Letter to the editor: Sidewalks

Alexis Simmons

If you have been walking around campus the last three days, there is a significant chance you have heard, “May I ask you a question?” followed by an invitation to a Bible Study.

If you have listened to the sales pitch, you’ve likely been aghast by its absurdity. These proselytizing Bods claim that God has already risen and is living under a different name… in South Korea (among other claims, some of which are arguably more ridiculous).

Thinking about the impudence of people haunting our sidewalks brought me to proselytizing in general. As someone who does not identify with the Christian religion, I am continuously made to feel uncomfortable and discriminated against.

Religion has historically been a private matter; people kept their religious beliefs confined to their homes, their places of worship and their own thoughts. When did pressuring strangers to join a religious sect become acceptable? Most of all, what’s the point? No stranger on a sidewalk is going to make me reconsider my educated and well-founded beliefs.

Most of all, what of our foreign exchange students? Washburn’s acceptance and encouragement of diversity is severely compromised when a culture and its beliefs are disparaged by aggressive sidewalk thumpers. If someone of the Islamic faith were to trade places with those preaching this skewed reality of Christianity, the public outrage would make national headlines. “May I ask you a question?” is simple enough, but the results are detrimental to the peace and diversity on our campus.  For those who find it necessary to publicly spew their religious beliefs, I ask that you keep them private, keep them personal and keep them off the sidewalks.