Anti-LGBTQ and anti-feminist protesters were ridiculed at Montclair State University

Montclair State University student Camilla Bager is restrained by campus police as she attempts to remove a sign from a member of the Key of David Christian Center. The group arrived on campus with signs condemning feminists, non-Christians and LGBTQ people. (John LaRosa/The Montclarion)

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In one hand, Aden Rusfeldt, pastor of the Key of David Christian Center, held a sign saying to “shoot those who try to kidnap and vaccinate your child,” citing Exodus 21:16 (which prescribes the death penalty for the removal, but nothing to say about vaccination).

In her other hand was a second sign claiming that feminists promote rape through drunkenness and immodest dress, that they want all men dead, and condemned “welfare leeches” and ” diabolical single mothers”.

Facing Rusfeldt and other protesters from his Philadelphia-based group on Tuesday were students from Montclair State University – eager to tell visitors their message was not welcome on campus. Trans and bisexual pride flags waved above the crowd, with mascot Rocky the Red Hawk carrying one as the flag.

Some students have printed photos of Scrat, the squirrel from the movie “Ice Age”, crucified – mocking the ultra-conservative religious beliefs of the centre, which describes itself as a non-denominational Christian church, and which warns on its website: “99% of you reading this page are currently heading to hell forever.

Members of the David Christian Center, with campus police standing in front of them, held signs saying “Women belong in the kitchen”, “Gays deserve AIDS” and “Not a virgin + not married = whore”. The students’ own placards mocked them: “Gays are hot”, “Be bisexual, eat hot fries, lie” (a reference to a viral tweet about modern women) and “Krusty Krab is unfair” (him -even a mocking “SpongeBob SquarePants” protest meme.)

Pastor Aden Rusfeldt of the Key of David Christian Center speaks about his group’s protest at Montclair State University. ((John LaRosa/The Montclarion)

The Montclair Local sent a message to the university spokesperson – asking how many people were involved in the protest and counter-protest, if any action was taken by university police or other university employees. university to handle the situation, and whether any rules govern these protests – and awaits a response.

Montclair State University Police Sgt. Jay Nielsen said the center — known for its protests against LGBTQ identities and lifestyles, as well as other religious beliefs and modern social norms — has visited campus at least eight times in the past 10 years he had worked at the school.

The group is often compared in the media to the equally aggressive and ultra-conservative Westboro Baptist Church The Southern Poverty Law Center describes as “arguably the most heinous and rabid hate group in America.” The Philadelphia Investigator reported in 2018 that the Key of David center had frequented Philadelphia-area campuses, stirring up their communities.

Rusfeldt, who also wore a hat with a message saying “Shoot your local pedophiles,” said his group came to campus to tell women to “shut up your legs and obey Jesus.”

Noor Alalwan, a first-year psychology student, was watching the protest when Rusfeldt pointed at her and said, “Muslims are going to hell.

Montclair State University students hold a ‘Gays Are Hot’ sign in front of protesters at the Key of David Christian Center. ((John LaRosa/The Montclarion)

“Obviously I’m really frustrated,” Alalwan said. “They just yell at students who haven’t done anything wrong. Someone so opinionated should just get out [of here].”

Some students made obscene gestures to tell protesters they weren’t welcome. Others took a lighter approach – doing the “Cha Cha Slide” in front of them. At least one was prevented from seizing a sign from protesters by university police.

Maria Rodriguez-Gregg, a former congresswoman who in December became director of government relations at Montclair State University, told Montclarion the protest was about “free speech, I guess.”

“Sometimes you just can’t commit,” she said. “If you don’t agree, that’s fine, but that’s exactly what they want.”

Colin Luderitz, a freshman in film and television, said it was a shame to see “people devoting their time to spreading hate and anger.

Still, Luderitz saw an upside: “But seeing students come together to speak out and push back the hate, it’s really a beautiful thing.”

This story is based on the original reporting by John LaRosa, Montclarion Photo Editor, originally for the Montclarion, with some additions from Montclair Local. The story is produced with permission from Montclarion’s editors. the the original version appears here.

A student holds a ‘Krusty Krab Unfair’ sign during the counter-protest at the Key of David Christian Center protest on the Montclair State University campus. The saying refers to “SpongeBob Squarepants” – and is part of a meme poking fun at the protests. (John LaRosa/The Montclarion)
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