By Maria Taylor, Guest Columnist

“Muhammad is a liar, false prophet, child raping pervert! (See history for details),” the sign read. On the flip side, it said, “Homo is sin — Romans 1.” Holding the sign was an unkempt-looking man, surrounded by other men who were also a part of a hate campaign that festered in front of Shriver last Friday afternoon.

We all want our voices to be heard, but what good are you accomplishing with the spread of hate? Pointing at me and telling me that, if I am not a devout Christian, that I am not exactly what you stand for, I am eternally damned? Yeah, I really want to hear more.

I definitely want to believe the man who yelled at a girl — who stated she was Jewish — that she is a Nazi (Let’s take a moment to think about that shall we?).

I decided to approach the man holding the sign, who called himself Brother Michael.

He refused to shake my hand because I was a woman, even after I asked if we could interact with each other respectfully. After refusing my handshake Brother Michael felt the need to tell me: “I’m not here to put women down, I’m here to put them in their place.” That did not go over well with the female-dominated crowd protesting against the hate group.

Standing in front of the nut during the Friday fiasco, the women in the crowd received more hate than any other group Brother Michael and his comerades were there to preach about.

At one point, Brother Michael stopped quoting his five selected Bible verses and began preaching how we (women) should be meek and quiet.

One woman, who named herself as Sarah Gadsick, stood up and stepped in front of the man, demanded his attention. “What about women in the military?” she asked with her hands folded in front of her.

“Women are trying to be men, and that’s the problem. You’re also too emotional. I am in the Army of God, and I serve every day,” Brother Michael spat at her. Gadsick laughed at Brother Michael and gave a rebuttal he physically turned his back on and ignored.

“I served in the Army for one and a half years, and I can tell you, you haven’t served shit. I served so you can stand in front of me, say this [and] disrespect us,” she said.

I asked if he believed if women were allowed to be preachers. He told he believed anyone can spread the God-Fearing gospel that will save them from hell.

“I thought women had to be meek and quiet?” I asked him. Brother Michael closed his eyes and stammered for a minute before opening his eyes and reaching out, saying, “Well, you can as long as you’re meek and motherly. You should be perceived differently.”

Perceived differently? Please tell me how standing in front of a crowd of people and preaching what I believe whole heartedly is done meekly and quietly. Motherly was his argument? If anything, mothers are powerful, strong, and demanding. We wouldn’t be on this earth without mothers.

 It is a shame that he uses Christianity to spread his cruel and hateful messages. This is not an attack on just Christianity. I’d be just as ashamed if he used Islam in this way, or any other religion.

You have the right to express your views, and I have a right to express mine. But speak with love regardless of how you feel. Keep respect the main character in your narrative and do not shame, spit, or hate on the things about which you are uneducated.

Posters and markers were passed around during the protest, and love was plastered in more places than those tacky signs were. Community members showed up with bottles of water and rainbow popcicles were shared. Even Miami professors came to support the students, and counterarguments were factual and said with love instead of hate and fear.

I watched the students of Miami stand in front of this group of men, and stand their ground not only for themselves, but for each other. If anything, we should be thanking the lunatics for showing us that as a community we can come together when a part of us is being threatened.

taylo193@miamioh.edu

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