When the sun comes out in full display, the crazies come out and want to play.
The university I go to is smack dab in the center of the largest city in the state. This city has a reputation of being eccentric, liberal, and full of hippies and hipsters alike. About 29,000 people attend this school and thousands of students pass through the heart of campus, the Park Blocks, everyday.
Bring on the Bible thumpers.
“Homosexuality is a sin!”
All right, pretty tame by Jesus freak standards. Heard this before. Next.
“All sinners are going to Hell.”
Yawn. Yeah, yeah, we know. Anything else?
“Depression is the accumulation of your sins.”
Which inspired this reply from a student: “No, f#ckhead, it’s biological.”
Now we’re getting somewhere. Time to grab some lunch and watch the rest of the show.
Proselytizers love standing on the benches in the Park Blocks to spout the mighty word of God – or their superior interpretation of it at least. It never fails to draw a crowd – and oh what a crowd we have today. Let the monkey show begin.
Most times, these people are harmless and easy to ignore. They just stand around shouting to the air and whomever is bored or mildly interested enough to listen. Sometimes, there are multiple people, however and they carry large signs with bold letters that read: “God hates fags.” The leader will hold up a microphone to his religiously fouled mouth and preach what amounts to nothing more than bigoted hate speech.
Where’s the love? Whatever happened to God loving everyone? [Insert Carlin rant here]
These people in all their ignorance and spite are actually quite fascinating. I would love to catch a specimen and do some prodding tests to get to the bottom of what the hell they are and why the hell they do what they do.
Fortunately, those crazies with the signs haven’t been around recently. This day, it was just two guys, who traded shifts every couple of hours or so. I didn’t get to hear the rest of the first guy’s preaching as I was on my way to meet up with a friend, but I got to pass back by a little while later. The young guy had turned into a post-middle aged man.
The day was winding down, so there weren’t nearly as many people on campus and hanging out in the Park Blocks. The man still had a small audience in a semicircle in front of him, though. After buying a Coke, I joined the audience, picking a spot off to the side. From where I was positioned, I could only hear his louder proclamations. His mellower responses to the people directly in front of him were out of ear shot.
From what I could make out, he was talking about sex (ooo, scandalous). And based on the reactions of the people around him, it was the sexist, “religious purity” crap. Something to do with girls staying virgins until marriage. Dude, it’s a bit late to spread that message to a crowd of youngish liberal college students.
His speechifying then gravitated toward the reproductive organs.
“There is a flap of skin between the legs of a man called the scrotum.”
Man in crowd: “TESTICLES!”
“What is the female equivalent of the testicles?”
Woman in crowd: “Ovaries!”
No bother masking the sardonicism. “I’m a health major. Thank God for fifth grade sex ed!”
And so this went on for some time longer. I don’t really know why he was giving us an anatomy lesson. Something more about virginal girls, unclean sinful sex, his wife blah blah blah. And something to do with heterosexual coitus being the only God-ordained type of coitus. He made the cliched “the only purpose of sex is to reproduce” and that is why homosexual sex is bad bad bad. Another sexist comment.
Man in crowd: “And what about women who can’t have children? And women going through menopause?”
Your rational reasoning is wasted, sir. What’s the point? Preacher Man ain’t going to have his mind changed. I wonder how many minds Preacher Man has changed? I doubt he changed anyone’s perspective on our campus that day (but who knows, maybe he did. Probably not.)
As I was reaching the end of my bottle of Coke and attention span, I heard music a few dozen yards down the Park Blocks. It was the university acapella group. How refreshing. Some attention diverted from the hate and ignorance being squawked by the religious nut. Something positive and less tiresome to counteract the sex organ-obsessed Bible thumper.
I debated whether to stay with the Jesus freak or go to listen to the acapella group. The debate was a short one.
Just as I joined the small group of people enjoying the musical entertainment, the acapella group started whooping and cheering and setting off poppers. Back at the Bible thumper crowd, people started cheering and clapping, too.
It took me a moment to see why. A woman had her arms wrapped tightly around a man in a suit and they both looked ecstatic. They kiss. And hug. And kiss again. I’m not much a romantic sentimentalist *cough*yeahright*cough*, but the scene just tugged at my heart strings. The man gave the acapella group a Chesire cat grin and two big thumbs up. The newly engaged woman turns to see familiar faces, “omg, you’re here, and you’re here, too” etc, etc. She shows off the ring with a Chesire cat grin of her own.
Not bad. Finally, a message of love.
Now here’s George Carlin with a special message:
Thoughts on these type of folks? Have you had any run-ins with Bible thumpers?