Born-agains back again
Raising hell for God
August 29, 2007 10:16 PM
A campus sight familiar to longtime SF State students resurfaced Tuesday afternoon when born-again Christians began shouting at students on the quad, calling them sinners and brandishing a tall sign proclaiming God’s judgment of fornicators, drunks and homosexuals.
The small group of evangelists stood yelling at the edge of the grass while various students sitting nearby responded by glancing over and laughing, turning away, lying down for naps or getting up and joining the confrontation.
“This ticks me off,” said Martin Rofael, 18, a student member of the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship at SF State who stood between the evangelists and the angry members of their audience and asked the crowd to ignore this idea of Christianity.
“They say they’re about turning to Jesus, and that’s the best choice you can make – as much as I agree with that, this isn’t the way,” said Rofael. “God loves a lot more than he judges. God died for us – that’s the ultimate show of love. All these guys are preaching is hate.”
At least two campus police officers stood near the scene, observing as a crowd of about 30 students eventually gathered to shout right back at the evangelists.
“The crowd was twice as big last year,” said Jacob Rule, 19, a mathematics major. “He’s just preaching God’s hate. It just pisses people off.”
One of the demonstrators said that was part of the point.
“We call this confrontational evangelism,” said Ken Farrer, 48, who held up the sign and did much of the shouting. “We don’t have enough time for friendship evangelism... People are offended, but that means they have to respond. They have to think about this.”
Some passersby disagreed.
“He’s been here before; it’s nothing new,” said Jenna Soiseth, 22, a business management major. “If anything, people get a little more angry. It’s not like he helps. Honestly, this just makes me embarrassed for him.”
Farrer expressed no embarrassment and smiled while students swore and shouted at him, flipped their middle fingers up to him as they walked by, and engaged him with vociferous and hostile debate. He said their anger was part of what brings him to the campus.
“You know how to get rid of a street preacher, every time? Ignore him,” Farrer said. “You know who’s best at that? Stanford. Everybody here gets mad at us – look at that crowd – but we go to Stanford and I can only get three or four people worked up all day.”
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