Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Walking to Class...

"Hey, did you come here for that crazy preacher guy?"

"Whaa..?" I muttered, nearly unintelligibly, back to him. The day's barrage of classes had worn me down, to say the least.

"Yea, he said feminists are going to hell because they want more freedom then they deserve or something! This dude totally owns his wife! He said earlier that dirty dancing is a sin, so some girl started grinding up right next to him. So awesome!"

"I'll have to check it out," I stated unenthusiastically as I walked to class. Sure enough, right outside the building where I was about to take an Anthropology exam, the man was there. He wore a well-trimmed black beard, with a 1920s paper boy beret atop his head and dated attire that appeared as if the mothballs had only recently left its premises. I noticed his sign, a laundry list of sins as common on this campus as Saturday night public intoxication charges and 2 a.m. Pancheros runs. Bubbly girls practically bursting with mockery rushed up to the pillar he was standing upon merely to take pictures, sent off to curious friends in class, while testosterone fueled machos challenged his views with blunt profanities and base insults as creative and insightful as an episode of the "O'Reily Factor." The worst was when the man received a call from his supposedly subservient "missus" back home at God-knows-where, only to become swarmed with crude remarks about "your husband cheating on you" or "why don't you pay taxes you "f*****g idiot," or when he quietly whispered about his father's alcoholism, largely to an empty crowd who had finished participating in their demeaning another person for the day, made much easier when that person seems so artificial and distant from what we see as humanity. Granted, this man was spouting absurdities, not grounded in reality, condemning the immoral masses to hell whilst preaching a literal interpretation of the Bible and professing to be a virtual saint himself. To take that, for lack of better word, bull seriously would be a gross ignorance and silly fodder for playful harassment from your friends. But something about the whole scenario just left me feeling uneasy, uncomfortable, not right. No matter the man, to treat another person as something sub-human, worthy of being treated like a dog, just isn't right. Yes, some culpability is on his part for coming to one of the most liberal universities in the Midwest and preaching of hellfire and brimstone, but this curb side preacher is just a voice, a voice like many other voices, who can be ignored, but never stomped and spat upon. People were so venomous and mean-spirited in their comments, malicious in their stares, that I was exposed to a dark, unrelenting side of humanity that nobody should want to see. When a human being is free from consequence, from nosy parents, church obligations, overbearing professors, or what have you, one is capable of grave, blackened evils. When a human being is unrestrained, capable of reducing another human being to a lowly status where it feels appropiate to belittle and attack like a boyhood bully, then there is obviously something inherently wrong in all of us. I understand that nobody, including myself, respects the self-righteous, you're going to hell type of condemnation, and rightfully so, but I just don't see the benefit or satisfaction in lowering a person to that level in order to feel more comfortable about one's own immoral lives. This was mob mentality at it's finest, and even when justified, as it might have been today, it's a scary thing to witness. Who's with me??

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