If anybody every asks you for an example of truly outrageous religious lunacy, only two words are required … “Westboro Baptist”. If ever tempted to think, “Nobody could be ‘that’ crazy”, well these are the folks that will prove you wrong time after time. As I’m sure you are aware, they are … (how shall I put this) … more than a tad homophobic, but insanely so. I recall one occasion when they took offense because the government in Sweden had tossed some pastor into prison due to him preaching gay-hate. The Westboro Baptist response was to hold a protest outside their local department store …. WTF!!! OK, let me explain the religious logic here. They can’t afford to travel to Sweden to protest, but made the observation that their local hardware store sold Swedish-made vacuum cleaners, so they made do with that and held a local protest.
It’s about here that some chip in with, “That’s just too crazy to be true, show me the video, or it didn’t happen”.
- Sure … here is the link to it on YouTube … favorite quote … the chap doing the interview asked one of the younger WBC members if he actually understood the content of the sign he was carrying, when it is clear that he did not, one of the parent kooks steps in with, “Noah, do you know what else you could be besides a fag, to be in trouble with God, and be included in that sign?” … his reply … “Swedish?”.
OK, so far most folks are indeed aware of most of this, so the question of the moment is to ponder what is the best way to cope with public demonstrations of complete religious lunacy like this. Some do indeed ponder the thought that this is really all about attention seeking or money. Perhaps they do this to provoke folks into going out and physically thumping them so that they can then sue them. Did you know that almost all of them are lawyers, so should we just ignore them and not fuel the media flames?
I’ve come across a fantastic win. UIC student Jason Connell pondered about this problem and observed that ignoring them changes nothing, nor does standing across the street from them and yelling change anything. So he used the appearance of the hate group at his school to raise money for gay rights groups such as Human Rights Campaign, International AIDS Foundation and Chicago based Jerusalem Open House. Donations were named in honor of the Westboro Baptist Church and community thank you cards were signed and then sent to WBC leader Fred Phelps thanking him for his assistance in raising funds for all the groups he hates so much.
Now that’s a response I truly love.
Here is Jason talking about it …
Jason raised a little over $200 that day. That’s not bad considering that absolutely NO preparation was done other than to empty a pretzel jar (yummm) and put a sticky label on it. Somebody just happened to have a card table in their van (who’da thunk, right?) and it all came together.
The real story here is that this video has inspired many other similar collections wherever WBC protests!
You really do have to wonder what goes on inside the heads of these WBC kooks – even the Ku Klux Klan have distanced themselves from them and denounced them as “hatemongers”, yet they persist and think this is all a really great idea.