Today, when the Supreme Court of the United States has taken up the marriage equality debate, it saddens me that equality is still something we struggle toward in these United States. It is troubling that unfairness is written into the constitution when it flies in the face of what we stand for as a nation. It is no more tolerable in Afghanistan or the Maldives or anywhere among souls that care or profess to care for all. I have great hope that strides might be taken by the highest court in our land to right wrongs still being done…and I am, of course, frustrated that there are still these wrongs to be righted.
I smile to myself when I see bold gestures to not only further our progress as people, but make a bit of a mockery of those being left behind by their own choices to dig in their heels and cling to wrongly directed decisions of the past. Organized religions and non-affiliated individuals find themselves on the wrong side of history, and I hope will have the presence of mind to eventually feel foolish. One group that challenges my desire to give every person the benefit of the doubt, are the folks in the Westboro Baptist Church. They long ago defiled any rational attachment to any God recognizable to any religion outside their own clamped down minds, but their visceral hatred continues, as they vociferously picket military funerals and other bizarre targets. Winning anyone over is clearly not in their plans, as they defy all logic. Winning over many, however, are their new neighbors, across the street from the “church” headquarters near Topeka, Kansas. Planting Peace is an internationally-focused non-profit organization dedicated to lofty goals like supporting orphanages around the world, de-worming children suffering from parasites, rainforest conservation, equality, anti-bullying, and tree-planting. Their new residential offices, across from Westboro’s headquarters, is now called “Equality House” and has gotten a facelift–the entire house is now painted in the rainbow stripes of the gay pride flag. It’s a beautiful thing that I hope brings joy and sunshine into the hearts of Westboro’s followers of Fred Phelps as they gaze at it every day.