What America looks like in my community - tolerant, progressive, diverse - is not America to many others. There are parts of this country where race relations are troubled, gays and lesbians are outcasts, and immigrants are blamed for much of the ills of the world.
No, there's probably nothing I could have said or done to get those guys to calm down, apologize and march alongside us. But I did have an opportunity to model some real strength and grace to others there by responding without the barbs.
We haven't heard much from the church in recent years, but this week, Steve Drain -- one of the first church members not to be related to the Phelps family by blood -- admitted that national gay marriage is coming.
If the unconditional love one would think a parent would have for a child instinctively is not enough, and the unconditional love evangelical Christians claim to believe God has for all people is not enough, then let us declare a spiritual revolution and claim our sovereignty as trans people.
Every person I met and every story I heard was a clear testimony to me that brighter days lie ahead for LGBTQ people in the Church.
God placed humans in the Garden of Eden and gave them the right to agree or disagree. One of the primary ways that we express agreement or disagreement is through speech. The most divine thing that we do on any given day is express who we are and what we believe.
The Westboro Baptist Church expresses their beliefs through parodies of traditional carols or holiday songs. For its members, Christmas is simply one more example of pagan inspired idolatry, completely lacking in Biblical basis.
We have to remember that a large cross-section of the American public, albeit not a majority, separate their own positive feelings towards gay people from the moral and political choices they make in life.
As a history teacher, I cherish history and know the importance of all people's history. However, when it comes to teaching LGBT history, many so-called religious people always pull out the religious card.
I envy you because you have been witness to all of these wonderful moments of progress. You've had to stand there, signs in hand, tired vocal chords, aching feet, watching as state after state legalized gay marriage. You've had to watch as gay marriage made it to a federal level -- and won.
If Westboro does show up in front of our offices to protest, we'll be ready for them. We're not scared of a handful of sad people with access to school supplies and a few nasty slogans.
Yes, the Westboro Baptist Church is a family of scumbags whose sole purpose is to offend. But why is anyone still offended? Why does anyone still care? Stop trying to "defeat" them with the attention they crave.
When news circulated that the notorious Westboro Baptist Church was planning to protest the "home-going" service of our nation's most beloved citizen, poet, author, civil-rights activist, and sister sage to us all, Dr. Maya Angelou, there was a collective gasp of disbelief.
Although I can't control all of it, after working with Brad, Terrie and their talented team this last year, I can make this commitment: This investment will not return empty. We will change hearts and minds. We will save lives.
Fred Phelps, until his death in March this year, and his Westboro Baptist Church -- composed mainly of family members -- travel around the country pro...
As you would expect, he was a braggart, but he mainly wanted to demonstrate to us what an efficient operation he led. Like a company marketeer, he proudly walked us around, Vanna Whiteing the number of printers and fax machines.