Campus pastor sparks controversy on green

Gordon Rhyne

Campus minister Gary Birdsong gathered a crowd on the Green Jan. 16
Photo screenshot of video by Connor Spielmaker

A Christian, an Atheist and a pastor walked onto the UNF Green.

The pastor said, “She pulled out her breasts and they were like big ole’ cantaloupes.”

The surrounding students broke out in laughter, but the pastor wasn’t telling a joke. He was just riling up a group of students on the green.

The campus minister was Gary Birdsong, who took to the Green last Wednesday, exercising his First Amendment rights. Before his speech was over, more than a few students felt obligated to do the same.

Birdsong and numerous students engaged in a series of confrontations over homosexuality, drug use and morality.

Birdsong said he came to UNF to preach about hope in Jesus. Judging from the responses of some students, his message was lost in translation.

However, it is difficult for any student to feel hopeful after being condemned to Hell.

Brynna Gill, who is a Christian, said Birdsong did not display the love of Jesus.

“He’s over here disrespecting women, people of color, [and] Jews. Maybe he doesn’t realize that Jesus was a Jew,” Gill said.

She was upset because she felt as if Birdsong was distorting the message she believes in, she said.

Luke Weiss, an Atheist, said he was angered by Birdsong’s judgemental tone.

“I don’t think anyone has the right to judge someone else based on what they believe,” Weiss said.

Weiss said he found it ironic that Birdsong used hate to preach about the love of Jesus.

Crowds gather at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Despite the negative reactions, Birdsong said he enjoys the element of controversy that comes with his work.

“A lot of people don’t say much about their beliefs until I come out,” he said.

Birdsong said he enjoyed his time at UNF, due to all the questions students asked him.

“They start asking pretty good questions so I can talk to them. That’s a whole lot better than arguing and shouting,” Birdsong said.

Email Gordon Rhyne at [email protected]