How the World Really Is: The Westboro Baptist Church is Wrong

It all began while I was at New Student Programs yesterday morning stuffing envelopes.  I got a facebook chat from a friend of mine who is trying to establish a student organization to support veterans (I am not going to state his name just in case Westboro Baptist Church reads this) let me know that the Westboro Baptist Church (WBC) is coming to Charleston on March 23rd.  It wasn’t just that they are coming to Charleston, but the College of Charleston, the institution that we both attend.  I was both shocked and horrified by this news and did really know what the best thing to do would be.  I suggested a counter-protest and went to work on it on facebook right away.  I didn’t really do much with it initially thinking that things would go on over time and that I should just relax and stuff more envelopes, but in the back of my head I remembered what had happened not long ago.

Not long ago, a girl from my high school who those of you from back home will remember died.  Her death was tragic and I don’t want to really go into details about her death other than to say that she was an innocent 20 year old student.  The Westboro Baptist Church came to my hometown of Marietta, Georgia and protested her funeral at a local synagogue.  I was beyond disgusted (thanks Katy), but there was little I could, as I was in Charleston and did have any way of getting home.  I had heard of hate, but nothing like this, or at least not during my life time.

In the back of my head, I have always remembered the relationships that my family and friends have taught me.  Many of you will think of this as silly, but I think of love and hate sort of like the force in Star Wars.  The Dark Side is very clearly hate.  The hate that comes from the Dark side is destructive and unhelpful.  I think that of all things, love and care is what brings us together as a community and not just my community, but the world.  Hate is something that is all around the world, but overall, love will prevail.  It is love that brings order, justice, and binds us together.

WBC is a group that uses the ideas of the bible and misinterprets them in the most hateful and horrible ways.  I do not think that g-d is the way they imagine him/her to be.  I imagine g-d to be humble, caring, and nurturing.  G-d is NOT glad that soldiers are dying in Iraq.  G-d loves you whether you are gay, straight, bisexual, transsexual, black, white, Asian, Hispanic, Catholic, Muslim, Jewish, Protestant, Lutheran, Presbyterian, Agnostic, Buddhist, Hindu, or anything else in between that I may have skipped.  G-d created man and woman after one being, g-d.  The g-d I believe in is not a cruel one, but rather a g-d who believes in determination, integrity, compassion, and strength.

What I am asking all of you who are reading this to do is to live a life of compassion and trust.  I have been reminded the last two days that the ideas and mission of the WBC is something that sickens any rational person.  Overall, remember this, we are all different, but in the end we all make up a single race, the human race, and g-d loves us all.

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