Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Westboro Baptist Church Find Themselves SOL

Crawling out of the bed to meet the dawn is not always a positive experience no matter how much Green Tea one manages to consume (quiet Sparky). I am sure you are all aware of the Westboro Baptist Church.  It largely consists of the Phelps family.  Essentially they protest military funerals, are virulently homophobic and wrap their hatred up in God and country. Apparently, "the Westboro Baptist Church has conducted over 30,000 pickets, in all 50 states, in over 500 cities and towns". These are the kind of people that really just need to disappear because all they preach is hate speech even as they hide behind free speech.  The U.K. had the good sense to ban them from entering the country. The British haven't make a good comedy sense Monty Python, but they know enough not to let this family have a platform in their country. 

Well I did promise you some good news so here we go:
Shortly after finishing their protest at the funeral of Army Sgt. Jason James McCluskey of McAlester, a half-dozen protesters from Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kan., headed to their minivan, only to discover that its front and rear passenger-side tires had been slashed.

To make matters worse, as their minivan slowly hobbled away on two flat tires, with a McAlester police car following behind, the protesters were unable to find anyone in town who would repair their vehicle, according to police.

The minivan finally pulled over several blocks away in a shopping center parking lot, where AAA was called. A flatbed service truck arrived and loaded up the minivan. Assistant Police Chief Darrell Miller said the minivan was taken to Walmart for repairs.

Even before the protesters discovered their damaged tires, they faced off with a massive crowd of jeering and taunting counterprotesters at Third Street and Washington Avenue, two blocks from the First Baptist Church, where the soldier's funeral was held.

Miller estimated that crowd to number nearly 1,000 people, and they not only drowned out the
Westboro protesters with jeers, but with raucous chants of "USA, USA."

A few motorcyclists interspersed among the crowd also revved up their engines to muffle the protests. (source)
Tell me you didn't read that and smile.  I bet you can't.  Of course it was the demon Walmart that in the end decided that profit is worth more than people -- but is anyone really surprised?  Given the way that Walmart treats its slaves associates, they long ago proved they don't care where a dollar comes from, as long as it ends up in the family coffers.

I really do believe that in a day and age when we are all more focused on the bottom line rather than our fellow human being, the fact that no one would serve the Phelps is laudable. Unfortunately, I don't believe that this will even slow down their protests or register to them how awful what they do really is, but it is a start.  If only society could look even deeper and see that organizations like the Westboro Baptist Church are simply the tip of the iceberg and that much of the hate they advocate, actually is a part of our daily social discourse.  People may not run around screaming "God hates f@gs" the way that the church does, but they certainly don't make it easy to be a member of the LGBTQI community. The best way to fight organizations like the Westboro Baptist Church, is to attack hate at the root and that begins with the individual.