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Published On: Wed, Oct 25th, 2017

Kent State asked to apologize over poster claiming ‘You Need Jesus’ could be hate speech

A Christian student leader is demanding an apology after a poster distributed by Kent State University asked if stating “You need Jesus“ could qualify as hate speech.

The public university’s Center for Student Involvement created and circulated the poster on Twitter last week used to promote an event on free speech issues as part of Kent State’s KENTTalks, which are intended to “provide a safe place for discussions and transformational experiences for our student body” and promote “civil discourse.”

Activists on the posters are silhouetted, holding a range of placards with messages, overlaid with the rhetorical question “free speech or hate speech?” Alongside provocative expressions including “No More Gays,” “Women Need To Serve Their Man” and “Build a Wall,” the fourth placard bears a nonviolent, basic expression of the Christian faith: “You need Jesus.”

Jared Small, president of the Campus Ministry Internationalstudent organization, told The College Fix that the poster was inappropriate.

“The university should apologize because it appears to be targeted toward one political and religious side,” he wrote in an email:

They could have included hate speech against president Trump or hate speech against Christians as examples. In my opinion, free speech protects hate speech to an extent. However, the university appears to show a bias against Christians and conservatives.

Prof. Amy Reynolds, the dean of Kent State’s College of Communication and Information, told The Fix in an email that she had no involvement in creating the poster for the event: The Center for Student Involvement “created all of the promotional materials … I’m not sure what the process is/was.”

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About the Author

- Roxanne "Butter" Bracco began with the Dispatch as Pittsburgh Correspondent, but will be providing reports and insights from Washington DC, Maryland and the surrounding region. Contact Roxie aka "Butter" at [email protected] ATTN: Roxie or Butter Bracco

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