There are two purposes for Comments in the Encyclopedia of Arkansas History & Culture. Comments can either add information to aid in the understanding of the entry or add information that provides an alternate interpretation of the historical record.
Information included in this section is not fact checked by the Encyclopedia staff. The author of the Comment is entirely responsible for its content.
I have just read in the paper (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, April 6, 2010) that the Christ of the Ozarks at Eureka Springs is being nominated for the National Register of Historic Places. I am shocked at how tourist money has dimmed memories of the life of Gerald L. K. Smith. Your encyclopedia article and resources that accompany that entry—from his speeches to a copy of his hate paper—do a very good job of describing a man who was a white supremacist, anti-Semite, and possible neo-Nazi his entire life. I do not know to whom I should voice my objections to the nomination. My father served in the U.S. Navy during World War II. He fought for freedom as did many fine Americans. He will probably turn over in his grave if a statue built by a hate-monger receives national recognition. The last time I was this angered over anything involving Smith, my daughter was still in high school and she didn’t really understand why I opposed her going with the youth of our church to see the Passion Play. I consented, but afterward we went to the Mullins Library and visited the special collections room so that she could read some documentation about Smith, and it wasn’t just “mom” talking. I was disappointed that they did not have a copy of Smith’s paper Cross and the Sword. I thought of how many I had seen trashed on campus while I was an undergraduate.