Old but gold: Religious groups respond to campus preacher

By Gwen Frost

The Episcopal and Lutheran clubs on campus want you to know that the hate-preachers are an exception, not the rule of religious life on campus.

Last Tuesday, October 24, the clubs held a small demonstration in Red Square, offering brownies and coffee to passersby, as well as an open-invitation to discuss their religiosity.

The previous day, a non-student took up to standing on the fountain in the Square with signs and preaching rhetoric that many students called “homophobic” and “offensive.” He continued to hammer the notion of the choice we all have between virtue and sin, due to our free-will, and reiterated multiple times that “homosexuals are going to hell.” However, he also wanted to emphasize that he was trying to save them from the fire, because he loved the homosexuals.

Sociology major Joshua Sheperd was sitting in stats class in Bond Hall when the crowd noise outside began to drown out their teacher. The person in the square was preaching “this idea of the blood of God will drown the sinner, very fire and brimstone,” said Sheperd.

A member of the Episcopal club and present in the counter protest on Tuesday, Sheperd said that the Monday preacher was not a Christian, they were a Christianist. Christianism is a political philosophy which holds that Christianity should be dominant and that it should hold power over all else– not a view that Sheperd seemed to think was very representative of the general ideology of Christians on Western’s campus.

The Episcopal and Lutheran campus clubs had agreed that the next time a protest such as Monday’s occurred, they would have a counter-protest the following day as a response. Reverend Josh Hosler explained that they were there to “clean the air and replace the hate with some love.” On Monday the atmosphere had been toxic, said Hosler, but “whoever that guy was, he doesn’t represent Christians in general.”

To learn more about getting with Episcopal Campus Ministry (EpiC), there are open meetings most Sundays at 6:30 in the Viking Union, room 462A. Check out their website: https://epicwwu.org/

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