Fresno State students come out against hate

Image

Students and faculty at Fresno State have had enough
of spiritual violence being preached on their campus.
In response to the unwelcome intrusions of “hate
speech” preacher Anthony Munoz, a coalition of students,
faculty, and community members has been created.
The group counts gays, lesbians, straights, Christians,
and Muslims among its members.


Members took part in a “kiss-in” organized by
POWER—People Organized for Women’s Empowerment
and Representation—countering the preacher’s
messages of hate on the Lincoln’s Birthday holiday.
The “kiss-in” was in the Free Speech Area in front of the
Student Union.

Several hundred students gathered to teach Munoz
about love and tolerance, and to let him know he is not
welcome on the Fresno State campus. “Love is more
powerful than hate. His message means nothing to us,”
POWER president Michelle Verity Colvin said to the
crowd.

The crowd—gay and straight, Christian or otherwise—
came back with its message that the campus belonged
to them, not to Munoz.
Munoz did not make his usual Monday appearance. In
media interviews, he attempted to make himself look
like the victim, not the perpetrator. When interviewed

by the Fresno Bee, he appeared sad when the reporter

told him he is called a “hatemonger” by students. “I
feel misunderstood,” Munoz replied.

He told the media that he plans to stay away for a while
because of the “hate” exhibited toward him by students.
He claims he fears he will be harmed. He promises

to be back. Munoz told the Bee, “It’s a big campus. If

they don’t like me, they can find other places to go.”
Munoz, who is pastor of the Pentecostal Souls Harbor
Holiness Church in Pinedale, has been preaching in the
Free Speech Area for several years. His message typically
includes: “Sodomy, it’s to DIE for” and signs promoting
the idea that AIDS is the ideal “cure” for homosexuality.
Munoz also rails against women, Muslims,
Catholics, and anyone else he thinks is sinful.
While most people try to ignore him, others are angered
by his message—even the vocal Christians. The
director of Campus Crusade for Christ recently said
Munoz and his group “are very insensitive to those
around them.”
The current crisis began last fall when Munoz returned
to campus, railing against queers, lewd behavior and
dress, abortion, fornication, and evolution. In a letter

to the Collegian in September, Colvin said there was “a

very real conflict” between students and Munoz. She
said Munoz “creates a threatening and hostile learning
environment.”

“When we (women) are repeatedly and publicly called
whores because of the way we dress,” Colvin wrote,
“and when a visiting preacher is allowed to wear a
button on his shirt that says ‘AIDS: Homosexuals Contribution
To The World,’ it’s time for us to take a stand.
It’s time for us to take our campus back from these
hatemongers.”

As is their wont, Channel 30 Action News got the story
wrong. Their reportage made the issue to be 100 percent
about queers, and even dragged the Roeding Park
sex sting cases into the story. No mention of the fact
that straight students, Christian students, and Muslim
students all have had a bellyful of Munoz.
The coalition is considering several options: find ways
to get Munoz and his cohorts off campus, or find ways
to give voice to other perspectives. Group members
agree that the crisis could have a positive outcome, by
raising awareness on campus and creating coalitions
among the campus community.

ImageImage
ImageImage
ImageImage
ImageImage
ImageImage

More information and video at The Collegian. And article regarding preacher.
Photos: Jason Scott

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.