Word came out that the not quite right Reverend Fred Phelps was planning a little excursion to Silverton to let his feelings be known about our town electing Stu Rasmussen mayor. Now, I've written about Stu. He is, to be kind, a free spirit. He was also duly elected. He may not make the prettiest woman, but he has done nothing to the Westboro Baptist Church from Topeka Kansas-- certainly, nothing to deserve being called a "60 year old pervert. Nobody else will just tell him to STOP! Everyone else (i.e. besides Westboro Baptist Church) despises him so much that they will gladly watch him morph himself into a snaggle-toothed old witch because they know they are all guilty of the same or worse sins." These words of love and acceptance come from a church...
A church that reaps the reward of media attention-- the same media that they call "FAG MEDIA SHAME" on one of their day-glo signs. A church that benefits from non-profit religious institution status while standing on the flag during their protests. A church where the word LOVE is never uttered. They are clearly and openly, the Church of Hate. Their website is www.godhatesfags.com-- go figure.
I hemmed and hawed a bit about participating in a protest. I thought it best to ignore them-- not give them the attention they so desperately thrive on. Well, I was persuaded, by one of my new best friends-- a longstanding Silverton resident, who reminded me, as the 150 or so people who turned out reminded me, why I love this community. The support and solidarity that was shown to Stu and to our town and the democratic principles we live by--and fight for--was overwhelming. I talked to Stu at the end of the event, after the pathetic pariahs of hate crawled into their rental Lincoln and motorvated on down the road. He was touched by the show of support. The crowd was empowered.
Overall, it was a good day... the good guys won. And we did a good thing.
Back in the day, you'd get your ass kicked by hardhats and hawks for doing shit like standing on Old Glory. Now, you do it in the name of Jesus and you guarantee your place in heaven. Hmmm. I'd gladly go the other way.
One child grows up to be
Somebody that just loves to learn
And another child grows up to be
Somebody you'd just love to burn
They came from Albany and Portland, The Dalles and even Silverton.
Me, Stu Rasmussen and Tom Levy