Best Preacher-Baiting Photo

by Jesse Galef –

Funniest reaction to hell-spouter ever. We had our own campus preacher at the University of North Carolina, but I never got to see a counter-demonstration like this one at Yale:


Melissa McEwen at ShakespearesSister provides a description:
If you can’t view the image, it’s a picture of 25-year-old evangelist street preacher Jesse Morrell, who has been preaching about the “evils of sin” on Yale’s campus, wearing a sandwich-board reading: “REPENT: Fornicators, Homosexuals, Liars, Thieves, Masturbators, Obama Voters, Buddhists, Dirty Dancers, Hindus, Gangster Rappers, Muslims, Drunkards, Feminists, Immodest Women, Democrats, Liberals, Evolutionists, Atheists, Potheads, Sodomites. HELL AWAITS YOU!” Two men kiss in a passionate embrace in front of him. [Photo by Daniel Carvalho.]

My goodness, I think I fall into somewhere about 10 of those categories….

I don’t think this demonstration will help poor Jesse Morrell, who will likely come away from the experience more convinced than ever that he lives in a sinful society desperately in need of his preaching.

But the counter-demonstration definitely helps everyone watching. It’s good to remind everyone that these sentiments can be laughed at and deserve ridicule in our society.

About Dr. Denise Cooper-Clarke

I am a graduate of medicine and theology with a Ph.D in medical ethics. I tutor in medical ethics at the University of Melbourne, am an (occasional) adjunct Lecturer in Ethics at Ridley Melbourne, and a voluntary researcher with Ethos. I am also a Fellow of ISCAST and a past chair of the Melbourne Chapter of Christians for Biblical Equality. I have special interests in professional ethics, sexual ethics and the ethics of virtue.

  • http://infalliblefailure.blogspot.com Jeff Satterley

    My goodness, I think I fall into somewhere about 10 of those categories….

    Which categories? Air the dirty laundry, Hemant!

  • Sandra S

    Damn it, I only got nine…

  • Eric

    Hemant, you need to repent from your Gangster Rapper ways.

  • Claudia

    My goodness, I think I fall into somewhere about 10 of those categories….

    My thoughts EXACTLY.

    I wonder if anyone has EVER been successfully converted by this sort of thing. I’m guessing that it mostly has the effect of causing derision and a hardening of contempt by the non-theist, and embarrassment by any passing theist.

  • BlueRidgeLady

    God forbid we view women as human beings! That is all feminism truly boils down to- social, economic, and reproductive justice.

    It’s like Going To Hell Bingo and I got 11 of them!

    and lol Gangster Rappers and Obama voters. haha. This is going on my facebook page.

  • http://godlessartist.blogspot.com/ Kilre

    EPIC WIN.

  • http://feveredintellect.blogspot.com Viggo the Carpathian

    I think everyone falls somewhere in there. These preachers are insane.
    So Jesse has never fornicated, had homosexual relations, lied, stolen, masturbated, voted for Obama(which I don’t remember being in the Bible), worshipped Buddha, danced dirty, worshipped a Hindu god, listened to or performed Gangster Rap(something else forgotten by the bible), worshipped Allah, been drunk, respected women, voted Democrat, had a liberal thought, believed in evolution, doubted god, smoked pot, or had anal sex; wow he leads a boring life.
    I can understand the not worshipping other gods or even being conservative but that leaves fornication, homosexual relations, lying, stealing, masturbation, dirty dancing, drunkenness, respect for women, pot smoking, and anal sex. Still a full life.
    So he’s honest and straight. I’ll give him that. That still leaves fornication, masturbation, dirty dancing, drunkenness, respect for women, pot smoking, and anal sex. Still a full life.
    OK, so he’s squeamish, shy and paranoid. Down to fornication and masturbation and respect for women.
    I refuse to believe that he doesn’t engage in at least one of these. Since he doesn’t like immodest women (which is their business, not his) we can give him the feminism thing.
    So he doesn’t get laid (probably all the Jesus talk)… well I think a camera needs to be installed near his Vaseline dammit. I ain’t buying it.

