Buffalo Call to Action: Stop hate group from tarnishing Flight 3407 victims

"'God cast the plane down,' read the protest schedule of the Westboro Baptist Church. 'At the First Baptist Dog Kennel of Lutz, Florida they are going to be worshiping a dead guy. What are they worshiping? Well the fact that he was behind the wheel throttle of the plane which landed on top of a house near Buffalo, N.Y. He's a hero, says the lying false prophet from this whore house, which is anything but Baptist.' ... "

spectrum.buffalo.edu
FEBRUARY 20th, 2009

While most everyone mourns the loss of those lost in the crash of Flight 3407, some have taken the tragedy and decided to use it as a platform for speaking their vision of "morality." These people are the members of the Westboro Baptist Church; the same people who claim 9/11 was necessary (God punishing America for enabling homosexuals) and protested Heath Ledger's wake because he portrayed a homosexual onscreen. They are also known for protesting the funerals of members of the armed forces killed overseas.

The church plans to protest the Allison Des Forges memorial service, taking place at St. Joseph University Church at 3275 Main Street, right past South Campus.

Instead of trying to explain these ignorant peoples' reasons for these sinful actions, it can be assumed that most reading this believe compassion and respect should be paid to this woman, a former UB professor and accomplished human rights activist, and all of the others lost in the tragedy.

Des Forges' friends and family should have the right to a peaceful memorial service at the venue of their choosing, and not have it interrupted by a hateful group of people who, in these situations, recall a less intelligent version of the KKK.

The service takes place at 12:30 p.m. on Sunday. The Spectrum is urging students to attend to peacefully prevent the Westboro Baptist Church from getting anywhere near shouting distance of the memorial proceedings.

The UB Freethinkers, a student group on campus, has planned to do exactly this at both the Zion Lutheran Church located at 9535 Clarence Center Road from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and the aforementioned St. Joseph University Church from 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. The group asks that those attending wear white, bring large signs with positive messages for the victim's families and, most importantly, maintain a non-confrontational mindset.

It is saddening that even an event as humbling as this cannot bring absolutely everyone together; that there are those still out there that feel the measure of a person is dictated by his or her sexual orientation, race, religion or gender.

However, this is also an opportunity to show these people that their actions will only produce more support and universality within the greater Buffalo community.

If you are able, please make time and help preserve the dignity of those lost in Flight 3407. Go to www.ubfreethinkers.org or search "UB Freethinkers" to get involved.

http://spectrum.buffalo.edu/article.php?id=39339
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Controversial church brings protest message to grieving community
JOANN PAN - Managing Editor
FEBRUARY 20th, 2009

... Protesters from the Westboro Baptist Church plan to be in Lutz, Fla., on Friday, as the family and loved ones of Marvin Renslow, the pilot of the Continental Flight 3407, gather to celebrate his life and mourn his death.

"God cast the plane down," read the protest schedule of the Westboro Baptist Church. "At the First Baptist Dog Kennel of Lutz, Florida they are going to be worshiping a dead guy. What are they worshiping? Well the fact that he was behind the wheel throttle of the plane which landed on top of a house near Buffalo, N.Y. He's a hero, says the lying false prophet from this whore house, which is anything but Baptist."

Members of the Westboro Baptist Church will be separated on Sunday between the West Coast and the East Coast, protesting in Los Angeles, and in Buffalo, spreading their message — that god is punishing the U.S. for its views on homosexuality and blasphemy by killing those in the armed forces, in the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and most recently, in the Clarence Center plane crash, as acknowledged on the institute's Web site.

"Don't worship the dead," an online announcement read. "We will picket this non-denominational community prayer service. God will not hear your prayers at this hour..."

http://spectrum.buffalo.edu/article.php?id=39409

2-22-09 Addendum:"Counterdemonstrators Drive off hate group in Flight 3407 protest"