This afternoon, Westboro Baptist Church will be in Pueblo, Colorado protesting the use of recreational marijuana and approval of same-sex marriage.
But they’ll have guests waiting for them with signs of love instead of hate.
James Ward is the interim president of the Southern Colorado Equality Alliance. He said he hopes the signs send a message.
“This community is one of the most loving, accepting communities I’ve ever lived in. I want to make sure that the message is given to Westboro and people in general,” he said.
As for the protest against recreational marijuana in Pueblo West, the owner of Marisol Therapeutics said his employees will not engage any of the protesters and it will be business as usual at his shop.
Mike Fletcher, a member of the Atheist Community of Colorado Springs, will be speaking at the event and posted (on Facebook) an early version of the speech he plans to give. I think his message is a beautiful one and he gave me permission to reprint it here (with minor edits):
We stand here today, a Pueblo united by a higher ground, love.
We stand united, besides our differences…
Different economic standings, different faiths, beliefs;
Difference in the color of our skin, sexual preference.
Believing in one God, different gods, and no gods.
We stand unified… against hate.
We understand that love is love. And that’s all that matters.
Our friends across the street travel to spread the word of hate.
We stand steadfast, bonded, forged… by and for love.
They yell that it’s unnatural, an abomination.
Yet homosexuality has been recorded in over 1500 different species around the world.
But there is no hate or malice in their world. Only ours.
Only by people like them. So I wonder, doesn’t that make hate unnatural, an abomination?Homosexuality is well-documented in a couple of species that differ from us genetically by only a little over 1%… the chimpanzee and bonobo apes.
Yet, like those of us here celebrating love, they also show other human characteristics: Compassion. Equality. Understanding. Love.
Based off that, I’d have to argue that these animals, these apes, show more humanity than members of our own species, that do all they can to spread and spew hate.
I invite our friends across the way to do something…
The universe has done it for billions of years…
Life has done it for millions of years…
Society has done it for thousands of years…
That’s how you respond to a hate group.