Repulsive! Stupid! Hateful! Silly. Sad. Ignorant. Crazy. Psychotic! Unenlightened. Naïve. Shallow. Helpful?…
A wide range of emotions and responses permeated the streets of Blacksburg Friday as a few members from the Westboro Baptist Church (WBC) group from Kansas chose to descend upon this tragedy torn town. I was there. I grieved in my heart for this group and for many of those that I saw in the counter-protesting. The police stopped me from delivering my “Finding GRACE!” article (last one written), but I gave one to the officer who wouldn’t let me approach the WBC people. There were only around half a dozen from the WBC at the three sites chosen for protesting, while hundreds lined up around them at each stop to protest back. Music occasionally blared back at them. Cars drove by and expressed support for VT and the counter-protestors by laying on their horns and bicyclers often rode by chanting, “Let’s Go!” with the crowd replying “Hokies!” A couple of guys streaked around the area down Main Street, through the suddenly cooler and windy weather ;-), painted in orange and maroon and wearing just their skivvies. At the first protest area by the Hillel Jewish Center, a couple of lesbian dressed engineering students came up beside me and were the main ones yelling chants back to the WBC group. A couple of smaller children from the WBC even held up their incendiary signs. There was quite a diverse group responding, ranging from the outwardly homosexual proponents to the more obvious and mainstream conservative Christians. The police and authorities kept things in order and overall, it was a nonviolent demonstration on both sides.
I submit that this group was doing GOD’s work here in Blacksburg on 04-09-10, only one week from the 3rd VT Anniversary of 04-16-07. Please do not misunderstand me. I do not support what they were promoting. I also do not believe that GOD approves of it. Then again, according to HIS Word, HE would also not have approved of much of the rebellious oriented spirit in the counter-protesting. WBC matters, but not for the reasons that drive them to their insensitive, but legal protesting around the Country. Why and how could this be?
America is a Country where free speech has been protected. Politically correct and academic, psychological and evolutionary thinking endangers free speech (take my tragedy, for a good modern day example), yet it is free speech and a free press that has been Constitutionally protected. Truth becomes rather apparent for those who are spiritually enlightened, as they reflect on their surroundings and even their own emotions. What WBC did was to bring out what many had in their hearts. The responses were quite revealing. I submit that GOD used them, similar to how HE uses tragedy, such as with the VT Tragedy or even the more recent mining tragedy in nearby West Virginia. GOD does not tempt us with evil (James 1:13ff), nor does He passively ignore or approve of sin in any form (see Psalm 7:11). GOD gives people over to their own ways and even uses those peoples not following Him to judge His own people (c.f. many Old Testament stories, other historical examples and Scriptures such as Psalm 17:14). When speech is free (not absolutely, of course), Truth will eventually prevail.
I speak more about these things in the book detailing my personal tragedy, inextricably linked to the Virginia Tech Tragedy. I focus on what I call the “Top Ten Lessons” (also tabbed above). MUCH still needs to “Be” learned; things we still need to “See.” WBC matters and so does your own response. What comes from your heart through this WBC group? Why does that matter? What will you B? What do you C?