On Thursday, Oct. 4, the University of Massachusetts Boston saw the arrival of a guest most divergent in thought compared to the common mentalities on campus. Visiting Mormons with signs labeled, "SIN AWARENESS DAY," "JESUS SAID I AM the WAY, the TRUTH and the LIFE," and "EVOLUTION IS A LIE" took stage in between the Wheatley Building and the Science Complex. A man delivered a speech with quotes, "You don't get good without God!" “You need a savior!", and "Christ in the only way!" and faced the ridicule of a crowd known for its liberal sentiments. The man was surrounded by a retinue of about 10 other people wearing red T-shirts stating, "Jesus is King" and holding signs asking, "Do you worship creation or the creator?" These people had side conversations with the spectators, handing out flyers advertising the website, www.proofthatgodexists.com. But the man standing on the ledge held most of the crowd's attention.
One student began a speech of his own in response, saying "I believe Shrek is the best movie ever made!" to which he was told by the man at the center, "That is nonsensical!" The student often gave his comments about the animated movie in response to controversial parts of the speech. When it was said, "All outside religions will lead you to hell," the student responded in kind, "Shrek 3 was a bit of a mistake." When it was said that, "I have absolute truth that God has set me free," the student responded, "Shrek set me free!"
The crowd gradually increased around noon, with many students laughing and booing the man and cheering on the student with a love for all things Shrek. An upperclassman relates that, "This is my favorite time of the year." For clarity, the student was referring to the fact that such a spectacle is rarely seen on a liberal campus like UMass Boston, and that the man giving the speech returns every year. Freshman, Juliana Maynes, states, "This is really interesting. I've never seen anything like this before. This whole crowd is here to oppose him."
A science professor asked the man if he believed in science (likely in reference to the sign, "EVOLUTION IS A SIN"), to which she received the reply, "I believe in good science. I believe doctors are a blessing from God." The professor exchanged a few more words and then walked away.
Gradually, the crowd grew bolder, with the student with the affinity for Shrek jumping on the table in front of the man and attempting to begin a sing-along to, "All Star" by Smash Mouth. A student asked the man, "What kind of God hates gay people?" to which the man responded, "A Just God. A God who hates sin." The crowd booed in a loud chorus. Another student screamed, "You do this for money. Go home!" to which peals of laughter echoed in the crowd.