Today’s news:

Anti-gay Kansans to picket at three shuls and Brooklyn Tech!

The Brooklyn Paper

A Kansas-based anti-gay Baptist church has targeted Brooklyn, rallying at a Fort Greene high school on Thursday and storming three Jewish synagogues in Brownstone Brooklyn on Saturday to protest the institutions’ apparent godlessness.

The Westboro Baptist Church, whose mission is represented clearly in its Web site address, www.godhatesfags.com, began its three-day assualt on Brooklyn at Brooklyn Technical HS in Fort Greene after classes were dismissed on Thursday, two days before hitting Congregation Beth Elohim and Union Temple in Park Slope and the Kane Street Synogogue on the eve of Yom Kippur, the holiest day on the Jewish calendar.

The church’s Web site explained the reason for the rallies.

“Yo what’s up, God haters?” the protest announcement stated. “Why you teach ‘It’s OK to be gay?’ WBC will be on hand to teach the rebels of Brooklyn what good looks like, and you had better behave.”

A church spokeswoman, Shirley Phelps-Roper, said the rallies were not anti-Jewish or anti-gay.

“How about we call it an ‘Obey your God’ rally?” she said. “You Jews and gays have got to put away your false gods, your idols and your filthy way of life.”

She added that “God hates the disobient.”

“We picked these weekends because these are the high holidays,” she said. “You Jews broke the covenant with God. The beast is going to bring the nations to march upon Jerusalem. Your houses will be destroyed and your women ravaged. It’s going to make the Holocaust, the Babylonian captivity and the destruction of the Temple look like a tea party.”

Preaching this message on Saturday, church members will hit Congregation Beth Elohim at Garfield Street and Eighth Avenue at 9:45 am, Union Temple on Eastern Parkway near Grand Army Plaza at 10 am, and the Kane Street Synagogue in Cobble Hill at 12:30 pm.

The Anti-Defamation League, which has been monitoring the group for several years, said that Westboro tends to protest groups that “they think support homosexuality or otherwise subvert what they believe is God’s law.”

That even extends to the families of dead soldiers. Chuch members have made headlines for protesting at the funerals of military personnel, claiming that the soldiers’ deaths were dishonorable because they fought to defend a country that allows homosexuals to openly enjoy their sexuality.

At Brooklyn Tech on Wednesday, there was a calm before the impending anti-gay attack. A teacher, Sean Shaynak, vowed to be ready.

“I’ll be sure to wear pink tomorrow, maybe some stretch pants,” said Shaynak.

News spread quickly about the picketers. Hours after The Brooklyn Paper’s Web site broke the story about the protest, a member of the school’s community announced that young people from around the city will stage a counter-protest at the school when the picketers are scheduled to arrive.

“We will be there wearing all black and rainbow accessories with the names of hate crime victims on pieces of paper. Please support us,” said the commenter.

In a similar approach, Rabbi Andy Bachman of Congregation Beth Elohim sent a letter to his congregants to prepare them. Bachman told The Brooklyn Paper on Wednesday that he had no idea why the Baptist fringe group is targeting local shuls on Saturday.

“If you look at their Web site, they are equal opportunity haters,” he said. “They are living inside some kind a time warp in which they feel they have the legitimacy to speak on an ancient Biblical notion of what God wanted or, more precisely, what ancient people thought God wanted from humanity.

“They have ignored the last 3,000 years of development of human civilization — that’s what makes their message so shocking,” he added.

Bachman said his temple had consulted with the NYPD and other congregations that had been the target of Westboro protests and determined that the best response is to not respond at all.

“We will essentially ignore it,” he said, just a few feet from the temple’s facade, which features the names of such hardly controversial religious figures as Abraham, Joshua, Samuel, Elijah, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Esther and Ruth.

In his letter to the congregation, Bachman praised his temple as a “community that celebrates the strength of diversity” and a place “for individuals and families of all backgrounds to grow and to learn” — a possible reference to the focus of the Baptist group’s anger.

He also said that the bat mitzvah ceremony of Natalie Chertoff will go on as planned.

“She’s amazing,” he said. “Here’s a teenager who’s strong and confident. And she’s seeing [the protest] as a lesson that people will attempt to do hateful things, but our eternal message as Jews is affirming life in the face of hate. That’s been our key to survival.”

