Parents and employers try to teach their children and employees to be on time. When you intend to demonstrate, being on time is also key. Take, for example, the Christian Defense Coalition (the “CDC”). The evangelical group, known recently for vigils in support of former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore and most recently for fighting with the secret service over a ban on crosses at the inauguration, was scheduled to have its vigil on 4th Street at Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C (by the Canadian Embassy). According to Reverend Patrick Mahoney, the leader of the CDC, because of congestion, weather, and security checks, the CDC did not arrive on the scene until about 12:30 p.m.
One block over, a group connected with the controversial Westboro Baptist Church was suppose to protest. Westboro Baptist Church is rather infamous for signs that condemn, in very offensive language, homosexuals and has targeted the Vice President’s daughter, Mary Cheney, with rainbow colored signs calling her offensive names. Lately, the group has started a website praising the tsunamis as God’s judgment on the world and calling for the divine destruction of the United States.
With CDC running late, it looks like the Westboro Baptist Church group set up in the CDC’s location. When Doverspa, a blogger for RedState, happened upon 4th and Penn., he snapped these pictures (scroll to the bottom pictures) and presumed, based on the Washington Post’s schedule of protests, that the group responsible was the CDC. I called Reverend Mahoney to find out if the protestors were from the CDC. He adamantly condemned the protest and said the people who held those signs do not represent the values of the CDC. The CDC intended to pray for the President and draw chalk outlines of babies as an anti-abortion protest. Reverend Mahoney pointed me in the direction of Fred Phelps, the leader of Westboro Baptist Church.
Despite efforts to contact members of the Westboro Baptist Church, I was unable to do so. However, browsing the church> ‘> s several websites, I saw identical signs to those held up at today’s protest — rainbow colored signs condemning homosexuals, blaming 9/11 on immorality, and praising the effects of the tsunamis. Additionally, they had a schedule of their protests showing that they intended to be one block over from the CDC vigil.
Frequently, Christians are portrayed as pro-America right wingers. While there are a lot of us who fit that characterization (yeah, I’d characterize myself like that), the Westboro Baptist Church is a reminder that some who call themselves Christians have a virulent hatred for America. Next time, Reverend Mahoney agrees, his group will redouble its efforts to show up on time so no one confuses his group with another.