||[Sep. 21st, 2005|01:28 pm]
|||||Theory of a Deadman -"Gasoline"||]|
So, some of you may remember who I am. For those of you who don't...I'm Natalie Davis, the crazy Jew on campus who works for Public Safety AND the Capital school newspaper, THE CHIMES. Not too long ago, my good friend Sare and I wrote a little bit about the crazy preacher guy who stands outside and likes to tell us all that we'll [eventually] be going to Hell. Well, the CHIMES isn't out until tomorrow. BUT...I have an INSIDER LOOK AT A STORY that HOPEFULLY will be in it. Want to hear it? Well, just scroll your page down a little bit and read this awesome story by reporter Daniel Lichtenberger (must give credit where credit is due).
The name David Merrill Tripp probably means nothing to most students, at least not right now.
However, after only a few weeks into classes, most students are probably familiar with him, either by hearing him or hearing of him.
He’s the one you can hear walking out of any building on campus.
He’s the one most students either laugh at or try to ignore.
He’s the one who most students have deemed crazy.
Tripp is better known as “the street preacher,” who stands between Saylor-Ackermann and the conservatory at around noon on random days.
Some are willing to sit and listen to what he has to say. Some even ask him questions.
To be honest, I, too, was one of those people who quickly walked by, trying to ignore him, until one day I approached him.
Nervously, I asked Tripp, who was wearing a Salvation Army uniform, if I could privately talk with him. He said yes.
Tripp told me that he works as a security officer and belongs to the Salvation Army.
Street preaching since he was 18, Tripp said that he has been coming to Capital since moving to Columbus from Florida in 1987. Tripp also preaches at The Ohio State University, Otterbein College, Ohio Wesleyan University, and Columbus State Community College. He has been to 189 different colleges and universities across the country.
“On my vacations,” Tripp said. “I go to campuses.”
Cutting to the chase, I asked Tripp if he felt welcome at Capital. I knew what he would say before he even said it.
“Not really,” he said. “A lot of [students] wish I would never show up.”
“It [doesn’t] discourage me. It just lets me know where I need to be.”
Talking with him one-on-one was a little different than listening to him preach. His boisterous voice became soft. He rarely digressed into long spiels about everything he sees wrong in society. Furthermore, I could see his genuine care for people, which is independent from his beliefs.
Tripp might contradict himself at times, but doesn’t everyone? He might have radical ideas, but everything was radical once. I’m not saying we should follow anything that he preaches. I’m not even justifying his actions.
I am saying that we should respect him as a fellow person, regardless of his beliefs or what he says. Even if you disagree with him, you might learn something.
To illustrate this, while discussing war, Tripp made the point that people are always pointing fingers at each other.
“[People] never look in the mirror and say, ‘What have I done wrong?’”
“Love your enemies,” Tripp said, quoting Jesus. “If they do you wrong, do them right.”
Capital might be known for valuing education and having a small campus, but why not be known for acceptance? Why not accept and welcome everyone as we would wish to feel welcomed? Why not accept those who disagree with us? What else are we to do but to do Tripp right?
YAY! okay, so that's the story. It made me laugh...it made me cry...it made me wet myself just a little bit....okay, maybe it didn't do any of those things, but I did enjoy it, so I hoped you did too. So what do you need to say to the crazy preacher man the next time you see him on campus? Whatever the hell you want to of course, but maybe say "Hi" to him before you go off on a "crazy-man-tangent" as well.