Bachman said he did not anticipate violence from his congregation, but the NYPD will nonetheless be out in full force.

Phelps-Roper, the Westboro spokeswoman, laughed at the suggestion that Brooklynites would react violently.

“Don’t flatter yourself, Brooklyn,” she said. “We serve the living God. You mess with us, you’ll get double destruction for what you do.”

Updated 5:49 pm, September 24, 2009: Story was updated to include comments from a Westboro Baptist Church spokeswoman.
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Reader Feedback

Judah Spechal from Bed-Stuy says:
Everyone in this City needs to come out and Boo these nuts back to Kansas. Diversity is New York City. Intolerance ?????? We should never how to spell or speak that word.
Sept. 23, 2009, 10:42 am
Ignore Them from Sunset Park says:
It's much more effective (and disappointing to them) to just ignore then and politely say excuse me. In fact, if you're not going into the Temple for worship, just cross the street and avoid the area.

They are looking for attention and media coverage. As individuals we can control the former. We can also minimize the latter by not creating more of a furor.
Sept. 23, 2009, 10:51 am
Dan from Park Slope says:
The best response would be for huge numbers of people to attend the Shabbat services at Beth Elohim this Saturday morning. It would be particularly great if people of multiple faiths, ethnicities and backgrounds silently walked past the protesters and entered the synagogue to show that our entire community supports the synagogue's inclusive message and completely rejects the picketers' bigotry.

I am sure that the Rabbi would welcome members of all faiths to join them on Saturday in a show of solidarity.
Sept. 23, 2009, 11:07 am
Faye from Upstate Brooklyn says:
Only the Blog Knows Brooklyn also has your exclusive!
Sept. 23, 2009, 11:54 am
Sid from Boerum Hill says:
This is not what Christ taught. and remember Christ was a Jew by any definition....
Sept. 23, 2009, 12:46 pm
Matthew from South Slope says:
I used to go to college in Kansas, and I saw first hand the tactics of this radical group. Don't let their name fool you. Just because they call themselves baptists does not mean in the slightest that they should be affiliated with the Christian faith. This is a cult. Pure and simple.
Sept. 23, 2009, 1:36 pm
Sid from Boerum hill says:
I don't believe in ignoring them that is what the "good" people said about Hitler.
Sept. 23, 2009, 1:45 pm
Not in Kansas Anymore from Not Kansas says:
Rabbi Bachman's wishes should be adhered to, and we should all ignore these nutjobs.

Though it would be nice if some gay bodybuilders kicked their asses back to Kansas once their little demonstration is over.
Sept. 23, 2009, 1:50 pm
PROTEST AT BROOKLYN TECH. ORGANIZED BY YOUNG PEO from FORT GREENE says:
the young people are fighting back. there will be a counter protest at Brooklyn Tech by the young people from all aroufn New York. we will be there wearing all black with rainbow accessories with the names of hate crime victims on pieces of paper. please support us tomorrow at Brookln Technical High School at 3:20pm.
Sept. 23, 2009, 1:55 pm
Elle from Marine Park says:
These protests completely disgust me. Someone should show these Kansans what real Brooklyn looks like. Brass knuckles anyone? ;)
Sept. 23, 2009, 2:07 pm
Andrew from South Brooklyn says:
Judah Spechal from Bed-Stuy says: "Everyone in this City needs to come out and Boo these nuts back to Kansas."

Don't boo them or even try to "discuss" with them -- TOTALLY IGNORE them, or have a totally silent, serene, no-interaction counterprotest.

This "church" and its protesters are a cult that's made up entirely of one family -- the kids and in-laws of the self-ordained wingnut "Rev." Phelps.
Phelps and most of the family/protesters also are lawyers (though the Rev. has been disbarred). These nuts WANT to start a riot, and also will grab at any bogus reason to file charges. Get too close, respond too loudly, and they'll claim "assault," "menacing," "harassment," and the like.

