The north side of the SUB became a religious battleground Monday.
Muslims, homosexuality and premarital sex were among the subjects addressed by a visiting Christian group, creating uproar from students passing by.
Member Ken Fleck said the demonstration reflected the history of Christianity.
“We are not here to be effective; we are here to be biblical,” he said. “This is what the disciples did. This is what prophets of God did throughout the Bible. Noah was a preacher of God’s word for 20 years, and some people would say that he was not effective because no one got on the boat with him but his family.”
The group, composed of Christians from across the nation, is touring college campuses, and UNM is stop No. 7, Fleck said.
“We are not from one specific religious affiliation. We have gathered together as Christians. It is the call of the Christians to be united,” he said. “We have come together to preach the Bible on every college campus.”
Student Janaye Milligan-Carreon said it seemed demonstrators were proud to announce views that she considers contrary to their message.
“Tell me where in the Bible it says to be mean to people, or to be bigots or discriminatory,” she said. “There is nowhere in the Bible where it says that. For anyone to try to take words out of context like this is ridiculous. You can’t be a good person, much less a good Christian and be a bigot.”
Kaitlyn Arndt, of UNM’s Queer Straight Alliance, said she takes issue with the demonstrators’ interpretation of the Bible.
“There are passages in the Bible that are just as open and loving to the gay community as they are to heterosexuality, and there are people who miss that,” she said. “And I think demonstrations like this miss the point of Christianity being a loving religion and turn it into this hating religion.”
Student Julian Lesmevich said the demonstrators’ antics leave negative impressions.
“I’m Jewish, but I know that all Christians aren’t that crazy, just some people take it to an extreme, and then that’s how people perceive that religion,” he said. “A lot of people perceive Muslims as being terrorists, but of course not all Muslims are, just like there are just a handful of crazy Christians.”
Fleck said public perception will not influence the group’s future presentations.
“We don’t want to become people-pleasers,” he said. “We want to have an audience of God lovers. We want these young people to hear the truth of God’s word. That’s it.”