Pray and walk away

Pray and walk away

Pray and walk away

When God came to campus on Oct. 26, he or she took more than one form.

More than 50 students gathered for See You at the Pole, a national student-led prayer event.

Twelve volunteers from the Gideons International distributed approximately 1,000 New Testaments around campus.

Matt Bourgault stood on the edge of the Oval and called down fire and brimstone.

It is a case of the way God is represented on campus compared to the things some students said God is not.

Southern students gathered in the early morning around the Oval. They prayed and sang and, when it started to rain, they stayed. They stayed and stood shoulder to shoulder and huddled under their hoodies. They prayed for their school, their nation and the persecuted abroad.

Bourgault made his appearance later in the day. He shouted down passing students, repeatedly telling them how hell-bound they were. He traded insults with students, calling them homosexuals, masturbators and whoremongers. Students called him names, whistled and shouted back.

Both the peacefully praying students and the shouting preacher call themselves Christians. Which brand of Christian belongs at Missouri Southern?

Students were involved in both events. It was students who shivered while praying in the rain. It was students who debated Bourgault, joining in the shouting match although they were clearly not on his side.

The Chart believes in free speech, but just because people have the freedom to speak their minds does not mean that we are required to listen. Students taunting the speaker in return began to lower themselves to his level.

He was screaming for attention and he got it. It does not have to be that way. Why encourage the insults?

If students were to just walk past and ignore him, perhaps he would have no cause to return every year.

Perhaps the best response is the Christian one – to turn the other cheek and walk away. There are some arguments we can never win, but it does not have to be our fault.