Absolutely NOTHING you do/say will impress these lunatics. They WANT to destroy your day by upsetting you, making you react, and (ideally) getting YOU in trouble.
So whether you're a student or a shul-member: Tell your folks NOT to interact with these lowlifes, NOT to respond in kind, and NOT to lose their cool.
Sept. 23, 2009, 2:09 pm
bill says:
we have to do something to them. everytime they get media coverage.. everyone thinks, man if i was there.. i wouldnt have let them get away with that. its time they stopped getting away with this bs. push them into the gowanus i say.
Sept. 23, 2009, 3:15 pm
Kim W. from Ft. Greene says:
by far, the best reaction I've ever heard to WBC happened about a year ago. A group of friends discovered that the WBC was staging a protest in their neighborhood the same day as an unofficial, Internet-spawned holiday called "Talk Like A Pirate Day". So -- they all dressed up like pirates and showed up to form their own counter-protest, which consisted of nothing more than the bunch of them milling around waving stuffed toy parrots at people and hollering "Ar, matey!" every so often.

All the media outlets who'd turned up to cover the WBC protest ended up filming the pirates instead, because they were far more interesting. The WBC had no idea how to respond to any of this, and after about an hour, they were thoroughly confused, and just gave up and left.

If I didn't have work tomorrow, I'd do something similar -- dress up like a ninja or a clown or something equally ridiculous and upstage them.
Sept. 23, 2009, 3:50 pm
Love says:
It is important that we value the rights and freedoms we have to be able to express our beliefs and opinions.

Westboro Baptist church is opposed to homosexuality, because of what is written in the scriptures. They do not use violence on anyone and nor do they seek to encourage people to use violence on anyone.

It will be a peaceful display so people should, in turn, be peaceful and respectful to them. Even better, when walking by their display, you should thank them for coming to Brooklyn.
Sept. 23, 2009, 4:12 pm
ebanks from greenwood says:
"They do not use violence on anyone and nor do they seek to encourage people to use violence on anyone."

this is a load of horse——. their language is loaded with violence. i'm sure if they could physically assault the "fags" they would. jews too.

also you use commas incorrectly. get a proper education.

there's nothing peaceful in ignorant, blind hatred.
Sept. 23, 2009, 4:19 pm
anonymous from the tubes says:
its funny, they protest the funeral of americans who died so they could spread their hate, trust me, if the police force didn't exist, I promise you this group would be gangraped en mass and lynched.

As for counter protesting, I plan on dressing up like jesus with my boyfriend and pretty much making out in front of them, and don't worry, if they try to assault us, I am sure the police around would be more then happy to "correct" the familes actions via nightsticks and mace.
Sept. 23, 2009, 4:25 pm
Love says:
Re: Ebanks

You are unable to attack my message appropriately, so you question my use of commas? I am University educated so my education is "proper" enough. Thank you for your concern.

While we are on the subject of grammar, I would like to point out the following errors you made:

1. You failed to use capital letters when beginning a sentence. For example, you wrote "this is a load of horse" when you should have said "This is a load of horse."

Do you understand the difference?

You repeated this error on other occasions as well. Also, your message comes across more strongly when you avoid using foul language.

2. You created an incomplete sentence when you wrote "jews too" and, once again, you failed to make the first letter a capital letter.

Do not criticise my English skills when your own skills (or lack thereof) are far worse. Have a nice day.
Sept. 23, 2009, 4:41 pm
Jack from Brooklyn says:
NOTE: Please delete above message from me. This gives more details.

Their full schedule is here.
http://www.godhatesfags.com/schedule.html

Based on this I compiled a list of locations these asshats will be at. In NYC and outside. Let's be sure to give them the welcome they deserve. Where will they be staying and eating in between these acts of hate?

