Residents confront anti-gay protesters

James Adkins held a sign reading “Jesus taught love” Monday as he faced a small band of anti-gay demonstrators from Kansas.

Hate Group Hides Behind Religion
The Westboro Baptist Church, led by Fred Phelps, is a hate group masquerading as a Christian church.

The South Salem High School student said his message provided a necessary counterpoint to the pickets, protesting outside the Oregon Supreme Court building in Salem. Among the slogans on their signs: “Thank God for Sept. 11” and “Fags doom nations.”

Ad: Vacation? City Trip? Weekend Break? Book Skip-the-line tickets

“We didn’t want it to be easy for them,” said Adkins, 17, explaining why he and a few other students turned out to oppose the Kansas protesters. “These people are bonkers. Some of their views are so ridiculous.”

Postal worker Don Kinder, who recently married his gay partner in Multnomah County, engaged the protesters in a sharp exchange.

“My God doesn’t believe in hate like you guys do,” he said.

Margie Phelps, one of 10 protesters among the Kansas group, responded to Kinder: “You are going to stand before God’s judgment.”

He replied, “You are, too, lady.”

Several state troopers kept watch, making sure the 45-minute event stayed under control. It did.

Kinder said curiosity prompted him to confront the protesters. “I couldn’t believe people like that existed,” he said.

Members of the Topeka-based Westboro Baptist Church travel around the country to protest homosexuality. In Salem, they displayed their usual tactics: vitriolic words and trampling on the U.S. flag.

With his feet planted on the flag, Jonathan Phelps said it symbolized his contempt for the country’s growing tolerance of homosexuality. “I’d be burning it, but I didn’t get a burn permit,” he said.

His father, the Rev. Fred Phelps Sr., leader of the Westboro church, did not take part in the three-day swing through Oregon. “He’s got other responsibilities,” Jonathan Phelps said.

Margie Phelps, the daughter of Fred Phelps Sr., offered a parting shot before the group left for Portland. “This is an extraordinarily God-forsaken community,” she said. “They love to have perverts as their leaders. That justifies their own disobedience to the creator.”

Source

(Listed if other than Religion News Blog, or if not shown above)
The Statesman Journal, USA
Apr. 21, 2004
Alan Gustafson
news.statesmanjournal.com
, , ,

Religion News Blog posted this on Wednesday April 21, 2004.
Last updated if a date shows here:

   

More About This Subject

AFFILIATE LINKS

Our website includes affiliate links, which means we get a small commission -- at no additional cost to you -- for each qualifying purpose. For instance, as an Amazon Associate, Religion News Blog earns from qualifying purchases. That is one reason why we can provide this research service free of charge.

Speaking of which: One way in which you can support us — at no additional cost to you — is by shopping at Amazon.com.

Travel Religiously

Book skip-the-line tickets to the worlds major religious sites — or to any other place in the world.