Standing up for Jews, Gays and Mexicans, why should you?
Pastor Fred Phelps is staging protest against Jews, Gays and Lesbians and the Mexicans right here in Dallas, Texas. Here is an opportunity for you to stand up for the rights of others and add purpose in life. Join us for goodwill prayers and hope the positive energy will open people’s hearts and minds towards each other, leading to appreciating the value of living in harmony. - Mike Ghouse
A few pictures: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mikeghouse/sets/72157624336357507/
Pastor Fred Phelps of Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka Kansas boasts of holding 43,660 peaceful demonstrations. This weekend he is staging protest against Jews, Gays and Lesbians and the Mexicans. We need to be unselfish to serve our selfish interests. Here is an opportunity to find a purpose in life and stand up for the rights of others.
Why should you stand up for others? You may find answers in the following lines inspired by Martin Niemoller’s eternal poem about co-existence;
First they expressed their hate for Jews,
it did not bother me because I am not a Jew;
Then they condemn Gays & Lesbians,
it did not bother me because I am not a Gay;
Then they deny the divinity of Catholicism,
it did not bother me because I am not a Catholic;
Then they want to look down upon Mexicans,
it did not bother me because I am not a Mexican;
Finally, they want to harass me the new immigrant,
It does bother me, that there is no one left to speak for me.
One of the most beautiful things religions teach us is living for the sake of others; seriously, when we are concerned about ourselves, and we become utterly selfish and care about ourselves in the moments of our strength, then what happens to us in our vulnerable moments?
Religions help us sustain peace and balance in the society in the times of our spiritual, physical and societal ups and downs. Living for the sake of others is not a charity or even a noble thing to brag about; it is indeed the pragmatic thing to do.
Jesus taught us how to co-exist in peace by removing prejudices and embracing every one that God has created, not just the ones who act, eat and look like us, but those whom the society had neglected. He embrace the then socially rejected prostitutes and the lepers, was that his limit of compassion?
We hope the Ministries of Westboro Baptist Church seriously consider the role of Jesus in creating a world of love and peace. I request them to ponder;
1. What would Jesus do if he ran into a HIV infected person, condemn him or bless him?
2. What would Jesus do if he had a line up of prostitutes, Lepers, Pious Pastors, Ordinary people, Gays and Lesbians, Mexicans and immigrants; hug them or curse them?
3. Should we reduce Jesus to be a partisan fellow to take sides?
4. Would Jesus agree if God were to sign a deal behind others back?
One of the gifts of Jesus was his helping us to create the kingdom of heaven on earth where every one of God’s creation lives in peace and love, without fear, and lives in unison with the cosmic universe. Can we follow Jesus and remove the fears and bring peace to all? Didn’t he say: A new commandment I give you - Love one another as I have loved you so that all men may know you are my disciples, John 13:34, 35. Are we to be known for our love and compassion -- or our hostility?
Didn’t Jesus have the power to change the world by merely saying let it? Why did he not? Did he want to test us to see if we follow him? Are we going to follow the path of compassion and forgiveness that he chose, or act out of fear and hatred for others?
Please show your solidarity by standing with the ones who need to be stood by now. Let there not be any hate for the men, women and children of the Westboro Baptist Church. We can always overcome ignorance with love and kindness – just as Jesus did.
As a Muslim, I am standing up for the rights of every human being; it is not against the individuals but against the ignorance. As a Muslim I have stood up for Atheists, Bahais, Buddhists, Christians, Hindus, Jains, Jews, Natives, Sikhs, Zoroastrians and many of them in between.
I hope to meet the Jewish man whom I met at the Gaza Rally in downtown Dallas in December of 2008. I was with the banner of Dallas Peace Center and saw a Jewish teen taking pictures followed by heated discussion between him and a Palestinian. The police officer stepped in and told the teen to be out of there; I walked up to the officer and defended his right to be there as any one else. The officer told me not to interfere while I asserted that I will stand up with the teen. Then he told me that he would arrest me and I was ready for it, but the Jewish teen went to the other side and I followed him with my camera until the teen left behind the screen wall.
Unless we learn to stand up for the rights of others, we cannot claim to be just and we have no right to expect others to stand up for us.
The folks form the Westboro Baptist church are holding demonstrations at various place in the D/FW Metroplex. A few of them are the Dallas Holocaust Museum, The Cathedral of Guadalupe, Jewish Community Center, Chabad of Dallas and several other places including Arlington, the complete list is at: http://www.godhatesfags.com/schedule.html . I will be there at the Holocaust Museum and hopefully other place. Please join me for a prayer of peace and prayer of co-existence. We have to live together; we might as well live with harmony and cohesion.
Mike Ghouse is a speaker, thinker, writer, optimist, educator and an activist of Pluralism, Justice, Islam, India, Peace and Civil Societies. He is a conflict mitigater and a goodwill nurturer offering pluralistic solutions on issues of the day and is a frequent guest on the media. Mike's work is reflected at three websites & twenty two Blogs listed at http://www.mikeghouse.net/
Last week, as a Muslim I stood up and joined in with the Jews, GLBT, Catholics, Immigrants and others and offered prayers of Good will outside and inside of the Holocaust Museum and other places. Indeed, the Holocaust Survivors including Max Goldblatt and one of the founders of the Holocaust Museum, Mike Jacobs and other members joined in with me for the goodwill prayers. This is the kind of Dallas I envision, standing for each other and being there for each other and we hope that the Parliament will become a catalyst in helping us all look to each other as Americans and nothing but Americans, meanwhile we need to continue with our individual and group efforts. http://religionblog.dallasnews.com/archives/2010/07/texas-faith-dallas-and-the-201.html
If you support this initiative, please list the name of your organization and the weblink and contact info in the comments section below, we will list it on the following websites and five related blogs.
I will be at the following places:
Friday, 07/09/2010 2:15 PM - 2:45 PM Dallas Holocaust Museum 211 North Record Street, Down Town Dallas
Friday, 07/09/2010 3:45 PM - 4:15 PM Texas Jewish Post 7920 Belt Line Road, Addison
Sunday, 07/11/2010 08:30 AM - 09:00 AM Dallas, Chabad of Dallas 6710 Levelland Road, North Dallas
The Resource Center is located at: 2701 Reagan St. Dallas TX 75219
The anti-GLBT/Jews/Catholics/Hispanics Westboro Baptist
Church protests will be protesting both Beth El Binah (a Jewish congregation) and the Resource Center of Dallas. Last week, the Resource Center of Dallas released an announcement about their attempt to use this protest as a way to raise much needed funds for a new ice machine that it badly needs to continue serving the homeless with HIV. For every minute Fred Phelps and his hateful "church" intends to protest, RCD is asking for a donation pledge. So if you pledge $1/minute, your donation will be 30 bucks. So far, RCD has raised over $800 from over 25 contributors. Donations have come from all over Texas and as far as New York. Equality March of Texas is one of the organizations helping the Resource Center to raise funds. Please take a stand by donating and being present at the Resource Center with Equality March of Texas!
For the entire schedule is at this link,
may God help them with goodwill: