Campus Crusade for Christ is No More…

Well, unfortunately, the organization is still around, but they’re officially changing their name:

Campus Crusade for Christ in the U.S. is changing its name to Cru. The new name will be adopted in early 2012. The U.S. ministry hopes the new name will overcome existing barriers and perceptions inherent in the original name.

The name, selected from a pool of 1,600 potential names, has a track record within Campus Crusade for Christ. Since the mid-1990s, it has been used locally on the majority of their U.S. campus ministries.

So this…

… is becoming this:

I know what you’re thinking: WHOA! That’s so hip! They’ve convinced me to follow Jesus! Where do I sign up?!

Give it time, my friends…

Christianity Today explains the rationale behind the decision:

“It’s become a flash word for a lot of people. It harkens back to other periods of time and has a negative connotation for lots of people across the world, especially in the Middle East,” said Steve Sellers, the CCCI vice president and U.S. national director who is leading the name change project. “In the ’50s, crusade was the evangelistic term in the United States. Over time, different words take on different meanings to different groups.”

With the name Crusade, Sellers said people might conjure images of people being forced into something.

“We think the name of Jesus and his love is the most attractive thing on the planet, and to do anything to make it seem forced or that we’re trying to cram it down anyone’s throat is just not necessary,” Sellers said. “We’re constantly trying to eliminate things that are a barrier or obstacle.”

They don’t get it. It’s not the word “Crusade” that makes non-Christians stay away from them. It’s the convert-at-all-costs mentality members exhibit. It’s the Science-is-the-enemy way of thinking. It’s the inability to think beyond the Bible. It’s the way they seem to alienate so many people on their own campus, including other Christians.

And, you know, it’s the fact that there’s no evidence to back up what they believe.

A name change means nothing if they continue operating in the same way, which is fine by me, because they do plenty to help our own cause. While they always seem to have a huge membership, they’re equally good at pushing people away.

Feel free to leave stories about your run-ins with CCC members in the comments.

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the chair of Foundation Beyond Belief and a high school math teacher in the suburbs of Chicago. He began writing the Friendly Atheist blog in 2006. His latest book is called The Young Atheist's Survival Guide.

  • Sue

    Being a Brit, I’ve never encountered the CCC (we have Christian Union groups over here) but that new name just makes me think about Mötley Crüe.

    • Jake

      Me too! And I doubt glam-rock is what they were going for.

      • Dan

        One word: “Stryper”

  • Anonymous

    But… doesn’t “Cru” stand for “Crusade”? Sounds like they don’t actually want to stop having the spirit of a crusade – they just don’t want people to think they do. 

    One time in college the Cru came into the food court, and I mentioned a little too loudly that  being a Crusader often means getting your ass kicked by Muslims. I got some awkward looks.

  • pureone

    They brought Phillip Johnson to my university to give his “Darwin on Trial”(?) spiel. I pissed him off by asking a couple good questions. One of the members was in my biology program but left it because it was “so ingrained in evolution with no other opinions”. Good riddance.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_VQ6QXKIJCLIG53PYF6LLPXAJ44 Julie

      Gah. That made me snort. “evolution and no other opinions?” Uh, science isn’t about opinions. “This math department is about correct addition and no other opinions.” Go over to the art department or English department. There’s nothing wrong with opinions except when they’re used where they have no place, i.e. science!

    • http://www.miketheinfidel.com/ MikeTheInfidel

      They brought him to my college as well, and that was when I actually believed what he said. Can’t believe I wasted my money on that book.

  • Anonymous

    “Cru? What does Cru stand for?”
    “Oh, it’s short for Crusade.”
    “…”

    Yeah they solved that problem alright. Genius.

    • Anonymous

      That’s what I noticed too. It makes the ‘crusade’ part come to mind all the more quickly. Oh, well. I’m all for truth in advertising.

    • Anonymous

      That’s what I noticed too. It makes the ‘crusade’ part come to mind all the more quickly. Oh, well. I’m all for truth in advertising.

    • Anonymous

      That’s what I noticed too. It makes the ‘crusade’ part come to mind all the more quickly. Oh, well. I’m all for truth in advertising.

    • Fredwords

      No, no, no. Can’t you tell? Look at the design. Look at those American Southwest colors. That’s an Indian design. It stands for Las Cruces, New Mexico!

    • Lucas

      I agree, it does have that potential. But then again from what I’ve heard and read (other sources) they hired some big PR firms to research the name and Cru was extremely well received.

  • http://profiles.google.com/dantresomi Danny Rodriguez

    As if changing the name of the group will really bring people to sign up….smh

  • AwesomeCloud’s mom

    That could get very confusing if, say, someone wants to announce they’ve just joined the crew team, which is called crew for short. :)

  • http://toomanytribbles.blogspot.com/ helen sotiriadis

    that’s their new logo?  
    we have a copyright issue here, methinks.
    http://1x.com/

    • Anonymous

      Trademark, not copyright.  Trademarks are used to protect logo and name designs.

      But wow.  It looks like they only changed the length of one of the arms, rotated it and added colors.  Otherwise, they look the same at a glance.

      • http://toomanytribbles.blogspot.com/ helen sotiriadis

        aha — thanks. i never considered the difference.
        yes, they are overly similar, aren’t they..

    • Anonymous

      Amazingly similar. How did you find 1x? Maybe there is an actual affiliation?

      • http://toomanytribbles.blogspot.com/ helen sotiriadis

        no — i had just happened to bookmark it yesterday because they’re holding a photo contest that i’m thinking of entering, and i saw hemant’s post today.

  • Ray Adam Latiolais

    What sort of messed up cult as a single word that means ‘holy war’? Oh, yeah…

  • Bailey

    We had a pretty sizable CCC group, although their presence was always overshadowed by the local and traveling street preachers who like to show up and screech at people. However, a couple of girls came up to me in the student union and asked me to participate in a “class experiment” where they showed me pictures and asked what they made me think of…except they forgot that on the back of each little picture card, it had CCC information all over it. I wasn’t surprised that they were using underhanded tactics to get people to give them fifteen minutes of their lives, but the whole experience was irritating. 

    • Kenny Wilson

      They’re not supposed to use subversive tatics to get you to take the questionnaire. They’re actually told not to. I apologize on behalf of them. Reading through the comments it makes me sad that you all took each individual’s actions so negatively. I don’t know the students with whom you encountered, but let me say that Cru’s thought process is this: if we believe that eternal punishment (or ED ;-)) is a real thing then it is not loving of us to keep quiet about it. We use the picture thing, called Soularium and other methods to begin conversations because we know spiritual topics can be very awkward. Cru is all about presenting the Gospel and allowing you to make your own decision. I apologize if members of Cru (which shouldn’t taint the whole organizaton) shoved it down your throat.

      • TSC

        Well, literally everyone I’ve spoken to who has encountered CCC has said they tried to push things down their throats. I know that’s anecdotal, but CCC are not subtle.

        • Kenny Wilson

           NOW YOU LISTEN TO ME!

          Just kidding. Unfortunately, it’s the nature of the beast I think. Cru is the largest non-profit organization in the world, to my understanding, and there are several grassroots movements throughout the US. Not everyone gets the appropriate training.

          Please give Cru the benefit of the doubt. Whether you believe in Christ or not, Cru stands for many good things. There are dozens of branches of Campus Crusade for Christ – not just the campus ministry.

          • Anonymous

            Aggressive proselytizing can never be a good thing. If your message is so great, people will come to you anyways. You don’t need to push them.

            And don’t get me started on your twisted, sick conception of “love”. Urk

          • Anonymous

            Aggressive proselytizing can never be a good thing. If your message is so great, people will come to you anyways. You don’t need to push them.

