The Westboro Baptist Church, known for picketing the funerals of fallen soldiers and proclaiming freely that “God hates fags,” has announced that their next protest will be held at Vassar College on February 28th.
Vassar is a liberal arts school known for its tolerance and acceptance of LGBT people, which might have been what prompted the WBC to issue the following message:
“…warn the students, faculty, and alumni that the satanic policies of this nation, especially those of the colleges and universities, are causing God to pour His wrath out upon this nation. Doomed American academics fancy themselves to be smarter than God. They promote the fag agenda with all their might and mock the word of God and His messengers at every turn.”
But Vassar students have done them one better.
When news of the planned protest broke, students promised they would raise $100 per minute of hateful protesting for The Trevor Project, a suicide prevention organization for LGBT youth. They have already raised more than five times that amount — more than $25,000. (Check here for an updated total.)
Of course, there’s no telling whether Westboro will make it to their own protest. In the past year, the group has promised to picket the funerals of shooting victims in Aurora, Tucson, and Newtown, as well as that of Aaron Swartz, but never showed up.
Vassar officials have already released a statement essentially saying they aren’t afraid of Westboro, according to the student newspaper, the Miscellany News:
“The Vassar community is so creative and intelligent, and I look forward to working with students and staff to figure out a response that shows the strength and inclusiveness of our community,” wrote Assistant Director for Campus Life Judy Jarvis in an emailed statement.
To top it all off, BuzzFeed’s compiled a great list of student responses on social media via 22 Reactions to Westboro Baptist Church’s Plan to Picket “Ivy League Whorehouse” Vassar College.
Highlights include “SMITE ME JESUS! SMITE ME HARD!” and “I am trying to choose between a Satan costume and being naked. Please advise.”
Right there with you. But in all seriousness, major props to Vassar students for turning this into a huge success for The Trevor Project.