[ Ed. note – Kent State University, a school known probably for nothing more so than the shooting which took place there in 1970 and left four students dead–and which led Crosby Stills Nash and Young to record the song “Ohio”–now seems to feel that telling someone they need Jesus might qualify as hate speech.
The artwork pictured above is a flier put out by the university’s Center for Student Involvement (CSI) to promote a recently-held campus event on free speech issues. The event featured a panel discussion which sought to determine the difference between “free speech” and “hate speech.” Though a bit blurred, the words “You need JESUS” appear at the top right of the image. The CSI is a part of the Kent State administration. You can access its web page here. The article below poses the question of whether the CSI might be promoting hate against Christians.
Personally, I feel all speech–with the case law exception of yelling ‘fire’ in a crowded theater–should be protected under the First Amendment. And for this reason I would defend Kent State University’s right to circulate a flier such as the one above. That being said, it’s important also to call people out on their hypocrisy and double standards. Suppose some other religion besides Christianity had been denigrated? Imagine if, rather than “You need Jesus,” the sign in the upper right corner had read “One million Arabs not worth a Jewish fingernail” instead–imagine the uproar that would have ensued. The person responsible for the flier would almost certainly have been sacked immediately. ]
Liberal University Says the Slogan ‘You Need Jesus’ May Be Hate Speech
By Ethan Huff | Natural News
(Natural News) Kent State University in Ohio recently held a panel discussion on the difference between free speech and so-called “hate” speech, asking students and faculty members to chime in on their opinions of what differentiates the two. But in the process of promoting this event via Twitter, the school’s Center for Student Involvement took a jab at Christians, insinuating that their efforts in calling unbelievers to repentance and faith in Jesus Christ represent expressions of hate.
The controversial poster that was circulated by the Center for Student Involvement depicts silhouetted stick figures holding up various signs and banners bearing provocative messages like, “No More Gays,” “Women Need to Serve Their Man,” and “Build a Wall,” along with the question, “Free Speech or Hate Speech?” A fourth sign, an obvious outlier, is also seen in the poster bearing the words “You Need Jesus,” conveying a negative message about the Christian faith.
The panel discussion that this poster was promoting was part of Kent State’s “KENTTalks” initiative, a forum similar to the popular TEDTalk series that is supposedly aimed at “provid[ing] a safe place for discussions and transformational experiences for our student body,” as well as promoting “civil discourse.” But this safe space is apparently not intended for anyone of the Christian faith who holds an evangelical view of trying to bring others into the faith.
“The university should apologize because it appears to be targeted toward one political and religious side,” stated Jared Small, president of Campus Ministry International, a student organization at Kent State that ministers to students of the Christian faith, in an email to The College Fix. Speaking on behalf of himself and not his organization, Small added:
“They could have included hate speech against president Trump or hate speech against Christians as examples. In my opinion, free speech protects hate speech to an extent. However, the university appears to show a bias against Christians and conservatives.”
Imagine the outrage if Kent State had targeted Muslims for hate speech with an image of a sign stating ‘kill all the infidels.’
Professor Amy Reynolds, dean of Kent State’s College of Communication and Information, was the moderator at the KENTTalks event promoted by the poster. When asked why it specifically singled out Christians and no other religious groups, she claimed she did not because she had no role in creating the posters, and that it was all handled by the Center for Student Involvement.
When The College Fix attempted to reach out to Eric Mansfield and Emily Vincent, the executive director and director of Kent State’s media relations, respectively, neither individual responded. The same was true for Kristan Dolan and Rick Danals, the assistant director and assistant dean of the Center for Student Involvement, respectively, neither of whom responded to questions about the poster.