I've had a few interesting conversations with the guy (and his wife...another lunatic), and it is simply mind boggling to see how a human being can completely abandon his sanity and use of mental reasoning for the sake of letting the Bible color into black and white his entire worldview.
According to him, you're going to hell for any of the following:
Having a Tattoo
Girls Showing Their Knees
Girls Showing Their Elbows
Girls Wearing Tight Pants
Girls Wearing Miniskirts
Kissing on the Mouth before Marriage
Holding Hands before Marriage
Groping Breast before Marriage
Having Premarital Sex
Having Anal Sex
Having Oral Sex
Judging People (He wasn't though, he was being honest)
Associating With Hollywood
Listening to “Gangsta Rap”, Techno, Christian Bands, and Rock and Roll
Believing in Evolution
Being a Woman (they're still paying for Eve's sin)
Being In a Sorority or Fraternity
Owning a Pet
Sin, Have Sinned, or Plan on Sinning in the Future
Oh yes, and you must listen to his "Homo Song".
I had the pleasure of hearing it today.
There are also a certain number of people who think making it illegal for these preachers to come to campus would be a good idea. I highly disagree. As John Stuart Mill argued, "Wecan never be sure that the opinion we are endeavoring to stifle is afalse opinion; and if we were sure, stifling it would be an evilstill."I'm personally grateful to attend a university that does not censor opinions, and I personally would fight for their right to spread this message, if only so that the rest of the world can be exposed to it and be better equipped to know why it is that we should reject their nonsense. This type of sermon reflects the kind of theology held by folks like the Westboro Baptist Church; which traces its roots to the type of Theology exposed by Jonathan Edwards in his famous sermon "Sinners at the hand of an angry God"To me, again, the problem is not so much religion, as it is people's use of religion to justify their bigotry. This guy is a misanthrope. He hates anyone who is different than he, and so he needs to justify that hatred somehow, and what better way to justify it than to use the Bible? I don't think his hatred of homosexuals came from having read the Bible. His bigotry was more than likely already established by his cultural background (he's from Kentucky), and then was allowed to nourish and gain an air of legitimacy once he became a Christian. This guy is a xenophobe, and he needs to vent said phobia somehow. Its sad, but I can't find myself hating them. If you let them get to you, they've won.
In the end, talking to them isn't going to change their minds. They've given everything up to spread this kind of message, and it would take a miracle, pardon the pun, to have them rethink any of their positions. But at the very least, conversation can lead to at least some type of mutual understanding. When they see that you're trying to talk about these things, and not trying to twist what they're saying, they've been much more receptive to talk rather than spew out Bible verses.
The entire time they were there I just wanted to give them a hug. And maybe that's what they need. I don't know their backgrounds, but a simple act of love can go many more miles than any theological dispute. And maybe thats all they need.
“They drew a circle that shut me out. Heretic, rebel, a thing to flout. But love and I had the wit to win. We drew a circle that took them in.”