Traveling missionaries and student rights
The recent visit from Brother Jed and his flock caused quite a stir for the four day stretch that they were here. The entire time, his demonstrations consisted of about 80-90 percent name calling and lifestyle condemnation and 10-20 percent actual scripture recital to support his hateful speech. I stopped by for three out of the four days he was here, at least for an hour each time. The first day, he spent a lot of time calling people “whores,” “sodomites” and the like. He spent an equal amount of time damning anyone who didn’t share his viewpoints. This is a huge violation of our rights, not only as students but as citizens of this country. The right to free speech extends only so far. Once it infringes on another’s rights, you can no longer utilize this right. This includes insulting people on baseless arguments and justifying your words with something that only you agree with and believe.
A few of the first rights mentioned in the Declaration of Independence are “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” and protection from those who wish to infringe on those rights. The university did not do anything to protect these rights for us. Instead, they allowed a group of religious extremists to blindside our student population with a message of hate during an otherwise beautiful week. In addition, I feel like no formal announcement was made by either the university or the group visiting. This was a huge mistake on the college’s part. They forgot that their loyalty lies with us and not a band of traveling talking heads. We should be warned when people like this show up on our campus, which we pay to attend. At the base level, this amounts to poor customer service, which is not a new trick for EWU.
I would also like to ask, did this group pay the college to be here? If they did, this wound is worsened by the fact that now, in addition to selling out our student rights, we’re also selling our integrity as humans. Remember, everything the college pays for comes from your pocket.