Letter: Writer: students make a spectacle of faith
I think this would be a very interesting read. This is was written in my University’s newspaper(University of Rhode Island, URI). There where these crazy evangelical christians that tried to preach in my school. I do not know if you would be surprised to know what happened, but you would have to read to find out.
The article was is in this link.
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Here is what was written in the article. Also, notice the bias by the writer.
"You are going to hell." This was the message many University of Rhode Island students received verbatim while on or around the Quadrangle on Monday morning. Two evangelicals preached seemingly rehearsed diatribes about accepting Jesus Christ, but what really drew a crowd was their old fashioned fire and brimstone bent. Wearing signs proclaiming the end of days and Satan's unacceptable dominion over we poor sinners, many students were warned about their imminent bath in the lake of fire. I watched this pair for some time, and despite rampant hellish imagery, I was much more surprised about the reception they received from URI students, which was often immature at best.
For every student I saw attempt to debate the evangelicals in a civil manner, I saw several more loudly decrying their "bullshit" with barely an attempt to discuss, argue or examine. I heard dozens of sophomoric insults hurled from the safe anonymity of crowds and the snickers and approving mocking laughter which these insults drew. I saw dozens of students pause to take pictures of the evangelicals. Several students chose to invest their time in counter-demonstrations. One student gathered a few informative sheets about philosophers such as Friedrich Nietzsche with his famous statement "God is dead" (likely this student excepted from his contrarian existentialist pamphlets the works of Soren Kierkegaard, a devout Christian.) The casual counter-demonstration reached its apex when a pair of students crafted signs reading "Satan isn't so bad" and "Jesus is a zombie." Essentially I saw the devout faith of two people soundly mocked and made spectacle and I wondered why.
It seems that Christian faith is not at all cool. I grant that the methods of these evangelicals were obnoxious to an indefensible degree. However, I believe that for every student heckler responding to this, there were others who simply saw a sign reading "Give Jesus time 2 love u," perceived an irreverent crowd of peers around them, and decided to have at it. It is true that these two evangelicals were attempting to make a spectacle of themselves in order to attract attention to their message, but how many students would have felt motivated to take pictures of people holding signs for gay rights? How many would have taken pictures of those positing a faith that is less popular to disparage? Would Taoist demonstrators, even aggressive ones, have been gleefully mocked for three hours? The demonstrators were attacked as much for their message as their methods.
Formulaically, this is the point in the letter where I should point out the freedoms of speech and assembly, which exist in the United States. I should point out that the grounds of a university of all places in the world should be welcoming to challenging and even uncomfortable ideas, and especially to all faiths.
By this advanced point in our educations, it should be redundant for me to remind students of this, but today I saw some students who seemingly need to be reminded. I saw people acting in a crowd mentality denigrate Christian faith. The polite way to respond to demonstrators with whom you do not want to associate is to simply turn down their literature. The sensible way to respond to aggressive ones such as those this morning is to debate them, or failing that, to treat them as you would treat a harmless bully - ignore them and proceed with your life. All those students who took time out of their day to heckle the faithful before a crowd, or to take yet more time and return armed with signs should ask themselves why they did so. Hopefully the answer will not be because these two people bore The Holy Bible.