Welcome to College, You’re Going to Hell

On my first week of college in the Fall Semester of 2018, I sat outside my biology class waiting for the previous class to exit the room before my class began. A person then walked down the hall handing out papers folded in half. Since this was our first day of class, I thought that maybe they were the TA, and were handing out a syllabus or other document important for the class. I took a paper from them, said “thank you,” and then unfolded it as they continued to pass them out to the rest of my classmates. Much to my surprise, this had nothing to do with my class, but was instead a hateful document handed to me by a member of a discriminatory church in our college town.

areyoureally.jpg
(Image Description: photo of a document titled “Are you REALLY a Christian? If not, turn to Jesus!”)

Less than a week later I would be aggressively handed another one of these papers when I didn’t take it right away.┬áThe cynic in me finds it humorous. People like this have no power over my feelings, and are incapable of invalidating my identity as a member of the LGBTQ+ community. However, the Christian in me is saddened by their complete lack of understanding of the way Jesus lived and loved. The aggression and clear bigotry shown in this document does not correspond to the message of love Jesus preached. I also find it a bit paradoxical that one of the “deadly sins” they list is anger. They seem pretty angry to me.

I do not think it is right to push your religion on anyone else. Faith is an incredibly personal thing, and should not be forced on another person. The last thing anyone is going to do when reading this paper is want to join their church. As a queer Christian, and progressive person, I find it incredibly hard to identify with other Christians. So many of their actions are the exact opposite of what I believe in and feel is right. The anti-catholic rhetoric is also incredibly unhelpful, and leads to even more divisiveness within the church.

My college is very progressive for being located in Texas. If you are a hard-core conservative, you are in the minority at my school. This has lead to street preachers targeting our campus two years in a row with a similar (yet much more vulgar and aggressive) message. While many members of the student body have loudly protested these hateful messages, it still leads to students feeling unsafe on campus. Many students came to my college to flee their conservative and unwelcoming Texas hometown. It deeply saddens me to think that they would feel unsafe here because of people like the street preachers, and the group who handed me that paper on my first day of class.

These hateful actions need to be called out, but disruption and arguments are often the goal of these groups. It can be difficult to find ways to rebuke the ideologies of these people, without giving them the emotional response they are seeking. As a Christian, it is my job to speak up when groups discriminate against others in the name of Christianity. While I am proud of the student bodies response to messages like these, I hope we can progress to a time where these messages are not sent in the first place.

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Finals are over, which means I’m back!

Hi!

It’s been a while (that’s how I start every post now, sorry!). I have not been super active on this blog for a while now. My spring semester of college is over! The biggest reason why I haven’t been on this blog much is that this semester has been incredibly difficult. My health has been bad, and one of my family members had some very scary health moments at the end of January that were quite traumatic for all involved. Needless to say, life has been stressful and I barely had it in me to complete my school work let alone use any energy to blog. On the bright side, this is the first time in seven years that I’ve completed two semesters of school in a row. What a huge win! It may have been quite difficult, but I did it and I’m very glad it’s over.

This summer is going to be quite busy for me; I’m leaving for vacation in less than two weeks, I’m having surgery in the beginning of June (more on that later), I’m taking summer classes, and then moving in August. I’m not sure how this is all going to play out since I haven’t been doing well, but I’m hopeful that things will work out. I am also still waiting to hear back from the colleges I applied to transfer to, but should hear before mid-June.

I appreciate everyone who continues to follow my blog during my absences and those who have reached out to me over the past few months. I’m planning to be more active on here this Summer, and can’t wait to catch up on everyone’s posts that I’ve missed. As always, I hope you are all doing well!