Becky Says...

March 2008

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All - March 18

Eve Carson's memorial service, to which all were welcome, was telecast, so I made no attempt to go. And since the Westboro people were herded elsewhere, there was no need for a human shield (I would have gone to do that). I did, of course, watch the telecast, and found it very touching and very appropriate.

One of the speakers said that Eve was the sort of person who had two kinds of friends: the ones she had met and the ones she hadn't yet had the chance to meet. I'm going to put myself into the latter category, of people she didn't have a chance to meet, because I'm sure I would have known her as a friend.

I said I had gotten an amazing amount of positive feedback from the entry I wrote about rethinking my response to the Westboro folk. I was cheered by that, enormously. I subsequently found out that not sending you to their website (and I keep not naming it because I hate the site name) was even a better idea, because they have some arrangement with advertisers that gets them paid per page view. No, I don't know which advertisers. Don't think they sell anything I'd be likely to buy, anyway.

Two Westboro tales now, one amusing, one not.

First: back in the 90s there was a gay wedding in Chapel Hill, at Binkley Baptist Church. Now Binkley isn't what you might expect a Baptist Church to's pretty liberal, and its ties are not to the Southern Baptist Convention. Binkley clergy were not involved in this particular wedding; the Rev. Jimmy Creech came over from his Methodist congregation in Raleigh to officiate.

Westboro got wind of the plans, and showed up to picket, and planned to do so the day after the wedding so they could get all the church-goers on Mother's Day. Binkley got word of the Westboro plan, and word was sent to all parishioners that they should be nice to the visitors. It was suggested that there was no need to argue with them, but that it was certainly fine to greet them. Ignoring them would also be appropriate.

And the day went by without incident. Westboro packed up and went elsewhere, and I'm sure a lot of people had interesting tales to tell for a couple of weeks.

But then came the second: Matthew Shepard's death. At his funeral, the Westboro people and their ugliness were apparently on the edge of the church grounds, and were visible, at least on television. During the evening news report, what was seen was the Westboro crew, with a voiceover from the reporter, while in the background came the sound of the congregation singing All things Bright and Beautiful. The dichotomy of that ugliness with that lovely hymn, in which it is proclaimed that God made all creatures, has stayed with me all these years.

I know that I believe that God loves us all. Even the Westboro crew.

Text © copyright 2000-2008 Becky