Every semester, West Chester University has the distinct pleasure of hosting a group of very passionate people on its campus. These people go out of their way to talk to students, try to communicate new ideas to a vast audience, and hold up signs to allow those shyer people to understand their message without actually having to go up and talk to them. And then, without fail, the campus police come and kick them off the property.
That's because these people talk to student by berating them about the sin-filled lifestyle they may or may not be living, communicate ideas through a bull horn, and hold up signs with "aborted" fetuses on them. Yep, the crazies have come to town!
Really, I have no problem if someone is particularly religious or holds beliefs that I cannot possibly agree with. Spice of life, you know? But I want to scream when I am told that I am going to hell or when Bible verses are screamed at me over a loud speaker. Don't break my personal bubble and won't stomp on yours. But I saw something today that left me shaking with rage.
As I was trying to enter our student union, I was confronted with placards sporting bloody fetuses and sour-looking adults staring down a heathen student population. Nothing new. Then I glanced down, only to see a small boy, his plump cheeks flushed with the biting cold, handing out pamphlets with a tiny mittened hand. He was small, barely coming up to my waist, and was topped with a hat with a pompom on it. Shocked, I skirted him, shuffling quickly up the walk. I was nearly in tears by the time I pulled out my phone to call my father, my sounding board.
How could you use a child to hand out propaganda? How could you make a child stand out in the cold in front of bloody dipictions of what may or may not be an abortion? How could you possibly you a child-- your child-- to guilt the people around you? I just don't understand.
It was two o'clock; the kid should have been in school. He should have been on a playground. He should have been playing video games or watching "Dora the Explorer" or building high towers out of Legos. He should have been eating a bowl of Cheerios while coloring with crayons. He should have been everywhere but there-- representing something that he couldn't possibly understand.
I don't care what you stand for. A child is not a tool for your agenda. A child should be living his childhood because it goes by way too fast.
If only I had the courage to walk out there and give him a cookie or some hot chocolate. Woulda coulda shoulda.