Today love proved it was stronger than hate. Today I joined over approximately 2,000 other students to build a human wall, blocking the Westboro Baptist Church’s protest against Michael Sam, the former Mizzou defensive end who announced Sunday that he is gay.
The event, Stand With Sam, was organized on Facebook this week, with nearly 5,000 attendees. The plan: make a human wall, arm and arm, wearing black and gold, to peacefully protest Westboro’s “preachings” of hate.
Westboro Baptist Church. This “church” is based out of Kansas and is known nationwide for its extremist, intolerant beliefs. They travel around the country protesting anything they deem “sinful,” particularly homosexuality. (They also frequently protest the funerals of fallen soldiers because they believe God is punishing the United States).
This is what I don’t understand: where does all the hate come from? Why are people so full of hatred? What makes Westboro travel hours out of their way just to wave signs saying “Death Penalty 4 Fags?” Why do people try to impose their own personal views onto others?
Sometimes the world can be an ugly place, especially the people in it.
But today, the world is beautiful. And it was made that way by those who came out to support Michael Sam. People passed out “Stand with Sam” buttons, wore shirts that read “We’re All Como Sexual,” and held up signs with “I Love You” written on them. They stood in 27 degree weather for two hours, holding the wall strong. They put their arms around one another and sang the alma mater. They chanted M-I-Z Z-O-U and M-I-Z S-A-M. They turned their backs on the Westboro picketing.
Later this afternoon after Westboro left and the wall disbanded, this appeared on the group’s Twitter:
Today I was so incredibly proud of my school and this town. No matter what your beliefs are, Mizzou supports their own. We are a family. We are one. And no matter how much hate exists or how strong that hate is, love will always triumph.