Published: October 12, 2005
Street-corner proselytizing is an everyday occurrence in Pensacola and even throughout much of the American South – especially the strip known semi-affectionately as the Bible Belt (will they whip you with it?). Pensacola may not be the buckle of the belt (that’s Oklahoma’s dubious honor), but some have argued that it’s the… well, you get the point.
Regardless: there’s been a recent rash of such activity here on campus, specifically on the lawn between the gazebo and the Student Center. According to campus police, that’s the only area on campus open to proselytizers, activist groups, etc. If we did not live in this city we would likely find diverse groups demonstrating there, but this is Pensacola, and that strip of lawn has unofficially become Evangelical territory.
This is all well and good, and individuals from all walks of life and all belief systems certainly have a right to air their opinions in public forum, but one would hope that they would show some tact.
An example: if, say, an event is going on in said gazebo, or somewhere in the vicinity, and large amounts of students and faculty have congregated for a specific purpose, then it would hardly be polite for a zealot to take a stand and start preaching at that time. As so many Evangelicals have asked me over the years, “What Would Jesus Do?”
Jesus was a tactful guy; let’s take a leaf out of Christ’s book and try to be the same way.