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Saturday, Dec 20, 2014

UA Preacher Targets Sexual Assault Awareness Event With 'You Deserve Rape' Signs

  • (Photo: Daily Wildcat Screenshot)
    Screenshot of Daily Wildcat article on Christian student preacher holding up "You Deserve Rape" sign.
May 1, 2013|2:33 pm

The University of Arizona is defending its decision to allow a student preacher to protest a sexual assault awareness event last week on campus with signs reading "You Deserve Rape."

"I think that girls that dress and act like it," said Dean Saxton, a junior studying classics and religious studies at UA, "they should realize that they do have partial responsibility, because I believe that they're pretty much asking for it." He added that the signs preach the message that "if you dress like a whore, act like a whore, you're probably going to get raped."

The Daily Wildcat reported that Saxton drew a lot of attention last week when he and supporters held the controversial signs on the same day that a sexual assault awareness event was going on. A number of students who were offended reported him to the Dean of Students Office, but no action was taken.

When The Christian Post contacted the university, a representative sent an article by Kendal Washington White, the Interim Dean of Students at AU, who explained that although the university does not agree with the student's views, he is protected under the First Amendment to express them.

"In some corners of the world, speakers of unpopular or offensive thoughts get pummeled with fists, or worse. In this country, we pride ourselves on meeting such individuals not with fists but with words – not words intended to drown those speakers out, but words intended to expose their hate-filled messages to the cleansing effects of logic, reason and commonsense," White wrote.

The Interim Dean of Students added that as controversial as Saxton's message was, he did not threaten anyone with physical violence.

"I would ask members of the university community to remember that upholding the law and our campus policies is not equivalent to endorsing any individual's message. While I understand that it is not easy to hear or read reprehensible speech and not want to react in some way, what sets most of the rest of us apart from those who preach hate is our ability to act and react responsibly," White added.

Many have condemned Saxton's message, and said that what he preaches falls far from Christian understanding.

"Rape is an aggressive act by a disturbed person and has more to do with the perpetrator than the victim," Sean Dunn, founder of Groundwire, shared with The Christian Post in an email. His group seeks to share the Gospel with young unchurched people through various technology means.

"No one deserves to be mistreated like that. God cares deeply about every person and hates to see someone He created being abused and battered," Dunn continued.

Megan McKendry, a violence prevention specialist, commented in an interview with The Daily Wildcat: "[Saxton] is part of a larger societal culture that tolerates rape, and that's exactly what the Oasis Program Against Sexual Assault and Relationship Violence is here to counteract. His message is an awful one that we condemn. No one deserves to be raped."

Source URL : http://www.christianpost.com/news/ua-preacher-targets-sexual-assault-awareness-event-with-you-deserve-rape-signs-95075/