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Unruly pastors offer distraction during dead-week

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,”
Wolford said.

3 Comments on Unruly pastors offer distraction during dead-week

  1. PRAISE TO THE SHOE! BE HEELED!

  2. What I hope our students are learning from our University is reasonable discourse and mutual respect for different views. What I witnessed on campus last week were many immature students who believed a "bad message" justified their rude, mocking, and even physically threatening behavior. (Even the campus administration watched the videos of this supposed attack on a student and deemed it self defense. The rather large 20 year old student was charging the 70-something "preacher"). You will hear many offensive messages in your life, and it tells much about your character how you handle yourself in response. Personally, I don't agree with much of the message the "preacher" was saying, but he has the right to say it just as you have the right to say what you believe out in the open, and frankly a university should be the place most open to respect for diversity of view and opinion in all the world.

  3. There is an appropriate time and place for satire in public discourse. I can't think of one where it would be more fitting than this one. The type of preaching they were engaged in is called "confrontational evangelism." With messages as offensive as they were, the two preachers fully expected and anticipated highly emotional responses from their audience. As George Test states in "Satire: Spirit and Art", satire, jokes, and other forms of humor carry out the function of resolving tension without physical violence (pp. 8-9). The satire was offered to allow people to laugh off offensive messages they heard for being as ridiculous as they really were, and to help prevent passersby from emotionally escalating, thus helping to prevent violence.

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