The past week has seen two prominent street preachers hitting the campus here at KU. The first was a set of black preachers from Soul Winners Ministry. Each whore a bright red shirt with "No homos in heaven!" written on them in gaudy yellow letters. One preached while the other filmed it.
The preacher was very loathe to answer any questions and instead ranted on any topic he felt like. This didn't make him any fans in the crowd. Ironically, the Gideons crowd was also handing out their little green bibles that day (I haven't collected enough to make my bandolier yet), and many people in the audience threw the bibles at him as well as one spectator who got a carton of eggs (but ended up missing his target every time). The most creative objects getting tossed around were balloons made from condoms when the preacher started ranting about abstinance.
I saw a few members of SOMA there, but they tended to sit back and laugh as opposed to engaging in the egg and bible throwing (although I did hear that the condom balloons were the work of one of our members).
Ironically, when asked what church the team was from, the cameraman replied by saying they weren't from any particular church. I wonder why he decided to lie. Perhaps he was secretly ashamed of how foolish he and his preaching partner were looking? Would this also be why they both took off their homophobic T-shirts before departing?
The crowd finally started dying down as other Christians started protesting his hateful version of God and the war of ideologies was on! But of course, this isn't much fun given that most people had already made their mind up on which version of the fairy tale they want to believe.
I thought those two would be the end of the fun, but on my way to class Monday, none other than my favourite street preacher, Brother Jed was out in front of Wesco Hall. My first question to him referred to this post in which I was wondering if, given that Jed has the same anti-gay stance as religious idealogue Fred Phelps, that if Jed's daughter who is now in military service were to die, if he felt that it would be justified for Phelps to protest her funeral?
Jed dodged the question muttering something that was inaudable, but gave the general impression that he didn't think too kindly of Phelps. This was encouraging at least, to see that extreme right wingers aren't as unified as they pretend to be.
From there, the crowd asked why we were in Iraq in the first place. His response: "To kill the Jihadists" because, according to Jed, Islam is a religion of intolerance and hate. Interestingly enough, when confronted with several passages from the Koran directly contradicting this, Brother Jed refused to admit his error. Not that I expected any less from him.
Next, I pressed Jed to show just how strong his holier-than-thou facade was by recounting his college years in which he engaged in far more "immoral" acts than any atheist I've ever met. I've got to say, even if an astounding hypocrite, Jed is a fanstastic story teller. You could really see him reliving his sexual exploits in the back seat of his father's car at the drive in, as he recounted them, spittle flying from his mouth.
In telling his life story, he also went through his years as a hippie and revealed the event that led him to become a Christian. It happened while he was meditating on a shore in North Africa during the sunset. As the sun set in front of him, he looked over his shoulder and noticed the full moon was rising at the same time.
This he said, could not be the result of random chance. It must be design! I pointed out that it has more to do with basic geometry which he could have learned in an introductory astronomy course, but he brushed this off as well.
This design argument led into his usual argument of how, since his eyeglasses were designed, that implied a designer, and as such, since his eyes were far more complex than his glasses, they too must be designed. Good ole argument from complexity! This led him to decide to read the Bible (athough admittedly, he said he had only skimmed the Old Testament) and accept Jesus as his savior.
In response, I pointed out that if you flip a coin a trillian times, the resulting sequence of heads and tails is ridiculously complex, but was the result of random processes. Thus, complexity in and of itself is a poor argument for design, unless of course, he wanted to argue that the result of a coin flip is not random and that God is actually determining what it should be every time. He mumbled something about coin flips being determined by natural laws which he didn't really know too much about, but it wasn't really important since God made all the laws anyway.
Another question that was posed was, what was his favourite biblical story? With no hesitation, he jumped up, and spittle dribbling onto his chin, he told us of Soddam and Gommorah. He went through the entire story with his usual fervor, giving us quite the show.
But perhaps the best part, was his demonstration of why homosexuality was wrong. And it involved props! From his bumper sticker laden briefcase, Jed pulled out two extention cords, saying that you could only get heat and power one way: by sticking the "male" end into the "female" end. He butted the two male ends together chanting "no no homo" and similarly, with the two female ends, chanting "no no lesbo", claiming that no power could flow this way. I pointed out that as long as the metal parts were touching, power flows just fine, and with the two female ends, it still works, as long as you get a few "accessories". The crowd laughed, realizing that Jed's metaphor was shot. I don't think Jed understood though. Sadly, I think his grasp on electric circuits is as weak as his grasp on basic astronomy.
But his fun with power cords didn't end there! He then extended the analogy claiming that one was Michael Jackson and the other was "a little brown boy" visiting Neverland ranch. Brother Jed seemed to really get into this one with some strange sort of strange fascination as he played with his cords.
Eventually, I had to leave, and I headed off. As I got back to my room, it occured to me that I failed to get a clarification on commandment VI according to Jed on whether or not this applied to gays. I'm pretty sure it does, but I'll just have to ask next time he come around.
Ironically, it was exactly three years ago today that I last saw Jed when I was at MSU. Perhaps he only comes out at this time of year. Coincidence?
I know a few people that took pictures at these events, and I'll see if I can't get them at some point.