Posts Tagged ‘interfaith’

It’s happening again.  A hate organization that calls itself a church is coming to Lexington to demonstrate in front of another religious organization.  This time they’ve targeted a large nondenominational Christian church, although past visits have picketed Baptist, United Church of Christ, and Unitarian Universalist churches and a synagogue as well as the town public schools.

And this time — as has been the case for the last three or so visits — this “church” and its hate-mongers will be greeted by a non-violent interfaith group of silent people acting as a human shield around the congregation being targeted.

The ‘church’ says it is picketing the targeted congregation in order “to remind this nation that paying false prophets to lie about God will send you to Hell!”  They’ll then move on to picket another congregation in Boston, then they’ll picket in front of a hotel where a benefit dinner is being held, and then on Monday,they’ll stand in front of a Boston school.  Thanks for coming, folks.

I’m not sure why Lexington, Massachusetts has been getting so much attention from this group – we’ve guessed that it’s because the Revolutionary War is said to have started in our town, on the Battle Green right in front of the congregation I attend, First Parish in Lexington, Unitarian Universalist.  They are probably further provoked by the commitment of Lexington’s town government and education department to affirm all people, all families, all faiths.

Whatever the reason, these folks picked the wrong town.  If they seek to intimidate, they should look elsewhere.  We’re fortunate to have a very active and dedicated set of interfaith organizations – drawn from faith communities, government, and the community – who have responded to hate, over and over, with love, peacefulness, and steadfastness, to form human shields around buildings being picketed.

The ‘church’ generally arrives with bullhorns and offensive signage, and their goal is to provoke a confrontation and gain attention.  Instead, the good people of Lexington are committed to their non-violent response of turning their backs on the picketers, joining hands, and forming a ring of love and protection around a targeted space.  These ‘shields’ don’t speak, and they remain in position until the ‘church’ goes away.  The local police department have shown wonderful support as well in making sure that violence and confrontation do not erupt.

My faith tradition encourages people to ‘stand on the side of love.’  Other faith traditions, and those that support equality for all people, regardless of race, religion, family structure, or income, have responded similarly.  Fear and loathing are what the people of this ‘church’ preach.  That is not the religion I affirm, and on June 6, I trust that once again, the people who live in the cradle of liberty will proudly act on their belief in equality for all and freedom of religion throughout the land.

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