this may be the only appropriate response

Just before I got in the car on Tuesday to drive down to my digital archives class in New Haven, this story from the Yale Daily News came across my feeds via Melissa McEwan @ Shakesville. A young evangelical street preacher, Jesse Morrell, has been preaching repentance on and around Yale's campus wearing a sandwich board that delineates twenty activities he considers sinful: fornicating, homosexuality, lying, stealing, masturbating, voting for Obama, practicing Buddhism, dirty dancing (does anyone know what this entails, exactly?), practicing Hinduism, singing "gangster rap," practicing Islam, drinking, being a feminist, being an immodest woman, being a Democrat, being a liberal, believing in evolution, not believing in God, smoking pot, and having anal sex.

Holy shit is that a lot of thoroughly enjoyable activities to avoid!

Hanna did the math and pointed out that we're guilty of at least fourteen out of twenty already, so probably at this point our eternal salvation -- at least in this guy's heaven -- is a long-lost cause. (Sounds like a boring place anyway -- I mean, no immodest women or questioning the existence of God? what would we do for fun??) Those devils in hell had better be ready! Do you think we should shoot for a perfect score?

At least two of the bystanders thought such a plan might be worthwhile, and wasted no time in checking off at least one item on the list.

I think this might just be my favorite protest action of the week. It seems like the only appropriate response, really, to hellfire and brimstone preaching: the assertion of passion, pleasure, and the human capacity for finding joy in physical intimacy. It absolutely gets the point across by refusing to enter into the terms of the debate and, through action, offering an alternative vision of the world.

Now let's see . . . I'd better get busy practicing my dirty dancing moves!


  1. I remember reading about an old evangelical rule that states that any dancing is dirty as soon as the participants are closer to each other than the length of two bibles (and I think they mean the big KJVs, not the pocket sized ones). Frankly, seeing the other items on the list, I'm suprised dancing is allowed at all! But then, the rules do state that only the opposite sexes have to be separated, so there's a loophole there..

  2. @Saskia,

    Hehe. So it's possible, then, that the young men in the picture above are checking off TWO rather than one of the items on the list; clearly they are not two bible lengths apart!

  3. That was fabulous (love how it looks like he's hanging his head at the inevitability of humans being human)
    Thanks for posting this :)