While some students read profoundly honest messages painted on T-shirts displayed yesterday at the Friendship Walk for the Clothesline Project, others heard an incendiary sermon given a few feet away by a man who calls himself Brother Jed.
From the Speaker’s Platform, Brother Jed promoted Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain, implored homosexuals to “repent” and encouraged those who lost their virginity to become born-again Christians.
“We need a military man, not a community organizer,” Brother Jed said. “McCain knows what it is to kill.”
He called capitalism the only moral economic philosophy and that Sen. Barack Obama would only steal money from Americans.
Brother Jed said he perceived “very little fear of God at Long Beach State,” and that many of the female students “just come to school to party, party, party.”
Marina Wood — a member of the Women’s Studies Students Association, senior women’s studies major and one of the organizers of the Clothesline Project — took issue with Brother Jed’s accusatory preaching. Brother Jed’s speech took place just feet away from the project’s tent, where victims of sexual assaults designed T-shirts to display.
“I think this man is extremely disrespectful to women,” Wood said. “We’re trying to take what’s silent and private and put it out in the open and he is trying to keep these things quiet.”
Early in his address, Brother Jed said masturbation leads to homosexuality and broke into a song beginning with the lyrics, “It’s not OK to be gay / It’s not OK to be a homo / You weren’t designed that way.”
When one passer-by shouted “No on [Proposition] 8!” Brother Jed responded, and said, “This guy is voting the homo way. I say ‘No, no, homo.’ “
He called the Democratic Party the “party of the gays” and encouraged the audience to read the Bible.
Brother Jed said this is his 34th year of “open-air preaching” at college campuses across the country.
Jason Aula, a senior business finance major and the president of CSULB’s Conservative Student Union (CSU), invited Brother Jed to campus to speak about “Why liberalism is contrary to God’s will.”
Brett Bensen, a graduate student, said of the speaker, “I think it’s completely ridiculous. We’re supposed to be one of the most diverse campuses in the nation, and here they are spewing this hate. It’s just frustrating.”
Aula said he was pleased with the event.
“I think the response was good,” Aula said. “It looks like some people will definitely open up the Bible and repent.”
Brother Jed will make another appearance at the CSU-sponsored Yes on Prop 8 rally in front of the bookstore Oct. 29 at 12:30 p.m.