In the NYC area:
9/24/09 12:00 PM - 12:30 PM New York, NY United Nations - SW Corner of E. 42nd St. & 2nd Ave.
9/24/09 1:15 PM - 2:00 PM New York, NY Jewish Theological Seminary - 3080 Broadway
9/24/09 2:30 PM - 3:00 PM New York, NY 92Y Tribeca - 200 Hudson Street
9/24/09 3:20 PM - 4:00 PM Brooklyn, NY Brooklyn Technical High School - 29 Fort Greene Place
9/24/09 5:45 PM - 6:15 PM Huntington, NY Temple Beth El - 660 Park Ave
9/25/09 11:45 AM - 12:15 PM Great Neck, NY Chabad of Great Neck - 400 East Shore Rd.
9/25/09 12:30 PM - 1:00 PM Flushing, NY Marathon Jewish Community Center - 24537 60th Ave
9/25/09 1:30 PM - 2:10 PM Great Neck, NY North Shore Hebrew Academy High School - 400 North Service Rd
9/25/09 2:25 PM - 2:50 PM Great Neck, NY Great Neck North High School - 35 Polo Rd
9/25/09 3:30 PM - 4:00 PM Far Rockaway, NY Long Island Jewish World - 1525 Central Ave.
9/25/09 6:00 PM - 6:30 PM Great Neck, NY Temple Beth El - 5 Old Mill Road
9/25/09 6:00 PM - 6:30 PM Great Neck, NY Great Neck Synagogue - 26 Old Mill Road
9/25/09 6:00 PM - 6:30 PM Great Neck, NY Temple Israel of Great Neck - 2 108 Old Mill Road
9/26/09 08:30 AM - 09:00 AM Brooklyn, NY Congregation Shomrei Emunah - 5202 14th Ave
9/26/09 08:30 AM - 09:00 AM Brooklyn, NY East Midwood Jewish Center - 1625 Ocean Ave
9/26/09 09:45 AM - 10:15 AM Brooklyn, NY Congregation Beth Elohim - 274 Garfield Place
9/26/09 10:00 AM - 10:30 AM Brooklyn, NY Union Temple of Brooklyn - 17 Eastern Pkwy
9/26/09 12:30 PM - 1:00 PM Brooklyn, NY Kane Street Synagogue - 236 Kane St
9/27/09 08:30 AM - 09:00 AM New York, NY St. Patrick's Cathedral - 460 Madison Ave

And elsewhere:
9/24/09 1:15 PM - 1:45 PM Indianapolis, IN Jewish Post & Opinion - 238 S. Meridian
9/24/09 2:10 PM - 2:40 PM Indianapolis, IN Arthur M. Glick JCC - 6701 Hoover Rd
9/24/09 2:55 PM - 3:30 PM Indianapolis, IN North Central High School - 1801 E 86th St
9/28/09 09:00 AM - 09:30 AM Lawrence, KS K.U. Hillel - 722 New Hampshire St
9/28/09 4:45 PM - 5:30 PM Lawrence, KS K.U. Hillel - 722 New Hampshire St
9/28/09 6:45 PM - 7:30 PM Lawrence, KS Lied Center - ???
10/2/09 2:40 PM - 3:10 PM Columbia, MO Hickman High School - 1104 N. Providence Rd.
10/2/09 5:30 PM - 6:00 PM Columbia, MO Mizzou Hillel - 107 University Ave
10/2/09 6:45 PM - 7:30 PM Columbia, MO Macklanburg Playhouse - 100 Willis Ave.
10/2/09 7:00 PM - 7:30 PM Columbia, MO Congregation Beth Shalom - 500 W. Green Meadows Rd.
10/2/09 7:15 PM - 8:00 PM Kansas City, MO Rockhurst's Mabee Theater - 5225 Troost (53rd & Troost)
10/12/09 7:15 PM - 8:00 PM North East, MD Cecil College Milburn Stone Thtr - One Seahawk Drive
10/19/09 5:15 PM - 6:00 PM Magnolia, AR Farmers Bank and Trust - 200 E Main St
10/19/09 6:15 PM - 7:00 PM Magnolia, AR Donald W. Reynolds Camp. and JCC - 100 E. University WBC
11/1/09 4:30 PM - 5:30 PM Creve Coeur, MO Staenberg Family Complex - 2 Millstone Campus Drive
11/2/09 09:45 AM - 10:30 AM Manhattan , KS McCain Auditorium KSTATE - 21 McCain Auditorium
Sept. 23, 2009, 5:31 pm
ebanks from greenwood says:
unlike you i made no attempt to employ proper rules of grammar to begin with. if you're going to be proper about it, be proper through & through. do it right or don't do it at all. etc etc etc.

not too mention it was a joke -- backhandedly calling you a moron.

