Concrete Christianspeak: Vandalism for Jesus at a State University

concrete building

Parking at work is often a challenge. It is not uncommon for me to have to walk a distance between where I can park and the building in which I work. While walking from my car, I had to cross a street. As I stepped onto the curb, I looked down and saw that "Jesus Christ is Lord" had been scrawled into the cement before it dried.

By the look of the curb, it had been there for years. I found myself wondering who had written it and why. This curb is in the heart of a public university, a secular center of higher learning where students learn critical thinking skills. Who had decided to deface public property with such a silly message?

I decided that the person who had vandalized the drying cement was most likely a student. I had a difficult time imagining the physical plant workers who poured the cement doing it. If someone saw them, they'd have some explaining to do. It wouldn't have been worth the risk. It could have been a professor, staff member, or even some random person from the local community. But I figured a college student made more sense based on their ease of access.

My thoughts then turned to the question of what sort of student would do something like this. There is a Baptist Student Center on campus less than a couple of blocks from this curb. Wait, what? Yes, there is a Baptist Student Center right on the campus of a state university. I pass it every day, and it seems to be a popular gathering place for students. It is not the only Christian student organization on campus either. I'm still looking for the Atheist Student Center, but I haven't found it yet.

What was going through the mind of the person who scrawled this bit Christianspeak into the cement? Did they think it would convert people for years to come? Was it virtue signaling or a reminder of what they are supposed to believe? Could it have been a message to the evil nonbelievers who would tread this path in future years (like me)?

I don't have any idea who wrote it or why. Whoever did is probably long gone. Despite having no answers, I enjoyed thinking about it for some reason as I continued on with my walk. If only the person who scrawled this message in drying cement had known it would put a smile on the face of an atheist!

An earlier version of this post was written in 2008. It was revised in 2018 and again in 2022 to improve clarity and fix some typos.