A minor commotion was caused on campus Tuesday, October 3 around 11:30 a.m. when the Hall Family Preachers arrived at the free speech area of campus. After about thirty minutes of combative preaching a large crowd of students gathered around to watch the scene. Many students voiced their opinions to the preachers before being put down by the negative comments they had to say in return. They spoke of Jesus and the Bible, focusing on topics like abortion, homosexuality and sexually transmitted diseases, saying statements like, “You students are majoring in whoreolgy,” and targeting students passing by calling them “harlots and whores.”
The Hall Family Preachers have become well-known around the island. They are often at large community events such as the Friday town parties and the weekly swap meet. For years now they have been coming to the UH Maui College campus on Tuesdays, around 10 a.m., to preach at passing college students about their message. In the past they never had a reaction like they had on October 3; students would simply walk past. Only once in a while would a student or faculty member actually stop to talk to them, because of this they hadn’t returned for some time. The Hall Family Preachers don’t claim to be part of any specific religious group and represent themselves.
Because of the way this group goes about preaching they often cause an upset with in their audience and such was the case on October 3. After a UH Maui College student had broken into tears because of their comments, the Maui Police Department was called in by someone on campus. They arrived soon after the event occurred, but could do nothing due to freedom of speech laws, no complaints to The Dean and because the group hadn’t been accused of disturbing any classes. Security hovered close to the area but could do nothing to stop the preachers.
The only thing that the police could suggest was that students leave the area and ignore them. Because the Hall Family Preachers say things that are controversial and upset many people it becomes difficult for students to refrain from voicing their opinions in return, but if this group is really upsetting people the police suggest ignoring them or walking away. On Wednesday, October 4, The Hall Family Preachers returned to preach for another two hours. The reaction on this day was the same as the day before.
The Hall Family Preachers have a YouTube channel where many of their events can be seen. Almost every reaction they receive in their videos is either negative or them being questioned on why they go about their teachings the way they do. Many people have reasonable questions for this group regarding their message and why they are so aggressive about the way they try to share it. It seems that not many want to take their opinions seriously because of the way they deliver them.
If the Dean were to receive enough complaints about this group’s presence on campus something may be able to be done about it, but for now all that can be done is for students to keep on walking.