            And don’t get me started on your twisted, sick conception of “love”. Urk

          • Guest

            That still ignores how problematic the name and history of the crusades are, with a hint of no true Scotsmen.

            I am curious what charity work this big organization does. Is the only purpose saving the rest of us from heck?

            • Keljopy

              I know when I was in college, groups from many different campuses went to New Orleans to help clean up after Katrina (embarrassingly I was in it at the time).  Their group was much larger than any of the other college groups.  However, the overwhelming majority of their mission trips and “projects” are all about proselytizing (which is why the next year I went on a secular Alternative Spring Break Project, since even in my Christian days I preferred helping people to proselytizing).  So they’ve done some charity work, but even that was in the hopes of being able to “share Jesus’ love”, and overall they’ve probably done far more harm than good in the world.

              • Anonymous

                That kind of behavior is common in many Christian charities. It gives them access to many poor, vulnerable and desperate people who are open to being preached at if they get some help in return

                • Keljopy

                  Very true, if your message isn’t good enough to stand on its own, then you need a captive audience, and someone who needs a type of help that you can give is just that.

                • Kenny Wilson

                  We have two different world views. Christians see two needs, 1.) physical and 2.) spiritual. As I asserted in my first message, if we have the belief that you are going to spend an eternity in separation from God it is not loving for us to address one need and ignore the other.

                  We don’t help people simply because they’re “vulnerable” and are “open to being preached at.”

                  Your words alone paint a negative picture and show that you are coming into the conversation with negative presuppositions about Christian ministry (both spiritual and physical).

                  Hope your view changes. Christians, muslims, atheists, and agnostics all do great things for the poor. I wouldn’t accuse you of doing a nice thing simply to share a view, I’d assume that you’re doing it because you’re altruistic in nature. Please, give us the same benefit of the doubt.

                • http://www.miketheinfidel.com/ MikeTheInfidel

                  When I, an atheist, do work for a charity, I don’t spend any of my time pushing my worldview at other people.

                  When you, a Christian, do work for a charity, you seek out any opportunity to do so. I know. I used to DO Christian mission work, both with Cru and with my church.

                • Menko

                  Christianity is not just a religion, but a lifestyle. So it is very much part of our life just like someone’s career is part of a person’s life.

                  So if you were to have a conversation with a new person, I am sure the topic of careers/jobs would come up.

                  So its like we are just sharing part of our life with you.

                  I would also describe telling someone about Jesus to telling someone about a cool movie I just saw.  I liked the movie, Jesus, so much that I just wanted to share it with you. Im not forcing you to go see the movie, but im advising you do cause i thought it was good.

                  Just because someone shares their faith in Jesus with another person does not mean they are forcing it or trying to convert someone, it is more so an invitation to a awesome party.

                • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

                  Let me let you in on one more little secret.

                  Many of us were raised Christian.  Then we saw the hypocrisy, the taking advantage of vulnerability, etc… up close and personal.  We read the bible for ourselves.

                  Then we applied some rationality, critical thinking, and ethics, and became atheists.

                  That’s why instead of sending food, water, and shelter to Haiti in their time of need, groups like yours send them boxes of solar powered bibles.

                  I’ve researched your charities.  Many of them, before they will give any aid, require conversion.  You don’t pray for people.  You prey for people.

                  You had the benefit of the doubt.  You lost it.

          • Sue

            What good things does it stand for?

            • Kenny Wilson

              As “FactCheck” posted near the top of this post,

              “Cru mission trips and staff go all over the world to help all kinds of
              people..Katrina disaster relief, Tsunami relief, earthquate relief,
              inner-city work (back-to-school items for kids in poverty, toiletry/food
              drives for homeless), numerous orphanages over seas, they partnered
              with a Gay/Lesbian group for AIDs awareness and prevention…the list
              goes on. Check out Global Aid Network (GAIN) and Here’s Life Inner City.
              These are both Crusade ministries …”

              Those are simply two of the additional arms that Campus Crusade for Christ has that are making impacts in the world for what we can both agree are god..

              • http://that-atheist.livejournal.com/ T_A

                And all in the name of spreading religious dogma and disinformation.

                • Kenny Wilson

                   That’s your opinion. You can’t speak to the motives of an organization of which you are not a part. And your assertion below is also false, too. The campus ministry was the first, founded by Bill Bright, but several of the other ministries have their separate leadership, mission statements, and goals.

                  This will be my last post. ‘Twas nice conversing with you all.

          • Donalbain

            No it doesn’t. It stands for brainwashing people into their Jesus cult. That is not a good thing at all. If you were all about the “good things” there would be no need to mention Jesus at all.

          • http://that-atheist.livejournal.com/ T_A

            “There are dozens of branches of Campus Crusade for Christ – not just the campus ministry.”

            All of which ultimately exist to support that campus ministry, and all of which are therefore entitled to eat the contempt directed at it.

      • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

        Kenny,

        Let me let you in on a little secret.

        We are all familiar with the gospel.  You guys have 100+ TV channels devoted to the ‘gospel’ on just about every provider.  You can’t watch public  TV on Sunday or during the AM hours without somebody preaching at you.  Those of us who commute more than a few miles drive by church signs extolling various beliefs.

        We’ve heard it.

        Now I will let you in on another secret.  When you interrupt our day to shove it in our faces again, taking some of our precious break time between classes away from us, all you do is irritate us. 

        And to make a trifecta, I’ll give you one more secret.

        If you want to change minds and win recruits, try walking the walk rather than just doing a lot of talking.  Actually live up to the ‘love thy neighbor and judge not’ stuff your Christ spouted.  Take the money you guys spend on fliers and sending your members to seminars and use it to do something actually worthwhile, like fund a soup kitchen or to donate to one of the groups that rebuilds in places like Haiti.

        A saint is said to have once said ‘Preach the gospel in everything you do.  If necessary, use words’.

        Your words are hollow and meaningless.  They are just noise.  You want to do good in the world, stop talking, get off your butt, pick up a hammer or paintbrush or cook pot or sewing needle and actually DO something.

        • Kenny Wilson

           What is the Gospel, then?

          • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind
            • Kenny Wilson

              Googling the Gospel doesn’t show individual knowledge of what it is nor does it mean you’ll actually get the Gospel, but something that is called a gospel.

              • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

                Ah, so, if you were honest, your question would not have been ‘What is the Gospel, then?’, it would have been ‘have you heard the particular interpretation of the gospel by Mr. Kenny Wilson, for obviously in the whole of the world nobody else can possibly have ever provided you with this information for only the gospel as interpreted by Mr. Kenny Wilson could possibly be correct?’.

                I’ve read the bible, cover to cover, new testament and old, multiple translations.  I’m not interested in having you tell me what a book says when I am perfectly capable of reading the book for myself.  I’m familiar with your ilk, you want to publish ‘the bible, good parts version’, and prevent people from applying their critical thinking skills to the bible as written.

      • Phillip_ratliff

        Kenny,

        I appreciate your apology. But you don’t owe one on behalf of others in your organization. I’ll pick this bone: sincere belief does not excuse an action that others find obnoxious. Bear in mind that there are many of us who have witnessed, maybe lived through, the harm caused by threats of hellfire and find the idea cruel. We mock it because it needs to be brought down to size, a fabrication intended to get people to fall in line. Sincere belief can be hauled out to justify bilking the faithful out of paychecks, denying children vaccinations or blood transfusions, flying planes into skyscrapers, picketing soldiers funerals with God Hates Fags signs, pretending to really be conducting a questionnaire, wearing funny underwear, you name it.

