October 8, 2011

The Westboro Baptist Church protests the ordination of a gay Presbyterian minister.

The protest took place at the corner of Mineral Point and Segoe Roads. Meade got there around 9:15. That is Margie Phelps at the extreme right of this first picture:



In this picture, a man with an "ITAPA KEGGA" T-shirt takes a gander at the protesters:



Arrayed on the other side of the street, in front of the concrete cross of the Covenant Presbyterian Church, you can see the counterprotesters, who appear happy with their new minister:



They look like nice people. They were singing "We are standing on the side of love," and they have in their midst a beautiful child:



Also, there's a man in a Guy Fawkes mask holding a rainbow exclamation point and a woman with a sign that says: "Love knows no boundaries; Courage has NO limit!"



I have a lot of video to edit, and it will give you a sense of what the atmosphere there was. Meade sums it up this way: "The Westboro Baptist Church people were trying to incite people and the others were out there enjoying a beautiful day and on the side of peace and love."

71 comments:

ndspinelli said...

Where's your friendly Hell's Angels when you need them?

Dust Bunny Queen said...

You guys need to have winter come soon.

It isn't nearly as much fun to protest and demonstrate with sub zero temperatures and driving rain/sleet and icy roads.

Maybe then all these morons will go home.

purplepenquin said...

they have in their midst a beautiful child

When you agree with the cause, it is a good thing to have children involved. When you disagree with the issue, then the union thugs are just using children as props.

Interesting double standard....

ricpic said...

Bow down to homos or you're not a nice person!!!

Quayle said...

Everyone certainly has to decide for themselves whether God exists and if so what God requires of them.

And if one cares about getting along and learning, we should share with each other what we've concluded, are learning, and hope to become, and be open to others' sharing.

But one thing I have observed in nature is that there are limits and boundaries to almost everything.

Mead can well tell us that you can't pour just any substance at the roots of a plant and have it still survive and thrive.

There are substances, for example, (Roundup) that if sprayed on the leaves will outright stop photosynthesis and the plant will die.

So, as much as the sign seems wonderful (I mean, who naturally wants limits?) there are indeed demonstrable limits and boundaries all around us in the plant and animal world.

So why not with humans too? Why not, if there is an unseen spiritual life - why not limits to protect and enable the the human soul to grow and prosper?

I mean, if I love gardens, why would I support something that I felt was harming plants?

Meade said...

Purplepequin, consider the possibility that you are confused.

realwest said...

The Westboro Baptist Church NEVER fails to try my love for the First Amendment.
But I have to grit my teeth and allow as how they do have the right to make such INCREDIBLY HATEFUL THINGS - and usually, when a U.S. Trooper's body is being laid to rest - at the most emotionally weak times of their targets.
Oh and to purplepenquin isn't that always the way - as Stephen Stills said in "For What Its Worth" (sorry Ann)"folks carrying signs, mostly say hooray for our side."

AJ Lynch said...

I wish a big steamroller would veer up onto the sidewalk and squash these protestors and their dreams. Then I wish it would happen to the NYC OWS protestors. Does this mean I am a bad person?

Kit said...

This right in my neighborhood and I drove by, must have just been a hair before this happened. Let the haters hate, I say, love will always win, in the end.

Lucius said...

"No peace for the wicked"-- with jeans that tight, I'd believe her.

On the other side of the aisle: yes they have a beautiful *vibrant* child in their midst. Who seems to belong to-- who, exactly?

Pink shoelaces and heart tees and furry Uggs/leg warmers-- just what kind of Presbyterians *are* they?

I often wish people just did their religion and politics from home.

Quayle said...

And as far as Westboro is concerned, if that is what they believe God is about, so be it - so be it, they have to decide, but I don't agree.

Yet I can't very well oppose them on rational grounds because while learning and speaking the mind and will of God may follow a procedural pattern, the content can't logically be judged on rational grounds.

One day God says attack. One day God says don't attack. One day he says preserve and take nothing. One day he says destroy. One day he wants you to sacrifice animals. One day he wants you to stop sacrificing, and to instead remember His Son by other means.

Prophets have profiles, but if the content of revelation were merely rational, there wouldn't be a need for prophets.

Lucius said...

Oops, I see the mother now. Never mind. [Ed.: What does that say about you? --Moving along . . .]

