Barbaric preachers on the Plaza

january 27, 1979
vol 72 no. 44

dave hogerty

Editor: Anyone walking in the vicinity of the library or GPA will often stumble upon a large circle of people gathered around one or sometimes several orators. The people drawing the crowds appear to be preaching the gospel, or what they interpret to be the word of God.
Many people choose to walk on by, but those who stay to listen will notice some interesting things being said.

The first thing I noticed was their preoccupation with sex, not just ordinary love-making, but fornication, homosexuality, bestiality, and various derogatory associations with a fairly common act.

I don’t believe I have ever heard one person, claiming to be spiritually enlightened, hurl so much offensive speech in all my life!

One will also notice that they condemn those who have religious beliefs other than their own (i.e. accepting Christ). If what they say is true, then the most contemplative Buddhist, the most devout Muslim, or the most pious Jew, are on a one-way road to damnation. I find this, to say the least, unacceptable.

I also find their views on women disturbing. I have heard them state that “whoring women” were the cause of many of the problems students experience today. In a series of charming tales told by “Disco Cindy” (as she is popularly referred to), we hear the tragic story of several freshman males, entering college with hopes of promising careers, only to be led into sin by these monstrous females.

I was disgusted by the graphic descriptions of their demise, and shocked by the implication of the story.

When these preachers are not cruelly displaying their sexism, they are telling us women about our “natural inferiority” to men, and the necessity of our remaining at home, and having our lives revolve around our husbands. Is this why we’re attending UF?

Worst of all, female students passing by or listening in have had fingers pointed at their attire and have been called whores directly to their faces by these “zealots.” This is utterly barbaric, I should like to know how the K.K.K. would be received on campus if they hurled compariable accusations at blacks and Jews. If they said blacks were naturally subject to the white man’s will, or if they called Jews whoremongers, I think we might have a riot at the Plaza of the Americas.

I am not debating anyone’s right to free speech, but shouldn’t these questions be addressed?
Finally, for those who think they are winning converts to a benevolent God by this behavior, may I suggest you think again? I could no more see a little child spontaneously climbing into Jed Smock’s lap, than I could believe a doe would embrace a leopard.

Alexandra Henderson (UF sophomore)