also unlike you i don't mistake bigotry & ignorance for a "peaceful display". foul language becomes necessary when someone tries to shove some dumbass —— like that across the table.

love my ass.
Sept. 23, 2009, 5:38 pm
Mary from Crown Heights says:
I understand members and friends of Congregation Beth Simchat Torah pledged money per minute that the Westboro folks demonstrated in front of their shul. The longer the Phelpses were there, the more the synagogue raised. Maybe these communities should do the same.
Sept. 23, 2009, 5:49 pm
Senior from Bktech says:
It's bad enough that this is even happening but a counter protest seems worse. Stop giving this church news coverage and attention. Brooklyn Tech respects diversity and perspectives, so the student body has decided not to respond with a counter protest. We may not agree with their views but we can not change them, Like they can not change us.

Only difference is that a school of 14-18 Year old Students realizes this and they do not.

-CG

Sept. 23, 2009, 5:52 pm
kyvizle from Park Slope says:
We shoud all dress up like pirates
Sept. 23, 2009, 7:39 pm
Meg from Prairie Village, Kansas says:
As a Kansan, I'd like to apologize for the behavior of the collection of whited sepulchers known as Westboro Baptist Church. If it's any consolation, we have to put up with this inbred family's hate-filled antics on a regular basis. I'm an Episcopalian, and they find it amusing to pull their loathesome attention-seeking stunts at my parish on a regular basis.

My suggestion would be to bring as many people from the neighborhood, of all colors and faiths, into the shul as will come, and pray for the hypocrites of WBC. Do not try to argue with them; they are soaked in an evil that they mistake for God's will, and whatever you say to them they'll try to turn into a police complaint against you.

If you speak to them at all, simply say, "You should ask God for forgiveness for your sins here and elsewhere."

And really do pray that they may experience God's love and truth. They need it.
Sept. 23, 2009, 8:09 pm
Jake from Lefferts Gardens says:
Kim W has the right idea -- to shut up and shut down what these people want to do which is get attention and be taken seriously, the best thing to do is something laughable and absurd in protest. And even more effective, be sure to have fun while doing it. I love the pirates idea. I'm still chuckling over that one.
Sept. 23, 2009, 8:42 pm
CBEmember says:
Love - I agree that a peaceful demonstration should be allowed, but i'm curious why the hell I should welcome them to my community?

In your statement you also demonstrate a massive lack of understanding of what 'peaceful' is... words can be just as violent as fists.

Additionally, there is a Bat Mitzvah of an innocent 13 year old girl that these racist bigots will be disturbing. I guess she should thank them for marring a day that should be beautiful and happy as the Jewish community welcomes her into womanhood. Then again, perhaps you mean that she should thank them for showing her what it means to be an adult - to learn that the world is full of hatred and anger and stupidity.

Yah,thanks alot. Maybe they can find some 5 year olds along the way and let them know there's no Santa Claus or Easter Bunny either.
Sept. 23, 2009, 9:40 pm
Somebody from Brooklyn says:
Someone needs to tell the fire departments around here about these guys and show them some pictures of their "9/11 was punishment from God" stuff. Then sit back and watch these nuts get chased out of town by an angry mob.

The moral of the story: You don't mess with New Yorkers.
Sept. 23, 2009, 9:44 pm
Judah Spechal from Bed- Stuy says:
Love, my 7yr old daughter comes from school everyday and tells me stories about her classmate a young boy whom she refers to as a boy-girl, ( I will not use his name). She and her classmates loves this little boy, cause she speaks of him fondly daily. The teachers love this little boy from the stories that I heard.I have seen this little and it is not hard to see his sexual orientation. He is a very happy child like all child should be. Now it's apparent he is well accepted at home. He does not do things "so called normal boys do". And he's seem very fine. I can't imagine what it would be like if that child encounters NUTs like that group. People are what they are. Read the scriptures, I think it says something about being judgemental.
Sept. 23, 2009, 9:47 pm
Francesca from Queens says:
Im a student of Brooklyn Tech and i am utterly apaauled at the ignorance of these people. Go back to Kansas you uneducated morons.
Sept. 23, 2009, 10:56 pm
Somebody from Brooklyn says:
Well said, Francesca!

