Westboro Baptist Church Brings Hate to My Community

Westboro Baptist Church Brings Hate to My Community

The heinous Westboro Baptist Church is planning on coming to my neck of the woods this weekend to “protest” the death of a young soldier, not 30 minutes from where I live. He went to one of my high school’s most fervent rival schools, lived in the town my husband grew up in, and died serving our country—doing his job—at much too young an age.

Now the “God Hates Fags” church is going to go make a mockery of his memorial service.

I am so sick and tired of this “church” getting a free pass to harass people attending funerals, for God’s sake, in the name of “free speech.” This, to me, is not free speech. It is hate speech, and isn’t that a crime? If it is not, surely stalking, harassment, and terrorism are all crimes. And that is exactly what this group does. They stalk soldiers, homosexuals, and anyone else they care to all across the country, harass their families when they die, and terrorize entire communities with their hateful presence.

This will not be the first time they are in our community, nor will it be their last. My family and I are left wondering, though, should we go attend the services for this young man—whom most of us did not know, though all of us regret his passing and send his family thoughts of healing and love—and his family, and stand outside his school to express our solidarity? We definitely want to show our appreciation and our sympathies.

We also want to express that the hateful WBC is the minority in their warped way of thought, and that the rest of us support this brave fallen soldier and his family. We think that coming with counter-signs would be disrespectful, and that perhaps bringing white candles as a simple memorial gesture might be nice.

However, we also don’t want to help turn the poor man’s funeral services into a media spectacle, nor overwhelm his family and friends even more than their grief has already. I’m not sure what I’d want in that situation—more strangers to come share respects, counter-protestors against these awful people protesting a loved one’s death? The very idea of it seems ludicrous. No one should have to even ponder what they’d want in the event of protestors at a funeral; protesting shouldn’t even be an issue when it comes to the death of a loved one.

What is the appropriate thing to do when the devil comes riding into your town, carrying protest signs and claiming his message is from God? What do you do when pure, unadulterated hate flings itself—legally—at the people of your community, so loudly and hurtfully and sickeningly?