On his last day in Tucson, Jed hoped students would remember his message more than the type of messenger he is.
Jed started off the day on a contemplative note. Instead of immediately accusing students of sinning, Jed posed a question:
“What is life all about? Do you ever think about that?”
Then he broke out into a Barbara Streisand song centered around living for the moment. Jed twirled around as he carried the tune, facing passersby, students on cell phones, and, of course, Heritage Hill on-lookers. You wouldn’t know it, but Jed has a strong singing voice for a non-professional singer, as shown in his offensive, shocking, and controversial “gay song”.
“Most of you think life is about living for today, like that song! But it’s not! People curse God and die, and it’s all over. Where are all their college degrees now?”
“It’s all vanity, useless activity!” he went on about our daily lives.
“Will men exchange their soul for ejaculation?” he questioned.
“Hell yeah!” said one student.
“Hell yeah is what you’ll get, sinner! You know,” Jed went on again. “You gain lots of knowledge at this university, but you lack wisdom, which begins with God.”
The audience didn’t protest Jed, but one UA student approached his daughters, Martha and Priscilla, who I had a long chat with yesterday.
“Why are you girls wearing shirts that say YOU DESERVE HELL?” asked the UA female.
“Because you do. So do we,” said Priscilla.
“But God is loving. He sends a forgiving message.”
“That’s part of it, but not all of it,” Martha answered. “There’s more to it than you say. We deserve Hell, but we’re lucky to have Jesus, who died on the cross for our sins.”
“I’ll pray for you girls,” the student said as she walked away.
Cindy Smock re-iterated what her daughters mentioned to the curious, visibly offended girl.
“This is not the ‘God loves you’ show. This is the ‘God hates your sins’ show. If you want to hear about God’s love, go to bible study. You also have to smoke less marijuana, drop your beer, skip your parties, and read the bible.”
One of the recognizable Jed haters came to Heritage Hill today. Pointing in Jed’s direction, he repeatedly told different groups of students, “This guy is insane. He is a racist asshole and you should not be listening to him at all.”
This same student stole Jed’s chair a month ago and never brought it back. He’s also screamed obscenities and apparently threw something at one of the Smocks, according to another student, who opposed this guy’s manner of protesting Jed.
“How old are we? We’re not in Kindergarten. You don’t throw things at him. He’s not hurting you. Until I act upon something, it’s not a problem. I can say the sky is pink. I can say blacks are inferior to whites. I can say Asians are above us all,” he said.
“Do you think that?” asked the notorious Jed hater.
“No, it’s an example! I’m just saying that you can say whatever you want as long as you’re not doing anything about it. No one is being killed by Brother Jed.”
After advising gay men to marry lesbian women, Jed sat himself down at the top of Heritage Hill.
“It’s been a very successful mission at the University of Arizona. People heard my message, and they’ll never forget it. Years after they graduate college, they won’t remember the names of their professors, but they’ll remember me, my family, and my beliefs.”
Jed’s last message to UA students? Jesus’s first message to everyone.
“I want them to know about the Kingdom of Heaven at hand. They should repent, and go from being self-centered to devoted to Jesus. Through faith, their sins will be forgiven and they’ll receive eternal life. That’s the essence of Christianity.”
But it’s not all cheery and hopeful.
“I want them to remember that I warned them. Judgment Day is coming, and they will be held accountable for their sins. At that time, they must ask for forgiveness.”
Even though the Smocks believe most of us deserve Hell and eternal damnation, they express an interest in helping us in their own way:
“Don’t kill yourselves when you realize how wicked you are,” Cindy told the audience toward the end of the day. “Just repent.”
You may or may not be in agreement with the Smock family, but if you’ve ever experienced their preachings, they’ve probably left some sort of impression on you. If you’re a non-believer, you may think that the Smocks are out-dated and wasting time on incorrigible but socially evolved students, but if you ever spend a moment thinking about them, and if you’re reading this now, the Smocks feel they’ve accomplished something. They’ve imprinted themselves in your mind, and they’re not leaving.
After all, some of their most militant protesters have eventually embraced their message.