Column: The evangelists in Speakers Circle are preaching from a place where hate shouldn’t be

Preaching hate in Speakers Circle is not going to make people believe

Rachel Schnelle is a sophomore journalism major at MU. She is an opinion columnist who writes about student life for The Maneater.

With MU’s campus buzzing after the first few weeks of school, its students have experienced everything that comes with the beginning of a new year. From the beloved “hacky sack guy” to The Antlers heckling, I’ve experienced some pretty strange things on campus as a returning sophomore. Just recently, Speakers Circle has been filled with something unusual — evangelists preaching how Jesus can save you from all destruction. These preachings are not only problematic but counterproductive.

Being that MU is such a big university, it is very likely this is some students’ first encounter and impression of a Christian.

The evangelistic preacher eventually caused counter-protesting to occur. While these counter-protesters applauded themselves for shouting creative remarks back at them. It became counterproductive. Shouting hate back at hate only escalates the situation instead of alleviating it.

Last semester Daniel Rusk, “Brother Daniel,” and Jeff Mullen, “Saint Jeff” took to Speakers Circle to exclaim that "homo sex is sin," and that it is "evil to be gay." Being that MU is such a diverse and inclusive campus, they were not welcome. MU is home to students from all walks of life, no matter their skin color, race or sexual orientation. Rusk and Mullen’s preachings caused a counter-protest and LGBTQ allies to crowd around them.

Both groups of people were not only loud but also very problematic.

Neither side was facilitating a good conversation. If they had a calm and collected debate over their differences, then both sides of the event wouldn’t have been so destructive.

As someone with a religious background, I know this is not a way to spread the news of what being a good Christian is like. I believe as a true Christian that in order to make people believe, they have to quietly and calmly lead them in the right direction.

According to MU Engage, there are about 50 different religious organizations on campus. All of these organizations are successful because of the way that they bring in believers and members. They set up tables across campus and facilitate a calm and collected environment and actually get to know students as people, instead of judging them for the sins they’ve committed.

Being in a religious club on campus has allowed me to meet so many different Christians. Yet, I realized they all have one thing in common — they radiate love and compassion, just as Christ does.

If students attended a campus ministry event, they’d realize Christ is not a hateful God, but rather a loving one. The evangelistic protesters were preaching hate in a space where hate doesn’t belong.

Edited by Roshae Hemmings | rhemmings@themaneater.com

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