Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kansas perverts the Christian Gospels like no other church in the United States today. More hate group or cult than church, the group of fewer than 100 lost souls has made news in recent years for picketing at the funerals of American soldiers — disrupting their families’ solemn time of remembrance — to spread the basic message that homosexuality leads God to punish this country.
I’m not sure which Gospel pastor Fred Phelps reads, but I’m pretty sure I don’t recall Christ ever sending out his flock to picket anyone. In fact, it seems the only times the figure this church claims to follow got angry about anything… it was when the religious people of his day inserted themselves between God and the beings he had created.
But why am I writing about the nitwits at Westboro Baptist today? Because I’m proud as can be of what several Texas A&M students did to protect one their own yesterday.
On June 28th, Lt. Col. Roy Tisdale of the US Army was killed during a training exercise at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. In a horrible turn of events he was shot by another soldier who then shot himself and eventually died of his own self-inflicted wound. Hearing of this story, Westboro Baptist officials posted online plans to picket the funeral of Tisdale, a Texas A&M grad.
In response, a group of current Aggie students – reportedly between 500 and 650 — showed up to create a “maroon wall” that would keep the protesters away from the funeral and the grieving family of Tisdale.
Westboro protesters never showed up, but the Aggie spirit surely did.
This might not have a darned thing to do with athletics, but it does say a lot about the SEC’s new member institution. And in response to the action taken by the A&M students let me just voice my personal welcome to all Aggies once again. It’s very, very good to have you in the Southeastern Conference.
Below is a photo of the “maroon wall. More can be found at Buzzfeed.com by clicking the top link in this post.
The photo below from The Houston Chronicle shows Tisdale’s young son, Lane, at his father’s funeral. God bless those A&M students for showing up to protect him and the rest of the Tisdale family from Westboro’s hatemongers had they themselves dared to show up.