Religion on Campus: See you in Hell

Man holding a sign while preaching at Fresno City College.

Photo by: Sara Ohler

Man holding a sign while preaching at Fresno City College.

Oh religion, the inescapable nuisance that surrounds me everywhere I go.

Listen, I don’t have a problem with people who identify themselves as religious. My problem lies with the people who think they can shove their beliefs down my throat along with the harmful ideologies that come from these religions.

On Sept. 19 I walked onto campus, listening to music and minding my own business. About 60 feet in and I notice a man, definitely not minding his own business, holding a sign with the word “repent” in giant letters while screaming into a megaphone how I and other students are going to hell.

You guessed it. He didn’t give the time of day to those who wanted to say their differences. He simply responded with bible verses.

This man was wearing an “abortion is murder” t-shirt, and his sign stated a lot of different reasons why someone will go to hell which a few of them were LGBTQA+, baby killers, loud women, liars, porn watchers, gamblers and get this, “lukewarm” Christians. Not even people who identify as Christians are safe apparently. 

Unless of course you are as hateful and closed minded as this “Christian.”

This is what I mean when I talk about harmful ideologies. Religious trauma is real.

Addictions are real and it’s a sickness that plagues people. Condemning someone to hell while yelling at them isn’t going to magically heal them.

Women are allowed to be as loud as they please and deserve the right to their own bodily autonomy. People love who they love.

Why is it ok for somebody to come on to campus preaching hate to a diverse group of students who I’m sure almost everybody fits into at least one of the many descriptions on his sign? I know I do. How are students supposed to feel safe on campus if they’re being berated by a hateful man?

Yes, I understand what freedom of speech is and I understand the importance of it. I am a journalism major after all. 

But, college campuses are allowed to prohibit non-students from using facilities, including preaching. And in my ideal college experience world, I would really like to walk on campus without being condemned to hell.