Bless their sacrilegious little hearts, the students are trickling back onto campuses everywhere, and doing their part to stir up freethinking mischief. Skatje and Collin are going to be recruiting for the UMM Freethinkers tonight, offering the incoming freshman cookies for their souls and handing out pamphlets. They’re going to have to work harder to top the latest godless scandal at Lorain County Community College in Ohio, where students put up a provocative poster. People were very upset, for some reason, and the poster has since been taken down.
There are lots of comments from students who simply don’t get it.
“You can’t portray Jesus like that. He believes in matrimony, that relationships like that should be done inside matrimony,” sophomore Brianna Holland said.
She said she believes homosexuality is wrong because she is a Christian, but she also said she is proud that her religion teaches tolerance and acceptance.
Why can’t you portray Jesus like that? Were there no gay people in the Middle East in the first century? I’m neither Christian nor homosexual, but I think the poster actually flatters their diety, making him out to be both human and hot. The story behind this encounter is terribly apocryphal, and about as reliable as the stories of loaves and fishes, but it doesn’t say anything bad about Christianity.
The remarks from Ms Holland do, though. So she’s proud of her tolerance and acceptance, and she just thinks homosexuality is wrong, eh? It’s commendable that she doesn’t spout hellfire at them, but there’s something wrong here…
“I have a lot of homosexual friends. I’m not going to tell them they’re going to hell. That’s something they have to take care of between them and God,” Holland said.
God is a useful bully. She doesn’t have to condemn them, she just knows that God will take care of them…probably with the pokers and the lake of fire and the demons and the burning man-bosoms and all that.
Student aide Jessica Hodge said she felt the poster would “pollute the minds” of her children, ages 2 and 5, if they saw it.
“It looks like soft-core pornography,” she said. “I don’t think they’re making a statement at all. They just want to shock everyone.”
Oh, dear. Should colleges all moderate their discourse so it is acceptable to a 2-year-old? Let’s make the university look like a Baby Einstein ad, with lots of plushies and babies and colorful didies, and no controversy at all!
While I sympathize with wanting to shelter kids from the worst of the world until they’re old enough to cope, this picture shows two men hugging — not gang rape, incest, or children being mauled by bears. It shows the kind of values I’d want my kids to absorb — that there is love in the world. It’s a pretty good statement.
A Christian, Hodge said she doesn’t try to force her opinions on others. Questioning religion is fine, but mocking it isn’t, she said.
Man, what a line. Why shouldn’t mocking bad ideas be fine? There’s a long history of satire and comedy that’s all about making fun of widely held ideas — you don’t get much of it on Bob the Builder or Sesame Street, but hey, the college is a place for young adults. They can take it.
I’m all for good, loud, raucous mockery, especially of religion, but this isn’t it. It’s two men in an affectionate pose! How does it mock religion…unless of course, you’re committed to the narrow dogmas of a sect and think any violation of your taboos is accusatory.
Sophomore Dejoune Grantham said the poster is libelous and blasphemous, and in her opinion it isn’t protected by the First Amendment.
“I don’t want my children walking through here and seeing that. It’s filthy,” she said.
Again with the little kiddies defense! Now, who is being libeled? Jesus? Then he can come down and sue. What about the blasphemy? It’s a victimless ‘crime’, you shouldn’t just be able to shut down free speech because it violates your weird dogma, otherwise I’m going to start a religion that finds Republicans heretical and conservatives in general to be offenses against my god, the Dude, and silence Fox News and the Religious Right at last.
It’s a theme. Here’s another histrionic mommy hiding behind her children.
Another sophomore, Amber Cales, said the poster was in a public place, and it was easily seen by anyone who passed. She said that took away her right as a parent to shield her children from controversial ideas.
She said she also felt the poster was just taking a pot-shot at Christianity instead of protesting all religious expression.
“You know if it was something about Judaism or Islam, it wouldn’t be tolerated,” she said.
You knew the Fatwah Envy was coming. Listen, lady, you don’t get to pretend that your faith makes you more tolerant than other faiths while making a passive-aggressive whine to suppress speech you dislike.
The president of the atheist group at LCCC, Aaron Weaver, has a good explanation of their intent.
“The purpose of the poster is to get students to see something they haven’t seen before,” he said. “The chances are it challenges them to challenge something they thought they knew.”
Sure, the poster was attention-seeking, but ultimately Weaver said he just wanted to create enough buzz to get people debating and thinking about why they believe what they believe.
“I understand that people will be offended. People will sometimes be offended for the most ridiculous of reasons,” he said.
He said his fellow students have the right to practice their religions and to express themselves in any way they choose.
Right on. When you’re fighting dogma, the only way to accomplish anything is to shake people up and make them think. It’s an excellent poster for making students think about both religion and homosexuality — and it wouldn’t be as effective if there weren’t so many people ready to be offended. Offend away!
Well, if the university will let you.
He said he was shocked to learn the college had a policy that bans students from mocking religion, or any idea, for that matter. The policy is a clear violation of the First Amendment, Weaver said.
These pernicious speech codes are a blight on the American university. A rule that says you can’t mock religious belief is absurd and unenforceable, but greatly desired by the feeble Christians who fear that their faith is eminently mockable.
Here’s something to make Amber happy. Somebody provided the death threats for her (these things always boil down to death threats from someone in the religions of peace and love crowd).
And Weaver said he didn’t just take a shot at Christianity. On Wednesday, he put up a picture of the prophet Mohammed — an act strictly forbidden in the Islamic faith.
He said that about 2:20 p.m. Wednesday, he received a death threat in response to the picture, which read, “With love and missiles.” He took the picture down, turned over the note to campus security officers and went home.
“I put myself at risk, but I do so freely. I don’t let fear or the threat of death stop me from speaking my mind freely,” he said.
Good for Aaron! Over the last few years, I’ve been wondering where all the bold college activists had gone to — they’re reemerging in campus freethought groups.
Not to diminish his efforts, but I’d appreciate it if vocal, aggressive college activists would also speak up in student Democrat organizations and peace parties. There are lots of places at universities where progressive rational voices ought to be shouting out loudly.