A large crowd of students gathered around religious activist demonstrations on the plaza Wednesday, which included Sister Cindy holding a pole with used tampons and Brother Jed returning with his usual promises of fire and hell.
Video by Haleigh McGill
Sister Cindy was using the feminine hygiene products as props in order to compare sin to a “chocolate-covered, bloody tampon.” She went on to explain how “sin, like a used tampon, is unsanitary.”
Students stepped out of the crowd to take selfies with the woman and her bloody props in the background, while others recorded parts of her presentation on their phones or shouted their opinions and responses to both the content and the delivery of her message.
Later that day, students walking through the plaza were greeted with even more religious activist demonstrations.
“My message is: ‘You deserve Hell,’” said Brother Jed, who made another appearance on the CSU campus.
Students responded by trying to take back the iconic stump, which Jed preached upon, by forming a sitting circle around him. The goal was to distract from Jed’s message.
“You cannot stop these people from saying anything, but you can censor them,” said James Fisher, who participated in the protest to take back the stump. “If I stood in front of him with a gigantic white sheet, so nobody can see him, that would have exponentially more power. You cannot oppose him, you cannot get him to stop by directly contacting him but you can distract from what he’s speaking or acting or doing.”
Video by Jessie Trudell
“It’s just a conjuring of crazy,” said Alex Voller, freshman engineering science and international studies student.
Some onlookers expressed anger at the opinions being shared.
“He’s just an idiot that hates homosexuals,” said Brittany Clarke, junior biomedical science student.
Members of the crowd pulled out their cell phones and recorded video or took photos of the activists. Some students began taking selfies with Brother Jed.
Colorado State University students openly expressed their reactions to these religious demonstrations. Bailey Hohm, junior philosophy student, carried a sign that read “FREE HUGS” around the plaza in an attempt to counteract potential negativity emanating from the stump.
“The love is more powerful than anything going on here,” Hohm said.
Devin Wyatt, who dressed as Jesus to stand next to Brother Jed, offered his theory regarding the intentions of the demonstrations.
“I’ve found with people coming to campus is that many people think [the religious activists] are here to debate but they’re not here to debate but they’re here to preach and that’s a huge, huge difference that people need to recognize,” Wyatt said.
The demonstrators on the stump shared their views against homosexuality and premarital sex throughout the day, becoming especially enthused during high traffic hours in the plaza area. Elia Morales, freshman animal sciences major, offered her thoughts on what she calls “offensive statements.”
“They’re a group against homosexuality and that really pissed me off,” Morales said. “They said something about homosexuality being wrong and that God will only accept [homosexuals] if they repent.”
The activists’ arguments sparked both serious discussion and comedic entertainment for those who stopped by Wednesday.
“It’s a lot to take in. It’s great to voice an opinion but you need to be respectful,” said Jack Savoie, freshman fashion design student. “I think Jesus Freak just needs a chill pill.”
Collegian Reporter Jessie Trudell can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @JessieTrudell. Collegian Reporter Haleigh McGill can be reached at email@example.com, or on Twitter @HaleighMcGill. Collegian Reporter Lawrence Lam can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @LawrenceKLam.