Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth
Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God
Dear Fred Phelps and the Congregation of the Westboro Baptist Church
On January 28, you held a protest at Lowell High School that was received by intense student reaction. Lowell’s many Gay-Straight Alliances and Jewish clubs organized themselves to react to your presence. I am a sophomore who organized a Facebook event for a peaceful counter-protest. Over the course of five days, approximately 1065 people listed themselves as attending, showing clear opposition to your protest. The young counter-protestors held a gigantic dance party, showing love and tolerance for everyone, including you. This is an ecumenical letter, intended to create peace and eliminate any animosity that we may have.
Despite our opposition to your cause, we are absolutely willing to forgive and accept you. We refuse to be hurt by your invective, as doing so would be advantageous to your cause. Your protests and hate-speech will be ineffectual as long as we refuse to take you seriously. Causing personal damage and furor is clearly your goal, and we will make it impossible for you to reach that goal. Thus, instead of reacting violently or angrily against you, we amicably invite you to end your protests. We understand that such a radical change in lifestyle will not be easy, but we hope that the cessation of disparagement will be incentive for that change.
We hope you understand that we do not hate you. We hope the peaceful terms of this letter will be conducive to positive change. At the Lowell counter-protest, we did not react angrily or violently, we showed you love. We did not shoot you down; we tolerated your existence as well as your worldview. Such a task requires a great extent of open-mindedness. Instead of demanding that you reform for our own benefit, we encourage you to reform out of a hope to help you. We do not want you to be vilified and hated wherever you go, and we offer that opportunity out of authentic concern for your well being.
We conclude this letter with the hope that you will accept our invitation to end your protests. Decrying the existence of certain religious, ideological and sexual groups will never bring about social change. Nothing that a fringe-group can do will eradicate large populations of people. Your ineffective slogans do nothing but cause harm to yourself and others. Ending protests will do nothing but good for yourselves and those around you. Thus, we invite you to accept this offer to make peace with the world around you.