    • Everyday Atheist

      My one run-in with the group came while I was still a Christian.  Walking through the student union, some guy waived a Snickers bar at me and challenged, “I’ll give you a candy bar if you’ll tell me why you don’t believe in Jesus.”  When I replied, “But, I do.”  He smiled and said something like, “Praise God, I’m glad to hear that.  Have a great day.”  But all I could think was, “Listen, buddy, about that candy bar…”

      • Anonymous

        Usually it’s the cookies that lure them to our side.

  • Clarinet Box

    Crusade for Christ, how about ‘Kool Aid for Khrist’?  Kampus Kool-aid for Khrist. Now that sounds like a young inclusive group.  What they need next is some kind of uniform with a catchy acronym sewn into the breast pocket .

    • http://profiles.google.com/thrymn Timothy Simmons

      Despite fear of belaboring the point, I guess they could also make sure to include hoods (to symbolize how we all killed Jesus, white of course to symbolize their attempts to become more pure).

  • John Small Berries

     So out of a pool of 1,600 potential names, they decided to go with the one that retains part of the word that was causing their problem in the first place, and discards the bits that weren’t causing a problem?

    • Puckishone

      That’s the way many Christians approach the Bible, so it’s really a logical slam-dunk. :)

    • Puckishone

      That’s the way many Christians approach the Bible, so it’s really a logical slam-dunk. :)

  • Anonymous

    They don’t get it. It’s not the word “Crusade” that makes
    non-Christians stay away from them. It’s the convert-at-all-costs
    mentality members exhibit.

    Speaking purely from a strategy perspective I don’t quite agree. I think they have a point that the word “crusade” has a bellicose connotation to it that will set off red flags and make people think “Bible thumper” without even engaging. It could also cause a lot of problems in the Middle East in terms of being allowed to operate in the area, since their name has such associations. Imagine a real-estate firm trying to make headway in Harlem with the name “Jim Crow and associates”. Their name is more a hinderance than a help, so it make sense that they change it.

    Doesn’t change the underlying pitch though, and “Cru” is just half of the word “crusade” anyway. @helen sotiriadis that’s a nice catch, I wonder if anything can be made of it legally.

  • Kevin S.

    I roomed with a CCCer for about six months my sophomore year.  Only real takeaway was that he bitched at me for having vodka in the room (he was 21, and couldn’t get in trouble for it, still complained) and that he was disappointed I didn’t want to go protest The DaVinci Code with him.

  • Erik_F

    Hmm. “Building Spiritual Movements Everywhere”… BSME… BS… me?

    Guess it’s a good thing they dropped their subtitle.

    • Gregg Stephani

      Also the name of the degree I’m working on.

  • Anonymous

    I’m sorry to kind of spam your comment threads with something that’s somewhat not relevant to the actual topic, but I am greatly concerned with how Patheos is treating you.

    (I put more details on the thread about the timestamp problem, because it was at least a LITTLE closer to the idea of problems in your new web location.)

    I can’t figure out how to navigate to your blog while on the front page.  The portals are all assumed to be religious, and four different kinds of Christian are considered to be deserving of being split up and elevated to an equal position with all of, say, the Muslim faith, while ANY nonbelieving/skeptic/et c portal doesn’t exist AT ALL.

    I really hope you’re working as we speak to fix this, and I’m surprised you did the switch before they made this more acceptable– given how a few months ago you posted your frustration with AMAZON for removing the “atheism” category for book searches.

    And that wasn’t even your new web home!

  • http://disienai.tumblr.com/ Semipermeable

    Cru? Really? That is just about as awkward as when my 65 year old father called my date a “hip dude -goth”. 

  • Joe

    I’m surprised by how much news / twitter, etc attention this is all getting.  The group must be massive!

  • http://twitter.com/DangerousTalk Staks Rosch

    When I was in College, CCC tried to change their name to “Christian Impact” a few times. They kept changing it back and forth. Back then, there weren’t many outspoken atheists and I was pretty outspoken. I used to go to their meetings a lot (I was invited). The leader of their local group even told members that God really really wanted to convert me and told challenged them to be the one to do it. So I started to get multiple Christians coming to my dorm room every day.

    At one point CCC did a program called, “Do You Agree With Tom: How I Got Over Alcoholism.” Some of my friends in the Philosophy Club urged me to do a counter program called, “Do You Agree With Staks: How I Got Over God.” It was fun.  Interestingly enough Tom came to my program and we are still friends today.

  • cipher

    While they’re at it, they may want to consider shortening “eternal damnation” to ED – far less threatening.

    Is there an evangelical on this planet who isn’t a f*cking moron? (Rhetorical question.)

    • Amenhotepstein

      As a 40-something male, I find the letters “ED” far more threatening than the prospect of eternal damnation.

      As long as the damnation doesn’t last for more than 4 hours…

      • cipher

        You know, I actually had to look that up…

  • Samuel Shore

    ISSA (My campus secular group) did a couple of blood drives with Cru this last academic year. At one of them, one of their guys stated that he was “dealing with some homosexual urges”. It was such a frustrating experience to see his supposed friends encouraging him to subvert who he really was in the name of their moral structure.

  • Surgoshan

    Wow!  Just LOOK at those colors.  They’ve abandoned that fifties era title and jumped head-first into the nineteen-sixties!  Far out, man.

  • Surgoshan

    Wow!  Just LOOK at those colors.  They’ve abandoned that fifties era title and jumped head-first into the nineteen-sixties!  Far out, man.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_E2YKNJBKUJEL7IN6HROUXSNCAY david

    There is evidence to back up what they believe:  http://atheistlegitimacy.blogspot.com/

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_E2YKNJBKUJEL7IN6HROUXSNCAY david

    There is evidence to back up what they believe:  http://atheistlegitimacy.blogspot.com/

  • http://thegodlessmonster.com/ The Godless Monster

    Sheer genius.

  • http://twitter.com/gordongoblin Gordon

    Hopes raised, then dashed.

  • Dynaboy

    Ahhh, the fine art of Christian marketing campaigns. We’re not a crusade for Christ; we’re “cru”, bro!

    Reminds me of the latest marketing campaign for churches in Metro Detroit: 2wordstory.com.

    • Rob

      I’ll admit that I clicked through the videos until I got to the “I accepted Jesus” link.  Hilarious

  • The Pint

    Aw man. Now who’s going to get the joke behind my Campus Crusade for Cthulhu shirt?

    • Douglas Kirk

      Time for new shirts… cthu with orange and red tentacle outlines maybe?

      • The Pint

        If anyone comes up with a T-shirt screen updating “Campus Crusade for Cthulhu” to mirror the CCC change, post that up here and I’ll be first in line to buy!

        • ANuRa

          “Cru” vs “Cthlu”!!! Sorry, I could not resist!
          I want a T-shirt also!

  • Amanda Manning

    For me, this is old news. My cousin’s been involved with “Cru” at Purdue University. It’s very glamorous – they go on big mission trips around the world and attend big, flashy conferences.

    http://vimeo.com/10514571 <—- like that one.

    Stuff Christian Culture Likes describes these tactics as "doing stuff and avoiding relationship", and I think Cru is the epitome of this statement. I've never seen Cru host a project that helps individual communities or solves an immediate problem. Pray about it! Hold your hands in the air! Build each other up! Go to the altar call! Raise money for trips! Buy the t-shirt!

    While not expressly atheist, a feminist organization I participated in hosted a showing of the Vagina Monologues and raised THOUSANDS of dollars for the local YWCA (they always depended on the performance to help continue programs like donating diapers, formula, etc. to low-income women/mothers). But we got picketed for being "godless". WTF.

