Continental Airlines Flight # 3407 left Newark, New Jersey heading for Buffalo, New York on the evening of February 12, 2009. Less than an hour later, the plane, carrying 45 passengers and a crew of 4 crashed into a private home, just short of its destination, in the Buffalo suburb of Clarence Center. All aboard Flight 3407 and one of the 3 residents of the home perished that night.
On Sunday, February 22, a memorial service was held for one of the victims of the crash, international human rights advocate, Alison Des Forges.
Seeking to make himself & his hateful Old Time Religion appear relevant & never passing up a chance to remind the world how much God hates a world that just doesn't hate gay people quite enough for the “good” reverend’s liking, Fred Phelps & his Westboro Baptist Church, seeking to strike while the attention iron was hot, posted the ugly intentions of their dark hearts on their infamous website, godhatesfags.com:
“God, in his longsuffering mercy, spared the lives of those in the plane that crashed into the river at New York City. Rather than take the incident as another warning from God to repent of their manifold and filthy sins of the flesh—(i.e., sodomy, fornication, divorce, adultery, etc.)—Americans went right on sinning against God. Is there any wonder that, GOD HATES AMERICA? Nor is there any wonder that God, this time, did NOT spare the lives of those in Flight 3407.”
When word spread that Phelps & family were planning on protesting at Alison Des Forges’s funeral, the residents of Clarence Center came to the conclusion that simply trying to ignore ignorance & hate were not enough.
An article on Artvoice, a local newspaper’s website reports that a local gay rights group, OUTspoken for Equality decided to fight fire with love.
According to the article, local OUTspoken members ”…organized a silent vigil, wearing angel costumes fashioned from white PVC pipes and white cloth. University of Buffalo students held white banners. Together they formed a white wall in the hopes of warding mourners attending the memorial service from intimidation by Phelps’ group.”
Nearly two-hundred of these angels stood out in the cold and in the nearly 20 MPH wind to shield the mourners from what wound up being 3 WBC protestors.
Before the service, a spokesman for this modern-day band of angels explained that the motivation for their action was quite simple:
“We’re not here to address Phelps. We’re not a counter-protest. We’re not here to outshout them. We’re here to stand in solidarity with the families of Flight 3407. We’re here to protect their right to grieve. The people of Buffalo won’t stand for this type of harassment especially from people not even from this community”.
After all these years, it still amazes me what evil continues to be done in God’s name, and how far evil will go to make its ugly voice heard.
All I can say is, Thank God for Angels!