I second that opinion!
Sept. 23, 2009, 11:01 pm
Teresa from Greenpoint says:
I like Meg from Prairie Village's suggestion -- and very sorry Meg that these people's presence is so routine for you. Will be out and about on Saturday!
Sept. 23, 2009, 11:15 pm
guy from bensonhurst says:
Pirate idea is a must. I would like to comment on one proposed antI-protest idea. "Anonymous" from the "tubes" commented earlier that she is planning "on dressing up like jesus with my boyfriend and pretty much making out in front of them."

While your desire to stand up to the ignorance, fundamentalism, and just plain wrongness behind these protests is couragous, I think this dressing up like Jesus would be a bad idea.

An act like that does not simply protest the WBC. It would offend many people of the Christian faith. You may feel like your hitting a nerve and going to piss off alot of WBC protestors, but in the end you'd be guitly of the same ignorance the WBC is.

The WBC IS indeed ignorant towards the feelings and lifestyles of others who don't deserve a fundamentalist, public protest. Just be smart and open minded. This represents a small fraction of the Christian faith. not all God-faring people are fundamentalist nutjobs. True liberalism calls for SOME form of respect and open mindedness.
Sept. 24, 2009, 12:41 am
Peter from Ditmas Park says:
Mazel Tov Natalie!!! Don't let their message of hate ruin you celebration.
Sept. 24, 2009, 8:20 am
Jamie from NC says:
Natalie, may your day bring you all the joy and love that is being sent to you from across the country. Your synagogue is targeted because it it a place of acceptance and peace. May you always keep the message of your place of worship with you as you journey on down the road of life. Love for all mankind is so much more powerful than the hatred that these sorry protesters may bring.

Mazel tov, Natalie!
Sept. 24, 2009, 10:38 am
Sergey from East Village says:
common guys, it's simple. dress like Hitler. bring a big poster that says: Hitler hates Fags and Jews, and join the protest.
Sept. 24, 2009, 11:29 am
elvis from astoria says:
c'mon, sergey- you can't fight hate with hate. call your local media, and ask that they ignore these morons when they come to town. after all, the only thing they want is media attention anyway. don't give it to them! if all else fails, piss filled water-balloons and rotten eggs might make an impression!
Sept. 24, 2009, 12:09 pm
Genevieve from Queens says:
I agree with the group. Go for it. The bible teaches us that God created Adam for Eve not adam for adam. And as you know and see it everyday the gays are pushing very hard to get included into everything, they want to be just like the heterosexuals. They sare saying that they are born gays they did not choose it? I am not sure, I need to see more data on the subjet. Also CUNY's professors and lot of them are gays as well and they are pushing hard for the curriculum to include many gays issues. There is a new show called "Modern Family on Abc at 9am it debuted yesterday I fell on it because I was watching from 8-9 dancing w/starts. When the show started they were presenting the couples. One of the couples were two gay men that went to asia to adopt a baby.-- see the network is trying to push this point of views on us... also a lot of the network executive are also gays, writers, etc. We have to keep on fighting for our way of life if we do not who will. We will turn into sodome and gomorre. Thank you
Sept. 24, 2009, 12:41 pm
sarah from crown heights says:
I would really love for one of the steel drum bands to come by the school protest and just drown them out with some awesome, VERY LOUD music. Party time!
Sept. 24, 2009, 1:41 pm
A guy from Brooklyn says:
Genevieve - You are illiterate.
Sept. 24, 2009, 3:11 pm
JudahSpechal from Bed-Stuy says:
Genevieve there are also purple people standing under the lamp post. I think they want to take over too. Oh no!!! Can you image?????
Sept. 24, 2009, 3:35 pm
Girl from brooklyn says:
Genevieve -- Are you cute?
Sept. 24, 2009, 4:23 pm
Love Dont Hate from Sunset Park says:
I'm from Brooklyn Tech and we are kicking your ass, WBC!!! and genevieve, go back to your little false world and stop bothering us.
Reject Homophobia!! Reject Racism!! Obama
Sept. 24, 2009, 4:48 pm
Love Dont Hate from Sunset Park says:
I'm from Brooklyn Tech and we are kicking your ass, WBC!!! and genevieve, go back to your little false world and stop bothering us.
Reject Homophobia!! Reject Racism!! Obama!!
Just Love
Sept. 24, 2009, 4:48 pm
Love Do Not Hate from Sunset Park says:
I'm from Brooklyn Tech and we are kicking your ass WBC!!! and genevieve, go back to your little false and stop bothering us. Reject Homophobia!!! Reject Racism!!! Spread the Love, Stop the Hate
Sept. 24, 2009, 4:51 pm
Mike from Carroll Gardens says:
What if there was a demonstration and no one showed up? Don't give them any credibility. They deserve no comments from us and I've just violated my own post. Oh shucks!
Sept. 24, 2009, 6:09 pm
sam from BTHS says:
Westboro backed out at about 3:45.

