throughout; top to bottom – staff, administration, faculty,
The text above was posted on the Web site of the Westboro Baptist Church, the very same group that crisscrosses the country protesting and picketing at funeral services of fallen soldiers, schoolchildren, shooting victims, and more.
The last time the group made national headlines was a little more than a year ago, after those Amish children were shot to death in their schoolhouse in Lancaster County, PA. The group was packed up and ready to protest and picket at the funeral services, until a radio disc jockey promised them unimpeded airtime in exchange for sitting the Amish funerals out.
Today, they plan on protesting and picketing the funeral services for Lauren Burk, the Marietta, GA girl that was found shot to death near Auburn University–my Alma Mater–and for Eve Carson, the University of North Carolina student body president found shot to death one day later. The services for Lauren and Eve are in Marietta and Athens, GA, respectively. On Monday, the animals plan to demonstrate on the Samford Hall lawn at Auburn during a memorial service there.
These people are disgusting. They travel the country, making a living from legal actions stemming from fights they’d instigated. They shout vile things at grieving families, and care less whether the caskets contain soldiers, students or children.
I firmly believe that there is a special place in Hell for those who do such things in God’s name, and without a second of hesitation, I hope they fry in there for eternity.
Lauren Burk and Eve Carson did nothing wrong, save for being at the wrong place at the wrong time. And now, like so many young people, these two girls will never reach their limitless potential.
I did not know either of these two girls, though Lauren Burk’s attendance at Auburn and her shocking murder in the Loveliest Village on the Plains really makes her story hit home.
Beyond even the Auburn connection, I have a daughter. She’s not even two years old, but I would die or kill for her without hesitation. Whatever time is not spent smiling because of her presence in my life is spent worrying that I cannot protect her from every danger out there. For that reason among many others, I cannot even fathom how difficult this must be for the families, for the fathers of these two girls.
Without wasting space by blubbering about the relationship between a father and a daughter, or bloviating about the state of our culture and society, I just want to ask that anyone reading this take a few moments to say a few prayers for Lauren, for Eve, and for their families.
And if you just so happen to be near Marietta, Athens or Auburn today or tomorrow, please stop by and help hold up some tarps and bed sheets so that those families and loved ones mourning the passing of those girls can grieve in relative peace.
UPDATE (Sun., March 9 @ 10:30pm):
A friend of mine, after hearing of the Westboro Baptist Church plans to protest and picket these funerals, went to Lauren Burk’s service in Marietta and stood alongside the Patriot Guard, where they stretched out large flags to shield Lauren’s family and friends from signs which, according to the Opelika-Auburn News, read things like “God is Your Enemy” and “God Sent the Killer.”
He had mentioned, upon getting to the Temple in Marietta before any of the protestors, that a friend had told him that only five Westboro freaks had shown up at Eve Carson’s service in Athens a few hours earlier, and that he didn’t expect much more in Marietta. Thankfully, he was right — only four pigs showed up.
He told me that he took some photographs; if he permits, I’ll be sure to include them here. He also mentioned that the Patriot Guard were fantastic.
For the life of me, I still cannot fathom how these Westboro Baptist people, under the guise of Christianity, continue to do what they do. While I will never pretend to be a Biblical scholar, and will never be able to pull and cite an appropriate quote, I keep coming back to “Do Unto Others…” in my mind.
Would these people want someone shouting obscenities at a funeral of their loved ones? Do these people really believe the sludge they are selling, or are they merely in the lawsuit-instigating business and therefore found the most morally and culturally repugnant way to go about it?
Either way, it doesn’t matter. People like this get what’s coming to them. While it may not be imminent, like a bus accident while riding back to the place under whatever rock they crawled out from, but it will happen. Sooner or later, the general lack of respect for the dead and for the living will catch up to them.
In the meantime, give a big pat on the back to my friend and to those Patriot Guard folks. It’s one thing to speak loudly about decency and humanity — it’s a whole other thing to stand fast and stand strong and back up those words with action.
Rest in peace, Lauren and Eve.