Thursday, July 30, 2009

LEN: Local Synagogues Need Support Monday, August 3

Oh, joy. The Westboro Baptist Church, the "God Hates Fags" group that pickets the funerals of American soldiers, will be appearing in Lakeview and Edgewater this Monday, August 3rd.

While we are extremely reluctant to give their campaign of hatred any publicity, we've been told that the Jewish congregations and community members of Lakeview and Edgewater would appreciate your peaceful presence at the Westboro appearances, in order to demonstrate community solidarity and to support the places of worship that are being picketed. In case anyone from Westboro is Googling, this bud's for you: We intend to "overcome evil with good" (Romans 12:21).

This story, including the times and places of the Westboro appearances, can be found in the Lake Effect News. Thank you, Lorraine Swanson.


  1. I agree with UU's reluctance to shine any light on this 'church'.
    However, I suppose such sick footnotes in today's culture, deserve a bit of coverage.

    Such things as Swine Flu, drive-by shootings, Salmonella outbreaks, etc. etc.

    Although I suspect the the viruses and bacteria have
    higher I.Q.'s then this 'church'.

  2. Ah yes, I was once contacted by them as well. I can't comprehend how some people can be so driven by hate. When I was sent the following email below in 2006, I chose not to even respond to them.

    I deleted their email addresses because they often want an excuse to file a lawsuit.


    We at the Westboro Baptist Church received the message below on one of our websites. This gentlemen thinks that we should make a point of emphasizing the threat of God's wrath coming down on Chicago because of your candidacy (particularly if you are successful in February 2007). Do you have any thoughts on whether we should come and picket you as a soul-damning, nation-destroying, filthy, feces-eating sodomite who preys on little children in your project work?

    If you would vote yes, let me know and I'll let the other members of the church know your opinion on the matter. We hate to take anybody's word for things like this, lest we be seen as careless in our work.

    Thank you in advance for anything you might be able to provide.

    Timothy Phelps

    From: Jesus Lover
    Sent: Friday, December 22, 2006 4:53 PM

    Subject: Fag Candidate and Former Catholic Priest Wannabe runs for political office in Chicago

    I remember a few years ago your group picketed at a local "church" where the "minister" was performing fag marriages.

    If your ministry takes you back near Chicago in the next few months you may want to picket this sodomite. He is active in fag causes and still is involved in CAtholic causes also. He counsels fags who God has punished by giving AIDS.

    We already have one openly Fag alderman in Chicago and we don't want another
    or the next Katrina may come our way.

    May Jesus Bless you and your righteous ministry.

  3. I love how the LEN reporter explains: "Several of its members are interrelated."
    Isn't that a nice way of saying inbred?

  4. Maybe they can get the you cant get into heaven if you smoke guy from in front of the Old Navy store on State Street to come help them with the protest. I always include him on my tour of Chicago visitors.

  5. I haven't paid any attention to those loving Christians from Westboro for awhile.

    This anti Jewish thing they have going is apparently relatively new.

    Earlier this year they showed up at the University of Chicago and some frat boys metaphorically bent the Westboreans over.

    I'm for freedom of speech, but these idiots stretch my patience.

    Oh well. One day Fred Phelps will die and hell with be slightly more crowded.

    The one thing about Fred Phelps and his interrelated band of idiots is that virtually everyone hates them.

    I just spoke to Jesus........and he hates them too. So does his DAD and the Holy Spirit.

  6. When ever I hear about this group I always flashback to the "I Hate Illinois Nazis" scene in "The Blues Brothers.

    What we need is the Westboro folks on a bridge over some water and the return of Jake and Elwood.

    Here is the scene I'm talking about and in the original Italian as it was meant to be heard.

  7. I have to be at work, but I'll definitely be passing this info on...

  8. Counter demonstrations only fuel their fire. They thrive off the attention. Let them do their thing and it will end quickly when they realize people just don't give a damn about them.

  9. Counter demonstrations only fuel their fire.

    I disagree. The U of C rebuttal to their march was pretty damned funny and difused their message of hate so thoroughly. If anyone had any doubts they are jokes, making fun of them was a good way of doing it. It's the shouting, name-calling counter demonstrations that fuel the fire.

  10. When this group sent me an email me during the 2007 aldermanic campaign, we realized the publicity could actually help us if they picketed us, but in the end, chose not to even give them the time of day. Our campaign team wasn't going to play their game and get distracted from the real issues facing the voters.

    I believe this extreme narcissistic group of haters just get off on this type of attention and that's why their acts are so extreme. Psychologically, the nightmare of any narcissist is to be ignored.

    There is something empowering to stand up against them so I'm not faulting anyone who wants to protest them. I did it for years at the Pride Parade. These past couple of years I've realized that they're just not worth my attention.

  11. I wonder what the goal is? If it's to get them to stop their antics, a counter demonstration won't do it. It hasn't worked in the past.

    If the goal is to unite local residents to stand up agains hate, that might another thing. There are also many ways to help unite a community besides attending this event.

