OPINION by Managing Editor Alex Bennett
Yellow Jackets were treated to the preaching of Zachary Humphrey on Oct. 10, but his message was not one the campus community was interested in hearing.
Humphrey used his pulpit to spew what many students considered to be hate speech, going as far as to point out individual Yellow Jackets calling them derogatory names. When asked, he would not provide students with the name of the Church or group he represented.
Instead of preaching a message of compassion he instead openly insulted students. Yellow Jacket Nation quickly flew into STING mode, resulting in a large crowd of rotating participants openly mocking and insulting the so-called preacher while he attempted to speak his version of the gospel.
Students responded to much of the speech with a “show” me where in the bible you read that,” trying to start a discussion with the “street preacher”. Instead Humphrey continued his rhetoric, dismissing the questions.
While none of us want him to speak in this manner on our campus, we all need to realize the importance of his right to speak whatever he wants. This by no means makes his speech acceptable or anything that needs to be taken seriously, but if you have a message you want to convey you deserve the same opportunity that was afforded to Humphrey.
While we all disagreed with his message he was able to get it out to the crowd, regardless if they wanted to hear it or not. The First Amendment gives us the right to speak any speech including hate speech and Humphrey was able to use that right to preach to us that day.
Zachary Humphrey is an interesting man who has traveled to a number of campuses to preach to students who he believes are sinners. On his Facebook, he has videos from Marshall, WVU, Shawnee State, and now WVSU where he has preached against gay students. The interesting thing is that his church has a website which states his mission and purpose of his ministries but it seems like he is the only member of his church. A church is a collection of people, and Humphrey appears lhe is the only member of Public Proclamation Ministries.
It has no base of operation or a house of worship to congregate, both necessary to call an organization a church.
The only redeeming factor in Humphrey’s visit to campus was the opportunity for the campus community to unify against what we viewed as an outside threat. It gave students a chance to band together and stand up for each other. That shows we care about one another even if we rarely say it aloud.
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