Monday, April 14, 2014

Does God Hate "Fags"?

Westboro Trolls doing their thing

No, my Irish Catholic upbringing tells me God does not hate anyone -- even bigots looking for media attention.

By now you've probably heard the Westboro Baptist Church is coming to Amherst to hassle UMass basketball player Derrick Gordon, for his recent well received coming out.   Obviously they are simply looking for a reaction, which they will no doubt get.   

Of course the only way to deal with agitators looking for attention is to deny them what they want.  Easy for me to say.  

In fact I'm sure I will be accused of hypocrisy since I will be at the corner of Massachusetts and Commonwealth Ave on Wednesday afternoon camera in hand to cover the staged "event."  But I honestly hope nobody shows up from either side of the "controversy."

Recently a Cowardly Anon Nitwit left racist notes in bathrooms at Amherst Regional High School targeting a female teacher of color.  In left leaning Amherst, a guaranteed way to stir up controversy.  If you let it.

On a lesser scale the UMass Republicans are sponsoring John Ashcroft as a guest speaker Wednesday night.  And if that speech is disrupted like Karl Rove was last year, it will generate far more press than if the protesters stayed home and his speech droned on as scheduled.  And probably puts the audience to sleep.  

#UMassUnited plans to counter-protest the WBC with 2,200 folks having signed on as "going,"  out of 6,000 invited. Yikes!  The corner of Massachusetts and Commonwealth Ave are not designed for that large a standing crowd, so public safety becomes an issue. 

Maybe the Westboro Baptist Church will pray for the safety off all concerned.  Assuming they know how to pray.

48 comments:

Anonymous said...

Might want to check the location- The Gazette mentions

"That is at the corner of Massachusetts Avenue and Commonwealth Avenue, according to Amherst Police Chief Scott Livingstone"

Larry Kelley said...

I'm sure they will not be hard to find.

Anonymous said...

We are all taught that everyone has value in our society. I would really like to believe that but, the Westboro group flies contrary to that thinking.

I was hoping that when their leader died, maybe they would just quietly go away.

Anonymous said...

The WBC is coming to the most liberal place on earth. People out here live for theses types of counter protests. Only saving grace is it is not on a Saturday afternoon or there would be situation.

Anonymous said...

Can't we just email all the students and tell them its Blarney Blowout 2.0 Wednesday afternoon?

Anonymous said...

bathe them in love and disrupt their hate?

Anonymous said...

We don't have the self-discipline to ignore them, so we will get an ugly photo op of people shouting at each other.

Sort of a three-dimensional example of what goes on in the comments section of this blog 365 days a year.

Larry Kelley said...

You would know.

Anonymous said...

I'm wondering why you think it's OK to use the f word in a headline no less. Would you use the N word in a headline? As a gay person I am offended.

Larry Kelley said...

In that case, you may want to avoid the protest on Wednesday.

Anonymous said...

Why compound what these people do and say by using their words?

Larry Kelley said...

It's called a "quote." Why I put quote marks around it.

Anonymous said...

And would you use the N word in quotes in a headline or in the body of a post?

Anonymous said...

Hopefully, there will be freezing rain that day...

Anonymous said...

Wonder what side of the line those fabulous local NAACP people will be standing on.

Anonymous said...

Do they really have the means to get to Amherst? I think this is one giant smokeshow by them. Amherst is not easy to get to and not knowing the area make sit even harder. Unless the have a faction of member already living in this area who have stayed under the radar all this time, or "in the closet" if you will I can't see them showing up.

Anonymous said...

i think he would use the "N" word if it was part of a quote, I don't see what's wrong with that. He put "fag" in quotes, and it's pretty clear why.

Respectfully, I don't really believe you are a gay person and I don't believe you are offended. I believe you are trying to start controversy. I say this, not because I am gay, but because I asked several of my gay friends what they thought after reading your comment and in no way were they even slightly offended with the title

Anonymous said...

No. Kelley is trying to do exactly what the group hating gay people wants to do: get attention. That is all Kelley is about. And no he doesn't have the courage to use the n word. He's just a cowardly nitwit.

Adam Sweet said...

Evil incarnate is coming to Amherst, Massachusetts on Wednesday, April 16, 2014.

Get ready to hate

Anonymous said...

The Gazette seems to be able to write an article about this topic without using the "f" word. And yes I am gay and I am offended. Hate words have no place in our discourse. Not even when put in quotes.

Larry Kelley said...

