Few of us can imagine the horror and sorrow experienced by the friends and families of the Virginia Tech victims, but most of us have had them in our thoughts and/or prayers. Schools, colleges, and houses of worship have engaged in conversation about the causes of violence and hatred, and sponsored ceremonies and vigils to honor the dead and offer sympathy to those who were a part of their lives. But one “church”, the Westboro Baptist Church, spent the last week preparing to picket the victims’ funerals, as they have those of U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq. With their hateful signs, this small group of people express their view that God is allowing soldiers, students, and others to die because Americans are not doing enough to combat homosexuality and other “sins”.
According to CBS news, the daughter of the “reverend” of the “church” had this to say about the students who were killed, “The evidence is they were not Christian. God does not do that to his servants”. She then added, “You don’t need to look any further for evidence those people are in hell.” If you don’t yet know about these folks, check out their websites…if you have a strong stomach…at godhatesfags.com and godhatesamerica.com. And, take a few minutes to see what others say about them.
By the way, the group is in no way affiliated with the Baptist Church. These are people who intentionally inflict pain on innocent families to promote their sick agenda.
Let’s honor the Virginia Tech students by striking out against hatred. I ask you to take a few minutes to leave messages on their websites…civilized, articulate messages condemning their beliefs and their actions. And if you really want to express your outrage, you can call them at (785) 273-0325, as I did a few minutes ago. I merely asked the woman who answered if they were going through with their plans to picket the Tech students’ funerals. I was not impolite or confrontational but she responded with a hateful monologue about how students today are “freaks”, how they and I are “destined for hell”, and how “God is not through with you”.
I wonder how she would have responded if I told her I was about to write this piece asking all of you to contact her. By the way, the demonstrations were cancelled in return for three hours of air time with conservative talk show host Mike Gallagher.
But, these folks, as you’ll see if you read about them, are not going away. So, please take a few minutes away from them…minutes they would otherwise be inflicting pain on gays, families of the deceased, Catholics, Jews, and most mainstream Protestants…with a brief message on their website or…even better…a call to (785) 273-0325. It’s the least we can do.