Book Review: “Who Will Rise Up” Part II

Don’t look now, but Jed’s antiquated sexism is showing. Sure, he spends some time trying to rebut this before the fact in a previous chapter in a section called “Politically Correct” but even that reeked of sniggering gesticulation (p. 106-107). Readers might as well re-title that entire section “We Saw What You Did There.” Jed basically goes on about how the Political Correctness movement (which actually has nothing to do with these labels) could get people wrongfully labeled as homophobic or sexist for showing disagreement with mainstream mores. Well, okay, we can see that. Disagree with affirmative action and possibly get wrongfully labeled a racist. Display old fashioned traditional sensibilities with women and potentially get called sexist.

Many girls walk around campus braless and, on numerous occasions, to the delight of the boys, they have flashed their bare breasts toward me. No wonder there are so many rapes on college campuses. Those girls walking and jogging around campus with their shorts so short that their buttocks hang out are just asking for it. They might as well have a sign on their back saying, “Rape me, rape me, rape me.” (p. 114.)

Then, of course, there’s blatant showboating sexism. This, right after making craven veiled claims that his god “may be” condemning women to mastectomies and hysterectomies because of what he observes as today’s feminine immorality (p. 113).

“Masturbation is one of the first expressions of lust. Your masturbator of today is very likely to be your homosexual of tomorrow. Your homosexual of tomorrow could be your psychology professor of the next day. In fact, universities are graduating more queers than Ph.D’s.” (p 117.) Okay. So what? Jed certainly goes out of his way not to cite any sources, but it strikes me that this drippy “very likely” and “could be” language is just to cover up the baseless assertions that he’s trying to make. Although, I think that per capita a university must be graduating more homosexuals than Ph.Ds simply because of the sheer rarity of Ph.Ds and that—if a Ph.D is not statistically connected to homosexuality—there are therefore Ph.D graduates who are also homosexual. This entire paragraph was a childish appeal to ridicule.

Once again, Jed’s cherry picking reappears—this time in the reverse direction—he retells the story of Lot, instead of holding Lot on a pedestal, he’s attacking the people of Sodom. So now he brings up the rest of the story. “Lot had the same attitude, and he was vexed to the point of offering his own virgin daughters to a gang of sodomites.” (p. 118). This is part of the same story which Jed earlier used as an example of the Sodomites telling Lot not judge them; he portrayed the story as part of his illustration on using morals to judge behavior. This is Lot, after all, the only “good man” in all of Sodom and Gomorrah.

After further bad rhetoric and some poorly narrated stories about why he believes homosexuality is bad, Jed moves onto condoms. Here he has managed to cross the threshold from gibbering kook to outright jackass liar. “The AIDS virus is fifty times smaller than the tiniest pores of a latex condom. Using a condom to prevent AIDS is like using a tennis racquet to return B-B pellets.” (p. 122). This particular line of gibberish is brought to you not by a real misunderstanding of science done by the Center for Disease Control on the matter, but instead it’s a deliberately deceitful bit of propaganda forwarded by evangelists in 3rd world countries like Africa to preach against condoms—worsening the already horrible HIV epidemic in such places. George Smock is a reprehensible asshole for reprinting this lie.

“Most students may not realize that, when they use drugs, they are practicing sorcery. Sorcery comes from the Greek word ‘pharmakeia,’ which in English would be ‘pharmacy’ or ‘drugs.’ Anyone using drugs illicitly is practicing sorcery. ” (p. 124.) Firstly, this is a fallacy by etymology—secondly, he’s wrong: E. Sorcery comes from L. sors/sortis: fate, oracle. Perhaps he was confused by the meaning of AG. pharmakis or witch. Maybe he should have claimed instead, following etymology, that drug users were practicing witchcraft.

Part I | Part II | Part III

Book Review: “Who Will Rise Up?” Part I

Like most autobiographies, Who Will Rise Up? by George “Jed” Smock is a self-important narrative that smacks of purple prose sporting overwrought acclaims to his own prowess and condemnation of exaggerated villainy in the world. The strange bias of his writing is steeped in most paragraphs, any number of which take swipes at his old life. He also intersperses his text with Bible verses, which, instead of using italics for emphasis, he bolds so that they break up the narrative and legibility of the text.

The title of his work comes from the Bible Psalm 94:16, “Who will rise up for me against the evildoers? or who will stand up for me against the workers of iniquity?”

If Jed’s theatrics on campus are any indication he certainly thinks romantically about his past experiences, so it is difficult to separate fact from silvery fiction in his book. Fun sections come out hither and yon when he snidely chuckles about how he can exorcize demons from people. One event happened on a college campus when he shouted in “Latin” at a man assaulting a woman—to which the man allegedly reacted by becoming docile, said “Okay,” and then left. (p. 70-71). Another account didn’t actually manage anything like expelling a demon. Instead he lay hands on a drunken man while in jail and shouted at him, startling the man awake. Jed calls the drunk man a “wino” in his prose. The assault, combined with him beginning to preach loudly at others in the jail cell with him, led the jailers to put him into his own cell (p. 87).

He has been the subject of multiple civil rights violations in regards to free speech on public property; however Jed doesn’t care about civil rights as much as he does spreading his own word. He capriciously condemns those who would defend his own right to speak freely and fails repeatedly to hold up his own civic responsibility when he feels like he’s “saved enough souls.” A great deal of his vituperative speech is directed against the culture that would stand with him in opposition to the sort of bad behavior of being arrested for speaking publicly. He will toe the line to get wrongfully arrested; but rarely follows through after the fact.

Like a lot of others like him, he also totally ignores or derides civil rights when they don’t agree with his agenda. He takes advantage of them when they’re in his favor, martyrs himself for them when it affects his freedom of speech; but when it comes to opening freedom of religion and speech to others he quickly shuts up or claims incredulity. In one example he is upset that chapel services and instruction had become optional—as if Christianity is the only proper and right religion to speak on campuses—and then decried this as a deathblow (p. 102). As if college students shouldn’t have a choice as to whether they’re going to listen to him or not; he espouses this while only a few chapters earlier he likes to laud himself for how many people “Didn’t have to stop and listen to him, but did anyway.”

“They disdain the one Book [sic] that unites races, ages, ethnic groups and economic classes into a common purpose.” (p. 106-107). We have to assume he means the Bible when he says “Book,” but really this book is also the origin of their god commanding the murder and genocide of multiple groups who were not the chosen people. So much for uniting ethnic groups; this book has been the basis of a multitude of atrocities based on these commands. The above quote is a common denominator of Jed’s style of cherry picking Christian mythology. In an earlier chapter he retells the story of Lot and the angels, only to leave out how Lot offered his daughters to the mob that came calling lustfully for the angels (presumably so that the mob would rape his daughters instead of the angels.)

Part I | Part II | Part III