Back in November I covered a stabbing incident out on Pine Street at a party house.

Turns out the kid who did the stabbing did so out of self defense when attacked first by another kid (and a few of his friends) who pushed him while calling him a "fag".

Okay to use it in that context?

Larry Kelley said...

And yes, if the nitwit had use the N-word instead of "fag" I sure as hell would have used the quote.

Dow Holden said...

Speaking as one who moved from Topeka to Amherst just in time for "the 60's", I'd suggest getting in touch w/ the Topeka populace on how to deal w/ WBC. No one has more experience or disgust.

Anonymous said...

Sad that people let words have such power. Forcing the world to stop using these words has little effect. It just masks how people really feel and solves little, and in the end gives the words even more power. You ought to focus on something other than the words as that hasn't worked yet.

Walter Graff said...

Don't Take Anything Personally.
Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won't be the victim of needless suffering.

We take things personally when we agree with what others have said. If we didn't agree, the things that others say would not affect us emotionally. If we did not care about what others think about us, their words or behavior could not affect us.

Even if someone yells at you, gossips about you, harms you or yours, it still is not about you! Their actions and words are based on what they believe in their personal dream.

Our personal “Book of Law” and belief system makes us feel safe. When people have beliefs that are different from our own, we get scared, defend ourselves, and impose our point of view on others. If someone gets angry with us it is because our belief system is challenging their belief system and they get scared. They need to defend their point of view. Why become angry, create conflict, and expend energy arguing when you are aware of this?

We are all guilty of this, but I think it's important to let it go as much as you can. By amassing people to counter this you are giving this group what it want's and creating more recognition of the issue of haters. If no one but a few of them show up it won't even make the news, but with all of you showing up you are only putting it in the press in a bigger way and defeating your goal.

You may look at it as you protecting others rights, I look at it as a tree that falls in the woods. Taking this personal and amassing a huge group only proliferates the hate.

Larry Kelley said...

If a tree falls in the forest and a digital journo is not there to tweet it, it does not make a sound.

Walter Graff said...

Yes but if it falls and the journalist is there, he has far less a story if no one but the group show up.


You folks are making a very bad choice in protesting. Let them go at it alone and they will get far less press. And who's to know if they even show up. Many times they say this and don't. I still think it's a bad choice to give in to them. You are only validating them if you do.

As for God, he can't hate, only humans can. One of the greatest humans said to turn the other cheek. Unfortunately most in this area don't practice any religion so may have lost some of that knowledge.

Anonymous said...

To April 14, 2014 at 9:35 PM:

I'm lesbian and highly offended by it as well. Thanks for saying something.

Larry Kelley said...

I guess offensiveness requires its own special font.

Anonymous said...

I'm gay, and seeing all those hateful signs felt like a punch in my gut.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Kelley,
I guess lack of any sense of sensitivity also requires its only font.

Rich said...

This country is in big trouble if a word causes you so much pain and offense. Pathetic. Hope nothing REALLY serious ever happens to you in your life.

Anonymous said...

Best for everyone to go about their business as if the WBC group wasn't even there. They are looking for media coverage....and unfortunately in today's world of ratings hungry train-wreck journalism....media coverage is what they'll get.

Larry, on another note I read your blog often. Even so I'm a bit surprised you used the "F" word, even in quotes. I understand your intent and know your support of the LBGT community. I am a gay man that while I don't like it, could care less about where I see that word (the real world doesn't have filters). However, I also know that many LGBT youth...specifically those struggling with their sexuality need not see/hear it anymore than the unfiltered world will force them to. I feel your blog is one of those places a filter could and should be applied in that regard. I offer this thought respectfully.

Anonymous said...

http://imgur.com/9qt6nWx

Anonymous said...

exactly, the real world has no filters. shouldn't be sheltering or hiding behind doors from the real world.

also, as a younger man (and no I am not gay), I feel the youth as I know them (and I have many LGBT friends I hang out with regularly) doesn't get offended at things that are not meant to be an insult (i.e. Larry's headline). They value their sexuality, express it fully, and laugh at the haters. With that, they don't cringe at the site of words just because they have the possibility to be used as insults.

Anonymous said...

To 3:46,

Thanks for the link. Priceless. So often what is missing in Amherst is a sense of humor...

Larry Kelley said...

So now am I gonna get grief for allowing a link to the other F-word? (Which is protected speech as stated by a 9-0 Supreme Court decision).

Anonymous said...

