Hey there! I’m currently typing this out on another Tuesday of Pastor Tom being here on campus, and I can’t help but reflect on all the things I saw last week when he initially returned to SIUE.
Despite being Christian myself, I certainly do not agree with all the things that Tom preaches. I personally believe that God loves everybody, and that He cares more about a person having a good heart and positively contributing to society than anything else. For someone to openly condemn others for who they are as a person, despite them not doing anything morally wrong, is an absolute disgrace to the good name of the Lord.
However, on the opposite end of the spectrum, I believe the approach toward
protests have been less than helpful. I was able to count multiple students in the crowd that “protested” by shouting profanities at the top of their lungs, insulting Pastor Tom with no remorse or thought whatsoever. The previous article on the man pointed out that he has a full body camera on him, which says to me that he is purposely trying to elicit such a reaction from the crowd so that he, in turn, can take a “holier than thou” high ground. In short, protesting by shouting a bunch of horrible things at Tom isn’t going to solve the problem.
After seeing the protest last Tuesday and thinking on this for a long time, I wish to propose a solution that could possibly result in aiding this cause: Whenever Pastor Tom comes to speak on campus, organize a sort of event or gathering around him that pays him no mind. It could be campus activities, fraternity/sorority events, or students simply coming together to have a good time.
Be loud, have fun, and paint the picture right in front of Pastor Tom that we don’t need him and his wrongful interpretation of God’s word. I saw small glimpses of that in the previous protest and, as someone who doesn’t like to stir the pot, I legitimately enjoyed myself. Everyone was being goofy and having a good time, and, while those folks weren’t insulting anyone else, you could tell Tom was getting visibly frustrated with it.
If I could throw my hat in the ring, I’ve been having a lot of fun with the new
Splatoon game and noticed that it fosters an incredibly healthy LGBTQ+ community (there’s no gender in the game, only style!). On top of that, it has a killer soundtrack that’s an absolute bop to listen to (If you don’t believe me, then go online and take a listen to the track “Fly Octo Fly”. I’ll be waiting).
So, what if, at the next time Tom comes to preach, someone brings a speaker and we can blast some Off-the-Hook Splatunes! Everyone can dress in their freshest clothing and come together to enjoy themselves in the festivities, all while proving that God’s already blessed us all without the need for a half-baked preacher.