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Damned to hell, we look the part

Self+proclaimed+%22confrontational+evangelist%2C%22+Isidro+Mendoza%2C+prepares+to+speak+to+students+at+California+State+University%2C+Long+Beach+on+Tuesday%2C+Oct.+13th.+Mendoza%2C+states%2C+%E2%80%9CI+just+go+out+and+share+the+love+of+God.%E2%80%9D+%0ADanielle+Delgado+%7C+Daily+49er%0A
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Damned to hell, we look the part

Self proclaimed

Self proclaimed "confrontational evangelist," Isidro Mendoza, prepares to speak to students at California State University, Long Beach on Tuesday, Oct. 13th. Mendoza, states, “I just go out and share the love of God.” Danielle Delgado | Daily 49er

Self proclaimed "confrontational evangelist," Isidro Mendoza, prepares to speak to students at California State University, Long Beach on Tuesday, Oct. 13th. Mendoza, states, “I just go out and share the love of God.” Danielle Delgado | Daily 49er

Self proclaimed "confrontational evangelist," Isidro Mendoza, prepares to speak to students at California State University, Long Beach on Tuesday, Oct. 13th. Mendoza, states, “I just go out and share the love of God.” Danielle Delgado | Daily 49er

Mark Webster, Junior Political Science Major

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I never thought I’d defend a man holding up sign saying “homo no more,” yet here I am, a gay man, and that’s what I’m about to do.

 

No, I’m not here to defend the words of hate-filled lunatics who claim to be Christian. I’m here to say we could’ve stopped the phenomenon. Instead, we’ve managed to make them look like the adults in the room.

            

For the uninitiated, California State University, Long Beach and many colleges around the country have “free speech zones.” These are zones in which the most inflammatory, hateful speech can be said with reckless abandon with no threat of retaliation by the school itself.

 

Such zones are generally filled with exactly one type of speaker: “Christian” crusaders holding signs damning fags to hell, masturbators to hell, whores to hell.

 

Everyone, it seems, is going to hell.

 

They can quote the entire Bible back at you, but they’d rather focus on the most hateful words of Leviticus. They are preachers of hate under the guise of Christianity, and almost universally hated on campus.

                

Yet, somehow, they are not the most annoying.

               

That title falls to their audience: students who would rather shut down speech with which they disagree than have a meaningful voice in opposition.

            

Indeed, if you come across one of these “Christian” mongers of hate, you will no doubt be subject to the buffoonery of their opponents. What part of our higher education has taught us that, in a war of opinion, twerking is a reasonable debate strategy? How does shocking vulgarity for the sake of vulgarity make us the morally righteous? In an attempt to silence the ridiculous, we’ve managed to make them look like the adults.

                

No. We’re not better than these bigots, we created them.

               

Step into the shoes of the man who comes to college campuses in order to preach the word of God. What do you see? Women explicitly spreading their legs in opposition to the word of abstinence. Students calling the Bible a “rag of hatred” in response to the word of the Lord.

 

Oh – and the twerking, because why not?

                

Such responses easily make us look like the hell-bound sinners these people claim we are. And thus we begin a self-fulfilling prophecy: They say we need Jesus, and we attempt to silence them in a way that suggests they’re right. They become more extreme in the face of our actions, and we take the bait.

               

Drowning out a voice doesn’t make it go away, it makes the other side shout louder, and harbor contempt for opposition. It fuels the anger we’re trying to quell, and even justifies their speech.

               

If we are to become the educated adults I imagine we all came to college to become, we must learn there are better ways to express ourselves than silencing the opposition.

                

We must find our own voice to begin the conversation, not end the discussion. Until then, we’re just a circus of delusional hate-filled “Christian” wackos and hell-bound twerking hooligans, and nobody wins. 

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