Rainbow Bright–Man Takes On Westboro Baptist Church

The Westboro Baptist Church is probably the most deplorable congregation of people ever to walk the face of the Earth. They do nothing but spew hate speech and manipulate the minds of the ignorant and the young. What they preach doesn’t even make sense—but that doesn’t matter and this article isn’t about WBC. This article is about Aaron Jackson.
Aaron Jackson is the co-founder of Planting Peace, a non-profit aimed at providing sustainable initiatives to impoverished areas. Jackson says he was looking up the “church” on Google Earth when he noticed a ‘for sale’ sign on the house across the street from the “church” headquarters. That’s when he decided to buy it.
Planting Peace purchased the home and moved into the neighborhood. “[Westboro owns] the majority of the homes in the community, and I walk through the area every day, and I see them running in between each other’s houses,” Jackson said. “One day I was walking, and Shirley Phelps [one of Westboro's main spokespeople and the daughter of the church's leader, Fred Phelps] was on her four-wheeler. And I said, ‘Hey guys, how are you?’ And [she and her husband] responded, ‘Oh, we’re good. How are you?’ We had a short conversation, and she was extremely nice, and she made a joke and we all laughed.”

Shirley Phelps probably wasn’t laughing when Jackson decided to spruce up the house he bought. He decided to paint the exterior—not a strange thing to do when you purchase a home—but Jackson decided to paint the house a rainbow and use the home for LGBT rights headquarters. “The reason I haven’t gotten into the gay rights activism is because, in a sense, it’s almost silly — it’s 2013, are we really still in this position? It just seems ludicrous,” said Jackson. “But it is a real issue and kids are killing themselves. I’ve wanted to do something, and I knew when I saw that house for sale that it all came together. Everyone who knows me knows that I’m a little crazy and there’s no red tape in my charity. When I want to do something, I do it.”
“We want this house to be a message that where there’s hate, there’s also love. But we also want to raise awareness and capital, and we want to put all that money into creating and sustaining anti-bullying programs, along with supporting anti-bullying programs that already exist,” he said. “Beyond the symbolic message of the home, [the house] will be utilized by volunteers to live here, and these volunteers will work on promoting equality anywhere in the world and managing these anti-bullying initiatives that we plan on creating.”

Jackson says he’s already noticed members of the church coming by to take pictures.

 



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The Sandy Hook Discussion: “But I Think The Gun Helps”

photo of president obama talking about the sandy hook massacre pictures
This post is, perhaps, a bit more of a rant than most. So . . . enjoy.

The horrible shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut was a national tragedy.

I think that that is one thing on which most of us can agree. I will not regurgitate the upsetting details here. Because I want to talk about the response to the shooting—the things on which we do not all agree.

A lot of people are blaming the lack of access to mental health services in many places in the US.

A lot of people are blaming the easy access to guns throughout the US.

There are some loony people who are blaming outlandish things. I mean, for one thing, the idea that prayer being “banned” from schools is responsible for the shooting would be an absurd and, frankly, insulting concept even if prayer were banned in schools. But, I mean, it is not. I went to public school. Some students pray before they eat their food at lunch. My high school did not, to my knowledge, have an Abstinence Club, but there was a Fellowship Of Christian Athletes and they certainly prayed. I know that students might pray fervently and silently before, during, and after taking particularly important tests. Some students pray during the raising of the flag in the morning, though for the life of me I have no idea which school club or what is responsible for doing that.

What people complain about being banned is mandatory prayer in schools. And people complain about exclusive prayer in schools. When you go to a friend’s house and his or her family prays before a meal, it is polite to remain silent as it happens and to wait before you eat and perhaps to hold hands—depending upon the customs of your friend’s family. That’s called being polite, and you are at a friend’s house of your own volition. School is a very different situation. No mandatory, teacher-led, or student-let classroom prayer could ever be “non-denominational” enough to not exclude at least some of the religious students. And, oh by the way, not all students are religious at all. There is no need to bully students of minorities (or majorities) by excluding them. Formal and informal student-groups and afterschool clubs are more than sufficient for any student religious group.

I have even heard some proponents of “bringing prayer back to our schools” speak as if those students (and parents) who object to institutional prayer in schools are invading parties. That is not the case. Even if that mattered, I know that my family has been in this particular county of this particular state since before the Civil War. We have not invaded anywhere recently.

Interestingly, Mike Huckabee and the Westboro Baptist Church (that’s the “God Hates Fags” group) seem to have similar views on the shooting. Mike Huckabee has blamed “taxpayer-funded abortion pills” (his concept of reality is a little shaky) and other signs of the US having laws differing from those of conservative Christianity for the shooting. The Westboro Baptist Church (that’s Fred Phelps’ thing and, oh by the way, he is …

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Arkansas Grocery Store Censors Magazine Cover Featuring Elton John and His Family

An Arkansas grocery store decided that this week’s US Magazine featuring the smiling faces of Elton John, his husband David Furnish, and their extremely adorable, newly adopted son Zachary, was too offensive for the sensitive eyes of the young children that frequent their store. As a result they decided …

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Westboro Baptist Church Plans to Picket Funeral of 9-Year-Old Victim of Giffords Shooting

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Further proving that they have no souls, members of the Wichita, KS-based Westboro Baptist Church have decided to picket the funeral of 9-year-old Christina Green (who coincidentally was born on September 11, 2001), who was killed last weekend in the attack on Rep. Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona. The church, which has a long history of targeting the funerals of gays, Iraq War veterans and even Coretta Scott King and Jerry Falwell, however, will not have it so easy as the …

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