February 22, 2010

What the Media Didn't Report About Last Week's Protests

Last weekend, members of Fred Phelps' Westboro Baptist Church picketed at several locations in Long Beach, displaying their signs of hate and bigotry. As reported in the local media, they stationed themselves outside Wilson High School, Temple Israel, among other places. However, their message was all but drowned out by counter-protestors, who proclaimed messages of peace, equality, and (in some cases) frivolity.

All this the media reported. But still, as one editorial mentioned, this didn't keep the Phelps' clan from giving local Christian churches "a black eye."

Well, I wish the media, both locally and nationally, would give more attention to the great many churches that demonstrate God's love and acceptance. I saw no mention in any of our local media of the interfaith unity service that took place Saturday morning at Temple Israel, despite the fact that many leaders from various religious traditions were present, some as participants, speaking to a crowd of people so large that many had to watch from a separate room via a live video feed.

Together, we celebrated God's love for all people. We sang songs and prayed prayers, sometimes in languages we didn't understand. We demonstrated support to those who are subjected to the hate-filled bigotry of a few. We affirmed the beautiful diversity we have been blessed with here in Long Beach, diversity of religions, cultures, races, and sexual orientations.

Instead of a black eye, there was healing and wholeness present that day.

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