(sigh) So today, as every year, these two antagonists traveled to The Evergreen State College. And, as every year, they drew a huge crowd of screaming, frothing students.

You see, here at TESC, if you threw a beach ball into a crowd of students, it would be caught by a gay man, a lesbian, a liberal, or a hippie. That, with very little exception, is the kind of person who comes to this school. (And I have no problem with that. ;)

However, these bible thumpers find this concentration of "evil" to be simply too perfect. They come every year, each of them with huge signs. Bible Jim's is simple. It talks about how Jesus will save us sinners from hell. Preacher Bob's sign is huge, easily reaching ten feet into the air from the man's 6 something frame. It's also very wide, roughly 5 feet, I would hazard to guess. Its contents are roughly the following:

"You Sicken Me. All of you, you dykes, fags, aethiests, etc, etc, etc, are going to hell."

So, obviously, this does not sit well with the student population here at Evergreen. What the students fail to realize however is that

  1. This is a state school. They have as much right to stand in Red Square and spout their beliefs as the Discordians and SubGeni.
  2. Much like the giant amok advertising signs from the Simpsons Holloween special, if they paid no attention to the crazy people, they would not come back here.
But, of course, that kind of rational thinking is beyond most people. So every year Bible Jim and Preacher Bob return. And every year I feel sick.

Here in the Deep South, of course, bible-thumpers are prominent. You can rarely get away from them.

I, personally, have no problem with them. Freedom of speech is freedom of speech, period. However, most people don't seem to understand that, and arguments will often ensue.

Whenever this situation arises, I consider it my duty to deflate the tension as much as I can. The following tactics are useful.

Of course, when you look like I did in college, just joing the preacher's side is enough. There's an element of the bizarre in seeing a pierced, mohawked, bearded fat man arguing in favor of hard-line religion. It tends to take the wind out of one's sails.

Okay, so the important thing to remember is never take up a specifically antagonistic standpoint. It's your job to make everyone look silly, not get embroiled in some ridiculous argument.

That's it. Use your imagination, and have fun.

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