Preacher riles up students

William Kammer

Do Not Fear Hell” was written on the bottom of Paul Mitchell’s sign when he spoke to CSUN students about what he believes is the horrible fate they will face if they stay on the religious path they are currently on.

“If you’re acting stupid, I’ll say you’re acting stupid,” said the 64-year-old Mitchell as he preached his message.

On Oct. 6 Mitchell stood next to Sierra Quad with a sign taller than he was and started to preach. About 100 students were gathered around him by the end of his speech. Mitchell said he spontaneously decided to stop by CSUN as he was stuck in traffic coming back from Santa Barbara.

Mitchell said he travels around campuses from Santa Barbara to San Diego when school is in session and spreads his message.

“(CSUN students) are totally lost in life,” Mitchell said. “The intention is to get (students) into the Bible.”

As Mitchell yelled to reach all of the students listening to him, the students started yelling back.

“People are bashing him,” said Manny Garcia, a student at CSUN.

“Read the Bible before you preach about it, idiot,” one observer in the crowd yelled back to him.

Police arrived and ended Mitchell’s speech at around 12:30 p.m. Two police cars and three officers arrived, and escorted Mitchell to his bicycle after he rolled up his sign. The police told Mitchell that he had to stop, because the crowd was getting too rowdy.

Toward the end of Mitchell’s speech, someone was standing next to him and interrupting him. The person’s face was painted gray and black, and he was wielding a skateboard, swinging it around and leaning on it.

Mitchell said the police told him the skateboarder was making them nervous, along with the fact that the pole on his sign could be used for a weapon.

“I thought (the speech) was a mess,” said Jaime Bianca, a 22-year-old

Christian student at CSUN.

Bianca said that Mitchell approached CSUN students about religion in the wrong way.

“We don’t all go around slapping people with Bibles,” she said.

She said Mitchell “should come at (students) with love and kindness,” instead of the message of fire and brimstone.

After Mitchell’s speech, three students tried to talk with him about approaches that might be more productive for him, and a couple students went up to agree with and thank him for being there.

Mitchell said he would come back to CSUN and try again, but probably not this semester.