GUEST ESSAY: RE: Religious Groups and Campus Preachers Are More Predatory Than You Think | Opinion
Technician recently published an opinion piece by Olivia Hille titled “Religious groups and preachers on campus are more predatory than you might think”. I found the claims and accusations in the article to be misleading beyond a point rectifiable by comments or private words, and as such, I felt compelled to write a formal response. to clarify the matter. Nonetheless, I respect Hille’s opinions and the technician’s right to publish them.
Hille begins her article with the assertion that “the presence of religious institutions, especially evangelical Christian groups, is extremely inappropriate on college campuses,” which she argues with a previous remark that she attended the church for the vast majority of his life. While the status of church attendance has absolutely nothing to do with a religious group’s suitability for college campuses, its claim is weakened by suggesting that evangelical Christian institutions are to some extent more inappropriate. than those of other faiths. Hille offers no other explanation for either side of the claim and unfortunately this trend continues.
The following trinity of paragraphs contains enough content to warrant individual responses, although, to save time, I will cover their main points as concisely as possible. Hille’s belief that the sole purpose of a religious group is to “gain more members” is simply not the case. Religious groups of all faiths seek to promote community, learning and a deeper spirituality. Hillel, the leading Jewish organization in the state of North Carolina, offers scholarships and trips to Israel. Cru and CCM, the largest Christian groups on campus, host seminars and organize events, and the myriad other religious organizations operate in a similar fashion.
Further, it is simply wrong to say that newcomers are “highly recommended” for financially supporting their organization or the church with which they are affiliated. Although many groups accept donations, donations are always optional and rarely announced. Considering that NC State, a public university, funds hundreds of student organizations for free (the majority of which are non-religious and generate no income), it is illogical for Hille to cite taxable income as a factor in this conversation.
Recruiting members for college clubs is not “inherently predatory”; religious groups do not seek validation from “Brickyard preacher” and I know of no attempt by a Christian organization in the state of North Carolina to trap its members in “possible situations of monetary deprivation” . I respect Hille’s right to say what she thinks, but it is dangerous to allow an article like hers to spread disinformation to the “younger, impressionable generation” that Hille believes these religious groups are preying on. .
However, his article was not simply a collection of baseless claims and bad rhetoric. This is a very serious problem when anyone (especially the “preacher” in the context of this article) is able to hurl “sometimes sexually charged” slurs at young adults who are simply going to class. I sympathize with people like Hille who may have been the butt of one of these disgusting tirades, and I urge anyone who has had similar experiences to speak up. Assault, verbal or otherwise, has no place on our campus, and it is the duty of every religious community to denounce hatred and offer support to victims.
Groups of all religions strive to spread love, and I encourage the reader not to reduce the apple tree to its bad apples, so to speak. It would be a serious disappointment for those interested in religious communities on campus to be denied Hille’s article, and I hope this response may have enlightened his readers.