Thursday, March 13, 2008

Warm Weather Brings the: Preachers?

As the temperature has risen, so have the number of campus preachers. Today's Crimson White has an article about the students who use a little outdoor "free speech area" to preach to students walking by. Some of the group's tactics are fine, even admirable: they read passages from the Bible and talk about them, sometimes encouraging a dialogue. If this helps students make more informed choices, then great. It also encourages debate, which is (arguably) the purpose of higher education.

"I try to make people heckle me so I can engage them and preach to them," he said. "It's more fun for people. It's good to act a bit dumb sometimes. It's good to make statements that are politically incorrect."

The article doesn't talk about anyone challenging the preachers' right to preach, but it does describe some disagreements and times of tension that the preachers caused.

Alex Perkins, a senior majoring in theatre, said Venyah's tactics go too far.

On Monday afternoon, Perkins asked Venyah a question. Venyah started pointing at Perkins, referring to him only as "you homosexual." Perkins said he became irritated and asked not to be pointed out, but Venyah told him to be quiet and shouted that homosexuals were taught by Satan.

"I find that incredibly offensive," Perkins said. "I think [Soulwinners is] just as militant as [Armstrong] is, but more offensive."

Venyah said he did Perkins a service.

"I just told him the truth," he said. "It's not Christ telling men to have sex with men, to masturbate, to drink alcohol. That's the devil."
The preacher singled out someone in a crowd and called him "you homosexual." Just because Jesus did something, it does not mean that you have the authority to do it. Thoughts on this?

Freedom of speech probably covers this type of behavior, but I'm not sure about that. Simple ethics -- respect for others -- would seem to prohibit it.


Anonymous said...

On Tuesday, Brother Micah told all of us who were protesting the war that we were going to hell. Hmm...protesting the death of many people = going to Hell??? Ok, just checking. Thanks for the clarification Brother Micah.

Guy Fawkes said...

These clowns did the same thing at my undergraduate school. They would stand in the "open air forum" areas when it was warm outside and yell at passing women that they were going to hell for wearing shorts.

Sharon said...

It's amazing to me how political ultimatums can end up as religious ultimatums, or vice versa. What does one have to do with the other?