Friday, July 5, 2013

The Group That Shall Not Be Named

I read an online story the other day that made me physically cringe. Depending on where you look, that isn’t uncommon anymore. The only reason I’m writing about this particular story is because it’s become a regular occurrence thanks to a group that dares to categorize itself as a “church”. Most of you know exactly which notoriously abhorrent group I’m talking about and I know I don’t have to spell out why it doesn’t qualify as a church. It’s a hate group by every definition of the term. We might as well call them what they are despite the White House’s refusal two days ago to officially label them as such.

Westboro Baptist’s latest bout of verbal defecation celebrated the deaths of a group of courageous firefighters in Arizona and included a threat to protest the funerals, no big shock in either case. Inflammatory statements are their hallmark as is kicking people while they’re down. We’ve come to expect nothing else but I wonder how many people understand their secondary motive for the open hostility and unconscionable comments?

Publicity.

WBC isn’t a large organization. In fact, their membership consists almost entirely of members of a single family. So why does such an obscure little group have a household name across North America and beyond? Because they make statements guaranteed to piss people off. Then those people spread the hate group’s name all over creation launching online protests, writing articles and blogs (like this one) and WBC gets free publicity with nothing more than a single statement. In short, those of us who loathe them do all the dirty work for them. We’ve made them famous and bestowed on them a status visible enough to attract the attention of other hate mongers. I don’t have to look at their tax returns for the past few years to conclude that fame has also likely earned them donations.

I know I’m not alone when I say I have no tolerance for hate groups and the blind, illogical doctrine they spread. I won’t support them and I won’t promote them. So effective as of the moment this post goes public I vow to stop giving WBC what they want. I will no longer forward, post or retweet stories about their hateful actions or comments. We all know what they are. We all know what they stand for and how completely ridiculous their claims are. Nothing they say or do is a surprise and increasing their bandwidth by spreading their name around doesn’t help our cause. It only helps theirs.

There is so much work left to do before we can say we’ve reached a point of true equality. I refuse to undermine our movement’s efforts by promoting those who scream that we don’t deserve simple acknowledgement let alone rights. Instead I plan to publicly support the groups fighting such blind hatred and turn my attention to helping those among us who are still struggling in the shadows.

I hope you’ll join me in my silent campaign to push this hate group back into obscurity. Let’s turn off the flow of free publicity and put our passion where it can do some good. Let them rant in their ugly little corner of a self-created hell. We’ll keep working toward the equal rights we deserve and we’ll see who ends up on top in the end.







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2 comments:

  1. They have vowed to protest my church's national convention this summer because we promote tolerance and have ordained gay ministers. I think it's a compliment to be the object of WBC's hatred. I just wish they didn't tout themselves as Christians. They are not in any sense of the word!

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  2. I think they are a great example of extreme fundamentalist Christians but I agree, they're not an accurate representation of the religion anymore than terrorists accurately represent the Muslim faith.

    They've also started a very welcomed trend lately that serves to prove my point. They make a public statement about a planned protest and then never show up. All they want is the publicity that adds legitimacy to their crusade.

    The head of the family that makes up this group was a lawyer by trade. He knew how to create a scene and how to play the public in order to get the attention he wanted. He was obviously very good at it. Not many people would think to publicly celebrate someone's death in order to attract attention.

    Thanks for the post!

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