The Rev. Deacon Lorraine Mills-Curran, attached to St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, Framingham, Mass., and a member of The Episcopal Church's Standing Commission on Ecumenical and Interreligious Relations, is one of 15 signers on a letter hoping to preempt activities designed to stir up hate.
Which can only mean Westboro Baptist Church is planning a visit to Rev. Mills-Curran's neck of the woods - in this case, to protest another performance of "The Laramie Project."
The large group of religious professionals writes,
On Wednesday and Friday evenings, on Saturday and Sunday mornings, people of many different faiths gather in worshipping communities all around Framingham and MetroWest. Drawing upon our various traditions and sacred texts, we celebrate and seek to live out a shared conviction: at the heart of our diverse faiths is a Sacred Presence of love and compassion, which we name in different ways. Our respective faiths call us to treat one another with that same love and compassion.
Whenever we hear of a group who, in the name of any of our religions, proclaims hate, we respond with outrage and great sadness. Recently, the town of Framingham has learned that the Kansas-based group that calls themselves the Westboro Baptist Church, led by Fred Phelps, may come to Framingham on December 4. This group, which calls themselves Christian, proclaims a message of hate that is antithetical to Christianity. Their message is abhorrent to all our faith communities. Their possible presence in Framingham is a troubling reminder of the ways our faith traditions can be (and have been) twisted by those who choose hate. It challenges us to reaffirm the central message of love and compassion.
Over the last few weeks, we have had numerous opportunities to talk with Framingham community groups about this potential event. We are grateful to be reassured, over and over again, that the people of Framingham reject this expression of hate and recognize it as a gross distortion of religious faith. We join with all those who say No to this group. No, this is not what our town is about. No, this is not what Christian faith is about.
Lately Westboro hasn't shown up as promised to protest showings in places like Santa Ana, Calif. and Buffalo Grove, Ill. - leaving counter-protestors to steal the show with signs and costumes. But do recall how the play directly addresses Westboro's Fred Phelps.
What you've got there is a bad penny. Those who preach the white-hot hatred of God aren't ultimately going to let a little schedule conflict get in their way.