A woman stood in the middle of a circle of students on September 8. Several onlookers said his words were nothing but silly, derogatory shame. In response, the students turned the bird over and smoked from the pot in direct challenge.
It was a stop on “Slut Shaming Show” by Cynthia D. Lasseter Smock (known as Sister Cindy on social media). Since the start of the pandemic, preachers have been heading more and more to central campuses to warn students of what they say are sinful acts.
However, the students present declared that they did not come away with a new appreciation of God. Instead, they said the gatherings are an unconventional form of entertainment.
Ethan Morady, a freshman at ACES, watched Sister Cindy’s “Slut Shaming Show” with humorous amusement, not taking the gospel seriously.
“I think it’s pretty funny,” Morady said. “I really don’t care, it’s more than entertainment.”
Several students shared Morady’s perspective on the embarrassing scene. Jona Elam, a second year LAS student, was not concerned about the verbiage used by Sister Cindy. However, she said the reaction from the students was indicative of a broader climate of online preaching.
“I’m Jewish, so theologically I don’t agree with that,” Elam said. “I think it’s really remarkable how much reaction she gets from people, especially since I don’t think she is effective or that she is crafting her opinions. She’s notorious on TikTok at this point.
Elam linked this event to the youth movement away from organized religion and said she believed the crowd that had gathered disagreed with her rhetoric.
Brother Mitch, a Campus Ministry USA volunteer, said he came 89 miles from his home in Indiana to help facilitate the “Slut Shaming Show.” He said campus preaching is vital to spreading the gospel of God because young adults will determine the future of religion in America.
“We are following the basic command of Jesus,” said Mitch. “The college age is quite the perfect age because these are the future leaders of our nation in all walks of life. Be it economy, government, science, technology, entertainment, etc. We seek to win over the lost, so that they are disciplined and have a vision for their lives and that of the nation.
Mitch specifically said the University’s LGBTQ + community is an example of widespread sin and warned of dire consequences.
“They must be afraid,” Mitch said. “God does not carry his sword in vain. Whether it is gay, drug addict, thief, liar, shoplifter, adultery, all sin is bad and will ultimately be punished.
Other preachers on campus have said they agree with these beliefs. This is the case of David Ramirez, a missionary from Arizona who says he traveled to CU to spread his divine wisdom.
With all of this happening in close proximity to the student body, many students believe the University should take action. Robin Kaler, associate chancellor for public affairs at the university, said the university could legally do nothing.
“We are a public university,” Kaler said. “So most of our outdoor spaces are accessible to the general public as long as they adhere to relevant policies such as Quadrangle noise and Demonstration and protests Strategies. The First Amendment of the US Constitution offers strong protections related to the content of speech and expression. As always, when students, faculty and staff feel threatened by others, they can access the assessment and intervention team with biases. report process. “
The university is home to many students who identify as members of the LGBTQ + community, many of whom feel uncomfortable with much of the rhetoric used by these preachers. Jonathan Gossett, a second year student at LAS, is a member of the community and shared his reactionary thoughts on the practices of campus preachers.
“While I totally respect preachers and anyone who wants to practice and share their religious beliefs, I think it is not fair to use such beliefs in a negative connotation,” Gossett said. “When it comes to the influx of preachers and other religious affiliates on campus, it’s frustrating, but it doesn’t surprise me either. “
Gosset went on to point out the times of political division today and the fact that religion plays a role in this area.
However, their rhetoric doesn’t just target the LGBTQ + community. It primarily targets women, identifying them as the main sinners.
Mikayla Brechon, Senior Ambassador for CHAARG, a women’s athletics and empowerment group, witnessed such rhetoric and expressed her disdain.
“It’s obviously upsetting for us,” said Brechon. “All we are are pro women, and having a group behind us that somehow limits our voices and our rights, our bodies, the choice to do whatever we want with it, goes to the against what we say. “
The preachers are not only found on the quad, but rather all over Campustown in what they said are sinful environments.
On September 4, people wearing black T-shirts spoke to celebrating students gathered outside the Red Lion across the street to engage in prayer.
These people are members of Jesus Illinois, a group that encompasses several local churches with the goal of spreading their gospel.
Jay Peters, media representative for Jesus Illinois, spoke about the group’s mission on campus – spreading prayer.
“We felt the Lord wanted us to go (outside of Red Lion) and bring hope,” Peters said. “They can know that hope is not just a philosophy, they can know that hope is a name, and that is Jesus.”
Ali Samani, a sophomore at LAS, partied Friday night with fellow actuarial science majors in Murphy’s basement. He shared his take on the negative rhetoric thrown by preachers towards revelers like him.
“I think these types of preachers got the wrong idea,” Samani said. “I don’t think they know what they’re talking about, and it’s safe to say that they haven’t been to the parties themselves. I don’t think there is a problem with kids trying to have fun, anyway. This is kind of the goal of college.