“Brother Jed” Letter to the Editor

Dear Student Body,

How are you? Are you OK? It’s a serious question. Last week was not easy for some of those in the Bearkat Nation. As you might be aware, the self-titled ‘Brother” Jed Smock paid a visit to our campus. In order to gather a large crowd, he preached on several different subjects until he found one that really pissed people off. This was the topic of homosexuality. He preached against other things, but Wednesday’s speech focused on antagonizing the gay community because that’s what seemed to generate the most controversy.

Through this method, he was able to turn fellow Bearkats against each other resulting in a physical confrontation. To me, this is evil in the most basic sense. I am blessed with a very wide range of friends from across all races, religions, and backgrounds. I try to focus on what we have in common, because I’m of the belief we’re more the same than we are different. When a stranger comes to campus and drives a wedge between any two parts it’s painful to me.

On Thursday, students weren’t pitted against themselves. For that I am thankful. However, to watch this stranger insult and antagonize my fellow students was hard to take. I had been arguing with the Dean of Students Office this whole time trying to find a way to throw him off my campus. Indeed, many student organizations had asked the Student Government Association to do something. However, because the school is public property there is nothing that can be done. I am currently conducting research on this and will attempt to propose a new policy that will protect freedom of speech while not allowing strangers to incite hate on campus.

This note is titled Hate and Courage among us. I’ve talked enough about the hateful false prophet. I’ll now talk about the courageous ones among us.

Stonewall Kats: Regardless of how you feel about gay rights, the peaceful protest of these students is to be commended. After having hate channeled their direction, they remained out there all day today to remind passer-bys that Sam Houston is a Hate Free Zone. You guys were awesome, and I’m proud to count you among my friends.

GP: You had every reason to stay away, but you didn’t. You confronted the situation head on. You didn’t run. That in itself shows your character more than anything I could say.

SB: You knew the truth and you had the courage and the conviction to back it up. You got up there and challenged the hatemonger and let everyone know what the Word really says. I cannot express how relived I was to see somebody counter the stuff Mr. Smock was spewing. Thank you.

AH: Your leadership in organizing the protest and keeping it civil was awesome. Enough said.

Others: I don’t know your names. I know your faces, and I can hear your voices. You spoke out against the intolerance and I could see that quite a few of you were quite upset at the hate. You guys are my heroes.

Now, before I end this note I have a message. A message for George ‘Jed’ Smock.

Don’t come back.

Your intolerance and your antagonism are not welcome here. I recognize your tactics as manipulation. You push the legal limits of the First Amendments to use the Holy Bible as a weapon. You ratchet up the rhetoric of hate to draw a large crowd so you can preach your message. You exploit human nature in order to keep your audience. An insulted audience doesn’t leave and you understand that. To keep us from walking past you, you condemn us and our friends to hell. You’re nothing more than a cheap sideshow scam artist. You’re not welcome here.

Don’t come back. (And don’t send your friends, they’re not welcome either)

Christopher Whitaker

Student Body President

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