Calgary

Campus group objects to 'hate' while preacher laments rainbow appropriation

Artur Pawlowski says the rainbows painted on planters at the Crossroads Market do not have the correct number of colours.

Artur Pawlowski is not happy, and pretty colours aren’t helping

Preacher Artur Pawlowski is outraged the rainbows painted on Crossroads Market planters don't have the correct number of colours. 'This is a lie from the pit of hell,' the preacher said Saturday in a Facebook video. (Artur Pawlowski/Facebook)

Artur Pawlowski is not happy, and pretty colours aren't helping.

"This is a lie from the pit of hell, perverted symbol that God has given to us.… They are using it to laugh at God, to shake their fingers at God saying, 'we don't care about your law, we don't care about you,'" Pawlowski says in a video posted to Facebook.

He is talking about rainbows painted on planters at the Crossroads Market. These colourful parking lot adornments have the evil six colours, not the Godly seven.

Pawlowski is a Street Church preacher with a complicated relationship with various city councils, the police and media.

Calgary recently gave him a permit to preach inside City Hall.

And that is what a campus group says is a step too far.

"Homophobia, transphobia, xenophobia, Islamophobia, antisemitism, misogyny — you name it," said Queers on Campus co-chair Eren Just. "All of the bigotry he espouses."

Just told CBC News the permit conflicts with recent statements from city agencies.

"We have heard an amazing apology from Calgary Police Services for wrongs they have done to the community in the past. We have been told we are supposed to feel like the city is supporting us, and we are not getting that right now."

Pawlowski says he and his crew have a right to share their message.

"The government building belongs to all citizens, not just non-believers or atheists or homosexuals. It is our property," Pawlowski said Tuesday.

"As Christians, we are being marginalized and attacked every single time we want to pray or mention Jesus and yet sexual ideology is being forced, shoveled to our throats, at every corner."

But Just says the ideology Pawlowski shovels isn't benign.

"It makes me feel hated, not respected, like I am not an equal, valued member of society. The feeling of having people wanting you dead, or in the closet, or divorced from your community, is really alienating," Just said.

Pawlowski says Christians are the ones being oppressed and pushed around.

"We all are equal, we should be equal under the law. I don't know why a certain group of people has to be favoured," Pawlowski said.

"They perverted God's symbol and they are using it for sin."

But who are they?

"Homosexuals, of course," Pawlowski said.

Pawlowski says this planter rainbow is evil. It has only six colours. (Artur Pawlowski/Facebook)

Just is uncomfortable with words like that spoken on public property with even implied city approval.

"We don't want to see him spread hate in our municipal spaces," Just said.

"Calgary is a place of diversity and tolerance and not a place for bigotry disguised as religion."

With files from Tim Devlin

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