  • Amyable Atheist

    HAHAHAHA I scored 10 categories too (and 7 of them are all in row – guess which ones!) – I’ve never been so proud!!!

    Awesome counter-protest – reality is always the best argument against delusional hatred, and you’re right Jesse – not for the sake of the delusional but for everyone else present.

  • http://feveredintellect.blogspot.com Viggo the Carpathian

    We keeping score… Wow 12… I am so damned

  • http://spsein.blogspot.com/ Gabriel G.

    I fall in about 10 1/2.

    Also: I wish I could have been there! Sounds like a fun counter protest.

  • Michelle Nicole

    Yikes, I got 13 “Hell Points”. Gotta keep life exciting!

  • Peregrine

    I’m only in about 8. And the only reason I didn’t vote for Obama is because I’m Canadian. So that’s 8½.

    I’m straight, but I would totally kiss a dude for such a counter protest.

  • http://feveredintellect.blogspot.com Viggo the Carpathian

    It is a continuum of badness. The Hell points are listed after the offense. Add up your score.

    I scored 130

    Fornicators 1
    Homosexuals 2
    Liars 3
    Thieves 4
    Masturbators 5
    Obama Voters 6
    Buddhists 7
    Dirty Dancers 8
    Hindus 9
    Gangster Rappers10
    Muslims 11
    Drunkards 12
    Feminists 13
    Immodest Women 14
    Democrats 15
    Liberals 16
    Evolutionists 17
    Atheists 18
    Potheads 19
    Sodomites 20

  • Gabriel

    I’m a 12 and would bump it up to a temporary 13 just to counterprotest this guy.

  • sc0tt

    No spelling mistakes, or misplaced apostrophes??? I smell a Poe.

  • http://notapottedplant.blogspot.com Transplanted Lawyer

    I was feeling bad about only qualifying for eight of the categories, but after @Viggo the Carpathian‘s score sheet, I can start to be proud of myself again with 61 points!

  • Peregrine

    80 points.

    83, if I count the Obama thing for half marks.

  • Dustball

    Man, I only have 7. I need to bump up my game.

    I’m with the sentiment of a few others here. I’m straight and would totally do this.

  • Edmond

    I got 13 also. Yay!

    I also wonder if this is a Poe. This is the weirdest list of “repentables” I’ve ever seen. Obama voters? Gangster rappers? Strange that Potheads are specifically mentioned, does that mean that heroin addicts are ok?

  • Darwin’s Dagger

    Notice that there is no room for murderers, rapists and child molesters on his list. Apparently voting for Obama is a bigger sin.

  • http://skeptigirl.wordpress.com Kimbo Jones

    Everything about that picture is made of win.

  • http://riotingmind.blogspot.com BeamStalk

    Woo 13 for me and 141 on the Viggo scale!

    I wonder if anyone has EVER been successfully converted by this sort of thing. I’m guessing that it mostly has the effect of causing derision and a hardening of contempt by the non-theist, and embarrassment by any passing theist.

    Don’t you know they are planting the seeds of faith, even if they never have someone become saved directly they know they planted the first seeds of faith in someone, or some bullshit like that.

  • http://thinkingforfree.blogspot.com Eamon Knight

    Geez, I only get about 9 out of 20 (as a Canadian, I can really only take half-points for “Obama Voter” and “Democrat”). I feel so….inadequately sinful.

  • Apsalar

    10 hell items, and I’ve got 124 on the score.

    I think it’s kind of weird how only 2 of the items, liars and thieves, are things that most of us would agree are actually bad.

  • http://religiouscomics.net Jeff

    Am I the only one who didn’t score any points?

    /kidding

  • Christine

    I got 11! Go me!

    We had a guy outside our campus with an Obama = Hitler sign, passing out fliers for some far-right politician. Most people have been ignoring them when they turn up, but now I kinda want to organize a counter demonstration.

  • bigjohn756

    Well, it looks as though everyone is having fun except Morrell. I’s love to see the look on his face here.

