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Willard Preacher’s Book Discusses Sex And Masturbation, Among Other Fun Topics

Penn State’s own Garrison “Gary” Cattell — commonly referred to as the Willard Preacher — wrote a book titled “The Christian vs. The University.” It more or less outlines a majority of the topics he covers while preaching to passing students on a daily basis. The book, stylized as letters to the preacher’s “nephew” Aaron from his “Uncle Greg,” is everything you could ever want from a man who makes a living yelling at college kids about how they’ll go to hell for drinking and having premarital sex.

To clarify, I didn’t enjoy this book because of the political or religious views. I’m a fairly liberal Jew who wouldn’t consider himself religious, so there’s basically no connection for me. It was more the topics the preacher led with that made me smile. After just two chapters of what felt like an introduction, Cattell got down to business with hot topics like homosexuality, premarital sex, masturbation, condom use, feminism, and other juicy talking points. The best part is that they’re all exactly what you’d expect from the man, from both a belief standpoint as well as the nature of the hilariously ironic commentary he provides.

Just ten pages into the book, while discussing the topic of homosexuality, he decides to give his college-aged nephew a lecture on how sex works from his point of view.

“From what I understand about the female body, which is just slightly more than I understand about the female mind, the vagina has two functions,” he writes. “One is for the penis to go in, and the other is for a baby to come out.”

It’s passages like these that make you wonder if the preacher actually has some sense of humor, realizing just how awkwardly he words some of these things. In the second chapter, he talks at length about “culture war” on campus against Christianity. Then, in the closing paragraph of the chapter, he says to his nephew, “In answer to your question, I don’t think there is any doubt you will do well in school.” It would seem as though anyone reading through that chapter and arriving at that line with any self-awareness would realize how ridiculous it feels to have an entire chapter devoted to something that the preacher was seemingly not even asked about.

It gets just as good, if not better, as the chapters go on. At the start of chapter five, it appears nephew Aaron is looking to date and wants advice from his trusty uncle. Cattell responds by saying that, because this girl practices another religion, the relationship wouldn’t lead to marriage and would therefore be pointless. Of course, this scalding hot take isn’t what piqued my interest, but his reasoning for why the relationship wouldn’t turn into a successful marriage did.

“Marriage is difficult enough without attempting to blend two worldviews,” he writes. Within the context, it feels like he’s doing everything in his power to hold back from ending the thought with “and without a huge bitch wife. Why did you leave me, Jessica?” to complete the ultimate tone of an extreme divorced dad. In fairness, he does talk about his happy marriage to his wife in the next paragraph, but the overtones still feel like that of someone who turned to Christianity after a failed relationship.

But what would letters from an uncle to a nephew be without our beloved preacher trying to sound like the cool uncle of the family? In one of my favorite chapters, the one about condom use, Uncle Greg makes the point that condoms are unnecessary because if you’re in a sexual relationship, you should be fine with having kids every time you have sex, if it so happens to work out that way.

“For instance,” he writes, “if your aunt and I were to engage in sexual relations tonight (sorry for the visual) we would not have to wear a condom to protect us from disease, and our relationship is such that children are welcome.”

There may not be a more classic move than trying to relate your nieces and nephews than casually talking about how just because you’re old, it doesn’t mean you don’t have fun, then trying to be self-aware about it. Cattell passes off the story as one about condom use, but you can just tell all he wants his nephew to read is “yeah, I still have sex, you know, it’s casual.”

The book is littered with comments of a similar tone, making it an extremely entertaining first half of the book. However, the fun things like sex, drinking, and masturbation aren’t the only points he talks about. The back half of the book discusses more traditional religious topics like the existence of God, hell, and even a few chapters on different sects of Christianity. You hear about how his nephew almost decided to have sex with his girlfriend and started drinking, but instead of doing those things and making the book an all-time favorite, he decides to evangelize with a fellowship on campus instead. This part is admittedly less interesting, though it takes nothing away from the entertainment factor of the first half of the book.

Aside from the comedy that the book provides, it also gives an interesting look into the man that so many pass without giving a second thought. For the most part the book, while coming from an extreme and highly controversial premise, is extremely well thought out and logical. Now, logical and correct are two separate entities, and because the preacher’s entire premise is that God is real and we should live exactly by his word and do nothing else, it makes it hard to think that his logic has any real basis in the truth.

However, one important thing it seems to suggest is that the preacher isn’t a mean and ignorant person because he’s a bad guy like many would assume. It’s just that his stances on topics like homosexuality and abortion come from an extreme, unwavering devotion to what he thinks God would want. In fact, throughout the book, he makes sure to remind his nephew that everything must be done out of love and with the goal of helping others find deliverance. He never speaks of hating anyone, just saying that what they do, he believes, is wrong in the eyes of God. As crazy as he seems, it feels comforting to know that his opinions are derived from a place of something other than irrational hatred.

He ends the 92-page set of letters by talking briefly about religion and its place in society. The book ends with Cattell telling his nephew “with your permission we’ll pick up where we left off next semester.” Does anyone else smell a sequel coming?

About the Author

Mike Reisman

is a senior Supply Chain Management major with an Economics minor (Read: Business Douche) from South Jersey. He has an intense fear of graduating so please don't bring it up. He writes about stupid things nobody cares about, and student life if the site is low on content that is clearly supposed be funny but is really very unfunny. He is lovingly (?) known around the staff as Baby Mike which may or may not be because he has a child (hint: it’s not). He’s also a second generation Penn Stater who has been wearing Penn State sweatshirts since before he was two, a habit he hasn’t grown out of. If you really hate yourself, you can follow him on twitter at @mike_reisman or email him at [email protected]

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Staff Picks: Grabbing A Drink With A Prominent Penn Stater

If you had the chance to hear about Penn State from (or throw down at a State College bar for a night with) some of its most prominent figures, who would you want to grab a beer with?

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