    Which org did the greater good? I wonder…

    • FactCheck

      Amanda, I think you should dig a little deeper for the facts. Cru mission trips and staff go all over the world to help all kinds of people..Katrina disaster relief, Tsunami relief, earthquate relief, inner-city work (back-to-school items for kids in poverty, toiletry/food drives for homeless), numerous orphanages over seas, they partnered with a Gay/Lesbian group for AIDs awareness and prevention…the list goes on. Check out Global Aid Network (GAIN) and Here’s Life Inner City. These are both Crusade ministries that contradict your accusations. Please, oh please stop the ignorance.

      • http://www.miketheinfidel.com/ MikeTheInfidel

        Immediately I begin to wonder what percentage of that time was spent proselytizing and handing out Bibles to people in need of actual help.

        • FactCheck

          What percentage would tickle your fancy, Mike? If you’re really curious. Go on a trip with them and find out. I really think this blog can do better than make false accusations and hurl insults. Really.

    • Kenny Wilson

       I was a member of Purdue’s Cru for four years. We send thousands of dollars to feed Africans at the beginning of every semester, plus do cool community work with other Christian ministries throughout the year.

      As far as your accusation of picketing, I think it’s important to get all the facts straight. Cru did not picket that event. We haven’t picketed any event in the four years that I’ve been there (and am currently staff at Purdue here (not for Cru)).  I’m actually pretty sure some of my friends, who were in Cru, attended VM. So, someone may have picketed the event, but Cru was not one of ‘em. I promise!

      • Bvaughn

        It’s called Campus Crusade “for Christ”, not “For helping people.”

        • Journeywithjesus

           As an ex-employee let me explain: Christ lives in those who serve Him………therefore it is our duty to ‘help people’. This is how we are ‘for Christ’. By doing  unto those in need we are actually doing those things to and for Christ.

      • Anonymous

        I apologize for not being clearer in the inital comment; I should clarify that the organization that picketed the Monologues was NEW (Network of Enlightened Women), but the point is the same. NEW picketed us for the same reasons that my cousin believes TVM is wrong – it talks about sex, “intimate parts”, swears, and advocates gender equality. None of those things are accepted in the Cru community (or by the organization at large).

        It’s not about the actions of individuals – it’s about what is sanctioned and what is not by the organization. Anecdotal evidence could go on for miles about individuals who disagree with the foundations or choose to accept more moderate beliefs, but that is disingenuous. You can’t judge an organization by picking apart its individual members and their actions; you have to judge the entire thing. 

        From the website: “Campus Crusade for Christ is committed to winning, building, and sending students to proclaim the good news about Jesus Christ to the world.” I don’t think anyone could effectively argue that the main thrust of Cru is community service; it’s outreach and evangelism VIA service projects (even though I will absolutely accept that Cru donates money, time, and people to important relief efforts, etc).

        Lastly, what “cool community service projects” does Cru do in the Lafayette area? And why does Cru only do these projects with other Christian orgs? Why not parter with NOW or the Purdue Non-Theists?

        Why? Because if you can’t evangelize while you do it, it’s not worth the time.

    • cipher

      You know, what bothers me about that story is that when I was in college, 35-ish years ago, everyone, even the Christers, would have been fine with it.

      Now, a generation and a half later, we have college kids who think and behave like red state retirees and who seem to be incapable of getting the bleeding point.

      I don’t know if people are getting stupider, or if stupid people are just getting more power.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_FRDTPMBW7IBKWIU3763AI6FYOM Steve

    Simple rebranding.
    Corporations do this when their actions have irredeemably damaged their reputations, but it would be far too troublesome to change their tactics, so they simply change the name, hoping that people will be far too stupid to notice the wet paint.

    • TheSkydivingSkeptic

      Like how Blackwater changed their name to Xe Services LLC?

    • TheSkydivingSkeptic

      Like how Blackwater changed their name to Xe Services LLC?

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

     They don’t get it. It’s not the word “Crusade” that makes non-Christians stay away from them. It’s the convert-at-all-costs mentality members exhibit. It’s the Science-is-the-enemy way of thinking. It’s the inability to think beyond the Bible. It’s the way they seem to alienate so many people on their own campus, including other Christians.

    The crusade word really is relevant. When I was an undergrad I was very involved in an interfaith Jewish/Muslim organization, and the use of the word “Crusdade” by some Christian groups made us feel very uncomfortable. (Note that at my university the CCC chapter used a different name generally that didn’t have the word “crusade” in it.) 

    I understand at some level their fear about eternal damnation. If I thought that people would suffer for eternity if I didn’t convince them, I’d try very hard to convince them. In that regard, a lot of evangelicals are in some sense more compassion than their deity. Their deity is willing to torture people for eternity, they are not.

    That said, being at a major, well-respected university and dealing with people who think that evolution is a satanic lie is scary as all heck. Not even thinking that evolution is wrong, but that it was really constructed by the Devil. At least most of them are far as I could tell seemed to think that scientists had come up with evolution to destroy Christianity. (This is in contrast to some charedi (ultra-Orthodox) Jews who actively claim that dinosaurs are an outright hoax to undermine “Torah Judaism”. One won’t encounter those sorts generally as college students.) But seriously, dealing with such people on campus, and then what they wanted to go into… almost all of them wanted to go into politics and other fields where they could make as large of an impact as possible. Scary.  

    And then you had the Christian athletes organization, which seemed to do an amazingly good job making non-Christian athletes or even non-evangelical Protestants really uncomfortable.  

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

     They don’t get it. It’s not the word “Crusade” that makes non-Christians stay away from them. It’s the convert-at-all-costs mentality members exhibit. It’s the Science-is-the-enemy way of thinking. It’s the inability to think beyond the Bible. It’s the way they seem to alienate so many people on their own campus, including other Christians.

    The crusade word really is relevant. When I was an undergrad I was very involved in an interfaith Jewish/Muslim organization, and the use of the word “Crusdade” by some Christian groups made us feel very uncomfortable. (Note that at my university the CCC chapter used a different name generally that didn’t have the word “crusade” in it.) 

    I understand at some level their fear about eternal damnation. If I thought that people would suffer for eternity if I didn’t convince them, I’d try very hard to convince them. In that regard, a lot of evangelicals are in some sense more compassion than their deity. Their deity is willing to torture people for eternity, they are not.

    That said, being at a major, well-respected university and dealing with people who think that evolution is a satanic lie is scary as all heck. Not even thinking that evolution is wrong, but that it was really constructed by the Devil. At least most of them are far as I could tell seemed to think that scientists had come up with evolution to destroy Christianity. (This is in contrast to some charedi (ultra-Orthodox) Jews who actively claim that dinosaurs are an outright hoax to undermine “Torah Judaism”. One won’t encounter those sorts generally as college students.) But seriously, dealing with such people on campus, and then what they wanted to go into… almost all of them wanted to go into politics and other fields where they could make as large of an impact as possible. Scary.  

    And then you had the Christian athletes organization, which seemed to do an amazingly good job making non-Christian athletes or even non-evangelical Protestants really uncomfortable.  

    • cipher

      Joshua, I disagree. It may trouble them, but ultimately, they are willing. I’d have far more respect for them if they took the position of standing with fragile, suffering humanity, against the psychotic dictator with whom their religion presents them. I haven’t yet encountered one with that kind of courage.

      In the end, as long as they get the ontological security blanket for the few brief decades they’re here – that’s all that matters. Everyone else can quite literally go to hell.

