Alex Jones looks into evangelical preaching, but with a twist. Read the following (opinionated) analogy to find out what he thinks, especially in light of the recent influx of American Mormons to Loughborough, who are very keen to share their religious ideals and personal views…


It’s a warm spring morning the week you get back from the Easter break. You’ve been out the night before at Hey Ewe; which you’re now regretting. You had told yourself that for the last few weeks you’ll try and make all your lectures, but now you remember how much post-Wednesday hangovers destroy you.

As you walk down through the Village and towards Computer Science, past the football pitches, you spy a tent. It’s small and purple but there are a number of people inside, standing in front of a fold-up table where they appear to be serving hot drinks. ‘I really could do with a coffee’, you think to yourself.

As you step closer, you realise that each of the members inside the tent are dressed strangely. The tallest is entirely clad in green, her long blonde hair dancing across her shoulders which is supporting a long, oaken bow. One, with a very large, bushy beard is gripping a double-edged axe and the smallest wears a cloak, a curly brown wig and a golden ring with strange inscriptions is hanging around his neck.

This all seems vaguely familiar but you’re unsure why. Wasn’t Exec Elections last term? Surely all Hustings stuff must be done with now?

The bearded man offers you a coffee as you walk past and you decide to accept.  Perhaps this lecture will go quicker with caffeine pumped through your pounding head.  At the very least, you decide, you won’t fall asleep.

As he’s pouring you your dark brown sludge, he mentions that he and his friends are having a gathering later in the week.  There will be more coffee (your eyes light up) and there might even be toast and biscuits.  You pause for a second.  ‘Uh oh’, you think, ‘Have I stepped into Loughborough’s only sex-crazed, coffee-obsessed death cult?’  Casually, you ask why they were having their meeting.

‘To discuss The Lord of the Rings, of course!’  He smiles.  ‘This week we’re discussing Chapter V of The Two Towers:  The White Rider.  It’s a corker.’  He looks nervously at your unsure face.  ‘You know, the one where Gandalf the Grey returns as Gandalf the While after he fell fighting the Balrog, off the Bridge of Khazad Dum?’

Of course.  It’s the Lord of the Rings nuts.  How could you not have guessed?  The costumes were enough, but the bad breath and body odour really sealed the deal.  You’ve fallen unwittingly into their trap.  Trying to back out, you say, ‘Oh I’m really sorry – I think I have something on.’

‘Are you sure? It will be so much fun!’  He has you in his grasp.

You splutter out an, ‘I’m really sorry, The Lord of the Rings just isn’t my thing’, and run from the table.

You spill your coffee.

Okay – story time is over.

My point is, you either like Lord of the Rings, or you don’t.  It’s pretty famous and you’ve had the chance to check it out.  You may love it, and that’s great – you’ve found friends that love it too and you sit around and have marathons and discuss your favourite quotes.  But don’t preach your love to other people.  If they like Lord of the Rings – they’ll have found you.

The same goes for Christianity. We know what it is, we know what it preaches, we know the stories. It’s just not the right thing for some people – leave those people alone. 

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Alex Jones

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