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Woman Harassed At The Gym By Man Who Says God Told Him To Talk To Her About The Bible — 'I'm Severely Uncomfortable'

Photo: Reddit
Clips from video of woman harassed at the gym

A video showing a woman being harassed at the gym by a man professing to be a Christian has left many online deeply uncomfortable and angry.

It's not known where exactly the video came from, but it has attracted a lot of attention on Reddit and Twitter because of the way the man insistently pushes his religious beliefs on the woman, despite her making it clear she is not interested in the conversation.

The woman was harassed at the gym by a man who claimed God told him to talk to her. 

The full context isn't exactly clear because the video, which was posted to Reddit, begins after the conversation has already been underway. But it is clear from the very first frame that the woman is perturbed and uncomfortable, and it seems likely she is recording the incident out of concern.

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Photo: Reddit

The man seems to be delivering some morality message to the woman, who curtly responds, "Sure," and says nothing else.

The man, clearly not taking the hint, followed up by asking if he could "get your 'gram," presumably a reference to her Instagram username. The woman then responded even more forcefully, telling him, "No, that made me severely uncomfortable actually, I don't know why you needed to come and do that."

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Rather than take the hint, the man forged ahead with an even more forceful lecture about the Christian beliefs he claimed God wanted him to deliver.

"I didn't have that desire," the man told her of his haranguing her. "God does. God loves you severely. But God is jealous." It's hard to know what exactly was meant by that last line, but the notion of a "jealous God" is a common refrain in evangelical Christian circles to describe the way God feels about things we put ahead of Him in importance.

Whatever the context of the man's comments, the woman was obviously offended by the comment. "God loves everyone," she replied forcefully, suggesting the tenor of the overall conversation centered on some form of religious bigotry — a suspicion the man immediately confirmed with his next comment. "No he doesn't, that's not true," the man replied. 

Photo: Reddit

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The man claimed that God actually 'hates' some people, and continued lecturing the woman despite her obvious anger.

"God doesn't love everyone," the woman asked by way of clarification, and instead of taking the off-ramp she'd given him, the man simply doubled down, telling her, "He hates the wicked, His Bible says that."

Of course, the Bible also says, again and again, and again, that "God is love" and that He "so loved the world he sent his only begotten son" Jesus Christ to Earth to save humanity. So the notion of God hating anyone doesn't really jibe, and the woman seemed shocked by the suggestion. 

When she again protested, the man still would not let it go, insisting that God "can't love people who hate Him," and offering to read her all the verses in the Bible about God hating people. The woman then forcefully told him, "I came here to work out" and he still would not stop harassing her. "God does not love everyone," he said, "read your Bible."

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People online were as shocked by the man's religious bigotry as they were by the fact he would not stop harassing the woman no matter what she said to him. 

Framing the issue the way many Christians speak about LGBTQ+ people's identities and lives, a man on Twitter shared the video with the caption, "we can’t even go to the gym without Christians shoving their religion in our faces."

Photo: @Tim_Tweeted / Twitter

Some called the video "alarming" and questioned why management didn't intervene to stop the harassment. Others who claimed to be former evangelical Christians themselves felt they saw through the real reason the woman was harassed at the gym — because the Christian man was attracted to her and felt guilty because of the way some Christians view sexuality.

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Photo: Reddit

And of course, others felt the incident was a combination of a certain kind of Christian trying to force his beliefs on others, and what has become the all too problematic status quo for many women — they simply can't do anything, even go to the gym, without being targets for predators and harassment

Photo: Reddit

Meanwhile, recent studies and surveys have found that both sexual harassment of women and Christian harassment of minority groups like LGBTQ+ people are on the rise — both of which could be avoided if people would simply take "no" as an answer.

As one person titled their Reddit post about the video, "Bro take a hint." That goes for both situations — harassing women and pushing your beliefs on people. Nobody owes you their attention for either reason. America is still (for the time being anyway) not a theocracy.

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John Sundholm is a news and entertainment writer who covers pop culture, social justice and human interest topics.