Blogger Adam Holland has received an email from Congregation Beth Elohim in Brooklyn, where his family attends services and where his 4-year-old son attends preschool:
The email concerns plans by a hate-group to demonstrate outside the synagogue. I’ve written frequently about anti-Semitism on my blog for the past three years. Now it has come to my doorstep and demanded my attention and the attention of those who care about this issue.
The group in question, Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kansas, has a long history of demonstrating at gay pride events with signs and slogans of the lowest, most hateful kind. More recently, they have similarly targeted the funerals of those killed in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan. Now they target Jewish religious services as well. I’m asking those with the capacity to speak out against the efforts of Westboro Baptist Church to harm Jews, gays, and members of the military to do so now.
As I wrote on my blog, Westboro Baptist demonstrated outside Rosh Hashana services in Norman, Oklahoma, last Saturday bearing signs reading “God hates Jews”. No Jewish child should be forced to read that sign. No family should have to explain to their child what that sign means. Our families should not be forced to run a gauntlet of bigots in order to worship. By exposing this sort of hatred, and by demonstrating our commitment to peaceful coexistence between all religions, we help to counter those who try to sow seeds of hate.
You may recall that the same group demonstrated outside my old high school last spring because it’s named after the notorious homosexual Walt Whitman.
Jacob Phelps of the Westboro Baptist Church protests at the Oklahoma University Hillel Rosh Hashahah service.