All photos taken by Travis Levius. All Rights Reserved.
The suckers never showed up.
The notorious Westboro Baptist Church, known for years as the “All f-gs are going to Hell” congregation who have no problem condemning homosexuals at their funerals (they really have), was scheduled to make an appearance at Emory University. The reason? The running of the play “The Laramie Project”, depicting the events stemming from the heinous murder of gay college student Matthew Shepherd in 1998.
In their own hateful words, “God hates fag-infested & fag-enabling Atlanta, GA and all having to do with spreading sodomite lies via The Laramie Project – a tacky piece of cheap, lying, fag propaganda masquerading as legitimate theater.” This “What Would Jesus Do?” thing surely doesn’t get through to some of these “Christians.”
College communities (even beyond Emory) and gay & lesbian organizations were roused by the news of their appearance, and about 150 people lined the sidewalk in front of Emory’s Burlington Road building. While the crowd awaited the church’s arrival (for naught) the mood was kept light-hearted, people embracing, laughing, and at times groups bursting in song. Drivers along the road that knew of the situation honked their horns in support of their counter-rally efforts, the crowd automatically reacting with vigorous cheers and exciting fist-pumps.
Though the Church did not come that day (it appeared on their website that they made a detour that day to annoy another establishment in Tampa, Florida) the beauty was seen in the unity of different people from all over upholding values of tolerance and compassion.
My editorial work was published in the Emory Wheel. You can find the online version here: http://www.emorywheel.com/media/photos.php