I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear- Martin Luther King
When you encounter hatred or bigotry it can be easy to want to reply with anger or hate right back. But sometimes it’s better to just rise above and come back with a more positive approach. It especially helps if you can do it with a laugh or a smile on your face.
One of the most hateful groups in the Western world at the moment is the Westboro Baptist Church, a bunch of uber-right wing “Christian” nutbars who spout some of the vilest, cruelest abuse and employ classy tactics like picketing funerals and talking smack about recently deceased celebrities who have died because they are either gay or “gay enablers”.
Though small in number (thankfully there’s only around 40 or so members), they’re a loud bunch, taking to the social networks and using the media to generate attention for their bigoted outbursts. Their founder and leader Fred Phelps passed away earlier this year and I had hoped that this would lead the group to fragment. Now free of their leader I’d hoped some would examine what they spout and realize it’s not exatly what JC was all about.
Anyway, back to humour as a weapon. The WBC have faced ridicule and mockery before, with people combating their own including from Silent Bob himself, filmmaker Kevin Smith:
So when I recently read about a crowd funded campaign to stick it to the WBC I was amused and cheered. Started on Facebook and attempting to raise money through Indiegogo, the idea was to raise $50,000 (£31K approx) in order to raise a sign in the WBC’s hometown of Topeka, Kansas. The sign would be a response to the WBC’s infamous “God hates f**s” signs.
Fantastically the money seems to have poured in and they’ve even raised enough to raise another sign in Provo, Utah. Apparently because Provo is where Bingham Young University is there, which is a very fundamentalist Christian school, which I’ve written about before, and seems like a nightmare to study at, unless you’re into repression.
I’m not sure if there is a God, or gods, but I’d like to think that if He/She/they are out there they’re not some bigoted, hateful being because quite frankly, if they are, I’m with Desmond Tutu, and I’d rather go to hell than spend eternity in a place based on hatred.
So, I hope that they raise these signs as a sign of love and humour, and as a positive response to the negativity of the bigots.
Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.