Christian speakers evoke discomfort amongst student body

Alyssa Bunde
Staff Writer

This past Monday our campus was visited by two men that were aiming to preach the gospel of Jesus but ended up causing a gathering of students who seemed to feel more attacked than assisted. 

The spectacle began early in the day and lasted until later that evening. 

The crowd numbers fluctuated, ranging from small groups calmly discussing with the speakers to big crowds filled with yelling and cameras recording.

I sat down with one of the religious speakers, whose name was Keith, to ask why him and his partner were on campus and what their message was supposed to be. 

Keith explained the other speaker and himself are, “loose cohorts who just want to spread the gospel of Jesus.”

However, according to the students they were spreading more hate. 

At one point a couple students tried speaking with them and had asked the speakers to use their preferred pronouns. The religious speakers refused.

 When I asked for an explanation Keith stated, “I believe there is a real world, and If you’re born with a penis, you’re a man. If you’re born with a vagina, you’re a woman. This idea that I can just declare myself to be anything I want that’s where the rub comes in.”

Minnesota State University, Mankato student Michael shared his thoughts on the spectacle “He [the speaker] was being homophobic and transphobic. I actually spoke to him and he was picking to fight and wouldn’t listen to the whole reasoning, so at this point it’s almost an attention thing.”

Condoms were being blown up and passed around, students that opposed yelled back, many were recording, and even a Ouija board was brought out.

MNSU student Margarita participated in the Ouija board and stated, “Christians associate this [the Ouija board] with the satanic temple. So basically, this is to get a rise out of Christians, specifically Christians who are using this to demonize other people. So, this is to try to get him uncomfortable.”

Another student even went as far to spit on the religious speakers’ shoes to show her disdain. 

The student, who is choosing to remain anonymous, explained why she chose to do so. “Me spitting on him wasn’t because I hated him, it was because I honestly got enjoyment out of it, and it’s not a good thing by any means, but after dealing with so much hatred and rejection it gets to be a lot.”

She continued explaining why the speaker’s words upset her so much, “I’ve been spit on and beaten up for being transgender before. This guy was saying earlier that I was Satan’s work. In my opinion Jesus preaches love and peace, so people like that are just hypocritical to begin with.”

Other students also voiced their discomfort with the speaker’s presence. MNSU student Andrew stated, “I think he’s being inflammatory and pushing his opinion on people who don’t want to hear it.”

However, other students like Leena explained the whole event wasn’t all bad. 

She stated, “One of the guys was actually preaching good things about Christianity, but people just came in at different times and took it out of context and he used a lot of confusing analogies and metaphors.”

Other students seemed to be more curious than upset, gathering around the other speaker and calmly listening asking for more examples to his preaching.

Campus security also stayed close by to ensure things didn’t get too out of hand. 

However, the unease was evident among them when students would get closer to the speakers face. 

Free speech is allowed on the campus as long as it doesn’t grow violent. 

While the spectacle was quite long, it luckily didn’t grow violent, no one was injured, and that’s all one can hope for when a debate of this nature takes place.

Header photo by Maria Ly | MSU Reporter.

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