Monday, June 15, 2009

Westboro Baptist Church in Seattle

Westboro Baptist Church came to Seattle Sat, to protest against synagogues, churches and public schools.

My girlfriend came with me when I was shooting this video. She had an interesting conversation with a rabbi from the nearby synagogue while the rest of us were occupied gawking at the haters.

The rabbi asked, why are people so eager to give them press coverage? Some people might think that it is the journalists civic duty to report about possible threats to the community but I am not so quick to buy into this theory. At what point does the reporting of the news distort the event?

The Wesboro Baptist Church are not dangerous. Never before has a member of the Westboro Baptist Church been accused of violence. If the police come to a protest, it is to protect the haters from society, not to protect society from the haters.

The danger of the Westboro Baptist Church is their ability to distort arguments. For example, there is legitimate discussion to be orated on the role of the US and Israel in the middle east. But to simplify the discussion to God hates Jews is very counter productive. It reflects poorly not only on themselves but onto everyone who has faith in God or is critical of Israel.

It is interesting to watch the gay community. Of all minority groups striving for civil rights, the gay community enjoys the controversy and is able to use it to their advantage. Watch the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence in the video below as they approach other gawkers to give money for their cause.

The comments section of my videos are like little windows into how common America feels about issues of free speech. They try to tell me that 'hate speech' is the antithesis of democracy and must be stopped. I disagree.

To the Wesboro Baptist Church I would like to say, it's great that you feel that way and I encourage you to continue voicing your faith because open dialogue is what makes America great.

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