“Euclid Preachers” draw counter-campaign of positivity from CWRU students


Shreyas Banerjee/The Observer

The Euclid preachers’ (bottom) approach to spreading Gospel has stirred campus-wide discussion about faith and bigotry and the rise of counter-compaigns (top) wanting to overcome the atmosphere of negativity.

Shreyas Banerjee, Executive Editor

If you’ve walked through the campus of Case Western Reserve University over the past few weeks, odds are you’ve been told a few choice things by someone dubbed the “Euclid Preacher” by students. For example, that you’re going to hell, that you’re going to burn in a lake of fire or that God will crush you and send you to your damnation.

All of these provocative statements have been hurled at CWRU students as they walk past the intersection of Euclid Avenue and Adelbert Road by a group of open-air preachers occupying the area. Armed with a sign that proclaims “WARNING: Drunkards, Pot Smokers, Homoseuxals, Fornicators, Liars, Thieves, Immodest Women, Atheists, ‘Coexist’ Idolaters, Porn Watchers, JUDGEMENT DAY IS COMING FOR YOU!!” and yelling through a microphone and attached boombox, these street preachers have been making their controversial views widely known while verbally attacking CWRU students for their perceived immorality.

In their crusade to spread their extreme views, they’ve been making the case that unless CWRU students accept Jesus into their hearts they will drown in pools of blood, become desolate and ultimately be judged as wicked, condemned to eternal torment.

In an interview with one of the Euclid preachers, who would only reveal his name to be Omar, he admitted that he’s gotten “mostly negative reception” at CWRU, but he’s not bothered by it because “Jesus got a very negative reception.” 

“College campuses have a very small percentage of Christians on this college campus compared to the general population. So it’s a great place to preach the Gospel, because not as many people are saved.”

When asked what students were taking the most offense to, he replied that women didn’t seem to like it when he said “they have to submit to their husbands … and the female role is subordinate to the male role.” Though he says he himself is married, his wife apparently “loves” his views on marital roles because “she loves the righteousness of God.”

The Euclid preachers have also reportedly espoused that college education is sinful and that we should instead learn from Jesus, that gay and mentally ill people are possessed by the devil, that children are the father’s possessions and that they would have sex with kids—including their own—and that slavery is morally permissible.

“I get my moral standards from God, rather than making up what I think is right and wrong … I take God’s word as it’s plainly written,” he said. While he doesn’t support the form of slavery that historically occurred in the United States, Omar explained, “there is a form of slavery that’s not so vicious, that’s not so evil that the Bible never endorses, but it doesn’t explicitly prohibit it.”

He also admits that his approach hasn’t changed many minds on campus but he believes his efforts have caused more people to talk about religion, which is a net positive for him.

CWRU students are definitely talking about the “Euclid Preachers,” but mainly with ridicule and contempt. With their amplified hateful rants against the LGBTQIA+ community, sexual positivity and non-believers, they have not received a positive reception from our student population. Multiple students on the anonymous-posting app Sidechat have been expressing their disdain for the “Euclid Preacher,” though there seems to be at least two of them, each standing for three hours a day, multiple days a week. Jokes have been made about throwing eggs at them while others have just expressed their annoyance at being accosted.

Starting Monday April 10, a group of CWRU students started gathering on the other side of Euclid to spread pride and positivity on campus in contrast to the bigotry and hate from across the street. Waving rainbow pride flags, giving out written affirmations and doling out hugs and fist bumps, the students said they organized due to the negative atmosphere that was building on campus.

“We are here because we just love spreading love and positivity,” said first-year student Sam Faria-Rosenbaum. “I think that there was a lot of negativity being spread on campus for a lot of reasons, and from a lot of different directions. So we just want to be positive for everybody in every way.”

The group organized initially among first-year students over a Discord server, which now numbers over 70 participants. There were around 15 students amassed midday on Monday, though a total of roughly 40 people go in shifts depending on everyone’s respective class times. 

Aside from this group, a non-affiliated individual wearing an alien mask and an “Among Us” blue crewmate inflatable costume was seen standing by the preacher. Though the individual would not speak or say their affiliation, they were holding a pride flag along with a sign that said “Vote the Preacher. I saw him vent,” referring to the action of kicking out a suspicious outsider in the video game “Among Us.”

All this has created more excitement and incredulity than is usually on CWRU campus, but has also raised important discussions surrounding faith, bigotry, hate and support of marginalized groups. While the Euclid Avenue preachers’ approach may not have changed many minds, it has brought attention to the discrimination often faced by members of the CWRU community and beyond.

When asked what message CWRU students should take to heart from this entire state of affairs, Faria-Rosenbaum said “Spread love and love everybody.”