A farewell to the Cincy Church of Christ
The News Record (University of Cincinnati), March 4-7 1999
By Andrew Geonetta, Guest Columnist
I could not help but feel a bit relieved when I read The News Record March 1, front-page story, “SAB (Student Advisory Board) suspends group for improper conduct.” It’s about time.
Two years ago, I had one of the worst experiences of my life when I ran into those people. Through a mutual friend, I met two guys, Aaron and Gil. Aaron was/is a CCM vocal major and Gil at the time was not in school.
Gil was in the process of being accepted into the acting program. Gil was/is also one of the ministers at the Cincinnati Church of Christ.
I hit it off fairly well with both of them. They were certainly nice enough people. I knew that they were involved with a religious group, but at the time, I did not know what this group was about.
After hanging out with them, they had on numerous occasions asked me to come to their “Bible discussions.” I decided that it might be a good thing to try something new for a change.
So I accompanied them to a total of two discussions, both of at which I was not made uncomfortable, but I didn’t really feel good either. I left feeling as if every word I had said was being analyzed.
However, I never really thought anything of it, and moved on without going to another discussion. I didn’t speak to either one of them much after that.
Time passed, and I met another guy in class named Milton. I learned that Milton was a vocal performance major at CCM, and that he was very good friends with Gil and Aaron. One afternoon after class, I decided to have lunch with Milton.
As we sat eating, we began to get on the topic of religon. Milton was really great, though. He was a very likeable person who seemed to have a pretty open mind about how different people work with different religions. As we finished our meal, Milton asked if I wanted to hang out over the weekend. I said yes. This turned out to be a huge mistake.
I picked up Milton, and he said we were going to go hang out over at Gil’s for a while. I did not object, as I saw nothing wrong with the whole picture just yet.
It all hit me when I walked in the door of Gil’s house, and next to him sat Aaron. After a couple of minutes of saying some uncomfortable “hello’s” and small talk, Gil asked if I would sit down. I did so as Milton went over to the corner and picked up a notebook and a pen and proceeded to seat himself as well.
The conversation began with all of them staring at me, and then Gil finally said, “So why did you come over to study the Bible with us?”
I was taken by complete surprise. I was immediately defensive, and could hardly formulate a thought because every time I would bring up a point or try to make a statement, Gil would batter me down by telling me how wrong I was. Aaron sat next to Gil, silent, the entire time, and Milton sat in the corner taking notes.
I was finally able to take a step back from the whole situation I was in and look at what was actually happening. This was a religious beat down, and I was the victim.
When the realization hit me, I immediately stood up, completely frustrated and almost crying, and stormed out of the house. Milton called later to apologize, but I had enough of those people for the day.
When I ran into Aaron or Gil, they pretended like nothing happened. I still run into them every once in a while, and to this day, they have not apologized to me.
Now I sit back and laugh as I read the article, hearing in my head the phrase, “What comes around goes around.”
As I continue on with my life, I cannot help but feel sorry for those who throw away their gifts of personality and individuality to a worthless group such as the Cincinnati Church of Christ. It is sad to think that a single group of people can attempt to destroy another human being so utterly.
The whole philosophy of “Be one of us or rot in hell” is faintly reminiscent of a man I’ve read about. His name was Adolf Hitler.
All of the names of the people in the story have been changed to give some measure of anonymity. However, the story is real.
Andrew Geonetta is a senior studying electronic media.