Tonight and tomorrow night, The Westboro Baptist Church, home of America’s most enraged bigots, will be in my neck of the woods. I am not pleased.
Perhaps you’ve never heard of Westboro Baptist Church. If so, let me give you a quick primer. Here they are at a protest that I think had something to do with the Oscars. Or possibly Obama. Or both? It’s hard to tell. Here they are hating on a Jewish community center in Seattle. Here they are somehow managing to make children WAY less cute. And I probably don’t need to tell you that they were also here protesting the first gay marriages in D.C. You get the idea. They really don’t like Jewish people, Catholics, gay people, Obama, kittens, or happiness. Oh, and Lady Gaga. They are so busy being angry that they have an actual protest schedule posted at their website, and frankly if you are a living breathing human being I would double-check just to make sure you aren’t on it. Because if you are not, in fact, a “fag” or a “Jew,” then you just might be a “fag enabler.” Or maybe you’re an American hero. Remember, even dead soldiers and astronauts are not immune.
If you are concerned that you might be protested, you’re off the hook for at least the next couple of nights. Those nights are already being taken up by Dutchtown High School, a school down here in my neck of the woods (not far from Gonzalez) where the students are putting on a production of The Laramie Project. The play centers around the 1998 death of Matthew Shepard, and Shepard has always been one of Westboro’s favorite targets. They fight hard against the definition of his murder as a hate crime, primarily because they believe hatred against gay people is entirely justified. In their version of the story, it is not Shepard’s killers who will burn in hellfire, but Shepard himself.
So when Dutchtown announced its plans to put on the play, Westboro somehow got wind of it and added the production to their Tour of Illogical Ranting, along with a note saying that
“WBC needs to picket these Louisiana rebels because they refuse to see the rod and who hath appointed it. If you live within 100 miles of where Katrina hit land, you should never show your filthy face outside again.” (from the protest schedule linked above)
I guess that doesn’t technically count you guys, since you’re like 190 miles away, but it sure counts me and everyone else down here in Baton Rouge and its environs. But I damn sure plan to show my face outside. I couldn’t be there tonight because of work obligations, but I have every intention of heading over to the counter-protest tomorrow night. And I will return to you with pictures and part two of my rant about Westboro. Because there is oh so much to say.
(I will attempt less sarcasm in part two. But I really, really had to get it off my chest.)