Dear Religious Leaders who Shout at Students;
You’re the reason no one wants to be religious. This is coming from a girl who has had the rosary memorized since she was five. You come here with your picket signs and your hateful speech, for what?
You march your way across the Cal State Long Beach campus, parking yourselves in the most trafficked area, knowing you’re going to ruin someone’s day with your hate speech. You think that yelling and screaming at people that they’re going to hell, basically for being humans, will make them want to confess their sins, drop their bags and accept Jesus into their lives?
I’m going to lay it all out on the table. I’m a Christian—well, technically. A believer would be a better use of the word since I have found that organized religion is not my cup of tea.
I was baptized and raised Catholic and could recite half the Bible by age 10. Like any typical Catholic school girl, I kneeled when I prayed, did the sign of the cross anytime I walked into a holy place and made sure my school uniform was an appropriate length so it didn’t attract any boys since that was the Devil’s work.
After being incessantly bullied by my “very Catholic friends,” I transferred to a Christian school and felt that I had found my home. Jesus roamed these halls as if he was a close friend. Worship songs weren’t sung without at least 50 hands in the air singing praises to the holiest of places.
But then I started to learn some ugly truths. I learned that the school’s archival rulebook stated that if you got pregnant while enrolled, you’d get expelled, even though every day there was a lesson on how much Jesus loved and cared for his children. Apparently, pregnant teenagers at a Christian school were exempt.
This made me realize that something about the institution of organized religion, like these sadistic picketers on campus, is what is wrong with the world. Why is it that religious people believe they are better, and holier than thou because they believe in God?
News flash people, Jesus was a homie. He hung out with prostitutes and murderers, drank wine and questioned authority. He was a human, just like you and me. And his most important message was forgiveness and love.
“‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these,” is a direct quote from the same Bible that these bigots wave around in our faces. This book, filled with the love, care and adoration that Jesus had for every single human, is the same book these people use to spread hate and bigotry. All while we peacefully try to walk from point A to point B on campus.
These people try to convince us they are doing us a public service by shoving their hypocritical beliefs down our throats and threatening us with the burning pits of Hell.
This is a world where people should be free to make up their mind however they please. You believe in Jesus? Right on. Buddha? Good for you. Nobody? Not a problem. That is no one’s decision to make but yours.
“There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers,” Proverbs 6:16-19. According to this statement, these picketers are headed for Hell a lot faster than we are.
Students, faculty, anyone who gives a rip about this public nuisance on campus: we have got to stop giving these people the right to ruin our days. Only you have the ability to let others’ opinions affect you. My suggestion for the next time these jerks come on campus? Walk right by and flash them your best smile, because guarantee, it will ruin their day.
A girl who loves Jesus, but hates religion