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Defend Joe’s Honor: Don’t Fight WBC

The Westboro Baptist Church has decided to make another appearance in Happy Valley during one of the unhappiest times, to picket Joe Paterno’s funeral. However, as angry as you might get hearing that they want to protest the “grotesque sin that goes on all over this nation under the heading of ‘higher education.’” Yes, you read that right, as it was taken directly from their press release.The group plans to come to State College today to picket JoePa one last time before he is buried. However, it’s best to just leave them alone. The group does make money from their legal fees, so it’s highly recommended that you do not get into any sort of physical altercation with them, let alone try to yell at them and make things worse. Fueling their hate and giving them the attention they want will only make them protest harder and stronger. Plus, they’re lawyers, so they know exactly how the legal system works.

Instead, try going to one of the counter protests across campus. In this Facebook event, students have called for a White Out to Defend Joe’s Honor. This is a relatively peaceful protest meant to block the WBC from the family out of respect. This protest calls for Nittany Lions everywhere to bring white anything to help shield the family from the protesters. Bedsheets, posterboards, signs, etc. are all welcomed to create a barrier of white for JoePa.

There’s also this event, “Help the Westboro Baptist Church Support the Gay Community.” Organizers of this group has asked that for every hour that the WBC are in Happy Valley, $1 be donated to the Gay Men’s Health Crisis (GHMC) in their name, and by doing this, you would be helping the world’s first and leading provider of HIV/AIDS prevention, care, as well as advocacy. So for example, if the WBC were here for five hours, and at least 20 people donated $1/hour in the WBC’s name, then that’s $100 right there for a really good cause.

Whatever you decide to do, just make sure you don’t feed the trolls. It’s better to just leave them alone, and use your time that could have been spent arguing your views with them to “defend Joe’s honor.” He deserves it.

About the Author

Meghin Moore

Meghin is a senior majoring in Broadcast Journalism and minoring in English. She transferred from the Harrisburg campus as a junior to finish out her schooling at University Park. She has a passion for all things music, fashion, art, and food. She's a Pennsylvania native (born outside of Pittsburgh, and lived in Lebanon for 11 years), but resides in Virginia when she's not in school, and has moved a total of ten times in her life, mostly thanks to the military.

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