Word on the street this weekend is that the Phelps family of Topeka is coming to Manhattan (KS) tomorrow to picket at four local Christian churches.
I find detestable, actions such as picketing and using bull horns at solemn occasions, American soldiers' funerals, church services and the like. I reject hateful, irrational behavior. I abhor the fact that this family's "compound " (is it a compound because no one wants to be their neighbor?) is a mere 25 miles from our home.
The College Boy told me yesterday that the Phelpses are coming. I have seen these haters in person (I can't recall if it was US Justice Sotomajor's, or Iran's Ahmadinejad's visit to K-State), and I thought it sad to see a very young boy standing on the street corner, holding a sign that stated, "God hates fags." This group has visited Manhattan on a couple of occasions. They showed up at my kids' high school one day to protest I'm-not-sure what.
I had a long, long drive today across most of Kansas. Inbetween watching dust devils and the odd antelope in the distance, I gave some thought to that pathetic family back at home. The Phelpses are picketing four churches tomorrow, one of which is Lutheran, although not our Lutheran Church. It gives pause for thought, though. What would we do? I thought...I would like to have a whole congregation go outside and encircle the picketing people, close enough that they could hear our sung liturgy and prayers, close enough to hear and see our passing of the peace, close enough to hear our pastor's sermon, and yet not so close that they could sue the daylights out of us (I have heard that they enjoy lawsuits.)
We Lutherans might even invite them to our Coffee Hour, too.
It's one of the things we Lutherans do, you know.