This brings to mind the great Camille Paglia chestnut "The Joy of Presbyterian Sex." The Presbs do look as if they're anticipating some new dawn of *fabulousness*. It's a bit touching, but more than a touch cring-making, from an aesthetic stance.

Is this one of those coddly, Jesus-loves-everybody churches, or is it just some people have decided to weigh in and show support for something supposedly wonderful.

It's fine, of course. It's their church. A God, if such there be, should be fine with gays. If you're gay and Presbyterian, it's good news.

But I'm not sure how self-respecting people can get in much of a tizzy, or work up any enthusiasm, over anything that happens by or among Presbyterians, ever.

Trooper York said...

Why did Garage Mahal show up to counter protest dressed as Seven Machos?

EDH said...

I don't watch the show "Glee," so I'm not entirely certain in my premise, but how can you show up at a "God Hates Fags" demonstration wearing a Glee t-shirt?

BJM said...

You are only encouraging them by covering their protests. Deny them publicity and they will wither away.

Chip S. said...

You omitted an important letter in describing the guy's t-shirt. It's "I Tappa Kegga."

Not to be confused with the line of "I Tappeda Kardashian" t-shirts that are all over west LA.

traditionalguy said...

The authority of a Church in a community is larger than you would expect.

It is a place where stable people get to know one another in a setting of forgiveness and fellowship over many generations.

The politicians, Courts, administrators and on down to the police department level are usually respecting that church authority and those who are its participants.

Both sides in this Gay approval vs Scripture disapproval of Gay are hurting the Church's witness.

But the acceptance of all individuals as redeemed persons that are accepted in Christ is such a powerful idea that neither side will be able to beat down the other for very long.

The Apostle Paul said a lot of things that he would probably compromise on were he writing letters today.

We do not live in a 60 AD Middle Eastern Mediterranean culture like Paul was dealing with in his advice epistles.

But remaining humble and loving when faced with Christians afraid to let go of those stricter interpretations of Paul's advice is where God's heart has always been.

Fred4Pres said...

Fred Phelps has personal struggles deLing with his homosexual urges.

jeff said...

While I understand the inclination, I don't understand the point of the counter protest. No one, NO ONE will be swayed by the Westboro people. The Wetboro people will never see the other protest and think "Hey maybe we're wrong". All the counter protest does is give them more attention, which is a win in their book. If no one showed up, and no one paid any attention to them, they would go away. The only reason they protest anything, be it military deaths, gay people or whatever is because it outrages people and they get attention. If they found they could get attention protesting Chinese dwarf tossing, then they would be the most outspoken anti Chinese dwarf tossing protesters ever.

Fred4Pres said...

He thinks it's the devil but it is really just him.

Palladian said...

People are confused if they think that the Westboro Baptist "Church" conducts these demonstrations out of some sort of theological concern. The primary purpose of these events is to generate revenue; they're extremely litigious and stage these provocations in order to incite things for which they can then file civil legal actions. There's a reason so many of them are lawyers.

Hoosier Daddy said...

"... I often wish people just did their religion and politics from home..."

I agree. Then again until they start self detonating on the streets, they're just annoying morons.

Fred4Pres said...

Fred Phelps has a Titus in him struggling to get out.

Palladian said...

"While I understand the inclination, I don't understand the point of the counter protest."

It's a chance for well-meaning people to posture and bask in the glow of assumed moral rectitude.

It's another misunderstanding of the true motives of the Phelps family, as well as the sin of pride, all rolled into one cuddly package.

sydney said...

I don't understand how anyone can claim to be a Christian and hold up a sign that says "God Hates You." That's so not Christian.

Trooper York said...

That's right. They are evil.

Not solely because they are racist homophobes.

But because they are lawyers.

Scum.

Fred4Pres said...

Mockery is the best response to Conflicted Gay Fred Phelps.

john said...

I like the "Fag-O-Lantern" poster. It goes well with the fall colors and provides an idea for a Holloween costume.

Fred4Pres said...

Conflicted gay lawyers suck. Almost as much as Pay-Rod.

Palladian said...

"I don't understand how anyone can claim to be a Christian and hold up a sign that says "God Hates You." That's so not Christian."

They're not really Christian, nor do they particularly care about the cognitive dissonance. They're there to provoke people and make money. And by calling itself a "church", they're tax-exempt, baby!

john said...

Were they also selling candy bars?
(Probably Worlds best Chocolate.)

jeff said...