Today’s events show that if you come at Brooklyn Technical High School students with hatred and negativity, we’ll come right back at you with the total opposite and we will win.

Personally I think that people run their lives the way they do and its their own business. People on this Earth can’t tell whether God hates someone or not. And they most certainly can’t tell whether people are going to heaven or hell.

After everything, my advice would be:
Let people decide for themselves when it comes to their lives whether they mess up or succeed in the end isn’t going to make a difference in any of YOUR lives.
Sept. 24, 2009, 6:37 pm
Sarah from Brooklyn Tech& Beth Elohim Congregent says:
Wow. I feel extremely bad for Natalie, to have a day like this ruined by other's intolerance towards beliefs other than theirs. I was at the brooklyn tech anti-anti-protest and it was Amazing how many people supported our side ! Westboro had 5 people and we had 500! We sent them home 15 minutes early, and i am sorry for Natalie to have to listen to their babble on a special day. Stay true !
Sept. 24, 2009, 7:10 pm
Somebody from Brooklyn says:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Westboro_Baptist_Church#Counter_protests

"On April 10, 2008 a 6-person representation from the Phelps group picketed at the University of Wisconsin-Stout in Menomonie, Wisconsin—only 15 minutes into their scheduled 1 hour picket, the group retreated from the campus with a crowd of nearly one thousand students marching behind them shouting "go home, go home.""

I think that something similar to the likes of this may be in order?
Sept. 24, 2009, 7:26 pm
Sheepdog from Portland, Oregon says:
Into every organization there creeps a group of people who represent but a fraction of the organization they claim to represent. Unfortunately, all too often, this vocal minority takes on the public persona that they represent all people of their organization.

As a devout Christian man I am appalled at the hatred this organization (I won't give them the satisfaction of calling them a church) spews.
I have read the bible through numerous times.
The bible is very clear that sin is what separates ALL of us from God. Every one of us is a sinner!
The only thing that puts us back in union with God is the acceptance of his sons sacrifice on the cross, thus granting us forgiveness of our sins, and eternal life with him.

But the bible is also very clear that we are made in God's image, and he desires a personal relationship with us. He loves us. If a child knowingly violates a rule a parent has made, that parent still loves that child. But until the broken rule is dealt with; that child is out of fellowship with that parent.

It’s simple. We have a rule book. The Bible. You don't have to agree with the rule book, but they are God's laws and they stand for all eternity regardless of your acceptance of them. (If I drove 80mph in a 55mph zone, the rule and its consequences are the same, whether I believe the law or not.) Our country was founded on biblical law by Godly men.

One day every person will stand before God and give an account for his actions, or lack thereof.
God does not HATE anyone. His desire is that all should come to him and submit their lives to him. But, God does hate sin - not the person - the offense. Sin is what separates us from God.

We can excuse it, minimize it, or call it tolerance, but that which God says is wrong; is wrong.
Down through the centuries nation after nation has collapsed due to immorality.

I love our country; it is the greatest nation in the world. But if our nation does not purge itself of the political and moral corruption, we as a nation will cease to exist. Down through history, there has never been an exception to this rule.