    I only got 7:(

  • Ally

    He’s definitely not a Poe. He’s been on the New Haven beat for ages. His civil rights suit was settled with the city this year to the tune of $25000.

    http://www.newhavenindependent.org/archives/2009/07/preacher_wins_2.php

  • medussa

    Reminds me of when our Dykes on Bikes group encountered the KKKlan at a Gay Pride Parade. We parked the bikes, ran back, and started making out, the interracial couples prominently in the foreground.

    Baiting idiots is quite entertaining…

    And I score 146 on Viggo’s chart, and 14 categories. Is that a record?

  • Vas

    I commit as many of the listed sins as there were time zones in the Soviet Union….

  • Tizzle

    I got 15, if smoking pot sometimes is the same as pothead. Also, 173 points.

    Do I win something?

  • http://www.juanformoso.com.ar Juan Manuel

    lol @ “Obama voters”, wtf?

  • Claudia

    I make 12.

    That’s 145 on the Viggo scale. Hope it really is hot down there, ’cause it’s a cold day in Spain today1

  • Potco
  • ursulamajor

    Yea, my first take on the pic was those kissing guys were probably straight. I know my son and a few of his friends wouldn’t have missed the opportunity to mess with that guy even though they are straight.

    13 for me, maybe 14, but I went to college in the 70′s and it’s kind of fuzzy.

  • Peregrine

    You know what’s funny? I think my wife would only get 6 or 7 categories, and about 73 on the Viggo scale. (76 given half points for Canadians who would have voted for Obama if they were American)

    What gives? A straight Buddhist atheist is worse than a bisexual Wiccan?

  • http://hoverfrog.wordpress.com hoverFrog

    No fair! There is no way I can get “Immodest women” or “Obama Voters” as a non American man. I’m still very proud of my 13 though. I’d get more but I draw the line at Gangster Rap.

  • Infinite Monkey

    I got 11, but for me, some of them were redundant.

    Name me one homosexual who isn’t a fornicator, a sodomite, and a masturbator.

    Its like SINOPOLY. I’m going to build Hotels of Decadence these properties.

  • Peregrine

    @Infinite Monkey

    Name me one homosexual who isn’t a fornicator, a sodomite, and a masturbator.

    Lesbians are not necessarily sodomites.

  • http://spsein.blogspot.com/ Gabriel G.

    Oi, only 118 ): I feel ashamed, I should have gotten higher.

  • Polly

    Holy Cow, You guys are a bunch of sinners! :P

    I have a Viggo of 35*.

    *44 if saying “holy cow” qualifies me as Hindu.

  • http://biblecritical.blogspot.com Bryan

    Where do I sign up for this counter protest?

  • Beth

    Storytime!

    Five of us were leaving a concert and ran into a similar situation. Two of the boys immediately jumped at the chance and went to town in a fashion much like the above story, and when mister corner-preacher started shrieking bloody murder the third guy felt obligated to join in. Corner-preacher came over to me and the other girl with arm-waving concern for our sanity and well-being at being accompanied by such…such. When we noticed he was actually directing his comments at us, we kinda blinked at him a bit and explained that two of them were our boyfriends, and they do this sort of thing all the time. After that, I think the corner-preacher gave up…at least on us and anyone in our vicinity.

    It’s good to know that hell is waiting for me in 16 different ways, I was kinda worried about where I’d be living next year.

  • http://blaghag.blogspot.com/ Jennifurret

    13 most of the time, 14 some time. *mystery*

  • JulietEcho

    174! Wow, I think I’m winning? To be fair, I only counted “Gangster Rapper” because I’ve sung the Ben Folds version of Bitches Ain’t Shit about 100 times, including with ukulele accompaniment.

  • Victoria

    I got 11 items, 117 on the Viggo scale, and a new image for my desktop background.

  • Sandra

    13 1/2 and 172 hell points!
    Woo I feel so naughty… somebody spank me! :D

  • http://avertyoureye.blogspot.com/ Teleprompter

    12 items, 135 hell points.

    So it goes.

  • http://thatcorporatewriter.blogspot.com Rebecca

    Hey, good old Gary used to visit us at NCSU, too. Didn’t know you went to UNC, Jesse G. I heard Gary got himself banned up there a few years back.

