Ignore or Engage?

Sep 11 2010 Published by under Politics

Act of hate

One of my posts from last spring came to  mind as I considered the kerfluffle about religious book-burning on 9/11. I have pasted it below so you don't have to click back and forth:

Last night my daughter called to talk to her brother with an unusual question:

Who were those people dressed like fairies outside of your high  school?

Seems Westboro Baptist Church has been making the rounds in Omaha. Yup, the “god hates fags” people targeted a high school for the unforgiveable sin of putting on the school edition of Rent(last month) and having a Gay-Straight Student Alliance. My daughter was in the group of students that put together that alliance. I am pretty proud of that.

Other high schools in the area have been targeted recently. The schools know when the protesters are due, since they are “kind” enough to post a schedule online (Academy Awards, you have the next one). The local schools have not engaged the protests; I guess fairies are like trolls and go away if you withhold food. Or publicity.

No mention made of the activity on the local news or in the paper this morning. Maybe if we ignore them they will go away. Maybe the schools have it right. I just hate to do that; when we do not actively fight hate and ignorance, I feel like we give it approval. Writing this blog may be the wrong thing in the eyes of some, but I feel better letting the world know that at least one family at our high school disagrees with these bigots.

Note: I included the link to the church’s website above, but I don’t recommend clicking on it unless you want to see a whole lot of offensive ignorance in full-color html.

I have heard people saying that the media and our government should have ignored Terry Jones, the whack job in Gainesville planning a giant Quran bonfire this weekend. I still feel that hate and ignorance should be actively opposed.

The enemy of freedom is apathy. We must take a stand when anyone's freedom is threatened, not just our own. We may be next.

Image courtesy of PhotoXpress.

3 responses so far

  • Robert says:

    While you're right about the enemy of freedom being apathy, I don't think that really applies in the case of our Floridian friend. Irrespective of how we feel, this is just one nutjob with about fifty followers who would have exactly no impact on the world if it weren't for the fact that he got publicity from every news organisation on the planet.

  • Kengi says:

    The BBC did a good article on just how the story grew:


    It looks like it was a non-story right up until the mass protests started in Jakarta and Kabul. The tone of the protests, of course, fed the fuel. Perhaps the best way to have stopped the publicity (or at least countered the hate) in this circumstance would have been for the people of Jakarta and Kabul to ridicule the stupid pastor and say how pointless the book burning would be.

    President Hamid Karzai got it right when he said "By burning the Koran, they cannot harm it." Yet he also said "We have heard that in the US, a pastor has decided to insult Korans. Now although we have heard that they are not doing this, we tell them they should not even think of it."

    Remember that it isn't the act of book burning that is hateful. It's the message that Pastor Jones spews that is hateful. Jones just happened to pick book burning instead of picketing a Mosque (or school).

    The Comic-Con people got it even more right in their reaction to Fred Phelps. Perhaps the world can learn a few things from the nerds after all.

  • yogi-one says:

    You should respond.

    The fracas over the whole thing only came into perspective when the sane people from both sides started to jump in and drown out the whackos.

    You can't ignore this stuff for the simple reason that the press will blow it all up to get hits on websites and people to read articles. The whole 'ground zero-mosque fracas was anon-starter until some right-wing bloghead bit into it and wouldn't let go, finally enticing the big blowhards intio an infallibable sensationalist feeding feenzy.

    Unless sane people come out of the wood work and play the adult role with both the whacko- kiddies and the press- idiots, and basically tell both the press and the whackos to STFU, we don't buy it and we've had enough, until then, the loudmouths will not pipe down.

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