By Lindsey Rager
October 4th, 2012
“You’re going to hell”—it’s a phrase most of us have heard within many different contexts throughout our lives. But outside of Bentley on September 10th, the phrase was used sincerely, and thus damningly, by religious zealots.
Those passing by had varied responses to this display: some chose to cringe and walk away, some shouted back, some simply rolled their eyes. I simply gave a repulsed look, turned up the volume on my iPod, and kept on walking. Despite the music blasting, I could almost hear the entire campus sigh an overwhelming “This gives Christians a bad name.” What I found most shocking, though, was most people’s responses when I brought it up in conversation. They told me, “Oh, you’re obviously a freshman. They actually do this every year.”
But just because it’s common, doesn’t mean we have to be comfortable with it.
I don’t have a problem with people who are religious, or even people who want to spread their religious views in a less in-your-face way. But has anyone ever been converted to a new religion after being blatantly insulted?
I suppose that is assuming that their goal is to spread Christianity. Certainly, if their goal was to just get people talking about religion, they succeeded. This type of demonstration, however, gives more credence to those who say that religion is too quick to condemn nonbelievers.
It’s ironic that one of the biggest tenets of Christianity is to accept others, regardless of their differences, but these people chose to sentence everyone else to hell, as opposed to simply informing them of their beliefs. A booth with friendly faces, and informative pamphlets about Jesus would have been much more appropriate and effective. Perhaps it wouldn’t have spread the word as broadly, but at least it wouldn’t be a word that paints all of Christianity badly. So, to those who were part of this demonstration, I think you missed the biggest point of your faith.