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

        cipher, 

        I don’t think that’s accurate. First, if they really didn’t care they presumably wouldn’t spend so much time trying to save us. Moreover, if one has doubt about that sincerity look at the reactions that sincere evangelicals have sometimes about friends and family that aren’t save. Some of them will even cry over it.

        I don’t think the argument about rebelling against the dictator is valid because they believe that God is omnipotent. 

        • cipher

          The missionary isn’t trying to convince you. He’s attempting to convince himself.

          Family members and friends – all right, I’ll give you that one, but only to a point. Ultimately, they’re willing to see them in hell, rather than give up the security blanket.

          I don’t think the argument about rebelling against the dictator is valid because they believe that God is omnipotent.

          The bottom line is that they shouldn’t believe it in the first place.

  • Trace

    It is like the new and improved KFC!

    • Anonymous

      I still think they should have gone all modern into “Kentucky Grilled Barbecue”

  • http://religiouscomics.net/ Jeff P

    It baffles me why they chose to shorten “crusade” instead of “Christ”.  I guess we know what is more important to them.  The crusade.  Quietly praying in closets by themselves be damned.  

    • Anonymous

      Chri. I like the sound of that.

      • Surgoshan

        Chri babies?

  • http://religiouscomics.net/ Jeff P

    It baffles me why they chose to shorten “crusade” instead of “Christ”.  I guess we know what is more important to them.  The crusade.  Quietly praying in closets by themselves be damned.  

  • psu_atheist

    As a college student with a lot of friends in Cru, I have to say a couple things. 

    1) The name change is totally unsurprising. CCC has been calling itself Cru for a while, among members, on signs, etc. Might as well make it official to avoid the obvious connotations with the word “crusade”. 

    2) My friends in Cru have NEVER made any attempt to convert me. At all. They know full well that I am an atheist, as we have had many long talks on the subject, but apart from simply expressing their opinions they have made no effort to proselytize to me. All of them have been sincere and respectful while trying to understand my point of view, as I try to understand theirs. I’ve had similarly good experiences with people from Navigators as well (another Christian group on campus), and I count many of them among my dearest friends. Even though I have a few problems with the way Cru/Navs is run (mostly the gender separation stuff) and have a sincere passion for science and rational thinking, I would truly be a fool to write these people off for the organization they choose to worship through. 

    3) The most proselytizing I’ve ever heard of from CCC was when they hand out flyers for their meetings with coupons on them. And anything they do is probably better than the street preachers.

    • Kenny Wilson

       Glad someone had a good experience with us.

  • Charles Black

    As if a name change means anything if they still hold the same anti-gay & anti-women stances for example.
    If they had it their way, women would be stoned to death for adultery.
    Oh wait only Muslims do that surely?

    • Facts Please

      Have you ever read the teachings of Christ? Jesus saved a woman from being stoned to death for adultery. (John 8:1-11). I think you might be surprised at what you could learn if you decide to read for yourselves instead of just listening to what others on tv tell you they think Christians believe.
      I am so very sorry many of you have only ever experienced proselytizing Christians.
      If you really ever do read the teachings of Christ, you’ll see that He cares about people first. He also cares about telling others the Truth, but out of love for them – not to meet some quota of converts.

      • knowshisstuff

        Yes JESUS was the one who saved the woman. The Christians of today are like the men who would stone the woman to death for making a mistake. Fuck you and all the other Christians that have ruined Jesus Christ’s good name in the eyes of the world and raped his message of peace, love, and forgiveness.

  • Tjlawson

    Here in Canada they switched to calling themselves Power for Change,and that was a couple of years ago. I’m going to assume this cult is splintering toward non-existence.

  • Mike

    I just assume the name change is to further hide their true aims from the vulnerable freshmen the are preying on.  Based on my experience attending a Cru meeting/orientation event at Virginia Tech circa 2003, that would be in keeping with their MO.

  • Predator Handshake

    In my first few days of moving off to college I was having a sort of rough adjustment period, living away from friends and family for the first time.  At that point I was basically an apatheist; I went to church one time just because I had made some friends there at a mission trip a few years earlier but I didn’t receive the warm welcome I was expecting.  

    My mother was friends with the local CCC guy and convinced me to meet him for lunch.  He ended up being the perfect caricature of a try-hard “hip” youth pastor, with that meticulously groomed goatee and edgy (in someone else’s mind) t-shirt.  I told him when we met that I didn’t intend to go to his organization’s meetings, that I was only eating with him because he knew  my mom and she had encouraged me to meet him.  As soon as we sat down he started proselytizing in a pretty pushy way as I continuously told him to cut it out and just have a meal with a human being.  The whole experience left a pretty bad taste in my mouth with regards to campus religious orgs so I guess I can thank that guy for helping me not waste my time with any more of them.

    • Anonymous

      My tired eyes read that as ‘campus religious ogres’, which also works. :)

      • Predator Handshake

        We had those too; they were the football team’s members of the FCA.

      • Shouldbeworkin’

        My tired eyes read it as ‘campus religious orgies’…  

        I think I have whiplash!

  • http://cycleninja.blogspot.com CycleNinja

    2 Live Cru, anyone?

  • http://lovejoyfeminism.blogspot.com Libby Anne

    Actually, when I left for college in 2005 it was already called CRU at the state college I attended. As in, that’s how it advertised, that’s what everyone called it, both those in the organization and those outside it. I know because I was part of it for the first several years of college, before I turned my brain on and started questioning things…which led me here. And yes, it’s every bit as crazy as everyone says it is.

  • http://lovejoyfeminism.blogspot.com Libby Anne

    Actually, when I left for college in 2005 it was already called CRU at the state college I attended. As in, that’s how it advertised, that’s what everyone called it, both those in the organization and those outside it. I know because I was part of it for the first several years of college, before I turned my brain on and started questioning things…which led me here. And yes, it’s every bit as crazy as everyone says it is.

  • Dmhend2

    My fondest CCC memory comes from my freshman year of college.  Two guys came up, asked my major, and then asked if I realized that Jesus Christ was the greatest Chemist of all time (Obviously off a script, as I was an English major) because he managed to live inside us.

    I pointed out that tapeworms can also live inside us and left smiling and they fumbled for something to say.

    17 years later, I still chuckle over their expressions as they tried to come up with a response to that.

    • Anonymous

      Thank you, thank you, thank you!
      I’ve been struggling for years to find a proof that Jesus is a tapeworm!  And you had it all along?  I am grateful.

  • JF

    My most memorable run-in with CCC was my junior year, while I was a member of a different campus Christian group (I’ve since fully recovered).  CCC held a camp featuring some celebrity preacher.  I’ve never since felt so much like I was staring into the eyes of a true madman, every time he spoke.  He would go on passionately,  like verging on violence passion (I expected him to just start tearing his hair out) about how your heart was pure, unadulterated evil.  When someone dared ask where he had attended seminary he went berserk- “I have a degree… FROM GOD UNIVERSITY!!!” No kidding, actual words. 

    All the CCC people thought he was just terrific. 

    • Salcia

      I think he’s pretty terrific too! But then I’m amused by crazy people.

      Here in Canada, we’ve had it switched to Campus for Christ for quite some time now. There’s a solution for ya – drop the part of the name that’s *causing* the problem.

  • Sneakyjebus

    I worked at a car rental agency a few years ago, and when CCC came to town, there were lots of them renting cars. I had to pick up and drop off many of them after/before they rented cars. I was always prepared if they tried to start talking Jesus with me, as I enjoy those confrontations. To my disappointment, they never did. They actually tended to be some of our more pleasant customers.

