The Rev. Fred Phelps, leader of the Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kansas, is sending a legion of followers to Cedar Rapids this week to picket the opening night of “The Laramie Project.”
I’ve contemplated writing anything on this all day. My general thoughts when it comes to those who spew hate are to ignore them and not give them the ink they so badly desire.
Then I thought that by sitting idle and not saying anything at all, I’m offering up something hate-mongers want even more: complacency. I refuse to give them that.
The group from Westboro will be outside the theater on opening night Friday. Their appearance showed up on WBC’s picket schedule here.
I am – as I was when I first learned of Westboro Baptist Church – astounded by the idea that so much hate can be committed in the name of religion, of any religion.
I won’t go into the hate messages the church espouses – if you’ve heard of Westboro and Phelps, you know what they are. What I will do, however, is say that I wasn’t quite aware of the depth of his hatred until reading a speech issued by his son, now an atheist. I was forwarded a link to the speech by a pastor friend earlier today.
It’s interesting. And rather frightening.