Last Wednesday, an all too familiar crowd came back to the Montclair State University’s campus. The majority of us are more than acquainted with the religious protestors that stand seemingly proudly with signs containing hateful rhetoric.
The Key of David Christian Center shows up every semester to tell us to repent and find God, along with a numerous list of offenses and how many of us are going to Hell for our sins.
The worst part is, these people genuinely believe they are making a difference when in reality, their hatred toward innocent individuals has real-life consequences. Many people have the wish to clap back at the comments being made, which was made apparent during the protest that occurred last January. But what engaging with these groups does is encourage them to keep spreading their harmful message.
Luckily, The Montclarion found that the number of students that showed up to cause chaos among the crowd significantly decreased compared to last year’s infamous protest. Now, students seem to prefer to ignore these irrelevant voices and move on with their lives.
However, there are still those that don’t see how engaging in heated debates with people blinded by a fit of hostility and disrespecting others worsens our college experience.
The more someone tells you not to do something, the more you want to do it.
That resistance that protestors get from the student body only motivates their mindset of thinking they’re right for what they’re fighting for. It is more than clear that they have gone past the boundaries of basic respect for any human being. Time and time again they attempt to forcefully invade the way students think and the safe space that Montclair State often is without their presence.
It might seem funny at the moment to poke fun at the protestors, as anyone with common sense knows how ridiculous it is to have a conservative get-together in one of the most liberal states in the United States, but do not engage. You’re falling right into their trap, as they want the attention to attract people prone to being manipulated. It’s one big game and we’re the losing team.
Being attacked so blatantly hits right where it hurts for many of us, so it’s understandable to have the urge to react to these claims and defend what we believe to be true. These are strangers that feel entitled to tell us how to navigate the world and what we do with our lives. It’s an insult that our self-autonomy is pushed under the rug so they can follow through with their agenda.
But stooping down to their level not only does more harm than good, but it is also extremely embarrassing. Do you want to be caught lacking and arguing with a person that acts like a maniac?
According to Cambridge Dictionary, indoctrination means “the process of repeating an idea or belief to someone until they accept it without criticism or question.” Religious indoctrination takes impressionable young people and brainwashes them into harboring an ideology rather than using critical thinking skills to formulate their own opinions.
It’s very uncomfortable to see people exhibit behaviors worse than a child. More than that, making the conscious choice to fight with an individual that probably has no idea of what they’re talking about, saying words that they were taught like a parrot, is irresponsible and nonsensical. You are fighting with a puppet and you stand to get nothing out of this exchange.
All participating in this buffoonery does is ruin a student’s day when it’s already tense enough being hit with hatred and bigotry-themed posters. Experiencing something like that is anxiety-inducing and has the potential to produce guilt.
Be mindful of the common space you share with the rest of the student body and make it a place you want to spend time in, don’t add to the problem.