  • cathy

    I got eight for a regular basis and nine for that one time in high school…(does it count as sodomy if it’s guy on girl? Is this the modern definition of sodomy, or the sodomy that includes oral? Because if it includes oral, definitely nine) The irony being that as a socialist, I would not consider myself a liberal and am not a democrat, so, ironically, the Cynthia McKinney voting socialist is down by three points.

    On a side note, Syracuse University had the best anti-evangelical pro-gay protest ever. One of the evangelicals, who was wearing a long courdoroy skirt, had a sign which said ‘homosexuality is a sin, christ can help you.’ A student made a sign which said ‘courdoroy skirts are a sin, homosexuals can help you’ (note, that if you take the bible literally, courdoroy, a mixed cloth, is in fact a sin). The protest spiraled until there were upwards of fifty students protesting two evangelicals.

  • littlejohn

    I’m straight, but if that asshat had shown up on my campus I would have locked lips immediately with the nearest dude. Gay kissing in front of a godbot? Priceless!

  • http://gretachristina.typepad.com/ Greta Christina

    I got 11 — if by “liar” you include “anyone who has ever told a lie.”

    Although I suppose I could lie, and say my number was higher…

    And I love that “dirty dancing” is on the list. How retro can you get? I’m surprised snuff isn’t on the list, too.

  • Angie

    So eternal damnation awaits feminists, immodest women, pot-smokers, liberals, evolutionists, people who wank off, and a diverse mix of non-Christians? Great! Reserve me a table in Hell, since it sounds like all the smart, interesting people go there.

  • absent sway

    Looks like the dirty dancing will catch up with me at last. I suppose that makes me an immodest woman as well, lol.

  • Elizabeth McFadden

    16 categories! If you count things only done very occasionally. And 173 on the Viggo scale. :-)

  • jemand

    I’m so sad that a perfect score is out of reach…

    But being simultaneously Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist, and Atheist was just too taxing… :( :( :(

    Just 14 for me.

  • http://www.EscapeFromDogma.blogspot.com Shamar

    ha ha ha, we had a preacher like that on our campus the last couple of days. I put a couple pictures of them on my blog, lol

    http://bit.ly/RuUcx

  • Peregrine

    OK, so excluding the atheistic or religious categories, there are 16 categories. If we assume that by sodomites, he means anyone of either gender who participates in butt-sex, then an immodest woman who happens to be a liberal feminist bisexual not opposed to rear entry could potentially land in 16 categories. We would also have to assume that lairs and thieves include childhood indiscretions, rather than chronic or occasional offenses.

    Add to that, the possible combinations of the remaining four categories. From the Buddhist perspective, there is no conflict with being a Buddhist, and also being in one of the other categories. From the other perspective, it’s a matter of opinion, but… never mind that. So a Buddhist can also be an atheist, a Hindu, or a Muslim.

    There is also at least one non-theistic Hindu sect I seem to recall, I forget the details, and I may be completely misremembering that, but for the sake of the demonstration, let’s assume I’m right. So a non-theistic Buddhist/Hindu would be extraordinarily rare, but not technically impossible.

    And someone who’s a Muslim is unlikely to be in any of the other combinations, so that ones out.

    Therefore, the highest score attainable: The most categories a person could potentially fall into is 19, with a Viggo score of 199.

    Bonus points if they like falafel.

  • Revyloution

    jemand, if you switched to pantheist you could bag 3 out of 4 at least. And if you buy the ‘atheism is a religion’ line, you could claim a full 4 out of 4.

    Pantheism: The “you pick the restaurant, Ill pay” religion.

  • http://religionsetspolitics.blogspot.com/ Joshua Zelinsky

    Wow. I love my alma mater.

  • http://negativentropy.blogspot.com/ Jennifer Gray

    I’m guilty of 9 of them… 10 if I count “dirty dancers.” I’ve never danced, but I like going to strip clubs once in a while. Those girls inspire me to work out. :D

    If Hell exists, it’s gonna be where the party’s at! ;)

  • mystmaiden

    wow….14….holy crap ;) …. yep I’m going to hell :)

  • Haruhiist

    I got 9 points, or a Viggo score of 89,
    (not ocunting democrat or obama-voter cuz I’m not American.

