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Guest Writer

The spittle and foam of hate
Big mouth on campus
by Steven C. Benjamin

Here, on campus, a man speaks.

This is the Big U, center point to my completion of a decade-old commitment – the final reconciliation of a teenage irresponsibility and decisions made at the ripe old age of 20.

Here, in a location of no renown outside their presumably liberal acceptance of the strange habits partaken through subculture pursuits, a young man speaks, just due north of Kramer Hall.

This is a white male, certainly amounting to no more than a full-score years himself, with a white polyester shirt, a hand-held black leather copy of the New Testament (for some reason the Catholics didn’t see fit to use the noun in its plural form), khaki trousers, a bit more baggy and shoddily hung than I imagine his priest would prefer, and run-down, weather-beaten two-year-old tennis shoes.

This model Christian, his jaw thumping and right arm gesticulating toward the thinning congregation, showers every ear provoked enough to try and listen with the spittle and foam of hate.

It's a monstrous hate, a serious hate, the kind of hate that gnaws at your soul. The world is filled with sinners, and that's got this young man caught up in a real tizzy.

If asked what he hates, the answer will cautiously remain at "sinners." But when asked to define sinners, his tirade lambastes every form of American in existence not of his own kind (those who keep their sins in the closet).

Jews, Jehovahs, Mormons, drug users, communists, homosexuals – no one who makes the most interesting aspects of their life public is excepted from this boy’s imaginative depictions of hellfire.

Interesting, I think, that he is brave enough to shout declaratively, "I, like God, hate sinners," and that "sinners" includes, say, homosexuals. But he will not name, specifically, any particular homosexual; is even wary to admit that, by logical deduction, he must hate them all as God must hate every single one.

I had a dog as a boy. "Digger," I called him. Digger was a homosexual by choice. Placed in a fenced yard with gender options available for long enough, Digger could be caught fully inserted in the back end of whatever other male dog happened to be at hand. Perhaps it was because of his upbringing. Hard to say, exactly. But, I wonder: does God hate Digger? Is Digger roasting in hell? He was, after all, a sinner.

Why is it Christianity that breeds these children? I’ve never once seen a Buddhist screaming down divine wrath from a podium or street corner. Muslims may be dicks to their women, but they don’t shout at them from center stage. Have you ever seen a Koran thumper? Even the Jewish, who tend to prefer an angrier Yahweh to the revisions of Jesus, do not send their rabbis to incite hatred on otherwise semi-pleasant college campuses.

What is so unbearable about Christianity that it must entail so violent a medium as proselytizing?

I wish I could say it’s because he’s still a boy, that he’ll calm with age and life-enforced wisdom. But only a few months ago that podium was held by three men easily into their 50s, easily as loud, and twice as angry.

What does Christianity teach to inspire this aggressive martyrdom? Could it be the ultimate exclusivity? Everybody’s a sinner but us. Or perhaps the gratifying sense of revenge? They’ll get theirs come Judgment Day – eternity in hellfire. Or is it simply that most Christians are idiots, and therefore tend toward idiot children?

This last sounds like an unfair statement, but is it really? How many other religions work with all their might to limit education? How many other religions look so scornfully on sophistication? Why is it the meek and stupid who shall inherit the earth?

I find myself longing for an age when Christian students can be relegated to Christian colleges. At the moment I can think of no worse detriment to education and understanding than that hypocritical ass on his soapbox shouting obscenities at anyone brave enough to attempt having a mind of their own.

See more from Steven in our archives.

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