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Practice what you preach

By , Opinions Editor  |  Sunday, May 5, 2013 9:12 PM

“I’m just expressing some Christian values,” Dean Sexton said in a YouTube video he posted on his blog.

Sexton is a student at the University of Arizona who spends his free time open-air preaching on campus lawns about things that so-called “lukewarm pastors” have yet to address. His concerns about modern culture include feminists, Islam, tattoos, Beyonce, fraternities and other “sins” that will surely condemn a person to hell.

Sexton, who refers to himself as Brother Dean, frequently incorporates vulgarities like “Muslims are always a peculiar pig” or “Feminists, fat lesbians and whores get raped, abused and mistreated” on his blog.

Last week, he preached to passing students, particularly women wearing shorts, about their lack of modesty. He also held a sign that read, “You deserve to be raped.”  ops_logo

Law enforcement took Sexton aside to speak with him about the sign, but ultimately allowed him to stay because he was acting within his rights.

Huffington Post got wind of the incident and published a story about the students’ outrage, featuring video footage of the event. For obvious reasons, the outrage multiplied and eventually the University of Arizona offered a formal statement.

“The University of Arizona does not endorse or condone the message of the campus speaker,” spokeswoman Jennifer Fitzenberger wrote. “In fact, it considers it to be vile and repugnant. However, because universities in particular are bastions for free speech, even when it is offensive, the University of Arizona will uphold the right of this speaker and all others to engage is constitutionally protected.”

Sexton returned the favor by referring to his school as, “the University of Adultery.”

Clearly Brother Dean really enjoys his time in the limelight and feels a sense of entitlement when it comes to insulting the likes of almost everyone on campus. With the exception of “Sinless Sarah” who frequently appears in his videos and publicity stunts, lending her stamp approval to a variety of other very Christian signs covered in phrases like, “Frat Boys Are The Rapists” and “Sorority Girls Are Whores.”

The whole situation begs the question, at what point does the university have a responsibility to be a bastion of respect? I’d like to think that girls who choose to wear shorts in 90-degree weather deserve to cross campus without being chastised and ridiculed.

The University of Arizona’s Student Code of Conduct states 26 different things that are prohibited on campus including “engaging in harassment,” “engaging in discriminatory activities” and “interfering with or disrupting university or university-sponsored activities.”

I’ll go out on a limb and suggest that if “you deserve to be raped” isn’t already considered harassment, it’s time to address the handbook.  CARLY_COLUMN

Clearly Mr. Sexton is responsible for the words he speaks and the posters he holds, but if the school chooses not to intervene, it brings the university’s ethics into question, too. Administrators are allowing for him to impose his vulgar views on strangers and quite frankly, if it’s “vile and repugnant,” then put an end to it.

Ironically enough, we could all learn a thing or two from the pathetic individual who hides unmerited hatred behind a veil of faith.

“It never ceases to amaze me the hypocritical mind about judging of the sinner,” Sexton wrote. “They will accept any argument, any excuse to justify their own personal sin.”

Practice what you preach, Brother Dean. You too, University of Arizona.

Carly Samuelson can be reached at samu5380@stthomas.edu.

This item was posted in Opinions and has 1 comment so far.

1 Comment

  1. Don Nollet
    May. 6, 2013 9:11 PM

    The University, like any other institution, can limit what is allowed as “free speech”, and often does. (UST refused to print a post of mine several years ago, although I’ll bet most people would not be offended by the mild language of common usage used therein.) However, allowing potentially offensive statements under the premise of free speech can also be considered aiding & abetting intentional harassment, ignoring harassment in spite of duties to protect the rights & sensibilities of others, or effectively becoming part & party to the offense. Allowing an intimidating/harassing situation to persist is already considered an offense under court rulings,regarding workplace issues. The real problem is that some people mistake “faith” for “an excuse to be self-righteous & judgmental”, and wish to force their opinions upon others, effectively trampling the rights others to not believe nor be intimidated into avoiding certain public areas due to offensive statements. The school administration must reconsider the issue in this light.

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