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Gary Eugene Birdsong is an extremely loud and obnoxious fundamentalist Christian preacher who spends his time frequenting college campuses throughout the United States, particularly in North Carolina. In a textbook example of style over substance, Birdsong spends most of his time arguing rather than trying to convey an actual message.
Birdsong has a LOT of nicknames:
- Preacher / Pastor Gary
- The Pit Preacher
- The New Quad Preacher
- The Sanford Mall Preacher
- The False
- The Joyner Steps Preacher
- The Hell's Angel Preacher
Subjects he preaches about
Good ol' Preacher Gary talks about a plethora of different subjects. These include:
In typical fundie fashion, he often talks about how these subjects are sinful and are destroying society.
He has also shown himself to be skeptical of doctors.
He also has a Twitter account but hasn't made any posts on it since 2011. Most notably, he takes issue with girls playing basketball, saying that they "might mess their eggs up".
He likes to piss people off…
Birdsong uses a theatrical, accusatory style of preaching because he believes "getting people angry is his most effective method of preaching." He often offends students with his fundamentalist views, such as his belief that "white folks are different, black folks are different and when you start mixing them up there's a lot of confusion," and his opinion on feminism is that "it ain't in the Bible." His views frequently result in heated debates with students, though he says it is not until "folks get attitudes that I get attitude."
When asked by a student interviewer his opinion on University of North Carolina (UNC) being a liberal university, he responded, "This University is the most stupidest[ ] place I have ever been." He called the administration "wicked people," and said, "they've perverted the First Amendment — the state was told not to interfere with the First Amendment, the freedom to practice religion. Well, just look at what religion they're talking about! It's Christianity — look at the founding fathers!" His nickname for the university is "Homo Hill"; his view on homosexuality being that it is "an abomination to God."
…until it blows up in his face
On March 8, 2007, Birdsong was removed from "The Pit" at UNC Charlotte by Campus Police following an incident. According to reports, members of the UNC outdoor recreation program Carolina Adventures had reserved half of The Pit to promote their programs. Shortly after they set up their materials, Birdsong entered The Pit near their table and began to preach. They asked him to move away from their table, and Birdsong moved to the other side of The Pit. The representatives for Carolina Adventures did not feel this was sufficient and subsequently summoned UNC Police to remove Birdsong from the area. After refusing to move further away, he was removed to loud jeers directed at the police from the crowd that had gathered to watch him preach. A similar incident occurred in the 1980s resulting in his arrest.
Birdsong was issued a trespass warning that prohibited him from entering The Pit for two years. Following the incident, he returned to preach, initially in front of Davis Library, about 100 feet from The Pit, and later about 200 feet away, in front of Wilson Library on Polk Place, which he referred to as "the Homo Zone." During this dislocation, he was sometimes referred to as the "adjacent to the Pit preacher".
In March 2009, Gary's two-year banishment from The Pit expired, and he once again returned to preach in The Pit. Some students were glad to see him return to this popular spot after his extended absence, but the overall reaction was mixed. Some disagree with his beliefs but feel he has a right to be there. Others just find him entertaining.
- Brother Jed, a fellow campus preacher who's just as obnoxious.
- "Pit Preacher Moves Off His Stage After Conflict, Appeals Citation". UNC General Alumni Association. March 23, 2007. Retrieved September 4, 2012.
- NC State ‘Brickyard preachers’ cause frustration, questions among students, staff on campus
- Fornoff, Erin (August 6, 2009). "Gary Birdsong: Preaching to The Converted". The Daily Tarheel. Retrieved September 4, 2012.
- Lopez, Viviana Bonilla (October 21, 2011). "Campus preachers a controversial staple at colleges nationwide". USA Today. Retrieved September 4, 2012.
- "'Pit Preacher' Banned From UNC-Chapel Hill". WRAL-TV. 2007-03-09. Retrieved 2009-03-24.
- "Pit Preacher returns to campus". The Daily Tar Heel. 2007-03-21. Archived from the original on 2007-09-30. Retrieved 2007-03-21.
- "Back in the pit". The Daily Tar Heel. 2009-03-19. Retrieved 2009-03-24. [dead link]