Sunday, November 23, 2008

The Fred Phelps Lovefest

There's always a lot of excitement when the circus comes to town. In this case, the homophobic hate-mongers of Fred Phelps who visited Plattsburgh back in July 2005. Fred's little eristic empire, the Westboro Baptist Church, is based in Topeka, Kansas. When not bashing gays on their website, the crew likes to go on the road and spread their Christian message of love.

Apparently a cult member read a disturbing quote by Dan Stewart, the openly gay mayor of Plattsburgh at the time. In December 2004 there was debate at a city council meeting over letting various organizations set up booths during next year's Mayor's Cup festival. Stewart made the observation: "The last thing I want is Fred Phelps showing up in Plattsburgh."

Fred took that as an invitation: his clowns brought their colorful roadshow here during Mayor's Cup. Any debates about limiting what organizations could have booths during the festivities faded into the background, lost in the sound and the fury.

What follows are my observations in words and pictures.

= = =

Can't you feel the love -- from both sides?

I can't put my finger on the problem...

What we seem to have here is a failure to communicate.

Don't forget -- children represent our future.

Don't tread on me -- or my flag.

This woman couldn't drop either one of her sacred picket signs to pick up the flags.

Instead, she dragged them across the dirty lawn with her feet.

Just takin' a couple of pics for the folks back home.

Yup, I wanna dokument how I brot luv to Plattsburgh.

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