Home > atheism, Current Events, religion, Stupid > Oh hai Phelps clan!

Oh hai Phelps clan!

So, amidst my own personal issues combined with the mounting stress of returning to school, I’ve been a little quiet on the blog scene. However, I am back and ready to rock!

Last week I got wind that the infamous Westboro Baptist Church (godhatesfags.com) was coming to various cities across South Florida. Not only that – but they were actually going to protest at my old high school: Fort Lauderdale High. (Go Flying L’s)! Anyhow, never one to pass up an opportunity to piss off the fundamentally-ridiculous religious, I made a few signs and headed over at 7am on Wednesday morning.

The few of us that had planned on making the first counter-protest of the day had agreed to meet up at… well, you’ll see.

Shame DQ wasn't open!

Around 7:05am-ish a friend of mine had showed up and so we headed straight down (the sidewalk in view) and set up camp across the street from the Phelps clan. The first thing I noticed was the large police presence. I assume this was not only because of the issue of arguments between the nutcases and the general public, but also for protection from them – especially since there were children nearby.

Jarek and a friendly bishop.

On “our” side there was myself, Jarek (a FLASH member), and a friendly bishop. This bishop, in fact, I found out was a master of several forms of martial arts. He’s a ninja priest! So awesome. Anyway, his protest was in reference to the crazy signs that the WBC uses that are anti-Jew. His sign was more or less about how Jesus was a Jew – do you hate him, too? Not that I even think Jesus was a real person, but if I believed biblical literature then I’d understand his point. So, what were the signs from the “other side” you ask?

I don't know about you - but that would be a fun Xmas.

At 7:40am on the dot – the Phelps’ (including Fred’s wife, Shirley, and grandsons) hopped into a circling black sedan and jetted off to their next stop: a Jewish Community Center (of course) in Plantation, FL.

Having lived in the area all of my life, I was quite certain we could make it there before the WBC freaks and prepare another counter. This time Jarek and I were joined by Chet (another FLASH member) and a gentleman from the JCC. We marched up and down Sunrise Blvd ahead of the area where the Phelps’ were protesting as a “forewarning” of what was just ahead.

I'm particularly proud of the "facepalm Jesus"

We had lots of honks and hollers in our favor, but because the actual protest only consisted of four or five crazies I suppose it was hard to grasp what was going on until you got right up next to them. Overall, it was a decent day. It was definitely a quieter show than what had been done on previous days during the WBC’s trip, but that’s probably a good thing. They didn’t receive any media coverage at the locations I visited, and while that means we didn’t get exposure – neither did they. I think it was important to go counter and show that people don’t agree with what they do, but I also believe that giving such a cantankerous group a lot of attention can be dangerous.

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