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The Greyhound

The Greyhound

The Student News Site of Loyola University Maryland

The Greyhound

Loyola’s New Apocalyptic Superweapon ‘FURY’: The right way to deal with Westboro Baptist Church?


The student body at Loyola University Maryland is up in arms over the controversial Westboro Baptist Church’s upcoming protest at our campus. The church’s “congregation” is notorious for its hate speech directed at the LGBT community, Jews, and basically anyone with a pulse.

The WBC’s right to protest is protected under the First Amendment, leaving many students feeling powerless to stop the extremist group from spewing its omniphobic bile on our quad. But fear not, Loyola’s administrators have worked out a solution.

I was led down a dark corridor by two armed Jesuit G-men, who ushered me into The Situation Room, a steel bunker deep below Knott Hall. There, Dr. Horton Hears-a-Shaw, Vice President for Student Research & Development, sat down with me for an exclusive interview describing the University’s plan:

“Loyola’s administration has at long last adapted the Bias Reporting system into a deadly weapon capable of destruction on a scale the Earth has never tasted.”

So much can be gained by confronting bias through a report, but only so much. She continued, “When we heard the Westboro Baptist Church was coming to Loyola, we called in some favors with the Nuclear Physics department.”

Dr. Hears-a-Shaw explained, “While the old system would simply notify an offending individual of a bias incident, Project FURY weaponizes the power of quantum-tolerance, and annihilates the biased individual on the subatomic level.”

Sounds effective. But FURY is not without its risks. “During development, one unfortunate intern nudged a dial accidently. This fed too much power into the bias acceleration chamber and—well, long story short we accidentally obliterated several trillion parallel universes.” I guess as the saying goes, you can’t make an omelet without breaking some eggs.

While the Westboro Baptist Church has a history of deliberately baiting people to attack them in order to sue them for profit, FURY eliminates any potential for litigation. Dr. Hears-a-Shaw joked “It’s hard to file a lawsuit when the quantum field holding every particle in your body together is scattered to the aether.”

In case you haven’t noticed by now, this article was published on April Fool’s Day. As far as we know, Loyola’s administration has not developed a Strangelovian superweapon capable of destroying the universe. Yet. When the Westboro Baptist Church pays our campus a visit on April 6, we won’t be able to use FURY to make them disappear. But then again, fury never really gets us anywhere does it? Let’s take a step back and look at what the WBC really is.

The Westboro Baptist Church isn’t a church. It’s a family, the Phelps family—abused physically and psychologically by their cruel patriarch, Fred Phelps. Phelps’s son Nathan escaped the WBC, and claims Fred Phelps regularly beat his children and wife with his fists or with the handle of a mattock until they bled. And every day, Fred extended the cruelty of his domestic life into his sermons, where he indoctrinated his family to distrust, fear and hate their fellow man one foul homily at a time.

Fred Phelps fell ill in 2013 and had a change of heart. According to Nathan Phelps, his father spoke out in defense of the pro-LGBT “Equality House” built across the street from the church’s compound. But the seeds of hatred Phelps planted in his family were planted too deep. The Westboro Baptist congregation excommunicated Fred, and expelled him from the church’s grounds. He died alone and miserable in 2014. He reaped what he sowed.

And now, on April 6, the remnants of his family will pay our campus a visit. Adults and children alike—deeply stunted, profoundly wounded—will scream awful things because that’s what they know. They know, in their hearts, that God hates. God hates people. It is good and righteous to hate. Hate was branded into the Phelps clan from birth with a red hot iron; Fred Phelps’s perverse morality lives on without him and still animates his family in an empty quest to hurt as many people as possible.

Fred Phelps was excommunicated by his family because he committed one of the gravest sins of his own warped code: showing compassion. That’s also why the WBC is coming here by the way. In their press release, they say “campus life at this institution of proud sin is shaped by OUTLoyola, Spectrum (two f**-sin-pimping groups) and the Theology Club.” They’re here because our community is one that shows respect and compassion to all people.

When the Westboro Baptist Church arrives at 11:30 a.m. on April 6 it will be tempting to get angry, or even throw a punch their way in the heat of righteous FURY. But that’s not what we’re about. The person holding a “GOD HATES F**S” sign is still a person—a deeply damaged person. A person who needs—absolutely desperately needs—love, and I expect my fellow Hounds to show the Westboro Baptist Church nothing less than that.

Header image: CERN

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Loyola’s New Apocalyptic Superweapon ‘FURY’: The right way to deal with Westboro Baptist Church?