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I'm a little stunned this afternoon. I was riding the bus on campus and we stopped at the student center to let the afternoon after-class rush on to take them back to the dorms. Everyone settled in, and this little girl ran on the bus and shouted "I'm from [some organization I didn't catch the name of] and I'd like to save your souls in the name of Jesus." She stood at the front of the bus and put her arms up on both poles, effectively blocking the entrance so people could neither get on nor off.

She started praying, and the bus driver shut the radio and bus engine off and joined in. The girl then implored us to join in. After the shock wore off, I grabbed my cell phone and recorded it, because nobody would believe me without proof:

I understand that this is Alabama, and that Christianity rules in the Bible Belt, but for the bus driver to allow this girl to save our souls (or whatever the hell she was doing) is an implicit endorsement of one religion by a public university. Imagine if the girl were Muslim or Jewish and tried to do the same thing. Or better yet, if an atheist hopped on the bus and ranted about how there is no god and religion is silly. She'd have been thrown off the bus, or worse.

There's not much I can do on my end. The administration does the same thing -- during my freshman orientation, an administrator led a group of 400 or 500 people in open Christian prayer. It's like they're daring someone to sue them.

If you want someone to convert to your religion, don't hold them hostage and force the word of Jesus on them whether they like it or not.

Stay classy, Alabama.

1:02 PM PT: Updated note: I have no problem with the people who hand out little copies of the Bible or shout at you outside of the classroom buildings. I can just walk away from that or politely decline. What irks me is that on a bus (the entrance to which is being blocked), you have no choice in the matter when someone is shouting prayers at you. I have the same issue with them playing the Christian music station over the radio. If you have to trap your audience to spread your message, you're doing something wrong.

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