    • Anonymous

      Organizations like that like to keep a strict line between their “audience” and their business associates. They know that crusading against someone can result in hostile confrontations, and those can make everyday business like renting cars more difficult. Amateurs will make make that mistake.

      Don’t shit where you eat.

  • Norickayer

    The “hip” kids on my campus already call CCC “Cru”, which led to me thinking my friend Daniel was on the rowing team for the first four months of our acquaintance.
    I prefer to call CCC “Joyus Jihad for Jesus”.

  • Anonymous

    I had a spritual movement just last night.  Started with cramping and sweats… got to the bathroom just in time, though.

    TMI?

    Hitler, by any other name, is still the same man who slaughtered thousands.  I don’t care what you call it, it’s still religion and it sucks.

  • Andrew Wilkens

    Strangely enough, there is a freshmen undergrad in my chemistry research lab. Considering her age, I hope it’s just a remnant from Mom and Dad that will ware off soon.

  • Anonymous

    I think they missed the “d” off the end.

    • Drakk

      What is a dcru?
      ;)

  • http://www.facebook.com/briancposey Brian C Posey

    I kind of buy their argument for the name change.  The word ‘crusade’ does have different meanings in different areas.  This would seem especially poignant if they’re trying to convert current Muslims.

  • http://skepticsplay.blogspot.com miller

    They don’t get it. It’s not the word “Crusade” that makes non-Christians stay away from them.

    I certainly think the name is part of it.  I’ve talked to CCC members who themselves felt uncomfortable with the name.

    • Anonymous

      I think CCC is trying to blame the “word” for its negative connotations, rather than the connotations themselves.
      They obviously don’t want to stop Crusading, hence retention of “Cru.” What they still don’t want to acknowledge is the crusading aspect of their entire culture.

  • Jgills

    So, do they listen to Motley Cru?

  • Josh

    My favorite run-in was in late 2001 when I was at Purdue and our group (the Purdue Improv Club, mostly atheists at the time) were on our way to dinner after rehearsal, and we got stopped to have a “discussion.”  There were two CCC members: the guy (who did all of the talking), and the woman (who basically just rolled her eyes any time we spoke, which was very inviting).  The part of the conversation I remember went roughly as follows (CCC being, of course, the CCC member, P and J being two of our members):

    CCC: “Do you think we live in a world of absolutes?”
    P: “No.”
    CCC: “What would happen if I hold out my arm with this camera and then let go?”
    P: “It would fall.”
    CCC: “That’s right, it would fall.  Gravity is an absolute.”
    J: “…but according to you, Jesus walked on water, so there goes THAT absolute.”

    The rest of the conversation went about that well.  I don’t think they appreciated our group very much.

    • Anonymous

      Well, she was wrong. Gravity is certainly not absolute. It’s not even uniform on the Earth’s surface. Unless she means that it’s deterministic. Science fail

  • Miso

    I was invited to and attended a Navigators meeting when I was in college in the early 90s. It was all guys, and I asked them if women were allowed. I was told yes, but that few ever came.

    Soon after I visited the local Campus Crusade meeting and observed that it was mostly women.

    I have no idea whether this was typical of either organization or just the way it happened locally.

    I mentioned jokingly to a member of Cru: “You and the Navigators should get together.” She replied that there was a saying about that: “Navigators are never-daters, but when they do they date Crusaders.”

    Sorry, that’s my only story of an encounter with Cru.

  • http://profiles.google.com/tbourqueulc Thomas Bourque

    It’s like when they changed “Sunny Delight” to “Sunny D”. *shudders* Stop trying to be “cool”.

    • Anonymous

      Are you telling me Sunny D is part of cru?

  • http://twitter.com/0xabad1dea Melissa E

    Cru-sade’s membership is so large because it’s always being inflated by incoming Christian high schoolers who are told by Mommy and Daddy that they had better enlist. Even though I was still a Christian at the time, I was highly resistant…

    Funnily enough, my (private) high school mascot was the Crusaders. Nothing to exemplify the love of Christ like deliberately associating yourself with brutal violence which helped set up the horrible interfaith situation we have today.

    I consider this a good sign, though: not even they can be as overt as they used to be without getting the “dude, not cool” stare. Even their new logo is not incredibly crucifixy. 

  • http://twitter.com/tquid J B Bell

    These assholes at my college tore down the flyers for the queer student group every time they went up. We didn’t catch them, but I believe they were caught doing it at other campuses.

  • http://reedbraden.com Reed Braden

    Huh?  They don’t like the word crusade anymore, so they completely removed the words campus (which describes the location of the groups) and Christ (which describes the affiliation of the group) and left only the word they no longer like; they just cut it in half.

    They could have gone with something like Campus Christian Fellowship, which leaves the two important descriptive words alone and adds a word that means camaraderie and friendship, but instead they took the word Christ out of it and left only the first half of the “bad” word.  (I thought these people hated removing names for their gods from anything and everything with their gods’ names on it!)

    I’ll never understand these people.

  • Keljopy

    Maybe the Muslims on campus could start a group called “Ji”, short for Jihad?

    Anyway,
    I was actually in “crusade” as we called it for a while.  I was indoctrinated as a child and thus pressured to join by my mom who got her coworker’s daughter who was a couple years older and in it to connect me.  At the time I was somewhat shy and a “goody-two-shoes” so it seemed like the best way to make friends.  Of course most of the friendships ended up being pretty shallow, based only on mutual love of Jesus.  We were occasionally pressured to go door to door proselytizing, which made me severely uncomfortable, but mostly I just went to the meetings and bible studies once a week each.

    I then went through a period of severe depression and came out the other side a bit skeptical (it helped that I was a biology and anthropology double major, learning evolution and comparative culture) and not long after, the day they announced that their “MC” for the next semester’s meetings was going to be a kid that I had been on a four week study abroad program with, who had been nothing but disrespectful to the professors who put the program together and the professors they brought in to teach us, I decided to never go back.

  • Keljopy

    Maybe the Muslims on campus could start a group called “Ji”, short for Jihad?

    Anyway,
    I was actually in “crusade” as we called it for a while.  I was indoctrinated as a child and thus pressured to join by my mom who got her coworker’s daughter who was a couple years older and in it to connect me.  At the time I was somewhat shy and a “goody-two-shoes” so it seemed like the best way to make friends.  Of course most of the friendships ended up being pretty shallow, based only on mutual love of Jesus.  We were occasionally pressured to go door to door proselytizing, which made me severely uncomfortable, but mostly I just went to the meetings and bible studies once a week each.

    I then went through a period of severe depression and came out the other side a bit skeptical (it helped that I was a biology and anthropology double major, learning evolution and comparative culture) and not long after, the day they announced that their “MC” for the next semester’s meetings was going to be a kid that I had been on a four week study abroad program with, who had been nothing but disrespectful to the professors who put the program together and the professors they brought in to teach us, I decided to never go back.

  • http://americancolleen.tumblr.com/ Colleen R.W

    Ah, Cru. The bane of my and my college GSA’s existence. I’ve never personally had a run-in with them (save my dorm neighbor being an avid member, but she only invited me along once), but our GSA had an issue with club flyers being torn down, so when we posted more, we covered them in boxing tape. And when we had our office-warming meeting with pie, a bunch of their homophobic members dined-and-ditched. Good times.

    • http://www.miketheinfidel.com/ MikeTheInfidel

      I was a member of both my GSA and (occasionally) Cru during my second-to-last year in college. I had plenty of people try to convince me that I needed to give up the spirit of homosexuality. Guess they forgot what the ‘S’ part stood for…

  • http://americancolleen.tumblr.com/ Colleen R.W

    Ah, Cru. The bane of my and my college GSA’s existence. I’ve never personally had a run-in with them (save my dorm neighbor being an avid member, but she only invited me along once), but our GSA had an issue with club flyers being torn down, so when we posted more, we covered them in boxing tape. And when we had our office-warming meeting with pie, a bunch of their homophobic members dined-and-ditched. Good times.

