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Pastor gets criticism at YSU
Evangelist returns to campus, speaks on sex, drugs, religion

Jambar News Editor

Rev. Tom Short’s insights incite, excite campus crowd.

Christian evangelist Tom Short, pastor of the Great Commission Church, a non-denominational church in Maryland, returned to campus this week to preach and to ask people to repent and accept Jesus Christ as their savior.

Short’s impromptu sermons were met with general indignation from University students. Short has visited the campus at least two times before, in 1980 and 1981. This time he was accompanied by two other persons, Craig Swanson and Dave Fisher, two students from the University of Maryland.

Short began his sermon by standing on a bench to attract a crowd.

One bystander, who requested anonymity, said Short called him a homosexual because he was wearing an earring. The student said he felt Short intentionally insults people to attract a crowd.

Once a crowd had gathered, Short began one of his sermons by making statements that angered the spectators. His comments were ones that most of the students present seemed to disagree with; therefore, Short’s comments were usually met with four-letter-word replies.

Short continued his sermons through the heckling, however, and occasionally stopped long enough to answer inputs or questions.

When asked if he had obtained a permit to speak on campus, Short said, “I was not invited to campus by any group.

“When we arrived here, we were told that we would have to be sponsored by a campus group if we wanted to speak,” he said. Short said he and his two partners went to one of the Christian student groups on campus to ask them to sponsor him and his friends. The group — Time-Out Christian Fellowship — agreed, and the three evangelists began preaching on Tuesday. They remained preaching on campus until yesterday.

Homosexuality seemed to be one of Short’s favorite topics. Taking notice of the blood drive that was going on in Kilcawley, Short said he hoped homosexuals had not attempted to donate any blood, because of the AIDS epidemic.

Short said he doubted that the Red Cross was doing a proper job of screening any donors who might be homosexuals.

“If they (homosexuals) have donated any blood, the Red Cross should give it back,” he said. “Homosexuals carry deadly diseases. They are common carriers of hepatitis and gonorrhea.”

A Red Cross official contacted later said if donors fall into certain categories, deferment is suggested. However, by law, the organization cannot ask a donor what their sexual preference is.

The Red Cross official added that accusing all homosexuals of being responsible for AIDS is misleading.

Drunkenness, rock and roll music, fornication and hypocrisy are other “serious sins,” according to Short.

He said he attacks these things because they are things that most college students are particularly fond of. As a result of his attacking these topics, Short’s sermon was met with still more insults and jeers.

Short said he doesn’t think he insults students. “Most of these people are wrong,” he said, “and they need to be told so.”

“The Bible says to love the Lord with all thy heart and most of the students are religious, but religion is not enough,” he said.

Short said he was not bothered by the fact that his sermons were met with insults. “I’m not shocked when someone yells something filthy at me,” he said. “They do it because they hate God.”

Other topics that Short and his partners spoke out against were the women’s liberation movement and the use of drugs, during which a student promptly lit up what appeared to be a joint and offered Short a drag. He declined.

The Jamblar, May 25th, 1985