A handful of Project 12 students and staff went into the heart of downtown Chicago Saturday, December 13, to again stand against the Westboro Baptist Church's defamation of the character of God. (Sorry, no photos... we did get some video which I am trying to get copied for the web.)
Westboro Baptist, actually one extended family with a patriarch, Fred Phelps, became known initially for their "God Hates Fags" signs and website. But when they began picketing the funerals of soldiers killed in Iraq, carrying signs such as "Thank God for Dead Soldiers." If you feel an adrenaline rush, and not of a good kind, when thinking on such things, consider that Westboro finds that reaction just what they're looking for.
We focused our protest upon the fact that they misrepresent the Bible and God by nearly everything they say. This wasn't lost on passers-by, a number of whom thanked us.
One of our Project 12 students, Rebecca, attempted to communicate with an older woman leading the group (a woman I believe is Fred Phelps' daughter, and a spokesperson for Westboro). Rebecca said to her, "God is love."
Her response, delivered in the most disdain-laden tone imaginable: "Oooo, my itty bitty private parts!"
Rebecca's response? "But God is love!"
And later, on the way home in the van, Rebecca commented: "How can they be so lost that they don't know God is love? That's so sad!"
Pray for this group. They are easy to hate back, but that "natural" response isn't the right one.
I'll try to get back to blogging on more than Westboro...