A screenshot of the “We The People” White House petition to label Westboro Baptist Church a hate group
In an effort to allow Americans to make direct requests of the Obama administration, the White House created the “We the People” website. The site allows citizens to create online petitions, and should one generate 25,000 signatures within 30 days, it automatically gets a response from the White House.
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The petition reads as follows:
This group has been recognized as a hate group by organizations, such as The Southern Poverty Law Center, and has repeatedly displayed the actions typical of hate groups.
Their actions have been directed at many groups, including homosexuals, military, Jewish people and even other Christians. They pose a threat to the welfare and treatment of others and will not improve without some form of imposed regulation.
The tiny, tiny church largely made up of members from the family of its founder, Fred Phelps, is notorious for preaching that deaths are God’s retribution for the apparent acceptance of homosexuality, which is why they target funerals targeting anyone from nine-year-old girls to Iraqi war veterans.
They’ve also been long rumored to purposely antagonize funeral goers and incite violent action against them with the hopes of filing suits that will result in collecting a check. They are despicable, walking boils of religion.
More than likely, the creator of this petition had enough of this group’s antics after they threatened to protest the funeral of Sandy Hook Elementary School principal Dawn Hochsprung. Their plans were reportedly halted by a counter-protest of motorcyclists, but nonetheless it’s understandable to see people wanting their indecency to get the proper labeling it deserves.
I’ve signed both if for no other reason than to give this nagging band of nitwits the attention they clearly covet. I’m not completely glib about this, though. I don’t expect The White House to brand them as a “hate group.” And, as much as I’d love for their tax exempt status to be revoked (that is, if it hasn’t already), I don’t expect that either.
However, even if it’s more about symbolism than any substantive action, it’s nice to see people take a stand against bigots who cower behind their religion. Westboro Baptist may not be the only group that does this, but they are one of the loudest.
It’s about time people began yelling back.
Michael Arceneaux is a Houston-bred, Howard-educated writer and blogger. You can read more of his work on his site, The Cynical Ones. Follow him on Twitter: @youngsinick