It seems unlikely that Josh Ritter is ever going to be invited back to Pennsylvania’s Messiah College. Ritter, who is a singer-songwriter, performed at the private Christian college, which apparently has a rather strong anti-gay policy in place with regards to its student body.
“Messiah College requires all students to sign a ‘Community Covenant,’ promising to, among other things, ‘avoid such sinful practices as…homosexual behavior….’
This policy, which I see as exclusionary and bigoted, could not run more counter to my personal beliefs. If I had done my homework, and read about Messiah’s policies ahead of time, I would never have agreed to play there.”
Apparently, Ritter also said when he took the stage “chose to use the opportunity to talk to the students — to encourage them to seek openness and change . . .I spoke honestly about my personal views — that we should all have the right to love — and to marry freely, no matter what our sexual orientation. Everyone was respectful and kind, and it is my hope that they’ll continue to demand a change to the Community Covenant.”
Well, whether or not he would ever be perform at the college is kind of moot because he declared that he would never perform at the college “until they welcome, in word and deed, all members of their faith regardless of sexuality.” Ritter has also announced that he will donate the earnings from the performance to The Trevor Project, which is a group dealing with LGBT suicide prevention.
Ritter is touring in support of his album “The Beast in Its Tracks.”
Back in 2011, the college made headlines after an openly gay student opted to transfer from the school after being harassed by students and professors.