When Jake Wolford, president of Secular Student Alliance, first came up with the religion of the shoe: he was attempting to save people’s “soles” and “heels” them from their sin.
Wolford created his “religion” as a response to the religious bigotry being shouted in the Quad throughout dead week.
“We were both preaching nonsense, but only one of us was aware of it,” Wolford said.
Students passing through the Quad felt strongly about the matter.
“It’s one thing to preach a loving message,” said Kyle Van Arsdale, spectator at the scene. “There’s nothing good about what they have to say.”
Brother Jed, who many students have come to know well already, visited campus during dead week spreading his message of salvation through bigotry. The first day of his arrival students stood by shocked at the details in which he told his hateful stories. His antics managed to draw a crowd by the end of the day. However, the crowd did not just consist of students. Police and Fox Channel 6 News were present as well.
The second day students came prepared. By noon Wednesday, a crowd yet again gathered around Brother Jed, this time many students sat with a bigot bingo card placed in front of them. The inspiration for the card came from the topics he discussed the previous day.
“Jesus will deliver you from your sins,” Brother Jed said.
A call from the crowd let everyone know someone’s gotten bingo.
Later on in the afternoon, students gathered around singing “kumbaya” to spread peace to students as they pass between classes.
“I think the best thing you can do is just make fun of it,” Wolford said.
Wednesday night Brother Jed allegedly struck a student attempting to give him a hug, which a member of The Arbiter, Farzan Faramarzi, caught on tape. On Thursday students arrived early in anticipation of the next day’s events.
“Some people are just curious,” said Lee Rever, a junior at Boise State. “They wanna see what’s going on or what’s going to happen next.”
There’s no question that the presence of Brother Jed and his fellow pastors served as both a source of entertainment and frustration for many students walking through the Quad this past week. For others, it gave them a chance to be ridiculous.
“It’s like they’re giving me a free pass to go H.A.M.,” Wolford said. “Anything I do won’t look as idiotic compared to them.”
He believes that what the pastors had to say was nonsense and wanted everyone else passing to realize this as well.
“My idea was that if I was openly making a fool of myself in the name of religion, people could realize that the pastors were doing the same thing,”