Oct 022005
 
Authors: Vimal Patel

Women at CSU are loose and the men are whoremongers, said Matt Bourgault, an inflammatory street preacher who has been shouting his message from the rocks just outside of the Clark Building on the Plaza.

Often to crowds of more than 100 students, Bourgault has been condemning gays, pre-marital sex, women who have abortions, Mormons and even Mother Theresa, whom he called a purveyor of phony Christianity.

"We've had women on this campus who have had abortions," Bourgault said. "You know what that makes them: baby killers."

Many students were amused at Bourgault's flailing-arms preaching and didn't take him seriously. Others were angry and engaged the showman in shouting matches.

"I don't think he knows what he's talking about," said Brady Michel, senior microbiology major. "We're all going to go to hell, that's pretty much (his message)."

Some students of campus religious organizations told Bourgault that the way to reach students is to show them love, not by shouting and condemning them, to which Brother Matt, as he calls himself, responded, "I'm not here to help, but to warn."

On Friday afternoon, students who wanted Bourgault removed from campus called campus security. Security officials arrived on the scene shortly after but said the issue was one of free speech.

CSU students were divided over the issue of free speech, some saying it should be strictly protected and others saying some speech is so vile it has no place at an academic institution.

"I believe in free speech, but this isn't free speech," said Gregory O'Bannon, junior economics major. "This is getting out of control."

Craig Dumas, senior finance major, said Bourgault's ranting is not what Christianity is all about, but he supports the preacher's right to free speech.

"As much as I disagree with him, he as every right to be up there," he said.

Bourgault brought his wife and his four home-schooled children, who held up their father's bigoted signs denouncing sinners.

Jennifer Waelti, a junior ethnic studies major, said it's Bourgault's right to have his views, but that she worries about his children.

"I just feel sorry for the children," she said. "I think he's setting a poor example."

Bourgault has been a traveling street preacher for the last few years, going from campus to campus, often times being kicked off.

It's unclear what Bourgault does to support himself and his family. He wouldn't answer what he does for a living, instead saying that God provides "as need arises." He said he used to be in public service and law enforcement, and finds odd jobs to get by.

Bourgault said there's no need to be concerned for his children, whom he said have a solid foundation and know right from wrong. It's CSU students whom people should be concerned about, he said.

"Look at how these kids turned out," he said. "These kids need to be trained."

Some students criticized those who had gathered around Bourgault, saying they are giving a bigot the attention he desperately craves.

Kim Tesar, a sophomore arts major, said the preacher caught her attention.

"It's like a train wreck," she said. "And I have three hours to kill."

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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