Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Nutty Homophobes Picket Nice Brooklyn Shul

I learned about this via Dan Sieradski and read more from the Congregation Beth Elohim blog. Those nut-bag-crazy-homophobic-racisit-anti-semite bastards from the so-called church, the "Westboro Baptist Church" -- the same people who run "GodHatesFags.com" and other such big tent and love thy neighbor type websites -- will be there protesting the Jews and the gays this Shabbat in Park Slope. I will be there to support CBE, will you?

Here is the congregations statement on the situation:
CBE Official Statement on Westboro Baptist

Congregation Beth Elohim
September 22, 2009
Dear Friends,

On Saturday, September 26, from 9:45 AM - 10:15 AM, Congregation Beth Elohim will be picketed by the Westboro Baptist Church, an extremist anti-Semitic, anti-gay independent church based out of Topeka, Kansas.

They plan to send representatives who will stand on our sidewalk displaying disturbing signs and provoking those entering our building. They try to create enough confrontation to incite others to provocation. It is their constitutional right to picket.

Congregation Beth Elohim does not welcome this group's message or actions in any way. Our focus and mission as a community is to build an inclusive Jewish community that celebrates the strength of diversity. It is a home for individuals and families of all backgrounds to grow and to learn and to care about and deepen their connections to one another.

We have clear priorities during difficult moments such as these. Protecting our members and visitors, and most importantly our children, is a primary goal. Our internal security team is already in action and local police authorities have been alerted. Although you are entitled to your right to free speech, we ask that you calmly pass these protesters and walk directly into our building without incident.

For more information about the Westboro Baptist and for educational materials about responding to hate groups, please download a PDF provided by the Anti-Defamation League.

Congregation Beth Elohim is an amazing community in that it is a warm and welcoming place. This group will be picketing us because of our commitment to those who desire community. Though Saturday may be upsetting, it is important to remember that our precious values are truly a source of great pride. Our best and only response is to conduct ourselves as usual.

And this Shabbat we have so much to celebrate: Natalie Chertoff becomes Bat Mitzvah; Shir l'Shabbat and Yachad meet in a wonderful, family learning and Shabbat atmosphere; Rabbi Emeritus Weider celebrates the fiftieth anniversary of his own Bar Mitzvah in the Lay-Led Minyan; and Alt-Shul is hosting its bi-monthly traditional minyan. Truly a diverse and celebratory Shabbat worthy of our values of openness and celebration as one community!

Let's focus our energy and attention on making this truly a Shabbat Shalom at Congregation Beth Elohim.

May you all be blessed for another year of life, tolerance, and well-being.

Sincerely,

Rabbi Andy Bachman
Elana Paru, Executive Director
David Kasakove, President

3 comments:

Adam K said...

I was just reading through the ADL link above. These guys are total whackjobs. They're not Baptist, they're not even any form of mainstram Christian.

The act of sodomy is forbidden by the Torah. It is a serious offense.

It is also a serious Torah offense to embarrass somebody publicly.

The Talmud also prohibits anyone from offering rebuke to a person who likely won't understand and won't change.

The more I read about WBC, the more it seems that there is no point in counter protesting or interacting with them in any way.

I hope the synagogue is packed this Saturday.

SaintTigerlily said...

I agree with Adam. Trying to disagree with or counteract this level of Crazy is like trying to win an argument with a drunk: impossible and meaningless. If I'm not mistaken, these are the same braniacs who picketed Heath Ledger's funeral because of his role in Brokeback Mountain; they disrespected a young man's whole life and family because he played pretend. Hopefully, those who attend services this Saturday will be able to walk by and ignore this monstrous display.

How this kind of activity would not be interpreted as a non-agressive hate crime is totally beyond me.

cipher said...

If I'm not mistaken, these are the same braniacs who picketed Heath Ledger's funeral because of his role in Brokeback Mountain

They are indeed. I've never known them to pay attention to Jews before. Someone must have told them we're lib'ruls.

The group consists largely of members of the family of Fred Phelps, the leader. He runs it with his daughter. They're literally psychotic.