  • Rob

    My freshman year of college I filled out a survey that Cru (the local chapter was already referring to themselves by that name)  members were handing out in exchange for pizza coupons.  The questions were mostly innocuous, until the end where it asked what your relationship with Christ was and if you wanted a visit from Cru representatives.  I answered the questions, didn’t mark the box asking for a visit, and was on my way.  Imagine my surprise when a few days later two Cru missionaries walk into my dorm with my survey in hand.  My roomie and I gave them the cold shoulder, thinking they would get the hint and leave.  Sadly I wasn’t even the focus of their efforts.  One of them found out that my poor roomie was Catholic and spent half an hour trying to persuade him to convert.  Because apparently in this missionary’s mind, being Catholic is worse than being agnostic.  Go figure.

    • http://religiouscomics.net/ Jeff P

      Yes, there is a special place in Protestant Evangelical Hell for Catholics.  At least Agnostics are free to move around a bit.  :)

  • Alice

    …so chopping of the end of the word makes it not a crusade? Do they think we don’t know what they’re talking about anymore now that they’ve abbreviated it?

    • http://www.facebook.com/mydjcrow Daniel Sandoval

      Alice, were you able to get a hold of our forming group at UCF? I’m from the OrlandoCoR and the Fox story a few months back.
      Search “Project SMART” on Facebook. :)

  • http://www.miketheinfidel.com/ MikeTheInfidel

    I was in Crusade all throughout college. It’s what took me from being a liberal born-again Christian  to being a conservative literalist fundie. It’s also what saddled me a lingering sense of shame for acknowledging any kind of feelings of sexual attraction. I have nothing but contempt for a group like this that cloaks the teaching of bigotry and self-revulsion with a cheerful, friendly front.

  • http://annainca.blogspot.com/ Anna

    I guess I’m lucky. I went to a tiny Catholic college, and I’m pretty positive we didn’t have an evangelical student organization. I met a grand total of two evangelicals during my four years there. We did have something called Campus Ministry, but I didn’t know anyone involved in it. I assume the group was Catholic, but I have no real idea of what they did. The only thing I noticed was that they would put up flyers offering “spiritual retreats” every so often. Thankfully, no proselytizing.

  • http://eternalbookshelf.wordpress.com Ani Sharmin

    A few months ago, I was approached by two fellow students in my school’s student center.  They were from Campus Crusade for Christ and they were doing something called the Quest Survey, which they said is intended to find out if there are people interested in knowing about God or Christianity.  They were pretty nice.  First, they asked questions about what I believed about God, the afterlife, etc.  (There’s a pdf file online of what the survey paper looked like:  http://quest.campuscrusadeforchrist.com/pdfs/quest1.pdf)  One of the questions was about how interested you are to know about God (on a scale of 1 to 10).  I said 10, because (as I explained) although I don’t believe in God, if he does exist, then I would want to know about him.  So, because of that, they read me a booklet about Christianity.  (There’s a pdf file online of that as well: http://www.campuscrusade.com/downloads/would.pdf)  We only got to page 9, because I had to go to class.

    I though it was awkward that they just read directly, word-for-word, from the booklet, but that may have just been because I had told them that my class was starting soon, so maybe they were trying to go quickly.  Of course, I disagreed with several things in the booklet, but my main complaint was that, on page 9, there’s a part where it describes two kinds of lives:  one with Christ at the center of your life, and one with “self” at the center of your life.  The booklet asks you which of these two kinds of lives best describes your life and which life you would like to have.  I thought that this makes it seem like the only two options are (1) believing in Christianity or (2) being selfish, only caring about yourself, etc., so I answered that I don’t think either one describes my life, because there are others options than these two.

    I agree with you that a name change isn’t really going to make people change their opinion about the actions, beliefs, etc. of the organization.  It might make people have less of an instant negative reaction when hearing the name of the organization for the first time, but then ultimately, they have to base their opinion of the organization on their actual actions.

  • Yudovitch

    When I was in college I would go to nonreligious meetings like the Brights and the Secular Society.  The secular society often got our signs hatched (literally) by Christian groups, while Crusaders would show up to Brights meetings and take over half the discussion prosyletizing.

    Most awkward encounter ever?  Two Crusaders approached me while I was having lunch before class, asked if they could sit down at my table, and proceeded to stare awkwardly as I ate (they didn’t eat anything).  Two minutes before class, one finally gets up the courage and says “I’d like to talk to you about Jesus.”  This is after ten minutes of staring at me, mind you.  CLUELESS!

  • Moses the Nindian

    Last year my Cru friends were all wearing “Do you agree with Tyler?’ shirts.  None of them would tell me what it was about.  Finally, I asked someone I didn’t know and she, of course, proselytized me in the middle of class, with matching “Do you agree with Tyler?” shirts & propaganda materials!  She said, “I believe God reveals himself naturally to everyone.”  My response, “If He reveals himself naturally, then what are you doing right now?”…silence.

    The semester before that, Cru handed out the ‘Origin of Species’ book re-edited by Kirk Cameron.   Being friends with the guy who runs Cru, I’m surprised I have yet to see them outwardly participate in charities in the community.  They will, however, praise their generous donation of buying a pair of Toms at the local Journey’s store… surrounded by other members wearing the same shoes. 

  • http://profiles.google.com/thrymn Timothy Simmons

    I’m not entirely sure whether I’ve actually encountered a representative for the CCC personally, but in High School there was a group that seems to follow the ideas of CCC fairly well. 

    The first time I interacted with someone from the High School club was when one of the representatives was invited into a history class I was in to give a talk that resembled Ani Sharmin’s encounter (the guy seemed to be reading off of a script, and despite not actually saying that Christianity was the only alternative to the sadonist-selfish-evil atheist, he made it clear that he saw Christianity as the best path). It was always odd that what essentially amounted to a motivational speaker came in to talk to a History class, but I guess since the teacher was one of the adult supporters of the club, it shouldn’t be too hard to figure out why it happened.

    Then in my junior year my father died, and while sitting along one day at lunch (that part is not unusual for me) one of the kids who was a member of the organization (it was usually fairly easy to tell when a student was a member, because they had taken to wearing the club shirts quite regularly) came by. While he seemed nice, it did seem like he was only interested in conversion, and when the topic of my father’s recent death came up he was instantly talking about how wonderful his church is, and how I should come that Sunday. 

  • Arakiba

    “Cru” makes me think of “cruel”.

    • Skippybkroo

      now that you mention it, it makes me think of “cru ella deville”

  • Anonymous

    If Jesus were alive today, he wouldn’t be hanging around with uppity college kids. He’d be hanging around with hookers and heroin addicts.

    • Mission Girl

       And some of those college kids are hookers and drug addicts. Jesus would be where He was needed. By changing the name to Cru……it will protect 26,000 missionaries from danger. Missionaries are tortured and killed continually in closed countries and emails are intercepted from these organizations tying them that are undercover. This is not advertised but true. I’ve been on the inside and know this to be a fact. People are willing to die for truth. But no man would die for a lie.

      • Anonymous

        Plenty of people die for what they believe.  That doesn’t mean that what they believe is true.  Unless you are suggesting that the martyrdom of the Islamic terrorists who blew up the World Trade Center makes Islam true? or the self immolation of Hindu extremists makes hinduism true?

