The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #63998   Message #1044002
Posted By: Marion
29-Oct-03 - 03:11 PM
Thread Name: BS: Matthew Shepard (1976-1998)
Subject: RE: BS: Matthew Shepard
Mickey191 called Phelps a Baptist minister - I think it's worth pointing out that Phelps and his church are NOT Baptist, i.e, they are not acknowledged by the Baptist denomination(s). They are a rogue church who have appropriated the word Baptist, and it would be a shame if anyone thought they were representatives of a much larger group.

I'm sure that Phelps and his group do some real harm, by inflicting emotional pain on survivors when they picket funerals, and by ruining the childhoods of their young members.

But I suspect that they do more good than harm, overall, to the gay community, because they reveal homophobia as the ignorant and hate-filled thing that it is.   

Is anyone familiar with the concept of a "homophobathon"? The idea is that when a Phelps picket is anticipated, you ask sponsors to pledge a certain amount of money towards a gay-positive cause for each homophobe that participates.    I heard of this idea shortly after Matthew Shephard's murder, but I don't know if anyone carried it out or not. Seems like a great idea to me. It would be frustrating and embarrassing to the Phelps group, and somewhat amusing to gay-positive people, and would raise some money for a good cause, without inhibiting anyone's free speech.

Perhaps some variation of it could be organized for the the monument issue.   Let them put it up, but organize a campaign for people to donate 25 cents for each day the monument stands to a group that does anti-homophobia workshops in high schools or something like that.