Campus Preacher Argues In Lawsuit That He Wasn’t Trying to Convert Anyone

The South Dakota School of Mines & Technology (a public school) has a policy when it comes to outsiders on their campus. If people want to sell something to students (say, a credit card or test-prep course), they have to pay a $50 fee and remain within a certain area.

Mark Gavin, a preacher who proselytizes on campus, thinks those rules don’t apply to him. He doesn’t think he should have to pay the $50 fee or remain situated in one space. So the Center for Religious Expression filed a lawsuit on his behalf… and their justification for why he shouldn’t have to pay anything gets a little weird:

Mark Gavin

The lawsuit argues the university wrongfully treated religious speech as commercial speech when Gavin attempted to set up on campus in 2010 and 2011. It says Gavin does not solicit donations or seek conversion from people he encounters.

I totally believe he’s not trying to make money.

But, c’mon, conversion isn’t part of his goal? At all?!

If he’s not out there to convert, why is he there? Is he just a troll, out there just to annoy people? Maybe he’s just looking for someone to debate him (in which case, I’m sure local atheists will take him up on his offer).

Oh! I got it. He’s lonely because he clearly has nothing better to do with his life and he just wants to make friends.

Someone please go be Mark’s friend so he stops bothering everyone else on campus who don’t want to hear his tripe.

(Thanks to Amanda for the link!)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.


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