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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Guest column: Don’t fuel brother Jed’s delusion by heckling

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Photo by Photo by: Brian Okosun

George “Brother Jed” Smock came to campus Monday and Tuesday to preach on the sidewalk. Jed is known on many campuses for his crude and sexualized remarks. 

The weird feeling in the air and the gathering of hecklers means only one thing, old brother Jed is back on campus. I’m a graduate student, so I don’t pay attention to much what goes on around campus anymore, outside of what I’ve been involved in since last fall. However, seeing students heckle brother Jed while he’s on campus makes me shake my head in disappointment.

I don’t know what drives someone to run around the country fighting with college students about how horrid they are. I don’t know what convinces someone that always blasting a negative message and fighting with hecklers all day while singing silly songs is an effective way to promote their religious beliefs. But I do know what drives him to keep going, and that is the fuel we pour on his fire by arguing with him. Instead of heckling a delusional man spouting antiquated and unpopular beliefs, why don’t we respond with kindness towards him, or simply ignore him? If he wants to come here and spout a bunch of nonsense, let him, as long as he isn’t physically attacking someone. If you ignore him, like removing the fuel from a fire, it’ll eventually go out. It’s hard to ignore problems away, but like with a child throwing a tantrum, the worst thing you can do is throw one back.

I don’t know brother Jed, I don’t know the life he’s lived, but I do know a thing or two about dealing with difficult people, and when you engage them on their level you just make them feel stronger. I can’t stand him any more than most of the people I saw heckling him today. What he preaches is hateful and disgusting. Lately I’ve come to believe that if you want different results, you need to take different actions. So if people reading this agree with me, let’s do different. Instead of heckling brother Jed, why not just give him a big friendly “howdy” and let him preach his bullshit into midair as you go on with your day?

Let’s be better than him, because I know we are.

Zach Leger is a land and property graduate student at Texas A&M.
 

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