The area in front of the Stevenson Union is designated a Free Speech Zone. However, the most recent group to utilize this space caused an outcry from students.
On Tuesday Oct. 9, the Luke 10:2 ministries came to campus and preached their view of the Christian Gospel to the students. Their main talking point was homosexuality and how it is a sin. The group consists of various traveling evangelists who mainly tour college campuses.
“We don’t scream and holler,” said preacher Ken Lightsey. “We’re not the shock and awe crowd.”
According to Lightsey, the group’s only goal is to preach the gospel to as many people as possible. The group spends each morning with their own bible study and a preparation for the day’s preaching. The group then preaches for three to five hours as well as answers one on one questions afterward.
Though there are some Christians grateful for the group, some are not pleased.
“I’m extremely offended,” said junior Kristen Mosley, ASSOU’s director of gender and sexual diversity. “I do identify as queer and go to church every Sunday.”
Mosley agrees with their idea of spreading the gospel but believes that their methods are wrong. “There’s a way to go about it and this isn’t it.”
Eden Redmond, a junior and the resident assistant for Cascade Hall’s Gender Inclusive floor believes that this event can be something to spark thoughtful discussion with her community, but not during the time frame of the actual preaching.
“I don’t see this as an effective platform for cohesion, it just becomes a screaming match,” said Redmond. She plans to talk with her residents about their feelings of the incident.
While some students challenged the preachers head on, others tried to change the focus. Staff and supporters of the Queer Resource Center and Women’s Resource Center banded together with rainbow banners, passed out condoms and gave the week’s schedule for Pride Week. Other students played instruments and sang songs to redirect focus.