    Either approach works well for me.

  12. Something we can all agree on.

  13. Oh well. I think the Westboreans actually promise to picket at more places than they actually show up. At least that's my memory from the stories I recall reading when they emailed the Capplemaniac's campaign.

    If I had thought they would be helpful to the campaign I would have rented the Partridge Family Bus, driven down to Kansas, and picked them up myself.

    Of course whether I made it back to Chicago would be another issue. Lots of things can go wrong with an old bus and a drunken driver.

    I guess we would have found out the answer to those age old questions. Can the Partridge Family bus float in the Mississippi River and are assholes naturally buoyant?

    Of course. I would survive by clinging to a surfboard I stole from the Brady Bunch Hawaiian Vacation episode and a human sized inflatable Guinness Pint Glass.

    As I traveled downriver I would hum the Partridge Family theme.

    "Come On Get Happy".

    After coming ashore I would find the Last Train to Clarksville and return to Chicago where I would become the national spokesperson for "Black Flag" and roach control.

  14. Stop the hate! Peace out man!

  15. "I wonder what the goal is? If it's to get them to stop their antics, a counter demonstration won't do it. It hasn't worked in the past."

    Actually, it has. Not in the long term, but many counter-demonstrations have straight up made them pack up and leave for the day. Good enough for me. The less time that group of despicable inbred loonies are around spreading their bile, the better.

    "If the goal is to unite local residents to stand up agains hate, that might another thing."

    I would hope that's something local residents are united against in the first place. It's not something I feel the need to demonstrate, or prove to anyone, in any case. Simply do unto others, etc.

    That said, I generally do take action when I feel it's necessary or warranted. But proving that I'm "united" towards any ideal is never part of my motivation. Right and wrong are subjective. I use my own judgement, and it doesn't worry me if others disagree with that judgement.

  16. I just read the story and realized that they're going to protest Don Rickles? I say turn Rickles loose on them, with a bullhorn and a body guard of Patriot Guard Riders.

  17. It'd be easier for him just to tell the guys they've got nice asses. They REALLY love that.

  18. There is a very good documentary on "Westboro Baptist Church" -- "Fall from Grace." It gives quite a bit of insight into what power Fred Phelps and his family (just about the only members of the group are all related). In short, the man loves to find anything that will cause rational human beings to react in disgust, and then promote that very thing as somehow being "God's will."

    It puts others into a no-win scenario. Do you protest? He wins, because he gets publicity. Do you stay home? He wins, because his misrepresentation of God scars all who hear it... perhaps moreso if no voice is there counteracting it.

    I've done it both ways. Have protested against them downtown... have stayed home. Both feel like losing scenarios. And then there's the hatred toward Westboro I feel bubbling up... which is another loss.

    As a Christian I believe even Westboro Baptist is my neighbor, existentially speaking. I'm required to love them. Sure, it would take a miracle... which is what I pray for.

    I did publish a few pics of my / our protests against the G. H. F. people on my site...

  19. Well said Jon. I had never heard of these fools prior to this and being Christian myself, I am deeply bothered by their acts. You have summed up my difficult-to-describe emotions well. I have run the gamut in my head and there seems to be no proper way to react to these misguided people socially NOR religiously. I guess I'll pray for them and inform people whenever WBC comes up in conversation.

  20. I am generally anti-frat boy, but have a new found love for the boys at U of C.

  21. Jon, I would agree with you as well. In times past, I would quickly jump in and protest this kind of behavior that I find to be so destructive. In the last couple of years I'm becoming more inclined to avoid giving them any attention at all.

    I don't think there's any right or wrong approach, but I won't return their hatred with hatred. I would lose out in the process.

  22. I'm with PZ Myers of -- ridicule is the only useful tool in these situations, since irrational people do not respond to reason or to logical argument. You will never convince them that they are wrong, so your best bet is to piss them off and make them look like (even bigger) idiots.

  23. After reading Lorraine Swanson's outstanding coverage in the News-Star, I've really changed my attitude towards the Phelps family. I was making them into the Big Bad - and it turns out they're just a few pathetic people shrieking hateful things on street corners.

    I've lived in cities my whole life, and in Uptown for a great deal of it, so if there's anything I'm familiar with, it's people standing on street corners shrieking out hateful things! ;-)

    Really, when you get right down to it, the Phelpses are no more to be taken as a threat than the guy who's always outside Daley Center holding a sign that says "Mayor Daley Raped My Wife" and handing out literature about it.

    I feel it's only because they use the mantle of respectability that's usually given to churches that anyone takes the Phelpses seriously. Reading Lorraine's articles about how they "rate" the crowds of protestors at each location, and look forward to their Chicago vacations, was pulling back the curtain to reveal some very pathetic, vile-thinking Kansans who get their jollies by wearing sandwich signs and basking in the media attention.

    It's very sad, and I very much pity the children of that family. I will pray for the children in particular, but I no longer fear or give any credence to the Phelps Family. They are small and sad.