Members of David Christian Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania returned to the Montclair State University campus Tuesday afternoon to provoke students outside the Student Center and amphitheater, promoting hatred towards women, the LGBTQIA+ community and those practicing other religions. However, students came back strong.
The protesters were protected by university police, but that didn’t stop students from mocking and teasing the group as a way of fighting back.
Students quickly and efficiently made signs counteracting the hate group reading, “Gay People Are Hot,” “Be Bisexual, Eat Hot Chip, Lie” and “Krusty Krab is Unfair,” all aimed at mocking the protesters.
Sgt. Jay Nielsen of the university police said this isn’t the first time the David Christian Center has been here.
“I’ve been working here for about 10 years,” Nielsen said. “And I’d say they’ve been here at least eight times.”
Pastor Aden Rusfeldt, a member of the group, explained the group’s motivation for visiting Montclair State’s campus was based on a rumor they heard about the women on campus in which a derogatory term was used.
“We’re here to tell them to close their legs and obey Jesus,” Rusfeldt said.
Rusfeldt also wore a hat with a message reading “Shoot Your Local Pedophiles.” He was accompanied by other members of the David Christian Center, including children.
Students also printed multiple pictures of Scrat, the squirrel from the movie “Ice Age,” crucified to a cross, and held it high for the protesters to see, mocking the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and the radical view the protesters had of Christianity.
Trans and bisexual pride flags were also brought over and waved through the crowd, with Rocky the Red Hawk even wearing one as a cape, supporting the surrounding students. Free Sour Patch Kids and Swedish Fish were also given out to everyone.
Maria Rodriguez-Gregg, the director of government relations at Montclair State, thought the students were just adding fuel to the fire.
“Freedom of speech I guess,” Rodriguez-Gregg said. “Sometimes you just can’t engage. If you disagree, that’s fine, but this is exactly what they want.”
Noor Alalwan, a freshman psychology major, was watching the protest when Rusfeldt pointed to her and said, “Muslims are going to hell.”
“Obviously I am really frustrated,” Alalwan said. “They’re just yelling at students who did nothing wrong. Someone so opinionated should just get out [of here].”
For every racist, sexist and demeaning remark hurled at students by the protesters, the students rebelled with even greater insults.
Colin Luderitz, a freshman film and television major, brought some positivity to the event.
“It’s a shame to see these people dedicate their time to spreading hate and anger,” Luderitz said. “But watching the students come together to express themselves and push back against hate, that is a really beautiful thing.”