These articles were posted to a Yahoo! Group, but when you click the link you have to register with the site in order to view them online. I don't want to do that, and I'm sure you don't either, so I'm copying the entire articles here, though one article is clipped already.


Hate group did not go unanswered

For every action, there is an opposite reaction.

Newton's law of motion, loosely paraphrased, was put into practice last weekend, when a group gathered in Newport to demonstrate against an organized protest by members of the Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kan.

The church group, known for picketing the funerals of American soldiers killed in Iraq, staged several protests in Rhode Island on Friday and Saturday, including one in Newport at the Connell Highway rotary, near the entrance to Naval Station Newport. Across the state, their demonstrations were met by hundreds of counter-protesters.

Several high school students were among the group gathered in Newport on Saturday morning to counter the church group's message of hate - against homosexuals, Jews, the military, President Barack Obama and even America itself.

"We just had to be here," 17-year-old Bekah Blakely said. "If no one says anything or acknowledges what they're doing is wrong, they're going to keep doing it. It's the same thing you hear about bullying, because if you don't stand up and say, 'That's wrong,' it's just going to continue."

The group stomps on American flags, carries signs that say, "God hates the U.S.A." and uses derogatory terms for gays.

In Newport, counter-protesters held signs with the word "Hate" crossed out.

Despite their collectively young age, they displayed wisdom as well as courage, for which they are to be commended.

"No one should close their eyes to this sort of thing, because if you close your eyes, you'll never, ever change it," said Briana Lee, a high school senior.

Not surprisingly, members of the Westboro Baptist Church picketed a vigil held after the fatal shooting of Dr. George Tiller, 67, a high-profile doctor who performed late-term abortions. Tiller was killed Sunday while serving as an usher at his church in Wichita, Kan. The church group carried signs that proclaimed, among other things, "Baby killer in hell," boldly displaying the hypocrisy of hate: While it was wrong of Tiller to perform abortions, it was right for him to die at the hands of another man.

But even an abortion opponent who took Tiller to court, former Kansas Attorney General Phill Kline, called Sunday's shooting a "lawless and violent act, which must be condemned and should be met with the full force of law."

Indeed, controversial topics such as homosexuality and abortion provoke high passions on both sides, but speech and debate are what's needed - not hatemongering, not violence, and certainly not murder.

From: http://www.newportdailynews.com/articles/2009/06/08/editorial/doc4a...



Protesters' visit did not go unnoticed

Well, the people from the Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kan., slithered into town last weekend, as they graced Rhode Island for a couple of days with their "We Hate Everyone Tour."

This is an outfit that gets a lot of attention for its hatred of gays, Jews, military personnel and just about any minority you can bring to mind. If their hatred were fuel, gas would sell for a nickel a gallon.

I've always wondered how, through the generations, one group of haters latches on to another, in the name of God, no less. A lot of it seems like one group of morons trying to impress another. But technology helps link bigots with just a few keystrokes.

In a perverse way, you have to give the Westboro folks some credit. They are at least willing to parade their Stone Age thinking in public view, at spots such as the Connell Highway Rotary.

Luckily, when they came to Newport, some opposition showed up to greet them. Some kids from North Kingstown High School turned out to send the message that hate is wrong and that the haters are unwelcome in Rhode Island.

Maybe our island schools were unaware of the Westboro visit. It would've been nice to have them on hand.

Westboro has every right to peaceful assembly, no matter how nasty the message. And fortunately, a group of youngsters exercised the same right.

One of the students, Briana Lee, said, "No one should close their eyes to this sort of thing because if you close your eyes, you'll never change it."

I'm not sure if you can change the minds of the sad folks from Topeka, who indoctrinate their children with hateful messages and trot them out to hold signs at funerals and on street corners. But it's good that when the Westboro crowd visited Newport, they came away with more than silent indifference.

[rest snipped]

From: http://www.newportdailynews.com/articles/2009/06/08/columns/doc4a29...

Tags: america, baptists, christians, fred phelps, free speech, fundies, gay, hate group, jew, lesbian, More…protest, westboro baptist church, westbro baptist church

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Replies to This Discussion

Well done! They're like the Patriot Guards group. I don't agree with people being sent to war but I disagree more with punishing soilders for doing what they were asked to do. Methodist Pastor Ken Van is doing what I want moderate Muslims to do. He is getting up and saying that extremists are wrong and doing something about it.

Good for them (except for the relgion part). No funeral should ever be picketed.

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