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Hey! Preachers! Leave those kids alone!


Arizona Daily Wildcat

By Lora J. Mackel
Arizona Daily Wildcat,
January 26, 2000
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It's official. We are all going to hell. Or at least you would think that from the way people react to our campus. We have Ms. McGrath on our backs about internet porn and pre-marital sex, and that tiny, feisty lady on the Mall telling us to lower the hemlines on our skirts or we will be gnashing our teeth in the company of Lucifer. So why all these worries about our morality and salvation? My guess is that these people simply do not know what actually goes on in college and are wasting their great moral energy on ending world hunger.

For the most part, UA students are a good lot of kids. They are the kind of kids that get up in the morning, don a sweatshirt over their flannel p.j.'s and rise up to face the day. For the most part, UA students go to classes, take notes, maybe eat a little lunch, go to work and go home and do their homework, rest and get ready for a brand new day. Perhaps people like Ms. McGrath do not realize that people here have active campus ministries and clubs, ethical societies and wholesome activities in which to engage. Perhaps they do not realize that this university is a world-class research institute that is engaged in many national and regional endeavors that benefit the greater community.

But all of these things make little difference to these people on the Mall who scream threats of fire and brimstone at us. They think that the way we dress, the fact we are out of our parent's company and control, and probably the mere fact that we are learning about things that make them uncomfortable, gives them the right to damn us on sight.

Somehow, these people actually got the impression that life here is an ideal for the lecherous and gluttonous alike. They seem to have gotten the impression that the first thing university students do in the morning, after offering animals sacrifices, is get on their dakota accounts and look at hotjubblies.com. After these sinners enjoy the act of "knowing themselves," in the biblical sense, these do-gooders feel that most students go forth from the dorms in search of casual sex and questionable moral influences. Who knows? They might even be enrolled in a women's studies course!

All of us who are actually enrolled in college know how far this is from the truth. Certainly we all heard rumors about what a hedonistic paradise Coronado was in our freshman days, but most of us who are serious about school find that we do not have time to pursue the bacchanalian lifestyle.

For all of us who work hard and mind our own business, these people's intrusions are an insult. Instead of assuming that we are responsible adults, the people who scream at us from the Mall assume the worst in us. These moralists might have the best intentions at heart, but they are intolerant and belligerent and make life terribly unpleasant for everyone who does not agree with them.

Rarely do these people who are so eager to do the right thing, think that there are people on this campus who do not agree with their viewpoints. There are Buddhists, Muslims, atheists, agnostics, homosexuals, heterosexuals and every other kind of person you can think of on this campus. But you rarely see them ranting at passers by to join their side. That is for the most part because these groups are respectful of other's beliefs and want to live in a community of tolerance.

Students at the university deserve to be treated better than they are by these people bent on saving us. They insult our intelligence and integrity with their accusations, restrict and oppress us with their regulations, all in the name of God and decency. Most of us probably secretly wish these people would pack up their revival tents and go back to New Jerusalem, but we cannot force them to go.

Instead of preaching to a group who already has belief system , they should do something productive and put to use their deeds as a testament to their faith. They could tackle relevant community problems like inadequate educational buildings and homelessness in Arizona. Instead of using their Christian love to judge and harrass, they could use it to show love to their fellow man.

Lora J. Mackel is a History junior. She can be reached at editor@wildcat.arizona.edu.

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