Sister Cindy's controversial sermon at Ball State drew hundreds of viewers to the Quad

TikTok star and viral sensation “Sister Cindy” Smock visited Ball State Friday afternoon to spread her message to the student body.

With a Bible in one hand, a sign reading “Slut Shaming Time” in the other and wearing a shirt emblazoned with the message “Be a ho no mo,” Smock spent almost four hours on campus preaching her signature brand of evangelical Christianity. 

“The Bible teaches that any sex outside of marriage is a sin. God ordained a family. God ordained that a man leave his father and mother [and] cleave to a wife. That’s God’s plan,” Sister Cindy said. “If people don’t want to go with God’s plan, that’s their choice. We’re just here to tell them about it because we love them.” 

Smock, accompanied by her husband, “Brother Jed” Smock, took aim at what she considers the sins of today’s young people, including sexual promiscuity, the emasculation of men and certain sexual behaviors.

“Everybody needs the message of Jesus Christ’s salvation,” Brother Jed said. “We all face death. What's going to happen after death? We’re going to heaven or hell. Why are [college students] receptive? Because I think they realize the humanistic, godless point of view doesn't offer any answers to real happiness.”

"Brother Jed" speaks to a crowd of students Sept. 17, 2021, near North Quad. Jed and his wife, "Sister Cindy" Smock, travel around the country preaching on different college campuses. Jacy Bradley, DN

Despite the controversial nature of their message, Sister Cindy and Brother Jed aim to spread the word of God.

“No life is valid unless it glorifies God,” Sister Cindy said. “Even if a life has purpose and meaning and they’re doing good on this Earth, it doesn’t matter unless they are living for Jesus.” 

Sister Cindy rose to fame on TikTok earlier this year when videos of her performing her “slut-shaming show” on college campuses across the country began to surface on the platform, racking up millions of views in the process. The Smocks have been traveling the country performing similar sermons since the 1980s but only gained widespread recognition recently. 

Students were eager to see the Smocks and mock their commentary. Hundreds of students gathered at the Scramble Light well before Sister Cindy’s arrival, which is where she announced she would be via her TikTok channel the morning of Sept. 17. When word got out that the Smocks were coming from the Quad, students stormed the intersection, halting traffic. 

The Smocks’ sermon followed the same structure of most of Sister Cindy’s past campus appearances — students formed a circle around the preacher while she waved signs and screamed her message to them.

“At Ball State, they want you to apologize for having balls and testicles,” Sister Cindy said. “They want you to apologize for being a man.”

Sister Cindy warned against the temptations of sin, including what she referred to as the intentions of “feminazis,” who she claimed wanted to “drink your blood.”

"Sister Cindy" Smock holds up a "Slut Shaming Time" sign at her talk in the Quad Sept. 17. Smock travels around the country, talking to college students, and gained a large following after going viral on TikTok. Maya Wilkins, DN

Junior public relations major Madeline Demos said Sister Cindy’s message creates a damaging narrative, placing blame in cases of both consensual and nonconsensual sex on women. 

“I’ve seen Sister Cindy on the Internet, and I’ve seen everybody making fun of her, and I wanted to do that, too,” Demos said. “I just don’t think it's cool to go up to people and judge them and slut-shame them based on what they’re wearing, especially at a college campus. We have a lot of issues on college campuses with women being [sexualy assaulted].”

Meanwhile, Mennonite Pastor Tom Gearin approved of the Smocks’ message. 

“[She’s] preaching truth,” Gearin said. “I think, sometimes, in the day and age in which we live, people say this is hate speech. And the reality of it is, I think about it this way: If my child was standing on the edge of a cliff, out of love, I would be motivated to warn him or her of that danger. I think that's what this is about.”

Most people at the event were cheering in jest, with some hurling insults, throwing objects and even dancing behind Sister Cindy. Despite this, both Smocks were adamant their approach works.

“I don’t even have to win the debate, because the Holy Spirit is here, speaking to people’s hearts,” Sister Cindy said. “Every day, people tell me they’ve made the decision to be a ‘ho no mo,’ to repent for their sins and follow Christ.”

Contact John Lynch with comments at jplynch@bsu.edu or on Twitter @WritesLynch. Contact Shwetha Sundarrajan with comments at ssundarrajan@bsu.edu or on Twitter @fengshwe. Contact Daniel Kehn with comments at daniel.kehn@bsu.edu or on Twitter @kehn_daniel.

Comments

More from The Daily






This Week's Digital Issue