Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Disgusted (Oh, and Happy Jewish New Year)

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Yesterday we received word that the Phelps Family and their minions from the Westboro Baptist Church would be in the Chicago area. Specifically, they'll be in Skokie and Evanston demonstrating tonight, erev Rosh Hashanah, the beginning of the Jewish new year.

Here is a picture I took when the folks from the Westboro Baptist Church (regarded by many as a fringe hate group) name through Chicago in 2009.

Encouragingly, there were only about five WBC folks and several hundred counter-demonstrators (pictured). Edited 9/14: I removed the photo of the young children holding the "God Hates Jews" sign because A) when I saw it on my blog, it shocked me, B) I feared some nutjob would find and copy the image through search and use it for nefarious purposes and I do not want to play a role in perpetuating that kind of evil.

Of the five or so folks from WBC, two of them were children. It's bad enough to be spewing that kind of hate, but to brainwash children like that? Horrible.

We won't be going to the erev service as we'll be welcoming the new year with my husband's family. I hope the WBC crowd won't be around at Thursday's service, though we've been assured there will be a sizable amount of security on hand.
But still. Ugh.

We've been asked to stay calm and merely continue with our holiday as planned, so I'm hoping maybe the Unitarians and Methodists and such will show up to counter-demonstrate while we're deep in prayer (or catching up with friends we haven't seen since May).

Dana AKA Mombian passed along this brilliant Pennies in Protest idea that I in turn passed along to the rabbi and several members of our synagogue. Via Twitter, I've learned of other ways people have used a visit from the Phelps for the greater good, rather than getting caught up in the WBC's message of hate.

I don't think there will be riots or fighting, but still, what an awful way to start a new year. That said, the ten days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, are supposed to be a time for contemplation, and this certainly provides a lot of food for thought. (Ha, food for thought, day of fasting.)

By the way, if you teach one or more of my boys, would you kindly refrain from mentioning this demonstration to them? We've not yet discussed it as a family.


TheAngelForever said...

First of all Happy and Sweet New Year to you and your family.

Second this is sick and absolutely disgusting. So sad that these so called people are able to spew their hatred. The sad reality is that we have had police protection at our shul for years now. Each year more threats come in. Since symbols of hate were plastered on the walls outside and a fire started on our bima nothing has been the same. I still remember when going to synagogue did not have to instill fear and worry about your safety.

Now I am off to battle the fact that the PTA schedule a meeting tonight on Erev Rosh Hashanah. You know it never would have happened on Christmas Eve or another other holiday. *sigh*

Ramblings Of A Stay At Home Mom said...

WOW! Too bad you can't call in CPS and report child abuse for making those kids do this. Yea the world is doomed alright...because of "people" like them! ARGH!

Melisa with one S said...

This just sucks all around. I hope that you and the people in your congregation are allowed to have a peaceful and lovely prayer service.

One of our temple windows was shot out by a BB gun last week. We're hoping it was just a random event, but we will also have beefed-up security at services. Oy vey.

Nonetheless, L'shanah tovah. :)

TechyDad said...

I thought that the best counter-protest to these loonies happened at the San Diego Comic Con. Yes, the WBC actually protested at the Comic Con. The counter-protesters "joined in" with people in Star Trek uniforms holding up "God Hates Jedi" signs, "Odin is God", references to Superman dying for our sins, a guy in a Bender (from Futurama) costume holding a sign saying "Kill all humans", etc.

There were only a 4 Phelps supporters and a ton more Comic Con counter-protesters. It all highlighted how looney the WBC is (and when you make someone look ridiculous, it reduces their chance to spread their message of hate).

Here are some photos:

adrienne said...

Happy New Year to you and your family, friend! May it be a blessed one where the loonies don't get you down.

Condo Blues said...

Happy New Year to you and your family!

The background of the WBC members is that they are lawyers. As you can guess from their inflammatory signs, they protest when and where they do hoping that someone will take a swing at them or try to keep them from protesting so they can sue. Because really, if they were a place of worship, why would they carry signs that say God Hates You? That doesn't convince anyone to change their ways and join your religion.

Naomi said...

L'Shana Tovah.

I knew they hated fags but Jews, too? Sheesh. So embarrassed to live in the same state as those wackos.

Tracey - Just Another Mommy Blog said...

I am always floored when I realize that hatred like this still exists. STILL?? Really?!?

I hope your holidays go smoothly and that no threats or other issues arise from that group's presence. And I hope that at least 1 person in that hate group gets a wake up call this week and walks away...

Jen said...

Sweet and blessed New Year to you and your family, Kim. I'm just horrified that this hate group is protesting in Skokie. Horrified, but not surprised, given the town's history. It saddens me. There is just so.much.hate! right now that it hurts to be human. I hope these fanatics were unable to disrupt your celebrations, and that you were able to worship in peace.

Meowmie said...

That lot give me a very uneasy feeling each time I hear about them.

Happy New Year to you and your family. I hope that you and your congregation have a peaceful service.

Laura said...

We drove by them on Wednesday at the Holocaust Museum. My boys were reading the signs from the back seat, so we had quite a discussion about the whole thing. My oldest was very confused why someone would have signs like these. It ended up being a fruitful discussion, but took me a while to gather my words from the deep sorrow and horror I felt at the whole situation. They had a whole schedule of appearances, including a local high school. I also heard that they were looking for an incident so that they can sue someone. Terrible that they involve children. Thank God for this wonderful community we live in - I hope that group realized they have no place here...

Catherine said...

I'm speechless, but this is too horrible to let it pass without saying anything. How can those two words "God" and "H---" ever be said next to each other?

Stunned and sickened.

Please have a wonderful New Year.

Kim Moldofsky said...

Thanks for your comments and support. From what I heard, it was an uneventful demonstration.

Happy new year!