Parking at work is sometimes a challenge. It is not uncommon for me to have to walk a bit between where I park and the building in which I work. While walking from my car into the building where I work, I had to cross a street. As I stepped up onto the curb, I happened to look down and saw that "Jesus Christ is Lord" had been scrawled into the cement before it was finished drying. By the look of the curb, it had been there for years, possibly decades. I found myself wondering who had written it and why. After all, this curb is found at a state university, supposedly a reasonably secular center of higher learning where students acquire critical thinking skills.
I decided that the person who vandalized the drying cement was most likely a student. Probably unfair but it was the conclusion I reached. I had a difficult time imagining the workers who poured the cement doing it. If someone saw them, they'd likely have some explaining to do and could risk losing a lucrative contract. Sure, it could have been a professor, staff member, or even some random person from the community. But I figured it was probably a college student.
I then started to wonder what sort of student would do something like this. There is a Baptist Student Center less than a couple blocks from this point on campus. Wait, what? Yes, there is a Baptist Student Center right there on campus. I pass it every day, and it seems to be a popular gathering place for students. And it is not the only Christian student organization on campus. 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? Perhaps it was just intended to remind the vandal what he or she was supposed to believe. Or could it have been a message to the evil nonbelievers who would tread this path in future years?
I don't have any idea who wrote it or why. Whoever did it is probably long gone. And yet, I enjoyed thinking about it for some reason as I continued on with my walk. Now why is there not an Atheist Student Center anywhere to be found on this campus?
An earlier version of this post was written in 2008. It was revised in 2018 to improve clarity and fix some typos.