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Christian Extremists Protest at University, Claim Students are Bound for Hell

Christian Extremists Protest at University, Claim Students are Bound for Hell
Susan Dutca-Lovell

All was quiet on DePauw University's campus in Greencastle, Indiana on Wednesday until a group of Bible-carrying protesters arrived, shouting that students who engaged in "unholy behaviors," including homosexuality, excessive sexuality, drug and alcohol use, and masturbating, were going to hell. The group of confrontational evangelists, also known as "Bro. Jed's School of Evangelism" Campus Ministry USA, are allegedly known for organizing campus protests and are not affiliated with a particular church. Students ignored the protest at first but soon hundreds of students gathered, bringing gay pride flags and chanting "we have nothing to lose but our chains."

Protestors spewed slurs to students and passersby, calling men "evil" and women promiscuous as well as asking students how many STDs they had. DePauw University's president and student government representatives appeared as well to support students. President Brian Casey organized a campus gathering in Ubben Quad that same day to have students "show solidarity and support for one another." In his mass email, he acknowledged the First Amendment which "guarantees the right to free speech on public grounds - even for messages filled with hate and animosity." Initially, students had tried ignoring the protestors by not giving them a reaction; the demonstration intensified with speakers, music and a growing crowd. Only two students were detained, including one who threw coffee at the protestors and no one was arrested. Protestors were escorted off campus around 1:50 pm and the crowd slowly trickled away. The protests are suspected to have been held in opposition to Bi Visibility Day, observed September 23rd.

Do you think the First Amendment protects the group's demonstration? Was the protest handled appropriately? Leave us your thoughts in the comment section. And if you're passionate about protecting people's rights, check out some of our law scholarships.

Comments (12)
Sara S 11/13/2015
I'm a Christian and I do believe that homosexuality is a sin but I am not the judge of what is right or wrong. I will treat a homosexual as i would any other person. Jesus Christ will judge everyone on judgement day and people who come to university campuses are wrong with how they slander the student body. They are the ones judging and you only judge yourself through being ritous. The rest is for heavenly father to decide. I pay a lot for school and should not have to listen to this.
Terri B 10/7/2015
The student who threw the coffee should be reprimanded, no excuse for physical confrontations. If it was the other way around, I think the protestor would have been arrested. I feel that the protestors could have been more peaceful and perhaps handed out pamphlets that could inform students of their beliefs. I am a Christian and do not agree with homosexuality, yet I don't believe that others should be called names and looked down upon. And I also feel that everyone has free will, if homosexuals want to get married, they should have the right to do so. We all need help with making the right choices in life. Everyone has the right to their own opinions and should not be labeled as a homophobe for not agreeing with homosexuality. But we need to respect each other and love one another like the bible teaches. Love thy neighbor even if we disagree with each other.
Terri B 10/7/2015
I understand that people may not like the message, but there is no excuse for getting physical. That student that threw the coffee may need anger management and sh
Keshna J 10/4/2015
God created everything and everyone for a reason, either they will sin or not we were all born with sin. God never said to be gay/lesbian and nor did he say to judge others decision. The world became cruel and we all have to expect the cruel in the world.
Robert H 9/30/2015
I believe that as long as the protest did not get violent then this did not violate any rights. I'm not agreeing or disagreeing with either side.I believe in the complete right to say what you want even if I disagree with it.
Candace S 9/29/2015
One day God will Judge us all and he will not be asking us about someone else sins but he will be going by the way we treat others. Sometimes it takes someone to tell you you are wrong for you to believe their is a change that needs to be made. People shouldn't be hated for believing the truth. Be wise and do better.
Ivana k 9/28/2015
Though they are protected morally they are enhancing hate rather than interest to join their cause, such as the Sunni and Shia debate over the true meaning of " Jihad" just as these students are doing misinterpreting the bible and it's true messages and trying to justify their reasoning by doing so behind a title of " Christians "
Chris T. 9/27/2015
We have to remember, as much as we may not like it sometimes, there can be no "except for" in the First amendment. Everyone has the right to speak. Having said that, there is nothing in the in the First amendment that protects a person's rights to be an ***hole, pardon the language. Considering how much the protesters were taunting everyone they came across, I think they should feel lucky a vast amount of hate filled people in the world today are other Bible-bashers!
Torey A 9/26/2015
This comment is in continuation of my previous comment: I believe the objection of plurality of claims as an argument to believing in the opinion of a foundational God is unreasonable, because a foundational truth is this: that whoever seeks something will find it. If you are looking for the truth, and you value it more than your own mindset, then you will find the truth. It is for those who rely on their own understanding that don't find it. I believe we are all imperfect, and that it is impossible on our own to make it to peace in regard to the things I have talked about so far. Interestingly enough, this further confirms the point: our imperfection necessitates the intervention of a divine being to establish us in life. If you, the reader, are reasonable, you will at least consider what I say and test it according to the facts of the world around you, which will inevitably point to the word that created it. Regards.
Torey A 9/26/2015
I believe as a society of humans we've forgotten that we've been made. No one argues the fact that they were made by their parents, whom they know personally, but in terms of a God who hides Himself, people don't seek to know Him. I believe that there is one Creator and no other God before Him or after Him, and that one day He alone will be exalted. How does this claim apply to the subject at hand? It does in this way: if God is the foundation of all phenomena, then His opinion is right. If all people acknowledge this, there is no argument. I believe that people are skeptical. Surely so, for I am skeptical too. For good reason also, because the study of logic would lead one to acknowledge that multiple contradicting claims cannot both be true in the same way at the same time. Due to the plurality of these claims, we are faced with difficult choices. If a claim does not fit their existing perspective, most people toss it out, and only slightly modify their epistemology (worldview).
Briyana H 9/25/2015
The first amendment does protect those radical protesters, because the amendment does state that all citizens have a right to freedom of speech. However, I do not believe that this demonstration was handled appropriately, because these protesters were willingly putting down others in the process of demonstrating their radical beliefs.
Miracle A. 9/25/2015
The First amendment protects the protesters even though they showed hate in those students choice of lifestyle. The situation was handled well but could have been better. The point of the protest was for attention and retaliation, at first the students neglected them although at the end they broke and fell for the protesters goal.
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