Pray.
Sept. 25, 2009, 12:30 pm
Sheepdog from Portland, Oregon says:
Into every organization there creeps a group of people who represent but a fraction of the organization they claim to represent. Unfortunately, all too often, this vocal minority takes on the public persona that they represent all people of their organ
Sept. 25, 2009, 1:14 pm
David from Clinton Hill says:
I'm not sure what they hope to prove, other than that fundamentalist Christians are intolerant. Everybody seems to hate them already, they just continue to make themselves look bad. It's actually kind of funny. If I end up going, it'll be to laugh at them, and their obvious fear of modern society.
Sept. 25, 2009, 9:52 pm
sue fuller williamson from st.louis says:
count me in!!!!
Sept. 25, 2009, 10:49 pm
sue fuller williamson from st.louis says:
count me in!!!!We all just need to get on the same page...whethr it be different sides..embrace
Sept. 25, 2009, 10:51 pm
Tom Nobles from greenwich village says:
These are the inbred Fred Phelps offspring and spindly spawn. They make their living hating and generating press. The more outrageous, the more money. See Rush Limpbaugh for instructions.
Sept. 25, 2009, 10:52 pm
Rick from Park Slope says:
Ignore them. They're trying to bring attention to themselves which is nearly impossible in New York. Look at their previous pathetic attempt: http://gothamist.com/2009/09/25/brookyn_1_hate_freaks_0.php
Sept. 25, 2009, 11:59 pm
Dennis from San Diego says:
Disgusting people. Wish I could join the counter-rally.
Sept. 26, 2009, 2:05 pm
Julianna from Park Slope says:
I walked out of my home on Garfield near 8th Ave today just as the protest was breaking up. I saw a small group of white men coming toward me on my side of the sidewalk and a group of police men walking in the same direction parallel to the white men. The white men were shouting, at the top of their lungs, "We hate you people!!!!!" and other things that suggested their 'enemies' straighten up and fly right- but in much more cryptic and violent words.

I witnessed this and was shocked by how in contrast this outside hate group was to Park Slope, to Brooklyn, and to NYC in general. I'm not naive enough to think there is no hate in the City, but this was so foreign and in such contrast to the surroundings. It was sickening to see actually.
Police were on the scene and it seemed that participants were walking in without exacerbating the volatility.
I think I'll be skipping that vacation in Kansas!
Sept. 26, 2009, 5:04 pm
Adam Babbitt from Providence, R.I. says:
These protestors should be arrested.
Sept. 26, 2009, 6:37 pm
Mel from Park Slope says:
These creatures need to find blame for their empty existence. Bunch of pathetic LOSERS!!. Please don't move here - you would not survive one minute - cowards! You make me want to throw up.
Sept. 27, 2009, 7:23 pm
Francine from Florida says:
I've been to Temple Beth Elohim and also went on a beautiful weekend in the Catskills with members of the Congregation. I found them to be wonderful people and by the way, I am not gay. This Baptist Church should attend some of their meeting and outings they will also feel they way I do instead of being hate-mongering people.
Sept. 28, 2009, 3:13 pm
TJ from Midwest, USA says:
I am totally DISGUSTED @ Phelps et al AND the court AND ALL others that agree w/ the court.

I would NOT advocate violence be carried out against them when they protest ONLY B/C they are NOT worth going to prison over HOWEVER if it does happen to them they will have NOBODY to blame but themselves & then they will be
the "guest of honor" @ their LAST funeral b/c one day they ARE going to PO the wrong person that will NOT care if they end up in prison.

AND IMO ANYBODY AND I DO MEAN ANYBODY THAT STANDS UP FOR THEM SHOULD ROT IN HELL W/ AS MUCH PAIN AS POSSIBLE RIGHT ALONG SIDE Phelps & co.
Sept. 28, 2009, 4:03 pm
Sue from Milwaukee, Wisconsin says:
We dealt with those disgusting bigots when they tried coming to Wisconsin. They were coming from Kansas to the funerals of Wisconsin military personnel. They picketed the funerals and made vile comments to the loved ones who were attending.

Wisconsin is the headquarters of the Harley Manufacturing Company(Harley Motorcycles)--a group of Harley riders got together and announced THEY would also be attending military funerals--and would provide a cordon of protection around the burial site while the burial ceremonies were taking place.

As you can imagine, that discouraged the Kansas loonies. If they ever return to New York perhaps similar measures are needed!
Dec. 19, 2009, 3:30 pm

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