Dancing fratboys greet Westboro Baptist Church at University of Chicago
One of the best ways to deal with hatemongers effectively is to refuse to take them seriously.
That was the scene at the University of Chicago this past week, as protesters from the Westboro Baptist Church were met not with the usual derision and outrage, but rather with revelry.
Among their reception at the University of Chicago was a bake sale raising funds for a GLBT charity, and members of the Alpha Delta Phi fraternity, who danced in their underwhere to "I'm Coming Out" by Diana Ross while flying a "no tolerance for intolerance" banner from their house.
Ever the faux-optimist, Shirley Phelps Roper tried to put the best face on their reception. "It is so awesome when you juxtapose this little group of servants of God with this restless mob of humanity. The little girly boys up there with their clothes half off gyrating around--they might as well flip off their God."
First off, the Westboro Baptist Church aren't servants of God -- they're slaves to their own hatred.
But secondly, when a college fraternity -- organizations that have a reputation for homophobic behaviour -- has the moral wherewithal to oppose Phelps and the WBC's promotion of intolerance, one knows that times are changing.
To those familiar with college fraternities this is far less surprising. The homophobic stereotype of fraternities is one that has slowly ceased to fit, as fraternities have quietly been initiating gay men into their ranks for years.
It must be disappointing for Roper to find that an organization she must have expected to be a natural ally for her and her hate cult instead opposes her so vociferously.