Mailbag: Feb. 21

Whether he’s calling us whores, fornicators, masturbators or merely condemning us to hellfire, Brother Jed’s “confrontational evangelism” induces a reaction. While this behavior amuses “Jed Heads” and some find repetitive shouting makes a stimulating debate, I speak for many when I say that he is not welcome here. He verbally attacks bystanders using sex-shaming, sexist and racist language. As a student, I say with certainty that I do not appreciate his message, I will never be brought around by hateful speech and I do not want him here.

While I am quite aware of the laws surrounding free speech, is there nothing we can do to enforce students’ wishes? We get enough messages from the religious community in the world at large, as well as peaceful (and sometimes even LGBTQ affirming!) messages from churches and student organizations on-campus. Christianity is the most prominent religion in our country, and there is no lack of Christian messages here. That’s why I would appreciate the most annoying, intrusive examples of evangelicalism (Jed, Roy, the people who have no ties to the university yet still write letters to the editor) to remove themselves from our secular spaces.

If expulsion isn’t possible, at least students are doing something about it. The Angel project is a silent protest against Brother Jed, in which protesters wearing wings block his hate speech. Alternatively, the ASUA Pride Alliance space is open to all LGBTQ students and allies. Here you can find a safe, supportive group away from Jed. Feel free to stop by if you feel harassed, want to vent or need support on anything in general.

Express your disapproval of Jed’s message wherever you are able, whether it be to administration or to your peers. Let the university know that students won’t stand for hateful attacks on our campus.

— Kaleb Stephens,
sophomore studying ecology and evolutionary biology

In response to a Feb. 20 column titled, “Occupy protests worth teaching”:

The Occupy movement seems to be getting credit where no credit is due. You say it has made a “huge impact”, but list no examples or evidence. What has been a direct effect of this movement? What impact has the movement really had? (Besides hurting businesses in the vicinity of their camp-outs, the cleanliness of public parks and REI’s profit statment.) You acknowledged the fact that they lacked a clear agenda, so how much of a qualified “movement” are they? I’ve been on the Occupy online forum to find out for myself, and when I asked their goals/objectives/mission statement there was literally no response. Regardless, their movement consisted largely of camping out in public parks overnight, which is illegal no matter who you are (not to mention the private property they occupied) so if they had actually protested legally the Occupy sensation wouldn’t have happened. The “occupy” portion of the movement, the basis of their protesting, was illegal. So as a teacher, how would you go about educating students about a group of protesters that breaks the law and has no clear objective? I feel sorry for the teacher that has to attempt this vague piece of history. Before the “Why?” question is asked, I think the “What?” question deserves a little attention.

—Connor Young,
aerospace engineering sophomore

In response to a Feb. 20 column titled, “Contraceptive debate lacks individual choice”:

I love your article titled “Contraceptive debate lacks individual choice.” About how Catholics don’t really have free choice in this crazy, crazy world.

— Michael Barrios,
Tucson resident


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