  • Anonymous

    Cru …
    Crusade.
    Crucify.
    Crucible.
    Crud…

    Yeah!

  • Clever Dan

    When I was in college the Campus Crusade for Christ invited creationist moron grandpa Duane Gish to babble  about how the Earth is 5,000 years old.  I’d never seen the campus community so united in calling him out and ridiculing him.  Apparently even the students who invited him regretted doing so once they saw his talk.  Warms my heart to think on it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Roy-Gamsgrø/100000677601467 Roy Gamsgrø

    Hey, nice logo!

    Umm…

    Uh-oh!

    How come they didn’t see that one? :P

  • guest

    It seems like your comments are anything but “friendly” and positive.

    • Anonymous

      Forgive us if we choose this venue to air our frustrations and grievances with religion and Christianity; many of the readers of the this site have had bad experiences, ranging from irritating to dehumanizing, with religion and Christianity.

      I’ll consent that sometimes I visit here to let off some steam, and while I can’t speak for everyone, I do think that happens a decent amount.

      I want to make a short point, too, that another commenter has stated: if what Cru, and Christianity at large, is selling is actual truth, there wouldn’t be as great a need for the intense proselytization (via annoying and impersonal methods) that this org feels is necessary (read all of the comments about people being stopped in between classes and then read aloud to, word for word, from a pamphlet). If something is absolutely, proveably true, people will hear about it and come to it!

      I, for one, would love to see Cru follow this biblical teaching instead:

      “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” Matthew 13:35 (KJV)

      Want to show that you are a Christian? Love your fellow man. Help with service projects at every possible opportunity. Assist other orgs that may have conflicting viewpoints. Maybe then people will be interested in what you’re selling.

  • Meredith Milewicz

    I sort of feel like I need to give a shout out to the University of Alabama at Birmingham Cru here, because we do debates with them all the time, because the guy who runs it is awesome, because I’ve been invited to the front of the room to speak about the possibility of there not being a historical Jesus when it was just me and one other atheist in a room of 70 Christians and everyone was fabulous to me. (It was a debate followup for a debate I debated at.)
    I don’t have warm feelings for some of the Cru national administration, but no hard feelings at all toward Cru on campus. I agree with the people up there that Cru is not subtle, but then I’m not so subtle myself.

  • Rudd717

    This is so wrong – KEEP CHRIST  – CENTERED -  this is now deluted – you guys  are wrong wrong wrong.. if you are ashamed of Jesus  – he will be ashamed of you before the Father

  • BornAgainRN

    “And, you know, it’s the fact that there’s no evidence to back up what they believe.”  Really? Do you even know the difference between ‘evidence’ & ‘proof’?  Although there is no ‘proof’ for the Christian faith, their IS plenty of ‘evidence.’  I suppose you have ‘proof’ that the universe created itself out of nothing, ‘proof’ that ‘multiverses’ exist, & other non-evidential claims, like macroevolution, are ‘PROVEN.’  Take off your atheist blinders, & actually take the time to look into the EVIDENCE that the Christian faith is actually based on.

    • Anonymous

      What evidence?

  • http://profiles.google.com/ridge.of.the.ancients Joan Burger

    i agree on the tone of ‘crusade’ however, Lord Willing, the group is for spreading The WORD, The Salvation, The Truth Of GOD, and may we not condemn such but embrace it, Lord Willing they not be wrongfully condemning of others or misanthropic or misogynistic, but be careful to study The WORD, with belief and witness, and pray, yourselves.  Eternity is a long time, seek first The Kingdom of GOD (jn.3,mt.5, etc.) praise God

    choose God n choose life, *all y’all* The Bible is for *all y’all* Lord Willin’ are His Creation, capable to be His children, n Lord Forgive be i wrong or offbase PLGB

    choose God n choose life y’all, don’t condemn those trying to share His Way Truth And Life, actually concerned for folks’ souls, and actions, etc., though sexual orientation doesn’t guarantee action, God Willing.

    God Is Life, pro-life, before and after birth, are important folks, an embryo is a new life, a blastocyst, a fetus, all of it, eventually he or she, etc. praise GOD!

    i can’t vouch for everything cru hands out, but please *keep* and *read* The Scripture stuff!! don’t be quick to dismiss Salvation, and God, Eternity is a long time

    Lord Forgive be i wrong or offbase, prayers for y’all n cru n God Himself, PLGB

    some pro-God n life resources for y’all to share PLGB

    http://www.usccb.org/nab (The Good Word, Catholic version i guess for y’all, All Begins W God), could also do http://www.Bible.cc/ or http://www.Biblegateway.com/, etc. if you prefer

    http://www.40daysforlife.com/ (multidenominational Christian prayer vigil movement outside clinics 2x a year, likely info for Christian/pro-life pregnancy centers, ultrasounds, etc. available through their resources)

    http://www.rachelsvineyard.org/ (post abortive (Lord Have Mercy) recovery, education, and repentance Lord Willin’ if need be)

    http://www.justthefacts.org/ (‘life begins at conception’ and other ‘developmental factoids’ of human children after such)

    http://www.180movie.com/ (controversialesque ~33min ‘documentary’ about folks ‘turning around’ to be pro-life, see the need for Christ, etc….though some of the ‘angst’ in that one over hitler, etc., even him i likely mayn’t judge, PLGB)

    http://www.ababysbreath.com/ (assistance for mothers in ‘crisis pregnancy’ situations)

    nLord Forgive Lord Willin’ be i wrong or offbase PLGB praise God Amen

  • D_Wheatley

    No evidence for what they believe? Boy is that a statement out of ignorance. There is plenty of evidence pointing to the existence of Jesus as an historical figure. Now whether you believe his claims or not yes that is a matter of faith, but to flat say there is no evidence is completely false. It takes just as much faith to believe in no God as it does to believe in God. You can claim that you have all kind of scientific evidence to back your stance but there is still enough gaps that a faith system is still involved.

  • Harterkathy5

    “They don’t get it. It’s not the word “Crusade” that makes non-Christians stay away from them. It’s the convert-at-all-costs mentality members exhibit. It’s the Science-is-the-enemy way of thinking. It’s the inability to think beyond the Bible. It’s the way they seem to alienate so many people on their own campus, including other Christians.”

    I totally think you are right about this.  I happen to be a Christian who was involved with crusade in college and although well intentioned, what you say is true. 

    Obviously, i do not agree with you about not having anything to back up what they believe… although they may believe they have more “concrete” facts than they actually do, there is a lot of evidence to back up the foundations of the faith.

  • X-CCC staffer

    As an former CCC staff member of 6 years, now atheist, I can assure you that their motivation was largely to share the 4 spiritual laws booklet with those they were “helping” or who happened to attend a free concert or whatever.  Looking back I am just amazed at the anti-intellectualism and lack of critical thinking so prevalent in the group.

  • sarahp

    Former Cru member, now atheist here. Went on an evangelical “summer project” with these folks that ironically turned out to be the beginning step to my de-conversion. Looking back, I’m ashamed that I was ever involved. I feel like I was mind-raped and subsequently alienated when I began to show even the slightest signs of questioning my faith. I was told by staff members “that’s exactly what Satan wants you to think” and “Satan has the power to control your intellect” whenever I would question the faith… not exactly the most helpful or comforting thing to tell someone who is doubting the existence of Satan. I wish someone had warned me to stay away from this brainwashing, cult-like, anti-science, anti-intellectual, us-against-them, count-the-converts group before I started college. :(

  • ptub

    Does it really matter if there’s a name change? It’s just a name, it’s not a big deal. I have had great experience with them as both Cru and Campus Crusade for Christ.


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