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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    ‘Angels’ protest Brother Jed

    Halin Nurnberg, sociology junior, left, and Michele MacMillan, international studies freshman, take part in the ASUA Pride Alliance protest of hate speech while Cindy Smock, center, preaches.
    Halin Nurnberg, sociology junior, left, and Michele MacMillan, international studies freshman, take part in the ASUA Pride Alliance protest of ‘hate speech’ while Cindy Smock, center, preaches.

    Silent protesters, dressed as angels, have stirred quite a debate among those traveling on the Mall. These angels are attempting to block the view of one man: Brother Jed.

    Spending nearly 200 days a year preaching, Brother Jed Smock visits the UA annually where he speaks to large crowds of students about Christianity and Jesus Christ. This year however, members of the Pride Alliance are protesting.

    “”We’re not protesting Brother Jed the person, but his hate speech that he brings onto campus,”” said Oprah Revish, co-director of Pride Alliance and a creative writing senior. “”While we respect his right to come to a public campus to say what he wants, we also know that we have the right not to listen and have the right to silently protest.””

    According to Revish, the angel wings are based off a demonstration done in the 90s at the funeral of Matthew Shepard.

    Shepard was a gay man killed by two straight men. At his funeral, a pastor named Fred Phelps brought signs saying: “”God hates fags”” and “”Matt is in Hell.”” Protestors at the funeral made similar angel wings to block these signs from Matthew’s mother.

    “”We decided to bring that to the UA campus because angels are not just a religious symbol; they’re also a symbol of peace and of unconditional love,”” said

    Revish. “”We decided to do that and to shield passerby’s who are just trying to live their lives from the hate speech that he is spewing on campus right now.””

    John Meyer, a retailing and consumer sciences sophomore, helped pass out flyers explaining the Matthew Shepard story and the angel wings.

    “”A lot of things (Brother Jed) says really bug me,”” Meyer said in regards to comments Smock made after he received one of the flyers.

    Cindy Smock, Jed Smock’s wife, said they are just here to preach the Gospel, and they haven’t spent that much time talking about homosexuality.

    “”I only spoke once when the homosexuals arrived with the sheets and I had mentioned homosexuality briefly,”” she said. “”It’s just listed as one of the many sins on campuses, we weren’t spending a lot of time on it.””

    Cindy Smock also said that she and her husband’s main goal is just to warn people.

    “”We see our job as warning the wicked,”” she said. “”The Bible says that we have a responsibility to warn people. We’re here to warn them that you must repent and believe in Jesus.””

    Suzanna Defriez, an anthropology freshman, argued openly with Jed Smock on many of the statements he made. She is hoping that he will be kicked off campus.

    “”They come out here and they scream that people like me, a strong opinionated woman who’s queer, should go to hell,”” she said. “”Yes, I’m an atheist. But I don’t really believe that this is the best way to get at people.””

    Alexandra Sirocky, a political science freshman, said she has wanted several times to go to the dean to get Jed Smock kicked off campus.

    “”My best friends are gay and I think it’s horrible for someone to be coming to our campus to preach everyday,”” she said. “”I don’t think he’s a positive energy on our campus.””

    Many students sat and watched him just for the entertainment.

    “”I just think it’s funny, I come for the entertainment,”” said pre-business freshman Marla Putty.

    “”It’s funny, but I don’t think he should be here,”” said retail and consumer science freshman Lien Liu. “”I don’t think people should voice their political and religious views to a widespread group of people that believe different things.””

    Kira Johnson, an English freshman, designed the idea for the angel’s wings. She believes that Jed Smock has gotten to the point where people don’t want to hear it anymore.

    “”He’s coming onto a college campus and basically calling everyone out and telling them they’re going to hell,”” said

    Johnson. “”I don’t think any of these people are going to hell, it’s not what people need to hear. I just want to tell people that they don’t have to hear it.””

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