Cody Cousino / Photo editor
Westboro Baptist Church, a Kansas church which commonly protests with its “God Hates Fags” signs, is coming again to Ohio State’s campus to spread its message.
WBC announced Monday that they would be picketing on campus on Oct. 25 at 11:15 a.m. at the Ohio Union.
In the picket schedule on the church’s website, it says that “God hates Ohio State University.”
“When this largest University in the nation put policies of disobedience to the Commandments of God into effect, you marked this nation for destruction,” the schedule said.
Timothy Phelps, an elder at Westboro and a son of church leader Fred Phelps, spoke to The Lantern about his upcoming trip to OSU’s campus. Timothy Phelps said recent decisions by the nation warrant protest.
“The state of New York has set the bar and every state will follow very shortly here,” Timothy Phelps said. “And in fact, every nation will follow very shortly here to completely legalize same sex marriage.”
Same-sex marriage became legal in the state of New York on July 24. Currently six states and Washington, D.C., grant same-sex marriage licenses: Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont and New York.
Timothy Phelps also said that the recent ruling to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” is a cause for protest.
“(Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell) was kind of a schizophrenic rule anyway,” Timothy Phelps said. “But such as it did, try to put any kind of limits on these filthy creatures being full on out in the military.”
“Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” was the official U.S. policy which prevented homosexuals from openly serving in the military. After nearly 18 years of the policy, it was officially repealed effective Sept. 20.
Timothy Phelps said the actions of both New York and the U.S. will quickly be mirrored by the rest of the world, and will result in the destruction of the Earth.
“This nation has done a couple of pretty clear things to show that it is right on the brink of destruction,” Timothy Phelps said.
Jim Lynch, spokesman for OSU, released a statement concerning WBC’s upcoming campus visit.
“College campuses like Ohio State have long been a place for crusaders who want to express their first amendment rights to free speech. The Westboro Baptists have visited Ohio State several times and we are familiar with their efforts across the country,” the statement said. “Our students here at Ohio State know that this is a very inclusive campus that rejects any form of prejudice, exclusion or disrespect. A brief visit by this group will in no way sidetrack our university’s long-standing values of diversity and inclusion.”
Antonio Venegas, a second-year in international studies and sports management, said he does not like WBC and disagrees with their views.
“I’ve seen and heard a lot of what they’ve done, such as protesting military funerals,” Venegas said. “Being religious myself, I don’t consider them to be good people.”
Venegas said he understands first amendment rights, but considers WBC’s content to be “hate speech.”
“There should be some limits,” Venegas said. “Some of the messages that they have, whether it be on homosexuals or people in the military, are ignorant, down right disrespectful.”
Timothy Phelps said that in the adult world that we live in he does not care what people say about their content.
“I say ‘Waaa. Get over it.’ (People) don’t want to hear that they have to answer to their creator,” Timothy Phelps said.
WBC’s trip to Ohio was sparked by an invitation to speak in a class at Miami University. Maimi and WBC were in the planning stages of organizing a trip to speak to a religion class, according to Fox 19 in Cincinnati.
Timothy Phelps said Miami University ultimately is not allowing the “harmless teaching opportunity.” He said they already had tickets purchased for Ohio so they are going to picket at Miami and other locations around Ohio, OSU included.
WBC previously protested on OSU’s campus on Oct. 4, 2010. This year, the schedule said they want to welcome another incoming class.
“We’re back!! You lucky ducks! Another class is welcomed in by Westboro Baptist Church,” the picket schedule said.
WBC also plans to protest at Oak Hills High School in Cincinnati, Hilliard Davidson High School in Hilliard, Ohio, and Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.
Timothy Phelps said their message was clear.
“If you have any concern at what your status is going to be when literally all hell breaks loose on this earth,” Timothy Phelps said, “you might want to maybe consider that what you’ve been force-fed your whole lives is a bunch of lies.”