Grant Mercy comes to CEU

Individual uses freedom of speech to argue his religious cause
Posted Thursday, September 11, 2008 - 12:00am

On Tuesday, September 9, some of you may have noticed something odd on campus, I did. As I left the SAC building, I was completely taken by surprise, there was a short, stocky man holding a gigantic red sign spewing propaganda at the top of his lungs. I decided to take a seat.

This man, who claimed his name was Grant Mercy, was a Born Again Christian who was returning from a trip to New Orleans, La., and decided to stop in Price, Utah on his trip home to Portland, Ore.

The gigantic red sign Grant was holding had in giant letters at the top, "Why do you 'heart' the devil" followed by a rather long list of things that he disagreed with; it was a real attention grabber. Things on the list ranged from religious beliefs and lifestyle choices to "sports nuts" and "loud mouthed women".

I was pleased to see many students stop upon hearing some particularly insulting or closed-minded comment and argue for their culture or beliefs. Some students even chose to stand up for the beliefs of their fellow students whom they did not know. It quickly turned into a debate in which Grant was forced to make a few concessions, though sporadic and few, to the students who were well prepared to stand up for themselves and their beliefs.

There was not one outrageous claim this man could offer that wasn't immediately refuted by a student. I guess that's what happens when you bring a blatantly hateful message to an institution of higher education.

Now I am not sure but I have a sneaking suspicion that the goal of this man, besides persuading everyone that they were most assuredly going to hell, was to rabble rouse. And as the crowd grew, some people suggested that if everyone left, then this man just might go away. But what in reality would happen is that Mr. Mercy would then just begin shouting louder and crazier. This would probably result in him being arrested or kicked of campus, and the last thing that this man needs is a sense of martyrdom.

So in an excellent example of hate speech met with a group of forward thinking (also on the sign) educated youths. The students of CEU took Mercy to the task until his propaganda, which started of as boisterous shouting, was barely audible over the wind.

In a poignant moment mid-rant a powerful wind blew in and Grant Mercy's sign was blown down, the crowd cheered as the sign was rolled up and tucked away due to its inability to be raised again.

Filed under: viewpoints