UVM preacher should opine somewhere else

Screen Shot 2015-10-25 at 5.00.46 PMA few weeks ago, I was walking through the quad when I saw a middle-aged man standing on a rock, yelling, waving his arms around and holding a black  leather Bible in his hand.

A throng of college students had formed around him, and for a moment I thought they were actually being touched by whatever radical revelations he was spitting at them. Then a young man jumped onto the rock and began twerking behind him, and the whole crowd laughed.

Despite this public mockery, the religious man continued to power through his speech. He was talking about how our professors will not give us the answers we are looking for.  He said that they are filling our heads with the wrong messages, and that there is only one place where we can find the truth.

He then slapped his Bible and held it up, like Rafiki holding up Simba in “The Lion King”: over his head, so that the black leather shone in the sunlight. Not long after the twerking boy, another man hopped onto a rock on the other side of the walkway.

Facing the crowd, he began lecturing on something he claimed to be the ultimate truth. This truth, which was revealed as his speech went on, had to do with the nutritional value of milk. In other words, this man was satirizing the efforts of the radical Christian, and he proved to be much more successful in captivating the audience. Many people turned to the new speaker.

Others in the mass began to audibly criticize the Christian man. One girl turned around, cupped her hands to her mouth and yelled, “If all people are supposed to be equal, then why does the Bible say we should burn women?”

This got a stampede of applause from those around her that drowned out the voice of the Christian man. In response to this contention, the veins bulged out on his neck; he was red as a tomato about to burst. In a high, exasperated voice, he squealed, “It does not say that!”

Amidst the congregation between the two yelling men, I found myself standing between two halves of our big, bellicose nation. In one half, you could say whatever you wanted. In the other half, you could accept the fact that all people have different opinions on things, especially those concerning such controversial and inconclusive topics like religion.

So then, was it okay for the Christian to stand up on a rock in the middle of the quad and begin sharing his creed? Or was it inconsiderate and slanderous?

He certainly did not go about telling his theology in the right way. He bravely stood in the middle of an extremely liberal college campus and denounced the very teachings of the university. He was not being kind, either. His passion was overcome by his forcefulness. Apparently, no one ever told him that shoving the Bible down peoples’ throats is not the best way to gain approval.

When someone shouts at you, your natural response is not to be accepting.

Christianity is the largest religion in the world. It needs no introduction. To defend this man would be the same thing as delcaring “White Lives Matter” after “Black Lives Matter” when the whole point of the “Black Lives Matter” campaign is to raise awareness about the injustices being done to the black community in our country.

People are already aware of Christianity, although many people form their opinions about it based on misinformation or ignorance. If you are a Christian, it is perfectly alright to properly inform people of what you believe Christianity is all about.

That is your entitlement: to be able to speak without shame or fear. Portraying yourself as someone who is pretentious and arrogant, thinking you have the only rational opinion, does not lie within those bounds.

Radical Christian man who suffocated us with your surly remarks, I speak directly to you: next time you want to get people to listen to you, show a little more respect, have a little more grace and a little less saliva.