I’ve been dealing with some health issues lately. It’s led to days where existing is a struggle. Well, Wednesday was one of those days.
I’d managed to pass a Sociology exam but hadn’t slept in almost 48 hours and wasn’t about to crash any time soon. I was studying in the lounge when a friend came in and told me that our local campus preachers were out again.
I decided that I wasn’t in the mood to deal with unsubstantiated bullshit and instead put out a call to action for someone to take my place. But after about twenty minutes I changed my mind, left my books with a friend, and walked about a hundred yards to find four fully grown men handing out story book synopses to college students.
The older one has a microphone that never seems to work clearly. There’s more static than nonsense coming out of it. The other three take a few steps back as I walk up. There’s a woman with a sign standing silently to the side of the one that’s preaching. The sign says, “Krusty Krab is FunFair.” There’s a table set up and a man behind it. I talk to him briefly and find out that he’s being paid to advertise for AT&T and that he had no idea that the preachers would be here. I feel bad for that man and hope against all odds that he’s getting overtime for this.
I shake three of their hands. The fourth doesn’t come near enough. I stand and try collecting their pamphlets, mostly to show that no one’s reading them. I get one but see several others throw them away. The preacher takes the opportunity to ask me if I’d heard about Jesus.
I tell him that I used to be a Christian, and he asks me if Christ had come into my heart. I say, “No, I think he’s happy where he is.” We then have a short conversation about the definition of a Christian, which ends in a disagreement. I tell him that I am god and that he is sinning by preaching against love. He is unable to prove me wrong because I truly feel in my heart like I am a god, so whatever he says is incorrect, obviously.
I talk to the woman with the Krusty Krab sign. She’s nice and extremely polite, even to the preachers. While we’re talking, some prick runs up and steals one of their signs that equates homosexuality with murder.
Note to ALL PEOPLE: Please don’t steal their signs. It backs up their persecution complex and makes it harder for us to tell them that we’re not evil.
Anyway, the preacher realizes that he’s losing ground, and he talks to the woman with the sign asking why the Krusty Krab is unfair. She explains that the owner is greedy and steals from his employees. (sorry, spoiler alert). The preacher says, “It was wrong for him to do that, wasn’t it?” When she agrees he nods. “Then we’re on the same side.” She shakes her head at him. “Not really.”
I’m only partially following this exchange but then I see a familiar face. Remember my fiancé?* Well, she happens to walk by on her way to pass out condoms and table for Planned Parenthood. Since she’s occupied for the day fighting another good fight, she gives me a box of condoms to hand out to passerby and tells me to stand my ground.
I’ve never had anyone walk up and hand me a box of condoms before. I think I handle it well. I start handing them out, which very much annoys the preachers. One tells me that I’m promoting fornication. I explain that this is very much the point and that sex is awesome and he should try it sometime if can find someone willing to do it with him.
The youngest one asks me how I could promote “killing babies” We have a short conversation about the definition of life, but all he can repeat is “it’s a baby.”
I feel bad for this man. I really do. He seems absolutely miserable out here. And he doesn’t know enough about what he’s saying to defend it even moderately. I shake his hand again for good measure. If you ever read this, preacher man, I think you’re worth more than that.
After about ten minutes, my friend gets out of class. He sees me passing out condoms and after laughing at me he takes half the box and starts to help. We stand on either side of the preachers and start passing them out. Almost everyone smiles. I can tell that some people are thinking that we’re with the church guys, but after plenty of double takes we figure out that the longer we hold our prizes out the more people recognize what they are. People double back to take some and laugh. Several people tell me that they don’t need them because they’re gay, but want to be seen taking them to piss off the preachers.
Several people took our pictures. One person took a video. A few people stopped to talk either with us of with the Jesus jerks, but there wasn’t mass chaos or an impromptu party complete with karaoke like there was the last time I was up against these guys.*
One woman starts shouting free condoms. I don’t know who she is but I smile at her. I’ve figured out by now that if we’re silent, the preachers will be quieter. They start singing a song about the blood of Jesus. (It’s familiar to me from the last time I met them and I laugh because it’s now my favorite color). *
We joke later that people were afraid that they would open them up and they would have a picture of Jesus on them. (Please, condom companies, use restraint ((I realize that this goes against your business model but for all of our sakes do not do this thing))).
We run out of condoms right before I have to be in class, at which point I run back to the lounge, grab my books, and run to class to learn about different aspects of healthcare policy.
It feels good to do good. Around midnight, that same friend and I are with some other people and he shows me that someone on YikYak gave a “Shout out to the people handing out condoms in front of the religious protestors”.
The pride I feel from this day is real.
*I documented my last run against them (there were three then) on this site.