other civil rights issues. And we certainly stand with these students in calling attention to a hard line anti-gay activist who closely works with ultraconservative groups like the Oak Initiative and the American Family Association.