On Wednesday Oct. 10th, members of Mark 6:12 Ministries arrived on campus to “preach the word,” in the words of one of the participants.
Police placed barriers behind them and two gentlemen held up a sign condemning numerous groups of people from Muslims, LGBT individuals, atheists, immodest women and “potty mouths.”
Both gentlemen declined comment, but the students were not so disinclined to speak.
With signs reading “Don’t feed the trolls,” “I’m gay and God loves me too,” and “Black, White, Gay, Straight, doesn’t matter to me. God loves me anyway,” the students made it clear they were not impressed with the ministers’ messages.
Some students found the display entertaining or amusing. “It’s a Christian comedy hour,” said student Todd Dalton.
Other students expressed a more hostile opinion. Tahswiyah Abdul-Baaqee, a freshman wearing a shirt reading “I’m Muslim, don’t panic!” gave the statement, “I feel like he’s a threat to me. I have nothing against Christians. I love Christians. It is very hurtful.” Other attendees had much to say, shouting obscenities and insults as Bible verses were being quoted over the microphone.
Not all students took such a negative stance on the protest. Jarrett McCreary, a junior, said, “We live in a country of free speech.” He said he didn’t agree with the views being shared, but he didn’t think they should be silenced.
Campus police were on hand, keeping the more angered students from coming too close to the barricades. The officers present declined to comment on the situation.
There were small amounts of talk of students wishing to pass around a petition to prevent Mark 6:12 ministries from coming back to APSU for another public display. At this time, there are no petitions being circulated for this purpose.