campus preacher n a self-appointed messenger from Lord (insert god's name here) Almighty, sent to rescue the heathens by verbally berating them with promises of hellfire and damnation

Campus Preachers: An Introduction

I can't claim to be an expert on street preaching, as I've never done it myself. But I've spent a lot of time in debate with these preachers here at the University of Florida, so I feel I can give a decent explanation of the mindset of these individuals.

How To Recognize A Campus Preacher

Generally campus preachers will be dressed conservatively--they usually wear a button-up shirt, probably a tie and vest or jacket. They may or may not have a group of "assistants" whose job it is to either distract those who yell responses at the preacher by taking them aside and having private conversations, or hold up large banners featuring aborted fetuses or insulting Bible verses.

How To Find Them

If you attend a major university, you'll probably run across them anyway. They generally station themselves in a heavily-populated area of the campus through which most students must walk. If your school has a Liberal Arts and Sciences area, this is a good start. Here at the University of Florida, Turlington Plaza and the Plaza of the Americas are the spots of choice. It'll probably be the heart of your campus--a heavily trafficked spot where the largest number of students will hear the message.

Public high schools usually don't have this kind of campus preacher but instead have some sort of weekly early-morning bible study.

Private high schools usually are RUN by some sort of church in the USA, so campus preaching is done in the classroom.

Subject Matter

The common staple of the campus preacher's talk is the "You're going to hell" accusation. No one is safe--not even those who agree with the preacher on most of his points. Generally those points include the condemnation of large portions of his audience as sinners of many varieties; sodomites, atheists, fornicators, homosexuals, feminists, witches, drug users, drunkards, liars, hypocrites, Jews, Muslims, Catholics, Mormons. The last few are usually all grouped together as idolators. Generally, campus preachers are Protestants of some variety, but occasionally you'll see a Catholic preacher.

How To Be A Campus Preacher
  1. Never get involved in any sort of intellectual debate based on logic.  If you find yourself here, make an ad hominem attack by accusing your opponent of "anger at God" or "arrogance".
  2. Stick to the Bible.  There's no need to use any other books--the Bible is full of enough justification for violence and hate.
  3. Marginalize the atheists.  Most people, even those who disagree with you, believe in God.  The atheists probably know the Bible just as well as you do, except that they reject it.  By pointing out that atheists disagree with you, you may be able to swing the crowd your way.
  4. Once the atheists are neutralized, you can start in on the liberal Christians.  These people usually don't know their Bible very well, and this becomes painfully obvious when they are questioned.
  5. Remember--if reality disagrees with the Bible, reality must be wrong.
  6. A negative crowd reaction is better than no reaction at all.
  7. A negative crowd reaction, in fact, shows that you are right.  After all, people can't handle the truth.

Possible Motivations

It is my strong suspicion that these rabble-rousers are essentially in it because of point 7 above. A persecution complex encourages them to go out and insult people for the very GOAL of attaining that negative crowd reaction. When the crowd hates them, that is their way of self-martyrdom. They are trying to suffer for their religion and become a tragic hero. The worst thing a campus preacher can hear is laughing. That's how you beat the really wacko ones--you make them look stupid. You probably aren't going to be able to get them to stop verbally trashing your campus, but you CAN make them regret putting your campus on their list of targets.

Some Campus Preachers (/msg me to add to the list)

Brother Jed
Brother Carl
Tom Short

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