"I don't understand how anyone can claim to be a Christian and hold up a sign that says "God Hates You." That's so not Christian."

Cause they are not Christians, they are members of the church of Fred. Fred was actually fired from the church he led 30 or 40 year ago for being batshit crazy and a most non-christian attitude. The city of Topeka pretty much leaves him alone because he has sued so many times over the past 60 years, which is why almost all the kids are lawyers. He believes that knowledge of the law allows you to do pretty much what you want to others, which has worked out well for him. That whole family is a case study of Stockholm syndrome and it will be real interesting what happens when he finally kicks off.

pst314 said...

Ann: In the last photo, is the kid in front of the traffic light wearing a green Che shirt?

Fred4Pres said...

Palladian, spot on. So the best response is mockery and not giving them funding opportunities.

jeff said...

"Were they also selling candy bars?"

Which is how Phelps supported himself when the kids were growing up. He would send all of them out into Topeka to sell candy. They has strict quotas and he would beat the crap out of them if they brought back less money that what he thought they should. Then he would stiff the candy supplier. They would sue, he would counter sue and tie them up. Then move to another distributor. The kids would come to school all jacked up, the school would call the cops, Phelps would sue everyone and keep them in court until forever. The school learned to keep their mouth shut, the cops learned to leave him alone. Phelps is a far more horrific person besides his protest gig.

richard mcenroe said...

ndspinelli -- The Patriot Guard Riders and the Legion Riders of the American make it their business to keep those Westboro vermin away from the funerals of serviceman. So far they've shown superhuman restraint.

Ann Althouse said...

"Interesting double standard...."

Where do you see a double standard? Read carefully. My observation that the child is beautiful says nothing about what I think about including children in demonstrations they do not choose or even understand.

edutcher said...

The hot blonde in the shorts with the sign (in crayon, natch) can afford to be brave in Madison. Let's see her do it in Teheran.

Ann Althouse said...

Arrayed on the other side of the street, in front of the concrete cross of the Covenant Presbyterian Church, you can see the counterprotesters, who appear happy with their new minister:

Nah, they're trying to show how Lefty they are since they're too much in love with Capitalism to be Occupying Wall Street.

J said...

two sides of one corrupt coin--American WASP-puercos

("Spinelli" aka Bubba Sockpuppet's threat notated)

Phil 3:14 said...

Is carrying a sign some sort of law in Madison (like having your license when you drive)?

Fred4Pres said...

I can't get a San Antonio water taxi. I blame Fred Phelps. I need another kickass bloody and some guacamole. I drink to all the good gays and denounce the bad ones like Fred Phelps.

Phil 3:14 said...

In Madison "What's your sign?" takes on a whole new meaning.

Lucius said...

Are the counter-protesters even in the church, some of them?

The last picture with the Guy Fawkes dude and the women (mother and daughters?) in leopard-print leg warmers and vaguely trailer-punk hairdos, don't look churchy (even high-middlebrow liberal Presbyterian churchy).

They look more like lower-middle-class gay parents brought their kids along, just because they took it to be a gay protest duty rather than a religious thing.

Which is sweet, in a way, but silly. The children of such parents, btw, often turn out pleasantly artsy, but dearly neglected in terms of either logical thinking or deep cultural enrichment.

john said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fred4Pres said...

Fred Phelps is a self hating gay.

Fred4Pres said...

Fred Phelps is also a Democrat.

john said...

that's why I asked, Jeff. Fred also sent his children out-of-state on candy sales.

Whenever teens knock on our door wanting us to "sponser" them by buying magazines, I ask where they live, and they typically answer with some mid-western state. I have offered them use of my phone if they wish to contact their families, or to come back for help when their handlers abandon them.

Fred4Pres said...

I got a bloody with bourbon. And a great fresh guacamole. And no Fred Phelps.

Ann Althouse said...

"Are the counter-protesters even in the church, some of them?"

Anybody could show up at the street corner (as Meade himself did). Some seemed to be from the church and others were there for their own reasons. You'll see more in the video I'm editing. Some people were taking advantage of the photo ops.

Blair said...

All I see is two different groups of heretics fighting each other. I'm not sure I care who wins.

J said...

