Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Preaching Intolerance and Hate on Campus

Okay, I know I was going to post about music and all, but this is too amusing/interesting/important/whatever to not post first. So yesterday (well, since it's past midnight I guess it's 2 days ago) there was a person in the middle of central campus preaching his twisted interpretation of the Bible. He came back today as well. We (and by "we" I mean my friends and I, but mostly me) call these people "diag preachers" when they're on campus and "hell-callers" when they're off campus.

So this African-American guy was standing in the middle of a crowd of students basically spouting his intolerance and hate, telling everyone they're going to hell for their sins unless they convert to his perverse version of Christianity. He "visited" our campus last year too and he had the same large banner with him. I took two pictures, but I feel it might be a bit unethical to post them. Anyway, he was preaching his intolerance and hate for homosexuals and Jews, amongst other things (like masturbation, which is now widely held to be healthy and good for you - in moderation; I think I'd go insane without masturbation). He apparently went up to this girl who passed by and told her she was going to hell for wearing a low-cut shirt. ::rolls eyes:: Where do these people spawn from?! Honestly, these people give Christianity a really bad name. Much like Jihadists do for Islam. You don't win people over by fear, intimidation, and violence. It just doesn't work that way.

What's more is that it's National Coming Out Week (apparently), and our university's LGBT commission was having an event on the diag too right next to him. That got pretty . . . interesting, or so I heard. I saw an old high school acquaintance of mine, JH-F; I believe she's the president of the LGBT student group on campus. She's changed A LOT since high school. While she was out as a lesbian during junior and senior year, she at least "looked and acted" normal (although, she was always rather intimidating for a female). But since coming to the university, her attire changed dramatically starting the end of freshman year. I never understood the need to change one's appearance (or behavior) like that, it almost seems like it's to prove a point (it certainly doesn't appear to be more comfortable). Anyway, I saw her, went to say hi, and gave her a hug. And I wished her well as I left to eat lunch with some people before class.

ES-M is also a lot more religious (he's thinking of getting a theology minor, if possible) than I had originally thought, though I don't know how conservative/liberal he is but he seems pretty tolerant. He was curious about the diag preacher and wanted to listen to what he had to say for a few minutes, but I tried to convince him that it was a waste of time. He also didn't understand the point of a National Coming Out Week; my answer was that there's a week for everything here in the US. I suppose everything needs a week.

ES-M and I had a brief, but interesting, conversation about religion/Christianity after class. I contended that one must be careful in interpreting the Bible (or any religious text) and be aware of the wording, as that changes depending on the version and translation and can subsequently change meaning. He believed that it didn't really matter, because when taken as a whole it always leads to the same point. I don't know, I suppose I tend to look at things analytically and critically, from the perspective of a literary critic and scientist. Religion is a realm I don't like to trespass too far into.

1 comment:

W said...

We had a hate monger on our campus too. For 2 years almost. He'd have a big sign-post with all sorts of ridiculous things written. He was a smart one, as he'd stand on the road in front of the main gates, off the school property, so my school couldn't initiate any action against him. He was there for two years, come rain,come sunshine.

Hopefully the lunatic doesn't make an appearance on your campus again.