America needs to take a stand against extremists

Doug Hite

The Westboro Baptist Church was planning on attending the funerals of slain Virginia Tech students and to share their message with the students’ families. Just a group of good Christians wanting to reach out to mourners in their time of need, right? This couldn’t be further from the truth.

Some of you might know the Westboro Baptist Church (WBC) from its other public appearances, such as the funerals of fallen American soldiers where they chanted above the voices of clergy citing, “God hates fags, God hates America, and the godless brats -ÿAmerican soldiers – will find themselves in hell.” Not exactly proper funeral rhetoric.

The WBC is also well known for its Web sites, and

These sites promote this cult’s personal form of hate speech using catchy phrases such as “The United States Army is the Fag Army,” “God loves everyone – the greatest lie ever told” and, my personal favorite, “(Today’s Christians) worship Mr. Peanut.”

According to their writings, these cultists have praised Hurricane Katrina as a godsend that was meant to destroy New Orleans, citing the city as “a putrid, toxic, stinking cesspool of fag fecal matter.” They have even assembled a pretty extensive list of famous people in hell including the Rev. Martin Luther King, the pope, West Virginia coal miners and Reggie White.

Kind of different than the church I grew up in.

So, what in the hell (pun intended) do these guys want to do at the funerals of Virginia Tech students? It is in their opinion that God sent Cho Seung-Hui to kill the students, and God did this in response to the United States and the students supporting homosexuality.

I can’t even begin to state how many things are wrong with this statement.

However, on an uplifting note, syndicated radio host Mike Gallagher has recently thwarted their efforts to rally at the funerals. But at what cost? Gallagher has offered his three-hour show, aired live tomorrow, to the WBC.

Gallagher stated in a press release, “If my radio show can prevent a circus atmosphere from taking place in front of churches . then I think that’s a good thing.”

I have to praise the integrity of Gallagher in this situation and his bravery for taking the ordeal upon himself in order to save the grief of the families. But what type of society are we living in if the only way we can prevent a group of extremists – who still claim the slain students are going to hell – from desecrating the lives of 32 incredible individuals is by giving them a radio show?

In any case, hate speech like this can no longer be tolerated, and Americans need to muscle up. Where are the throngs of true Christians fighting against their message? Where are the students who are taking the streets to stop these nutjobs? Why aren’t any of us stepping up to make this point? For the students who gave their all, the Westboro Baptist Church must be stopped.

Doug Hite is a sophomore English major and guest columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected].