Aggie response to Westboro Baptist Church should start wave of action

A&M vs WBC

Francis Emelogu/The Cougar

When a notorious hate group went to a Texas college to push their hateful regime, the college responded in an amazing way. On Nov. 10, the hate group known as the Westboro Baptist Church arrived at the Texas A&M campus in College Station to protest the college’s “nondiscrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression” according to the Houston Chronicle.

To the cult’s surprise, they were met with a wave of opposition from the Aggie community.

The WBC is most notorious for their hatred against individuals of the LGBTQ community, along with their hatred of various other religions and its members. According to WBC’s website, the majority of problems occurring in America today is due to the nation’s acceptance of individuals who do not identify as heterosexual. This hate group has been known to picket the funerals of many American soldiers, along with various other events around the country.

The Houston Chronicle reported that the hate group arrived on the campus in the early morning complete with signs that contained slogans such as, “You’re going to hell.” They were met with a wall of students who retaliated with supportive slogans of their own, ones that contained messages of love such as, “God hates no one.” This event took place near Texas A&M’s Rudder Theater Complex, while a similar event was taking place at Texas A&M’s Simpson Field Drill.

WBC member Steven Drain said the reason the hate group had chosen to make an appearance at the college is because the university’s students “(had) been fed lies.”

“Their moral compasses have been broken by their parents, their teachers and their preachers,” Drain said to KBTX. “From the time they were born, they were taught lies such as God loves everybody, and it’s okay to be gay, and it’s okay to divorce your wife and remarry another one.”

On the other hand, Texas A&M community member Elyssa De Caprio — who organized the event — does not agree with any of the WBC’s beliefs and responded with a message of her own.

“Their message is just one of pure hate, and it’s not something we want people to listen to,” De Caprio said.

De Caprio said the yell practice had been taking place to celebrate the birthday of the U.S. Marine Corps. The fact that the WBC chose to arrive at the college that particular day is uncanny, considering the hatred they hold for American military.

The actions of the students of Texas A&M University were brave and admirable. Despite the allowance of same-sex marriage in many states, the discrimination against the LGBTQ community is still rampant. There is nothing wrong with having an opinion, but blaming the atrocities in America on this community is unacceptable.

“I believe it’s extremely sad that there are people like the Westboro Baptist Church who oppress people who commit to making sure people are not discriminated,” said English junior Reina Ruiz. “We’re in a free country, we all deserve to have a choice in sexual orientation — that doesn’t define who we are and no one should be discriminated. I’m glad A&M students are counteracting these horrible protest acts.”

The WBC is a hate group, there’s no denying. What the students of Texas A&M University did was show the cult that their bigoted ideologies will not be taken lying down.

This group has been able to get away with so much because up till now their actions have been ignored. Granted, they are often met with walls of protestors anywhere they go, but seeing university students take action is an entirely different feeling.

What these students did needs to start a wave of action. Everywhere this group goes, they need to be met with protestors. This is not going to end discrimination against the LGBTQ community, but it is a start.

Opinion columnist Trishna Buch is a print journalism senior and may be reached at [email protected].

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