Brother Dean Saxton

A confrontational street preacher known for his extreme views on modesty and behavior.

Brother Dean Saxton, often known simply as Brother Dean, is a street preacher known for his contentious and often provocative public preaching. Born in the early 1990s, Saxton first came to public attention in the 2010s through his activities as a street preacher, garnering attention and controversy for his extreme views on a variety of social issues and his confrontational style of preaching. His approach to evangelism, characterized by provocative statements and signs, has sparked debates on free speech, religious extremism, and the boundaries of public discourse.

Preaching Style and Content

Brother Dean Saxton is best known for his confrontational and often aggressive style of street preaching across the United States, particularly in Arizona. He claims to have been inspired to take up street preaching by another preacher known as Brother Jed and expresses a desire to continue this confrontational style of evangelism despite the controversies and challenges he faces.

Saxton typically delivers his messages in public spaces such as university campuses, street corners, and near events he deems morally objectionable. His messages are typically accompanied by signs with provocative messages, such as “You Deserve Rape,” and a loudspeaker to amplify his voice, ensuring that his messages are heard by as many people as possible.

Saxton has gained notoriety for his activities around the University of Arizona campus, where he would loudly condemn various groups and behaviors, homosexuality, feminism, and what he considers to be immodest dress among women, and others he viewed as sinful according to his interpretations of Christianity. His messages, peppered with inflammatory and derogatory language, have led to accusations of hate speech and has sparked confrontations with those who oppose his views.

Saxton is not affiliated with any specific church or religious organization, and his preaching is independent and self-initiated. His theological views are fundamentalist and conservative, emphasizing a literal interpretation of the Bible and his preaching often focuses on themes of sin, repentance, and salvation, but with a more controversial approach than that of many mainstream Christian evangelists.

Controversies and Legal Issues

The public reception to Brother Dean Saxton’s preaching is polarized. Many people have defended his actions, insisting that he is exercising his right to free speech and religious freedom. However, critics argue that his speeches often cross the line into harassment and hate speech, targeting specific groups and individuals with derogatory and inflammatory language, leading to calls for his removal from certain locations and legal action to limit his activities. As a result of this widespread criticism, his presence on university campuses and other public spaces has often led to clashes with students, faculty, and other members of the public and often results in protests and counter-protests.

One of the most notable incidents occurred at the University of Arizona in 2016, when Saxton was arrested for kicking a woman. The altercation arose during one of his preaching sessions, leading to his arrest and temporary ban from the University of Arizona campus. Saxton has also faced physical attacks on himself, but sees his preaching as a divine calling.

Despite legal challenges and public backlash, Saxton has continued his preaching activities, citing constitutional protections of free speech and religious expression. Academically and legally, Saxton’s activities have been used as case studies in discussions about the First Amendment rights in the United States, particularly the extent to which freedom of speech covers provocative or offensive religious expression in public spaces.

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