Combat hate together
Next Wednesday at 8:45 a.m. the radical and hate inspired Westboro Baptist Church plans to protest at the University. The so-called "religious organization," infamous for protesting the funerals of American soldiers with signs reading "God Hates Fags," "Thank God for IED's" and "God Hates America," plan to protest outside of the University's Hillel House at 93 College Ave. But this group is not a political group, they do not wish to protest policy or even the existence of Israel; no, this group is protesting the existence of the Jewish people and the University's acceptance of homosexuals on campus.
Whether you are conservative, liberal, independent or unaffiliated, no one should tolerate hate speech. The group believes that homosexuals, Jews, Catholics, Muslims and Hindus are the primary factor contributing to the decay of the world, and they are willing to publicly inflict fear and hatred in order to have their abhorrent opinions heard. The church celebrates death and agony. They enjoy seeing the families of dead Jews, homosexuals, Muslims, Hindus and Catholics suffer, they laugh in the faces of the deceased and tell parents of fallen soldiers that they thank God for their dead children.
The founder of the group, Fred Phelps, once led a protest outside the National Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C., where he proceeded to call the Holocaust "miniscule" and called Jews the real Nazis. He is the same man that protested at the trial of Aaron McKinney and Russell Henderson, convicted of the murder of Matthew Shepard. They carried signs reading "Matthew Shepard Rots in Hell" and "AIDS Kills Fags;" this was, of course, after they had already protested Shepard's funereal. Now the group plans on coming to the University simply because we represent a certain racial, religious and sexual tolerance that is unparalleled in the nation. This is what the members of the Westboro Baptist Church hope to break down.
While conventional wisdom may urge you to pay no attention to these hate induced degenerates for the attention they seek, as a university we must stop those who wish to destroy. All evil revolutions started with words and small groups of people. Elie Wiesel once said, "We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented."
Let us not be silent or stand idly while people try to tear down the very fabric of our university and nation. This is your chance to fight injustice and hate and stand up for what you believe in. Want to make a difference in the world? Stand up for something worth fighting for. The University should band together — all nationalities, religions, genders, sexual orientations — and combat hatred together.
Aaron I. Marcus is a School of Arts and Sciences first-year student majoring in political science and history.