Sierra Quad was the site of a hostile encounter between an evangelical group preaching against homosexuality and the downfall of Americans and CSUN students who oppose their views on Tuesday.
The group members, who were on a campus tour of southern California colleges and universities, were holding signs displaying their beliefs. The sign that received much criticism from students read, “Thousands of homosexuals experience the life-changing love of Jesus Christ,” and had ex-homosexual testimonies at various websites displayed on the sign.
Most students were opposed to the group being on campus, saying that their predominant message was one of hate and intolerance.
“I support their right to be here?but I am appalled to see that, in 2008, there is this hate and homophobia and it is really upsetting to be walking back from class and seeing that,” said Robert Oliver, junior biology major and public relations officer for the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Alliance.
Robert Breaud, a “repentant homosexual” that was born-again at the age of 34, came with the protestors to spread the message that homosexuality is a perversion and realizing so changed his life. He played a song that expressed his opinion on homosexuality as he strummed on a guitar, with the second verse saying “It’s not okay to be gay, it’s not okay to be perverted, it’s not in your DNA, what you need is to be converted.”
But the evangelical group said that the problems they are trying to address are beyond the “perversion” of homosexuality, sighting that the lack of the true Christian faith in the United States is the cause of this country’s social ills.
Jason Storms, organizer of the campus tour and founder of the Faithful Soldiers School of Evangelism, said, “It fits exactly what we would expect. Our nation is in a moral and spiritual crisis, we have become more progressive and secular, and while that has done some good in this country, it has been overall very destructive to our society.”
Storms said that the animosity they were met with on campus is the product of this generation’s upbringing, sighting the decline of family unity and an overload of media consumption as the reason for the students’ opposition to their message.
Erin Schneider, a junior psychology major, said that their message promotes exclusivity and discrimination, which doesn’t help their cause or provide the proper environment for discussion.
“Their message is closed-minded. These Christian radicals who are going to do anything they can to tell people what they are doing is wrong, and now they are reverting to criticizing and saying very rude things to people,” said Schneider. “I can’t believe that this campus would tolerate people coming here and insulting their students.”