A few years ago, when I went to GA Tech, I was caught dumbfounded by a man shouting “BIBLE BIBLE BIBLE!” through a mega phone. I looked over and saw a small group of middle aged adults unfurling signs reading: “AMERICA’S SHAME IS HOMO PRIDE,” and “HOMO SEX IS A BIO HAZARD.” The man on the loud speaker begged us to read the bible, “BIBLE, BIBLE, BIBLE.” ….Then something about homosexuality being a sin, and well “obviously” a bio hazard. It seriously made me concerned. I felt like I was outside of a concert where people with megaphones march around and accuse everyone of having premarital sex just because they like rock music.

At first I was shocked to see such a demonstration in the middle of campus, but of course free speech is not just for liberals.  Such bigotry always gives me a chill though.  It reminds me of American History X (a very disturbing must see movie).  I will always be fascinated and perplexed by the driving force behind nonacceptance.  To me, peace means accepting the harmless differences that make everyone unique regardless of whether or not you practice them.  But while homosexuality seems harmless to me, certain religious groups may completely disagree.  Perhaps the demonstration stemmed from a place of genuine concern for the eternal souls of homosexuals, or maybe it was a result of closed minded ignorance.  I’m all about free speech, but I consider what I saw today to be harmful.  I’m not one to try to convert others, though, even if I disagree with their practices.  The best we can do is make information of all kinds available and let people make their own decisions.

I wonder, though, if I marched out there with a sign that said “AMERICA’S SHAME IS BIGOTRY”….what would that make me?

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