George Edward Smock, better known to college students as Brother Jed, has preached on at least 1 campus in all 50 of the United States of America. He visits colleges to inform whoever will listen of the fires of hell that await the sinning college students that do not submit to God’s will. Most of his preaching is done at the University of Missouri, Columbia (Mizzou), because it is only about 10 minutes away from him and his family’s humble abode.
On April 15th, 2011, I sat down with the Smock family at their semi-annual dinner party that is open to “whores, whore-mongers, and atheists too!” The turnout was between 20 and 25 people, so it was a good crowd.
I had a chance to sit down one on one with Bro J. himself and ask him a few questions. I came to learn that he is a well spoken person, and most definitely knows The Bible like the back of his hand. After an extended Q&A with the man, it became clear his logic was based almost entirely on the claim that everything in the New Testament of Jesus Christ is 100% accurate. If we were to give him that handicap, the man would be a genius. But if you take that away, he falls victim to the temptations of circular logic and loaded questions.
As a person, Jed really is a great guy, and his family is great too. He and his family get a bad wrap for telling people they are going to go to hell because of what they do, but he really is just a good example of what the Bible actually says, as opposed to what many people wish it said. He isn’t the kind of person that pickets the funerals of soldiers or says that god necessarily “hates fags”, but he will tell you that homosexuals are confused and going to hell because of their immoral sexual practices, and that whoever doesn’t accept Jesus as their savior is going to hell, too. He also preaches out against over indulgence in substances and pre-marital sexual acts. Because he publicly preaches these ideas, especially among the straight and homosexual college students who are undoubtedly sexually active, Brother Jed gets heckled a lot.
I have attended many of his campus sermons and am always temped to try and win the support of the other listeners by arguing for the side of atheism. The only problem is that I would be arguing something that a lot of the people taunting him disagree with because, ironically, many people who argue with Brother Jed when he preaches consider themselves Christians, and I therefore wouldn’t get any support. While he may not say things that the Pope would publicly get behind, he is a pretty accurate voice of the Bible, whether or not Christians want to acknowledge that or not. Notice I didn’t use the word “god.”
Another attendee that I was able to sit down with was Dave Muscato, a member of the MU SASHA (Skeptics, Atheists, Secular Humanists, and Agnostics). Dave had just debated Jed at Mizzou the evening before, but unfortunately I was unable to attend due to prior commitments. We had a talk about what he believed and how the debate went, and he came to the same conclusion as I about how Brother Jed’s logic works. He also talked to me about the research he’d done on reasons why the Bible is not considered an accurate documentation of the life of Jesus of Nazareth, let alone fact. But, that’s for another article.
Most importantly, the dinner was delicious. There was turkey, mashed potatoes, corn, green beans, bread rolls, cookies, and fruit pudding. The turkey was a little dry, but the gravy and mashed potatoes were an easy fix to that problem. I plan to start going to both open house dinners each year.
Author: Curt Alessi