Like it or not, the Repent America evangelist preachers came out to WCU last week and, well, they preached. While most would agree that they probably did not accomplish their objectives of convincing non-Christians to accept Jesus Christ into their lives and convincing pregnant students not to abort their children, what they did accomplish is far more important.They got a quiet campus talking. They even made students angry. The protests, at times, were laughable. There is a news story about Repent America on the front page of this issue, but here is a more in-depth recap, in case you missed the festivities:
The group began to set up shop around 11 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 5. Presumably parking behind Sykes, three members staked out the handicap ramp leading to Sykes. The rest began the march to Main Hall and the academic quad. Some carried signs that were bigger than their children, who, by the way, were walking next to them handing out anti-abortion pamphlets with photos of aborted fetuses on them. If you ever thought it was difficult to say no to a child, you have never been offered photos of bloodied babies aborted late in the third trimester. Boy, is that tough to resist.
Once all of the remaining members arrived outside of Main Hall, Repent America’s director, Michael Marcavage, began to strategically place his group’s members throughout the quad for maximum exposure. “More people will see you if you go here,” he said to a man with a large sign with a Bible verse on it, gesturing towards the pathway leading to Ruby Jones Hall.
The group even had a guitarist. We didn’t get his name, but we’re sure it will be well known after Universal Records signs him to a 10-year deal. He was singing a song that didn’t seem to have a name, but instantly became stuck in our heads as we’re sure it was designed to. Ohhhh, how did it go?
It’s a baby
Not a blob
It’s a baby
Not a molecular glob
It’s a baby
It’s a cute, little innocent, babyyyyyyyyy
We’ll work on uploading the audio to our Web site this week.
By this point, the counter-protest was getting underway. Students of the LGBTQA as well as students in general disagreement with the Repent members set up a stand to raise money. They asked on-lookers to donate a certain amount of money for every hour Repent America was on campus. Thus, the longer the group stayed, the more money they raised for a cause that is in complete opposition to theirs. The Repent America guitarist would often interrupt his own hymns to ask questions of the counter-protesters. The exchanges were almost friendly, as each side would play off the other to make their points that each saw as obvious facts.
If you would like more information about Repent America, check out their Web site: www.RepentAmerica.com. Don’t be turned off by the two links on the landing page. Most Web sites divide its visitors into “Christians” and “All Others.” Just a forewarning though: If you click “All Others,” you’ll be directed to a little quiz that will let you know whether or not “you are good enough to go to heaven.” If you are not a Christian, our guess is the quiz results will be negative. But if you can get past the quiz, Repent uploads photos of past protests, updates on the lawsuits they file against universities like ours and even an online form to make one-time or automatic monthly donations to their cause. And the good news is that if you want to join their group but don’t really know how to argue their side, they offer “evangelism training” to residents of the Philadelphia area that are willing to travel.
To conclude, we want to make it clear that The Quad takes no stand on the actual issues at hand. We, as a publication or group of editors, are not pro-life or pro-choice, nor do we have any one religious affiliation. We take offense, like many of you that we spoke to, with Repent America’s methods of fanatical protesting. As journalists, we respect the freedoms that Repent America exercises when they hold their demonstrations. But there is such a thing as tact, and a point of view is much more respected if it is shared in a way that does not devalue oppositional points of view. It seems hypocritical to preach strong Christian values while standing 10 feet away from a man singing “it’s not okay to be gay.”
Not much good can be said about Repent America. But sometimes, it takes a group like theirs to stir up an otherwise quiet student body.