Today will not be a good day for the Westboro Baptist Church. Even as the borderline cult members skulk about their church muttering about how much they hates gays, every time they look out their window across the street, they’ll be reminded that, while their hate speech is protected by the Constitution, so it is for other people. People whose message stands in stark opposition to the bile the Phelps family spews on a daily basis. To make matters worse, the reminder is far more colorful and interesting than the WBC could ever hope to be:
In case you’re wondering, yes, the house is directly across the street. They’ve also planted a full length flag pole to mirror the one WBC has, in this case, literally. Whereas the Equality House flag pole has the American and gay pride flags, the WBC flagpole hangs those same flags, but upside down. But who would want to own a house surrounded by some of the most hateful people in the country (the church owns many of the houses on the block)?
Aaron Jackson, one of the founders of Planting Peace, a multi-pronged charity that has in the past concentrated on rainforest conservation, opening orphanages and deworming programs, bought a house that sits directly across from the church’s compound six months ago. On Tuesday, March 19, he and a team of volunteers are painting it to match the gay pride flag.
The project — which the nonprofit is calling the “Equality House” — is the first in a new campaign Planting Peace plans to wage against the group.
Apparently, one simply does. If you want to help Planting Peace stick it to the Phelps and their message of hate, follow this link to donate.
The plan is to use the attention that the WBC unfortunately commands from a national media hopelessly addicted to controversy, to raise awareness for and fund anti-bullying programs. Essentially the exact opposite of what Westboro stands for. It’s a pretty solid plan and sitting in the shadow of one of the darkest places in America will make “Equality House” shine that much brighter.
According to HuffPo:
Jackson said he’s always wanted to get involved in gay activism, but hadn’t been sure of how to do it until this opportunity presented itself.
“I didn’t know anything about the church or where they were located, but that story kept popping up. And one night I wondered, Where is this church? I got on Google Earth, and I was ‘walking down the road,’ and I did a 360 view. And I saw a ‘For Sale’ sign sitting in the front yard of a house. Right away it hit me, Oh my gosh, I could buy a house in front of the WBC! And immediately I thought: And I’m going to paint that thing the color of the pride flag.“
No doubt the WBC will be pleased with the added notoriety to their little clan of professional hatemongers, but while their message has enriched them personally, it has done little to advance their cause. On the other hand, the more money Planting Peace raises to combat anti-gay bullying, the more marginalized the Phelps become.
The “Equality House” just might be the pinnacle of trolling.