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Just because they preach doesn’t mean you have to listen

As I’ve tried to make so abundantly clear in the past, I’m a proponent of universal equal rights, First Amendment ones included.

I’m thoroughly glad we are entitled to such freedoms, and my faith in the integrity of our constitutional rights is reassured every time I witness people exercising their First Amendment rights in public. Witnessing people making themselves heard amongst the public is quite a sight, and it furthers the democratic system to boot. Free speech is a great thing.

Except when people get too pushy with their free speech rights. And I’m sure you all know of whom I speak.

The preachers.

I surely don’t mean to convey the idea that these people should have their rights of expression stripped away. In truth, I believe they should be able to speak whatever they please. They possess the rights to do so.

However, they’ve picked a rather inconvenient spot – for us college students, that is – to preach aloud for half of all campus to hear. And that stands as quite a nettle in my side.

Preachers are nothing new to me. They pop up pretty much everywhere.

I was forced to deal with them in the past, as many of my fellow Carey, Ohio, natives also did. And during this past summer, I even ran into a handful of street preachers while on my way back from work.

And now that we’re back at school, I once again encounter the group that prides itself on spreading verbal sound pollution across the entire Union Oval.

As I stated before: they’re everywhere. And when they show up, they make their collective presence known.

Signs, flyers, pamphlets, matching shirts, fists full of Bibles and lots of angry and condemning diatribes are the tools of the trade for these preachers. Let it be known that they make maximum use of these resources.

I’m more than just sick of it. The level of pure displeasure which fills my entire body when I gain sight of these people at work is immeasurable.

They claim to come in the name of a benevolent God, preaching his word to us students at the University. Their words are anything but loving.

They call us sinners. They tell us to repent or perish. And they tell us if we don’t do exactly what their literal interpretation of the Bible orders us to do, we’re destined to be cast into the colossal lake of fire for all eternity.

Because they’re concerned for us. They apparently want to save us.

Yeah, right.

These proclamations they make to us students are nothing more than thinly veiled personal attacks on our individual codes of morality and spirituality. The smugness emanating from these people is palpable.

The hateful words they bellowed out are both xenophobic and anti-pluralistic, in addition to being outright impossible to counter.

Don’t even try to argue with them. Their circular logic will win out every single time. Count on it.

Amidst great change constantly making progress in our increasingly postmodern society, these people make orders that we all willingly adopt their extreme doctrines with open arms, lest we be condemned. These are scare tactics, nothing more.

In the past, I’ve written columns about these people, and how we should simply ignore them as a method of dealing with their trenchant words.

I stand by my recommendations to pay them no attention.

As long as their First Amendment rights stand, these preachers will continue to make use of them. Their collective audacity is admirable, but their message is ill-fitting to the heart of a college campus.

This doesn’t mean they will stop coming, however. I fear we are destined to deal with these people for quite some time to come.

Respond to Levi at [email protected]

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