Worthy Christian News » Christian » Marilyn Manson Fans Draw Evangelicals To North Carolina Concert
By Nathan Ray Thomas
GREENSBORO, NC (AgapePress) - It was a smaller than expected crowd, with only about half of the 2,400 tickets having been sold. So the evangelicals stood out all the more. Not because of their angry signs, but because of their own numbers and their gentle witness.
Evangelical demonstrators held signs proclaiming God's love, gave out tracts, and witnessed to Marilyn Manson fans as they filed into War Memorial Auditorium in Greensboro on November 13.
In fact, two separate groups staged peaceful demonstrations as the gothic-clad fans lined up to walk through metal detectors required by Manson's security crew. Chains and stud collars are banned by Manson for fear fans will hurt themselves (or each other), when, according to police, "the bands are playing, they go into a frenzy, jerk around violently, and slam into each other."
One Christian group from China Grove, NC, handed out tracts and sang hymns as fans lined up at the door. The police quickly escorted them to a breezeway between the auditorium and the exhibition center, saying they were concerned the fans might start fights.
Another group, mostly teens from Holiness churches in Reidsville and Danville, VA, marched on the sidewalk holding signs with Gospel messages. Absent were the caustic and vitriolic signs from other groups declaring Manson's lost state and those of his fans.
Responding to charges that the demonstrations give Manson more publicity than he deserves, Steve Perrien from China Grove said, "We're just here to witness, that's all."
Perrien said when Manson was in Winston-Salem, NC, two years ago, his group witnessed to several young people as they headed into the Lawrence Joel Coliseum. After talking with them for a while, they left instead of going into the concert.
"We've never had anyone saved, but there have been many who stopped and talked with us about the Gospel," he said. "Girls are more responsive -- I guess they're more tenderhearted."
Waiting in cars were about a half dozen mothers who had brought their teens to the concert. One mother sat in a compact filled with large teddy bears.
Most of Mansonâ€™s fans wore the familiar black gothic clothing, leather jackets, and platform shoes. Some girls wore clear, fishnet tops, and leather skirts or pants. One man wore a white wedding dress and platform shoes.
Some t-shirt and sweatshirt statements read â€œWhen I'm God, everyone dies,â€ â€œBigger Than Satan,â€ and â€œPossessed.â€ Some had phrases not fit to reprint in a family newspaper.
Some fans wore black sweatshirts with a nude Manson, and others with Manson replacing Christ in the familiar crucifixion scene.
Reacting to heckler's taunts, Debbie Durham, from Grace Covenant Holiness Church in Reidsville, said they "were not here out of hate, but out of love."
"We'd like to see him and his followers saved," she said. "We're going to stay as long as we can witness."
Some fans eagerly accepted tracts as they walked through the breezeway, only to rip them up and throw them back at the demonstrators.
"No soul is a waste of time," said Rhonda Edwards. "God will reward us for doing this. We're here just planting seed."
A few of the fans shouted curses at the demonstrators as they walked by, and some stopped to scream curses on Jesus at the demonstrators.
A demonstrator approached one of the fans and asked him if he was "ready to meet God."
"That's where I'm going now," he replied, as he walked into the auditorium.