Thank You, Westboro Baptist Church
For those of you stuck off in an underground bunker with the great good fortune never to have heard of them, the Westboro Baptist "Church" (no link) is a family-run cult that specializes in disrupting military funerals and staging protests at schools, churches, and municipal institutions that dare to show any kind of tolerance and acceptance of anything their two neurons can conceive as having anything to do with homosexuality. One of the deeper ironies of the universe is that their founder is a lawyer who began his career with great success in civil rights litigation. He has since been disbarred and has begun a new phase of his life as founder and leader of the Westboro Baptist
I know what you're thinking: why on earth would I be expressing thanks to one of the most disgustingly vile hate groups masquerading as "Christians" in this country today? Here's why: yesterday, they held an early morning protest outside my niece's high school.
Still don't get it?
The community's response of peacefully gathering and ignoring the protesters, while providing a buffer between the hate-filled rhetoric and the students, was a source of deep pride to my niece and her family. I called her last night, and she told me that the incident sparked a great deal of discussion in school, both in formal classroom settings and among friends. All told, it sounded like the incident generated a fair amount of positivity (including this).
Although the world would certainly be a better place without all the hate spewed by WBC and its ilk, if it has to exist -- and if it absolutely has to invade the loving and tolerant world my family is trying to provide for our children -- the very least it can do is generate the warmth and community spirit as was found in New England yesterday.
I love you all, RFS et al.