Not so much. As Jared Lee Loughner’s life gets investigated on account of him shooting U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords in Arizona, Fred Phelps and his ilk are looking forward to picketing more funerals after Loughner’s actions. [edit 4:54 pm: fixed my error. I thought she’d been fatally shot, but apparently not. Note to self – read things more carefully. And edit again (5:91) to add link to a story about actual journalists who should have been more careful about reporting this story.]
Fred Phelps, in an offensive press release you may not want to read in full, announced Sunday he will bring his tiny band of followers, fresh from last month’s Elizabeth Edwards funeral, to this wounded city because, “That’s how God the avenger rolls,” he says.
Phelps’s video is headlined “God sent the shooter.” (He recycled the sign idea from when Westboro picketed the funeral of assassinated physician George Tiller.) Watch if you can stand it as Phelps blasts these victims as “sinners” and intones that we are all in God’s cross-hairs.
But better use of time might be to rally the people of Tucson and all who can join them to smother this grenade by throwing a blockade around those pickets, one well stocked with genuine believers in those religions that teach God loves, and wants the best for, humanity.
Egypt’s Ahramonline reported that droves of Muslims had turned up at Coptic churches to act as “human shields.”
It quoted Mohamed El-Sawy, a Muslim arts tycoon credited with first floating the “human shield” idea, as saying, “We either live together, or we die together.”
“This is not about us and them,” Dalia Mustafa, a student who attended mass at Virgin Mary Church on Maraashly, told Ahramonline.
“We are one. This was an attack on Egypt as a whole, and I am standing with the Copts because the only way things will change in this country is if we come together.”
At least Westboro merely pickets the funerals rather than bombing the churches where they take place. If Christians do set up around the Westboro people to protest what they’re all about, I hope many atheists, humanists and Freethinkers in the Tucson area plan to join them. We should all be united against that level of hatred whether we believe in a personal god or not.