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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Blame the gays!

On Monday, Sasha and Malia Obama attended school only to find members of Westboro Baptist Church protesting with picket signs displaying their father’s face surrounded by the caption, “”THE BEAST.””  

Are you shocked that there are people crazy enough to do this? Considering all the abuse President Barack Obama has endured from racists and bigots, I’m not. But the nonchalant acceptance of such boorish attacks is detrimental and dangerous to our society as a whole.

Westboro Baptist Church was founded by Fred Phelps and is mostly made up of his family members — proof that insanity could potentially be hereditary. The church is not affiliated with any known Baptist conventions or associations.

Obama was not the only victim of the church’s slander on Monday. Predictably, Westboro Baptist Church also attacked abortion and homosexuality with their odious signs. 

Though bringing hatred to a place of learning is disrespectful and out of line, this group is notorious for protesting at completely inappropriate locations including the funeral of Matthew Shepard, the 21-year-old University of Wyoming student who was tortured and murdered for being gay.

But apparently you are not required to be homosexual in real life to endure their wrath — acting like one is just as sinful. The same group picketed the funeral of irresistible, Australian actor Heath Ledger. After his mysterious passing, the group brought their crafty signs to show their disapproval of his role in “”Brokeback Mountain.”” Somehow I doubt their rally made a very deep impression on him.

It is the church’s belief that nearly every tragedy our world faces serves as punishment from God for the acceptance of homosexuality, as confirmed by their slogan — “”God Hates Fags.”” 

The events that these scapegoats are held accountable for include the 9/11 attacks and the recent shooting at United States Army post Fort Hood. Since every tragedy should have an equally heinous sign, the church thought “”Thank God for 9/11″” would be fitting.

Though homosexuals seem to be the group’s main target, they also condemn Jews, blacks, America and many forms of Christianity. They make theirterrifying beliefs available at their Web site, godhatesfags.com. 

Amid the detestable beliefs which engulf their site, there are also suggested solutions for America, such as, “”Completely rid your administration of fags and dykes; and, recriminalize sodomy and abortion, and impose the death penalty for these crimes. Nothing less will do. Otherwise, we warn you again: Expect worse and more of it from that Outraged God your sins have mightily offended”” —  problems solved!

Though outrageous claims and offensive words are hardly uncommon, especially when it comes to politics, thatthey are tolerated enables the group to persist. Right and wrong must be distinguished.

Implying to the family and loved ones of 9/11 victims that the pain and misery that forever changed their lives in 2001 and follows them wherever they go was caused by a group of people’s sexual orientation is absolutely wrong. 

Announcing to people of faith, as some probably were, that God would rob them of their child, parent or friend merely based on the world’s movement towards social acceptance is undoubtedly wrong. 

And picketing at a burial site, where family and friends gather together to say goodbye to their loved one’s earthly presence, is ruthless, unjustifiable and wrong. 

Don’t allow this injustice to become a societal norm. The right to speech is one thing. Allowing abhorrent ignorance into an elementary school or a place of mourning is of a different realm. 

It is the public’s acceptance that empowers these groups. It is the mindset through which society implicitly supports them that allows them to endure. 

Just because inappropriate behavior and blind hatred aren’t uncommon doesn’t mean that they should go overlooked. Racism, anti-Semitism and homophobia should be seen for what they truly are — dangerous and offensive.  

Don’t allow the detestation to persist. Speak up.

— Rachel Leavitt is a creative writing sophomore. She can be reached at letters@wildcat.arizona.edu.

 

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