Friday, March 3, 2000

Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.

The Daily Gazette

Swarthmore College
Friday, March 3, 2000
Volume 4, Number 88


1) SCF hosts controversial talk

2) World news roundup

3) Campus events


1) World sports roundup


Today:  Partly cloudy and windy. Highs around 50.
    Who cares?

Tonight: Partly cloudy. Lows in the upper 20s.
    Who cares?

Saturday: Partly sunny. Highs in the low to mid 50s.
    Who cares?

Sunday: Fair. Lows in the mid to upper 30s. Highs near 60.
   Not me!  I’m going to Florida!


1) SCF hosts controversial talk

Last night, Bond Memorial Hall and the Swarthmore Christian Fellowship (SCF)
played host to Richard Yates, an “ex-gay” speaker from Harvest USA. The
group is a Philadelphia-based “Christian ministry that reaches out to
individuals struggling with pornography, sexual addictions and/or
homosexuality and to families affected by a loved one’s being caught in
these struggles,” according to their webpage at

The talk was originally intended to be a small group discussion with the
SCF’s weekly Bible study group in the ML Breakfast Room. The Swarthmore
Queer Union (SQU) and the Queer/Straight Alliance (QSA)
were invited to engage in the dialogue.  However, an increase in outside
interest and worry about the political nature of the speaker forced the
sponsors to move the talk to a different venue.  On Wednesday night, SQU met
to voice concern about what they were worried would be a one-sided debate.
However, last night’s lengthy debate allowed many points of view to be

Attended by approximately 60 students, the night consisted of a brief
opening speech by Yates, in which he recounted his childhood, his years
(from age 14 to 47) as a gay man, and a reclaiming of faith. This was
followed by a reply from Julie Russo ’00, representing SQU, who pointed out
that the speaker’s view was only one Christian perspective on homosexuality
and offered a list of other religious-gay resources. Finally, the floor was
opened up to questions from the audience.

This final section consisted mainly of queries posed to Yates regarding his
intentions and understanding of the Bible and sexuality.  Many students
questioned Yates’ faith, intentions, and life choices; Yates in turn
challenged students about their beliefs in God. Yates admitted that he was
still attracted to men, using for examples specific students at the
discussion.  However, he then stated that he knew what God wanted him to do,
and thus had renounced “the gay life.”  Other hotly debated topics included

interpretations of the Bible, the realm of faith outside Christianity, and
the role that society plays in accepting or rejecting homosexuality.

Speaker and students were actively engaged in this dialogue until
approximately 11:30, when Ben Park, president of SCF, brought the forum to a
close, promising Russo to revive the discussion between SQU and SCF at a
later date.

-k.x. & j.s.


2) World news roundup

Gen. Augusto Pinochet, the former Chilean dictator who spent 17 months under
house arrest in England fighting extradition to Spain, flew toward home last
night after British authorities ordered his release on humanitarian
grounds….With reports that yet another cyclone is approaching the flooded
country of Mozambique, search crews resumed their efforts today to rescue
the estimated 10,000 people who remain stranded in trees and on
rooftops….DoubleClick Inc., the Internet’s largest advertising company,
backed off on Wednesday from its controversial plan to build extensive
personal profiles of people who surf the Web – an idea that had sparked
federal and state investigations, uproar among privacy advocates, and more
than 100,000 consumer complaints….Bill Bradley declared yesterday that he
is staying in the presidential race despite his failure to win the primary
in Washington state, where he had spent a week of precious campaign time in
a quest for momentum…..Former German chancellor Helmut Kohl acknowledged
yesterday that he has been raising cash to help his embattled Christian
Democratic party pay fines likely to result from his acceptance of illegal
donations during his 16 years in power….In a rare display of unanimity,
the House voted yesterday to knock down a pillar of the nation’s retirement
system by allowing Americans who reach 65 to keep working, no matter how
much money they earn, without sacrificing the size of their Social Security


3) Campus events


Documentary screening on the case of Mumia Abu-Jamal
IC big room, 7:30 p.m.

International Club Movie Night: “Before the Rain” (Macedonia)
Kohlberg 228, 8:00 p.m.


Orchestra 2001
Lang Concert Hall, 3:00 p.m.


There are no events scheduled for Sunday.



1) World sports roundup


Quote of the day: “God takes care of the universe; that is to say,
providence never abandons it, and it does not become more evil.  The
Christians are silly to say, therefore, that God…become[s] angry because
man “sins”–any more than he is angry with monkeys and mice for doing what
they do naturally.  For each has his alloted place in the scheme of things.”
— Celsus,  “On the True Doctrine: A Discourse Against the Christians,” c. 100

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     Jeff Heckelman
     Melanie Hirsch
     Claire Phillips-Thoryn

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     Jeremy Schifeling
     Kai Xu

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     Lorrin Nelson

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This concludes today’s report.

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