    Anyone who hasn’t counted the liars part should do so anyway. We all tell lies in order to not offend other people all the time. Lies are the grease of society.

  • Darwin’s Dagger

    Well if stealing once or twice technically makes you a thief then a person who had done some spiritual exploration and tried on Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism before settling for atheism could qualify in every category.

  • muggle

    I was gonna say 8 until I read Cathy’s:

    I got eight for a regular basis and nine for that one time in high school…(does it count as sodomy if it’s guy on girl? Is this the modern definition of sodomy, or the sodomy that includes oral? Because if it includes oral, definitely nine

    Likewise for me.

    If we’re only talking currently (since you can repent and if you stretch it old habits cast off can be considered that and also since I’m using a walker my boogie fever/dirty dancing days are defnitely over along with my middle aged body discouraging dressing as immodestly as I used to), I’m a boring 4 and a half. I almost never lie, even white lies, but no one can totally avoid and I am currently stringing the grandson along on Santa helping me get him a particular present he wants.

    (I gave him Raggedy Andy for the Christmas he was two. He’s been on a I want a little sister kick since his best buddy at Daddy’s got one and asked for Raggedy Ann since he heard of her one day and was amazed that Andy had a sister. I promised to bring her back home with her brother for Christmas.)

    Sigh. I’ve got to loosen up.

    We need to refine Viggo’s scale. More points if you’re a habitual liar, less if it’s rare, somewhere in the middle if you’re like most people. Bonus points if you claim not to lie at all because you’re a goddamn liar to even claim that. Even if you sincerely believe that, you’re lying to yourself.

  • http://angelo-ventura.blogspot.com/ Angelo Ventura

    I seepedophile priests aren’t mentioned…

  • muggle

    Oh, yeah, and great protest!

    (Don’t know why but the edit function hasn’t worked for me today and yesterday.)

  • Sibs

    masturbators? i guess i’m going to hell!

  • Evinfuilt

    @Peregrine

    Well then, I guess I’m only sodomite till tomorrow’s surgery.

    Today I get 14, tomorrow I drop to 13. I could take up pot to get my score back up, but my partner wouldn’t approve.

  • Claudia

    Evinfuilt much luck in your transition, if I’m interpreting you correctly. :)

    Merriam-Webster defines sodomy as:

    : anal or oral copulation with a member of the same or opposite sex; also : copulation with an animal

    Though the last part of the definition only covers (I hope) a tiny portion of people, the first part should cover anyone having even a moderately interesting sex-life, lesbians included.

    Hah, that makes Bill Clinton a sodomite! LMAO

  • Siamang

    Great photo. I remember when the image of two men kissing was so verboten, so shocking that even liberal straight men would fear their eyes exploding upon seeing this in public.

    How norms have changed!

  • http://religionsetspolitics.blogspot.com Joshua Zelinsky

    Hmm, 8 to 11 depending on definitions.

    One of the most fascinating parts of the list is how much is political (Obama voters, Democrats, liberals).

    From other remarks this individual has made, he seems to think that one is almost certainly going to hell if one doesn’t accept Jesus. So I’m not sure why he is bothering to call out certain categories.

    And I’ll just say it again: I love Yale. So happy that this happenened at my old school.

  • Spurs Fan

    I’m a lame eight as well and an 81 on the Viggo scale. Viggo might want to copyright the scale-seems that it has taken on a life of its own on this post alone. (Can you imagine future “truth or dare” games? Truth. Okay, what are you on the Viggo scale?)

  • Spurs Fan

    I’m a lame eight as well-as much I would like to be a dirty-dancing gangsta rapper, alas, I am not.

    Also, Viggo might want to copyright the scale-seems that it has taken on a life of its own on this post alone. (Can you imagine future “truth or dare” games? Truth. Okay, what are you on the Viggo scale?)

  • Jane

    I’m from New Haven and I wish this photo had run on the front page of the New Haven Register.

    I’m a proud 122 on the Viggo Scale. Woot!

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  • Maggie

    I got 11, but a 123 on the Viggo Scale system. (:

    And let me say that I would without a doubt make out with a chick in front of this guy, even though I’m straight as a line.