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Invitation to ASU
March 2 - 8, 2006
|When I first started this whole site thing, back when I made Jesus Dress Up interactive on the net, and NormalBobSmith.com to respond to all the hate mail, the last thing I ever thought would happen was an invite to a University to spread my word of Godlessness. To tell you the truth, I really have never had any clue what to expect off of whatever the hell it is I'm doing here. I am constantly surprised by the people who are payin' attention, and the concept of me influencing lives. I get emails from people saying things like, "I've been reading your site since I was 15!" Jesus Christ people! It's only been like not even 5 years. Right? But then again, if you're 20 that's a while I suppose. Jesus Christ. 15 year olds are 20 now.
Me and Gerda chillin' at ASU
|You know that thing where you're asked if you could go back to your high school days again with what you know now would you do it? Well, that's basically the wish ASU's Secular Freethought Society made come true for me last week. And it was somewhat surreal, somewhat harsh reality, and educational. Yes! I said educational!
Of course the surreal part is being 36 years old and in college. Fact is, college students look like high school students, professors look like college students, as I saw it, a majority of students were believers, and professors, not so much.
Knowing what I know now, and on campus, isn't everything you'd think it'd be. I mean, it's not like being Superman at the Playboy Mansion or anything. But it's certainly the x-ray vision of sorts, in regards to seeing exactly where all the kids are coming from, and perhaps knowing more about them than they know about themselves. I mean, college is basically a bunch of high school kids playing like they're adults for the very first time. Each one of them being told that they're bigger and smarter now with about a tenth of the responsibility.
This trip was definitely an unexpected learning experience for me, in more ways than one. The main thing that I came away with was more knowledge on atheism, many new viewpoints and ideas. And also some great reference material. The head of ASU's Secular Freethought Society, Gerda (pronounced "hair-duh" with a rough H) shared with me several of her favorite movies, that I would categorize all as having a godless theme. Movies like The God Who Wasn't There, Overcoming Death, and my favorite, Bad Boy Bubby. I recommend all three of these to help you along if you're having trouble dealing with this harsh reality we call atheism. Finding peace of mind can be the hardest part. Movies like these can really help. I'd like to think that Bob Smith USA is one of those. It was fantastic to have three showings of it while I was out there, on campus and off. The first two were Friday and Saturday in one of the lecture rooms. I loved these because it totally drew an unsuspecting crowd. Most had no idea what they were getting themselves into, and were pleasantly surprised. The third showing was at the Counter Culture Cafe, and drew punks, anarchists, cross dressers all mostly atheists, I think.
But the real event that took place was the evangelizing, right in the middle of school foot traffic in front of a little church on campus, and directly across from Brother Jed, the local loud-mouth preacher man that I'm sure everyone is familiar with. Brother Jed fit the stereotype perfectly! The voice, the hair style, the brown vest, and he was full of hatred too!
The first day at the table I wasn't in costume, and I simply hustled my God Is Fakes next to him like I've done on Saint Marks oh so many times before. He had nothing to say to me at that point. Just make-believing that I wasn't there while I followed his good news message with my own. It was fun having a table out, and people helpin', and strangers asking questions. Something I hadn't experienced to that degree before. The students were interested and would stop to look at the magnets, read the fliers, laugh at the magnets, and sign up to the group. It was all fun. I really loved it. But nothin' compared to the next day, Tuesday, when I dressed up as Satan and really caused a stir there in the square.
I had no idea what to expect dressing up as Satan there at ASU. It probably wasn't the first time someone has done it, since their mascot is Satan. That's right! The Mascot for ASU's football team is Satan! He's named Sparky! The "Sun Devils" is the team, but we ain't blind. That's fuckin' Satan! Pitchfork, pointy tail and everything! So yeah, maybe I escaped a pounding from a bunch of dumb jocks because I was the god of their sports team. Heh heh. Satanist jocks.
|Brother Jed arguing the Koran (The Book of Satan) with a girl, and Todd on the right.
Students at the table, with Gerda
explaining life without a God.
But it didn't get by Brother Jed. Him and I had some special moments. Each time he tried to make an example out of me I came back with a fantastic quote that only Satan himself could get away with!
Jed: "I see you're here pretending to be Satan! But I ask you, do you even know who Satan is?!?"
Me: "I wanted to be the King of heaven!" I proclaimed to the crowd!
Jed: "That is correct!" Brother Jed replied, "But you failed in your quest to defeat God, and God sent you into the depths of hell for your rebellious act!"
Me: "I went to hell forever! It burns!" I pouted. The crowd loved me.
|The students criticized Brother Jed for his obnoxious behavior in the name of God. But Brother Jed said he was doing just as Jesus did, preaching from the mountain top, to which I told the crowd: "But Jesus didn't use the word 'Gays' so much. Jesus preferred 'Homo."
Brother Jed had a lot to say about "the gay people." [See video]
But let there be no doubt, there were plenty of college students who believe strongly in their God, and really have no idea why. When they would come up and ask what was going on at our table, I'd reply "We're trying to get people to pray for Satan's salvation. We figured out that if Satan repents then we could eliminate sin from planet earth which would cure all diseases, stop natural disasters like hurricanes and tornados, and we would basically completely rid the world of all bad things, like pain, drowning babies, and carnivores."
And let me tell you, you would not BELIEVE how many Christian college students went for it. I would get arguments like, "But if we rid the world of sin then we'll stop learning. We need sin to learn from!" The reply would be in all seriousness. No kidding.
I'd say something like, "But heaven has no sin! Is there no learning in heaven?!? That sounds awful!"
Me with the religious students on campus.
Me & Gerda at the Pray for Satan table.
|I loved stressing that we're wasting our time praying for everyone else. And instead we should be directing all of our prayers to Satan's repentance. Go right to the source. "For the future of our children because the children are our future!" I'd proclaim. We had one old lady come up and tell us we weren't at all funny, and that our eternal souls were at risk. Started way too many debates with Sheeplettes who had no idea what they were talking about. The Pray for Satan's Salvation is the perfect ploy for sparking interest for what we had goin' on.
Other times students would of course say, "But that's impossible! Scripture says that Satan is doomed! You can't go against the bible!"
"But isn't that what a miracle is? Something that can't happen, but does?!? I think that God is powerful enough to perform this miracle, even if you do not!" Lemme also say this: It's a treat to say things such as this when you're dressed as the devil.
I impressed myself. I see this whole Satan character developing nicely. I would love to have more invitations to more schools, and more moments like this.
The last thing I expected was that I wouldn't be ready to leave! I was there for a week, and I wanted more. I loved having events going on that I had to take part in. If I was there in AZ I would be at that table with my stuff all the time! And it seemed like to have a showing of the film in a lecture hall only required a request and pinning fliers to bulletin boards. It was a lovely experience, and I want to go back again. They said they'd invite me. Watch out Brother Jed. I will return!
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