Romanos 26 "Por esta razón Dios los entregó a pasiones degradantes; porque sus mujeres cambiaron la función natural[m] por la que es contra la naturaleza. 27 De la misma manera también los hombres, abandonando el uso natural de la mujer, se encendieron en su lujuria unos con otros, cometiendo hechos vergonzosos[n] hombres con hombres, y recibiendo en sí mismos el castigo correspondiente a su extravío. "

para los puercos blancos, izquierda or derecha

Browndog said...

"The Westboro Baptist Church people were trying to incite people and the others were out there enjoying a beautiful day and on the side of peace and love."

Same could be said for a certain Blog Queen....

One who espouses "blogworthyness"..

Westboro Baptist....yea, we've heard of 'em-

Fen said...

Well, one side wants to argue that there are no boundries.

The other wants to provoke a fight so they can sue them.

I had an asteroid strike lined up, but God must have other plans for these people.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

I am amazed by the sentiment that holds that God hates someone.

jeff said...

"that's why I asked, Jeff. Fred also sent his children out-of-state on candy sales."

I wondered. That seemed to be pretty coincidental.

Browndog said...

I'm sorry, but this blog post, in it's entirely-

Is nothing more than a textual episode of the Jerry Springer Show.

On Wisconsin.....

MadisonMan said...

It must be exhausting to hate something so much for so long.

Simon said...

By the by, am I the only one who thinks "Fag O'Lantern" sounds like a queercore band?

Palladian said...

Jack-Off O'Lantern

Browndog said...

Tyrone Slothrop said...

I am amazed by the sentiment that holds that God hates someone.


precisely

Chip S. said...

I am amazed by the sentiment that holds that God hates someone.

Not even Mr. & Mrs. Fred Phelps?

jeff said...

"Not even Mr. & Mrs. Fred Phelps?"
He must hate Mrs Phelps, apparently she was also beaten during the child rearing years. It's been awhile since I read the article, but I think the beatings stopped when one of the kids finally stood up to him with a baseball bat. Shortly thereafter he began the attacks on gays and hit the big time with the matthew shepard funeral. Google "Addicted to hate" and you can read the story the Topeka paper came up with and then killed, apparently afraid of being sued. Again. Fred is one nasty piece of work. The picketing is one of his least offensive pastimes. Horrible man.

Paul said...

Now here is the catch. While I feel homosexuality is wrong, it is a disqualifies in being in the clergy, Jesus never said to hate them. In fact he said to 'hate the sin and not the sinner'.

So these people who have these 'fag' signs and how (to them) God 'hates fags' are WRONG.

Sad to see supposedly Christians put such on signs instead of reaching to them and try to turn them away from the sins they do.

Kit said...

It must be exhausting to hate something so much for so long

no kidding.

Kit said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mojavedragonfly said...

"It's a chance for well-meaning people to posture and bask in the glow of assumed moral rectitude."

If you like. More to the point, it was a show of solidarity with the minister, a man who worked hard to become a minister and get ordained, and on this special day, gets barraged with hate language and signs. We counter-demonstrators were there to let him know there are people who don't believe for a second that God hates him or what he is. That's why I was there, with my church group, and that's why most of us were there. Not to change anyone's mind, but to "stand on the side of love," and not let that guy only hear their voices.

AST said...

Somewhere I read that they plan to picket Steve Jobs funeral because he stood for greed and materialism.

How many members does this outfit have?

AST said...

I don't care who the Presbyterians ordain. Their authority their own, not from God, just like Phelps and the officers of her church. I'm curious, though, how they can call themselves Baptists. If I were a Baptists, I'd object to their damaging my brand.

Fen said...

mojavedragonfly: it was a show of solidarity with the minister, a man who worked hard to become a minister and get ordained, and on this special day, gets barraged with hate language and signs. We counter-demonstrators were there to let him know there are people who don't believe for a second that God hates him or what he is

*hat tip*

Woodscribe said...

Democracy demands that you state your views, work for them, vote. Any time you step back and say, "those people are jerks, just ignore them," you run the risk of them taking over Congress.

Sigivald said...

So, uh... why the Guy Fawkes mask?

Seriously, why?

It's not like The State is going to crush him for protesting against these losers.

It's not like Westboro Baptist's six or seven members are going to hunt him down.

And it's not like he's standing up to authority or attacking the State, like either the historical Fawkes [who of course simply wanted a King of a different religion, not no King] or the comic/movie version that inspired the current mask fad among internet thugs.

All he's doing is making himself look like a tool for wearing it where it makes no sense.