Religious activists occupy outside of Haymarket Theater, proclaim Christian ideals

A group of three Christian activists formed outside of the Palo Alto High School Embarcadero Road parking lot to promote their Christian values yesterday while students were dismissed from school.

Two men and a woman carried signs that read “Judgement Day is Coming” and “Repent your Sins”.

Junior Elias Fedel heard the messages of the Christian preachers as he departed school yesterday.

“They were really loud,” Fedel said. “I could hear them as I was approaching the parking lot, and I heard one of them say ‘Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve.’”

“Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve” is a phrase used to summarize Christian beliefs against homosexual practices by referencing the creation of Adam and Eve from the Bible. As well as protesting against homosexuality, the Christian activists also preached about the dangers of pornography, greed and other sins listed in the Bible.

The activists’ presence led many Paly students to crowd outside the Haymarket Theater as well as in the parking lot. One of these students, junior Anant Marur, witnessed the activists’ encounter with other students and felt uncomfortable and disrespected by their actions.

“I think in any situation that it’s disrespectful to cram your religion down the throats of others,” Marur said. “I don’t think that high school students need to be specially protected from displays like that though, because everyone has to deal with it in the real world.”

Some religious students felt that the Christian preachers were rude and intruding. Sophomore Josh Code believes that the activists’ actions were unnecessary and overbearing.

“I’m a Christian myself, but it seems like these people were crossing a line,” Code said. “If the students at Paly were interested in Christianity, they can always attend their local church service.”

Others had different feelings about the activists preaching and expressing their beliefs at the Paly campus. Sophomore Alice Zhang respects that the activists were exercising their rights but is skeptical as to whether the activists were intentionally attempting to create a disturbance at Paly.

“I felt that the Christian extremists definitely had the right to picket, but I don’t know what their intentions were,” Zhang said. “If they were just trying to express themselves, then I’m fine with that, but if they were trying to cause chaos, then I think that might be a little rude and insensitive towards the school.”

On previous occasions, various members of Christian church congregations from around the area have handed out pocket-sized copies of the Holy Bible’s New Testament to students and visitors of Town and Country Village and Jordan Middle School. However, yesterday’s proceeding was the first of its kind near Paly’s campus in the recent past.