Chip Clapp

Love Thy Neighbor

Filed By Chip Clapp | May 21, 2009 1:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: Fred Phelps, gay protests, Westboro Baptist Church

Honestly, how much hate can the Westboro Baptist Church spew before they realize that nobody takes them seriously anymore? They went from anger-inspiring to downright ridiculous and now they're attacking anyone they can just to try to get more attention. Get ready South Florida because here they come.

[editor's note: They plan to return to Miami on May 23rd to demonstrate at Temple Israel, according to the Miami Herald.]

The picket schedule for the Westboro Baptist Church is up and South Florida is on their agenda. The church gained fame with their website, depicting Matthew Shepard burning in hell shortly after his death. They took their protest against the homosexual community to the next level when they began protesting the funerals of soldiers killed in Iraq, claiming that their deaths were God's punishment on America for allowing the "abomination" of homosexuality.

It now looks like their engines are running out of fairy dust and they're protesting whatever they can to continue their media presence (ok, so they're getting a little more here, but this has a point - keep reading to the end). Their current schedule shows them in Miami and Fort Lauderdale this weekend. They will be protesting consulates and churches. They will be at the Israeli, Brazilian, Japanese, Chilean and Venezuelan consulates. Feel free to read their filth about these varying cultures yourselves, I won't repost it. Then, they're protesting multiple churches, including everything from an Episcopal Church in Miami to the Calvary Chapel, one of the largest congregations in South Florida. You know, as a member of a very inclusive church with a large gay congregation, I'm almost insulted that they're not picketing us. As a matter of fact, they don't have a single "gay" stop on their agenda.

Maybe this is a very good sign. Maybe, just maybe, people are getting the message out that targeting gays and using religion isn't appropriate or accurate. Maybe people are tired of hearing it. Maybe we really are moving toward inclusion. I'm just glad that we have the option to support these other cultures and churches against the foe of intolerance. We can put down our pro-gay picket signs and pick up pro-progress picket signs as we continue to show people that we are part of society and will not be divided from it or from each other.

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