Phelps undodged

Most of us, I suspect, would not have kind words for the likes of Fred Phelps, which means we probably would not have thought of this:

Instead of meeting hatred with hatred, the kids of Gunn High School in Palo Alto organized a sing-in where they organized peacefully to sing Spirituals, old protest songs, and wear T-shirts with slogans of acceptance. They were joined by teachers and parents who were equally non-violent, in a show of support for all people who would be targeted by Phelps’ hate.

Up in San Francisco, perhaps inspired by a certain group’s love of old Hollywood musicals, the students at Lowell High School, staged a “Dance Away Hate”. Again, parents and teachers showed up in full support.

The criterion for stone-throwing, come to think of it, remains unchanged.



  1. canadienne »

    2 April 2010 · 10:52 pm

    I kind of like this too:

  2. diamond dave »

    2 April 2010 · 10:54 pm

    I’m kind of surprised that the Baptists haven’t filed suit against Phelps and his coven of cretins for calling themselves a Baptist church even though their values and ideals couldn’t be more different from those of the mainstream Baptists. Be interested to know why this avenue hasn’t been pursued. The best way to shut these yaps up is to bankrupt them to the point where they don’t even have a roof over their heads.

  3. Lisa Paul »

    3 April 2010 · 12:01 am

    Diamond Dave, probably because the one guy who did try to sue Phelps, the father of a dead marine whose funeral Phelps picketed, just got handed a several thousand dollar bill for court costs for blocking Phelps’ right to free speech.

    I’m all for supporting free speech, but is a hate-monger screaming “Thank God for dead soldiers” at a grieving family lowering their son into the ground free speech? I think not.

  4. McGehee »

    3 April 2010 · 7:17 am

    Just imagine the throngs who’ll show up to picket Phelps’ funeral.

  5. David Fleck »

    3 April 2010 · 7:34 am

    It’s not just the free speech angle – Westboro is chock full o’ lawyers, and they have been very clever at making their assets untouchable by lawsuit.

  6. fillyjonk »

    3 April 2010 · 7:38 am

    Good for those kids, and for their parents. Truly, the only way to successfully defuse hate – and to avoid getting sucked into it yourself – is with love.

    The Phelps group are among the most vexing people I have heard of.

  7. Brett »

    3 April 2010 · 8:22 am

    Since there are several different legitimate churches that use the name “Baptist” — Southern Baptist, American Baptist, etc. — and since many of them don’t have incredibly strict criteria on who can use the name, a trademark suit against Phelps and family would be difficult to win. The Baptists I know prefer to ignore them whenever possible, and roll their eyes in exasperation when not. I try to follow their lead, and in moments where I can somehow manage it, pray for WBC members to receive forgiveness and develop wisdom to see their errors, as I believe supernatural methods to be the only ones capable of accomplishing both of those things.

  8. diamond dave »

    3 April 2010 · 9:50 am

    WBC may have a pack of lawyers protecting them, but they have to pay their lawyers too. Tying the group up with lawsuits would soon bankrupt them with lawyer fees alone. Unless they are family members that happen to be attorneys working pro bono.

    It would be interesting to see how many denominations, if any, can legally claim their affiliation as a tradmark.

  9. Jeffro »

    3 April 2010 · 1:16 pm

    diamond dave: The Phelps family are all lawyers. They have ongoing litigation involving lawsuits (complete with money awards) all over all the time. It’s an industry for them. Pro bono for them is really rather profitable.

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