CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A street preacher on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte clashed with students recently, according to WSOC.
Ross Jackson, with his bible in hand, turned to a group of students and began preaching.
“Jesus said you serpents. You generations of vipers,” he shouted. “And that’s why these sinners deserve hell.”
WSOC said this is the second day in a row Jackson brought his sermons to the campus and he quickly drew a large crowd.
Some students became angered when Jackson began singling out certain individuals.
“Are you a homosexual too? Don’t you know Jesus died for you?” Jackson said to the students. “Do I love you? Yes. Do I think you’re a whore?”
“You’re being judgmental.” one student said.
A campus police officer was nearby watching the confrontation just in case words turned into actions.
The incident did not escalate to violence, as tensions eased when students continued moving on to classes.
Some students told WSOC they feel Jackson is going too far.
“He’s here abusing students,” student Kortne Slade said.
“Most of the people here don’t know Jesus Christ, and they’ll turn away from God forever because of his teaching methods and his preaching methods,” said student Brad Hinson, who identifies as a Christian.
UNC Charlotte Chancellor Philip L. Dubois issued the following statement after the incident:
“The warm weather brings back to campus individuals who choose to use the University as a forum for personally held beliefs. The First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States guarantees this freedom of expression. As Chancellor of UNC Charlotte, I embrace the First Amendment as the ultimate guarantor of our own academic freedom. At the same time, UNC Charlotte does not in any way endorse or condone intolerant or hateful speech. To the contrary, we consider the words reportedly expressed by certain speakers near the Belk Tower to be hurtful, repugnant, and inconsistent with the university’s values and ideals.
While the Constitution requires us to allow even bigots a platform, it does not require us to give them an audience. I encourage all students and other members of the UNC Charlotte community to ignore those who spew hate and intolerance, that by so doing we will starve them of the “oxygen of publicity” on which they depend. By letting these individuals stand alone, we show them and the world that they stand apart from the principles, collegiality, and spirit that bind us together as a University community.
Events of this nature are monitored by our campus safety and security officials. Should we become aware of conduct that falls outside the limits of constitutionally protected speech, or if conduct disrupts regular university operations, we will investigate and deal with that conduct as appropriate and to the fullest extent that the law allows.”