ISSA gets it right on dealing with Brother Jed.

The Illini Secular Student Alliance has been preparing for notorious campus preacher Brother Jed.  They’ve taken some things you’re bound to hear him say and produced a bunch of bingo cards to hand out to the on-lookers.

There will be those who say that mocking him makes us look bad.  They’ll insist that we should disagree respectfully.  I say hogwash.  If you treat outlandishly silly things as anything but outlandishly silly, you’re giving them the modicum of respect they crave, but that they are unwilling to earn by being rational.  Religion has every other advantage, it doesn’t need charity it doesn’t deserve.

Jed is a circus.  Treat him like one and other people will be much more likely to see him that way.

And don’t forget to have fun.  :)  Activism with a genuine smile is always much more likely to get other people excited to join you.

About JT Eberhard

When not defending the planet from inevitable apocalypse at the rotting hands of the undead, JT is a writer and public speaker about atheism, gay rights, and more. He spent two and a half years with the Secular Student Alliance as their first high school organizer. During that time he built the SSA’s high school program and oversaw the development of groups nationwide. JT is also the co-founder of the popular Skepticon conference and served as the events lead organizer during its first three years.

  • Ace of Sevens

    I follow him on Facebook. I get the impression most of his followers are just trying to bait him. When Neil Armstrong died, he posted an essay about how Armstrong wasn’t nearly as awesome as Christopher Columbus.

  • The Phytophactor

    On beautiful spring morning quite a number of years ago, Brother Jed was holding forth to quite a crowd of students, and yes he got heckled, but he’s used to that. Then a couple of fellows appeared from the arts building in little togas, one with a little guitar, one with a flute, and they danced over singing, and every time Brother Jed got to one of his famous lines, e.g., ETERNAL DAMNATION!, they would sing, eternal damnation, tra la, tra la, or something similar. This form of mockery really got under his skin because they didn’t argue, they didn’t heckle, they simply made him look silly.

  • Alverant

    He sounds more like the Taliban than the Taliban.

  • Gregory in Seattle

    Why in the world is this yahoo allowed on campus? He’s not a student, so his rights would not be violated if the school refused to let him on the property. And preaching the kind of hate that he does… don’t most universities have rules against that kind of thing?

  • Ace of Sevens

    Campuses are public places. YOu can’t kick someone off the quad any more than you can kick them out of the park. Keep in mind this is also why we can protest of college campuses, so it’s a good thing.

  • Pierce R. Butler

    What would have happened if BJ had smoked 7 kinky joints?

  • TooManyJens

    I’ve caught Brother Jed’s act a few times, and never felt like there was much danger that anyone in the crowd would be persuaded by him. It always seemed like the bystanders were all either rubberneckers or mockers. Still, I like this Bingo idea. Wish I’d been out on the quad this afternoon.

    • Mark W.

      I live in Indiana…he came and there were a few people taking notes…

  • Glodson

    I must know, what is the ultimate sex act?

    I have a second question. Does it have to involve Brother Jed? If so, I think I am content with that being one of life’s great mysteries.

    • Ace of Sevens
      • Glodson

        That was funny, but I feel cheated.

        • Ace of Sevens

          Did you want to actually see the ultimate sex act? He’s described it as “in out, in out, squirt, squirt,” so I don’t think it would be much to watch.

  • IslandBrewer

    “A masturbator today is a homosexual tomorrow.”

    You know, if he’d like, I can send him well documented evidence that this is not true, except in Indiana, Ohio, Utah, Kentucky, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, and Arkansas.

    • IslandBrewer

      … I can’t send him the evidence in those states, that is.

  • Dan

    JT, you’re echoing good Mr. Jefferson here: “Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions. Ideas must be distinct before reason can act upon them….”

    You are in excellent company, and I rather think you’re both right.