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Fighting Hatred With Love

You know what they say (“they” meaning this mysterious group of imaginary grouchy people who float about for the sole purpose of sucking the joy out of life) about not-feeling-butterflies-anymore-once-you-get-married?

Well.  I’m here to prove them wrong.

I received an e-mail from my lovely other half yesterday afternoon, and I was so touched by it that I had to sit there for a long while.  Love overflowed my heart.  I felt a little light-headed.

Not because what he had said was out of the ordinary.  Not because what he had done was unusual in any way.  Not because he said anything complimentary about me.

No.

It was a simple e-mail–one that informed me that he had donated a sum of money to the Al Snyder fund, and then in a few sentences he provided the necessary information…and a link.  [You see, I manage our accounts, so he was simply letting me know, so I could debit the cost from our checkbook.]

Quickly, my emotions shifted to the subject at hand, and I was flabbergasted.  Enraged, to be truthful.  My stomach clenched up.  The perpetrators of this hate crime are none other than the people at Westboro Baptist Church in Kansas.

Ugh.

I’ve included several articles at the bottom of this post, if you’ve not heard of this story.  I cannot imagine the grief of the targeted family.  I want to say to them they are not alone.  We don’t agree with these people who call themselves Christians.

One thing you should know.  If you try to go to the Westboro Baptist Church (which I refuse to link to here), check out the URL.  I can’t even write it.  It’s that bad.

Let’s catch you up, if you haven’t heard.  Matthew Snyder died in Iraq in March of 2006.  Fred Phelps and his Westboro Baptist Church routinely protest at marine funerals with signs that say things like “Thank God for dead soldiers” and “You’re going to hell” and “God hates fags.”  They were at Matthew’s funeral.  Al Snyder, Matthew’s father, sued the church, and instead got fined thousands of dollars to cover the church’s legal expenses.  [Okay, let’s just be clear about free speech and all.  I fully understand the law.  But I’m sorry, this is when the legal thing has been done, not justice!]

Here are the articles:

“Support Grows for Dad of Slain Marine Told to Pay Westboro Baptist Church, Which Cheered Son’s Death” by Adam Sommers of New York Daily News.

“Westboro Baptist Backlash: Donations Pour in for Fallen Marine’s Father” by Edecio Martinez at CBS News.

“Court Ruling on Marine Dad is Shameful” by John Ellsworth, another father who lost his son in Iraq in November 2004.

My wish: that all this outpouring of love will surround these families (that have been so horridly attacked), so they might know that this kind of evil never stems from God…or anyone of us that have made love and kindness our motto for life.

[Post image: Westboro Baptist Church protesting at a funeral of a Marine in Maryland, 2005 (photo credit: Slagle/AP)]

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The quote I live by

Have patience with everything that remains unsolved in your heart. Try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books written in a foreign language. Do not now look for the answers. They cannot now be given to you because you could not live them. It is a question of experiencing everything. At present you need to live the question. Perhaps you will gradually, without even noticing it, find yourself experiencing the answer, some distant day.
--Rainer Maria Rilke in Letters to a Young Poet

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