It's troubling and very sad that a word could possibly cause a person so much pain. How the fuck do you manage to survive in the real world? Oh wait, this is Amherst so it's far from reality. What a pussy. Oh, sorry that word has to offend someone. Oh well. It's getting to the point that the dictionary will have to be banned.

LR, don't let these pussies spoil your day. What a bunch of babies. You did nothing wrong. Let them go back to sucking their thumbs.

And don't forget, now its LGBTQ. Q means someone who is questioning their sexual and/or gender orientation. And believe it or not outside of the bubble of this area the Q sometimes, the Q stands for “queer,” a term reclaimed by some LGBTs for political reasons. I know, hard to imagine for some of you who stuff cotton in your ears.

The more and more we keep compartmentalizing anyone that can't fit into society, the more we'll keep adding to that acronym.

Anonymous said...

(CNN) -- Miley Cyrus suffered "a severe allergic reaction to antibiotics" and has been hospitalized...
Her Tuesday night "Bangerz" tour concert at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Missouri, has been canceled..."

WBC had this concert on their schedule!

Anonymous said...

-To Rich, at 2:23, it's not the word, it's the hate that hits a gay person looking at those signs. I work with youth, and agree with 2:57 that these visuals were not needed to start this thread. It could be another deterrent to young people thinking about coming out or feeling they can safely say who they are. Not to mention the 'religious' condemnation. Contrast the header for this thread (Does God hate 'fags?' with the accompanying inflammatory visuals) with those related to support for the high school teacher targeted with the 'N' word ('Standing Against Racism'). This could as easily have been entitled 'Standing Against Homophobia,' since it describes some actions being taken to counter the WBC. One has a sensational tone; one does not.

Anonymous said...

" It could be another deterrent to young people thinking about coming out or feeling they can safely say who they are. "

Then screw them. It's not societies role to nurse those who don't know who the fuck they are. It's tough enough for anyone to feel safe in this world today. Seems like being gay has become some sort of privilege and it's societies job to be gentle while they break free of their little rainbow eggshell. Bullshit! It's exactly the attitude that professes how special one group or another is because they are "disadvantaged" that is causing the biggest problems with race and color in this country and that includes all the "special" gay people too.

Anonymous said...

To April 15, 2014 at 9:08 PM:

Exactly. I've found that half of those who use words that are offensive and insensitive are not aware they hurt others. Life is about learning and growing and becoming a better person. Hopefully your, my, and other comments speaking out about this will at least open one person's eyes.

Rich said...

@anon, 9:08pm - Sorry, but I disagree with you. If a gay person can't look at a sign (or a headline for a blog entry) without being "hit by hate", then they are going to have a very tough time in life. A very tough time. They are just words.

Anonymous said...

Rich,
How about black people. Should they also just suck it up when they see the words nigger or nigga on signs, on a blog, written on the wall of a bathroom?

Rich said...

@anon, 11:48am. Seriously, how often does that happen in this day and age? It is nothing like it was in the old days, and the people who write such things these days are of small minds. What you you suggest? A candlelight vigil every time a gay person or a black person is offended? Instead, how about that same gay or black person just shaking their head and walking away from it, knowing that the people who write such things are not worth their time. Those people will always exist. Life goes on. It's 2014, not 1930. I guess we can just agree to disagree.

Anonymous said...

So Rich, I guess you have not been following the whole Carolyn Gardner affair. So far, two vigils, two mass gatherings at the SC meetings, and a personal body guard for Ms. Gardner at the school (paid for by the tax payers)all because someone wrote those words on a bathroom wall. The Amherst NAACP has called the entire Amherst school community (especially the high school community) racist because of this graffiti. Talk about over kill. What do you think about all of that, Rich?

Anonymous said...

Words are just words, but then of course there is such a thing as verbal abuse, and in domestic situations you could have your kids taken away (and rightfully so in my opinion) for engaging in that kind of behavior. Words can have an even more severe effect than fists, and can result in the victim developing clinical depression and PTSD. Kids who are victims of verbal abuse, (including name-calling,) especially gay youth, demonstrate a significantly higher rate of depression and self-harm/suicide.

Despite what they say, people like Walter Graff know words can be harmful to people's psyche which in turn has negative physical effects, and that's why they get on the internet daily to disparage specific individuals with abusive words and language.

Rich said...

@anon 2:23pm: Yes, I've been following it, thanks to Larry's blog. A perfect example of overkill, complete with a paid leave for the offended party.