Saturday, January 29, 2022

Westboro Comes to Oxford

Westboro Baptist Church members protesting in Oxford on Saturday morning. / Photo By Jared Senseman
Westboro Baptist Church members protesting in Oxford on Saturday morning. / Photo By Jared Senseman

Westboro Baptist Church came to Oxford Saturday, to protest the movie The Blind Side, and Ole Miss’ love of football.

Much debate arose as to whether or not the group would actually show this time, as they had made threats to protest at Ole Miss before but never actually arrived.

The group has gained international fame for their protests of veterans’ funerals, as well as their hate speech directed toward issues such as homosexuality and abortion.

On Saturday, their signs displayed slogans such as “God Hates Fags,” “God is America’s Terror,” “Soldiers Die for Fag Marriage”, and “Thank God for IEDs.” IED stands for Improvised Explosive Device, a leading cause of death for our soldiers overseas.

A young Westboro Baptist Church member stands in the rain on Saturday. / Photo By Jared Senseman
A young Westboro Baptist Church member stands in the rain on Saturday. / Photo By Jared Senseman

A silent protest was arranged by Ole Miss student Jade Genga, who started a Facebook group to counter the hate speech on Saturday, with smiles and friendly faces.

“Nothing upsets picketers more than peaceful people, who love one another, against whom they are picketing,” Genga wrote on the event’s Facebook page. “Of course, depending on their content, it will be difficult to remain silent, but self-restraint for peace… we can do that.”

The protest was held in front of El Milagro’s restaurant on Jackson Ave.

Westboro protested Elvis’ life at his former home, Graceland, in Memphis on Friday. The group is now headed to the University of Alabama, in an effort to convince people that the tornado that hit Tuscaloosa in April of 2011, was the wrath of God. The tornado killed 36 people.

For more information on Westboro Baptist Church, you can visit their website at www.godhatesfags.com ––Jared Senseman, senior journalism major, Meek School of Journalism and New Media

Email Jared Senseman at jrsensem@go.olemiss.edu

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