Raving Madmen and the Quality of Life

newbie alert

I was in the free speech area at my local college today, and I happened to notice–actually, it was rather hard not to–a vociferous man with a speech impediment and rather unattractive rivulets of drool on either side of his mouth ranting. I’m fairly certain he said things including “Jesus Christ will eliminate your credit card debt” and “Jesus Christ will pay your PG&E bills.”

And so I got to thinking . . .

Has anybody actually ever been affected in a positive way by one of these guys? I know they’re everywhere, but I also know that everybody who sees them either ignores or mocks them. I didn’t see anybody accept a pamphlet from him, though I noticed that a few who got to close had one thrust toward them.

So I put it to you: anybody out there with a drastic change in quality of life due to soapbox madmen?

/newbie alert

Actually yes.
The very first time I met one of these was in London and I started to discuss with him. After a while I noticed lot’s of people paying atention to us. Believe it or not it made wonders to my self-esteem and I realised I didn’t really have to speak perfect English so that people would understand you.

In Santa Monica, I knew a guy everyone called “Pigeon Man”, very dirty older guy who always had at least 4-7 live pigeons in his pockets. Turns out he found all the young/injured ones and nursed them back to health, before setting them free again. He wasn’t really the shouting type, but once you overlooked the dirt, he was a caring and intelligent human being. Too bad not many bothered to look further than his appearance.
Not sure if that qualifies as “Soapbox Madamn” or not but it’s my contribution.

My apologies. I was not quite specific enough in my OP. I meant, “has anybody out there been spiritually affected in a positive manner by any of these guys,” these guys being streetcorner evangelists. I don’t doubt that many of them are great guys and/or gals, but I question the effectiveness of shouting at everybody as a witnessing technique. What I meant to ask was whether anybody out there has become Christian–or a member of any other religion, for that matter–directly because of an encounter with a guy yelling on a corner. I’m sure that there are people who have been negatively affected by their hellfire and brimstone preaching, but I wonder if there’s actually any positive effect.

I apologize for the lack of clarity in and apparent crassness of the previous.

I doubt hearing someone railing about god from a streetcorner is going to make ANYONE convert… it’s one thing to listen to someone who is (or appears to be) intelligent, educated, etc… and quite another to take someone’s word on it who’s obviously not all there.

If you’re going to be converted, at least give yourself the credit to go through someone who doesn’t drool.

Not that there’s anything wrong with drooling.

I just don’t.

Ack! (Decides to leave before digging herself in deeper) :wink:


I’m pretty sure that running for the NDP in Quebec automatically qualifiesw you as a soapbox madman :slight_smile:

Does falling down laughing count as being spiritually affected in a positive way?