Fighting hate | Arkansas Blog

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Fighting hate

Posted By on Thu, Sep 18, 2008 at 1:35 PM

The poisonous Phelps clan may bring their anti-gay protests to Little Rock this weekend to entertain a meeting of newspaper editorial writers. The desire to curse and flay these creeps is great, naturally. But there's a better way to respond. A new website established in Arkansas encourages contributions to worthy causes as a counter-protest. You could, for example, contribute in their "honor" to the Matthew Shepard Foundation, which supports tolerance. Kill them with kindness.

Local Activists Launch Website to Encourage Counter-Protest to the Westboro Baptist Church Protests in Central Arkansas

(N. Little Rock, AR)     Area activists have launched a web-based financial pledge system to support the efforts by Arkansans who will counter the upcoming protests of the Westboro Baptist Church (WBC), scheduled for September 19 and 20 in Little Rock and Jacksonville – Http://
            In the past, WBC and Pastor Fred Phelps have held public protests at funerals of soldiers who were killed in Iraq and those of prominent people, including the recent funerals of Arkansas Democratic Party Chairman Bill Gwatney, comedian Bernie Mac, and Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones.  WBC claims that their protests are an effort to pass judgment on the “moral state of America”. 
    People who wish to send a message of tolerance can make pledges of contributions to either the Patriot Riders, an organization of volunteers who act as a wall between the WBC and attendees at the funerals of soldiers; or the Matthew Shepard Foundation, created by Judy Shepard after the brutal murder of her son Matthew in Wyoming. Both organizations were created to encourage tolerance for all people.
    One of the creators of the website, Barbara L’Eplattenier said, “In America, hateful groups like WBC are granted the right to protest.   Those who oppose the protest activities of Westboro Baptist Church now have an avenue to have their voice heard.  We wanted to make it easy for people to lend their financial support. By encouraging people to pledge money for The Patriot Guard Riders and or the Matthew Shepard Foundation for every minute WBC is protesting we hope to offset their hateful tactics.”   
    According to L’Eplattenier and, citizens in other states are also raising money to financially support the groups that organize counter-protests of the WBC.  By creating the web site, they hope to make it easier for people to lend their financial support to these two organizations that work for equality and an end to the brutality of hate. 

    “I hope that people take advantage of and show that in the end fairness wins over evil,” said L’Eplattenier.

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