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Lord knows–and I don’t use that phrase in a literal sense–I shouldn’t make fun of the folks from Westboro Baptist Church. They traveled all the way from Topeka, Kansas to St. Louis–that’s over 400 miles–to deliver a heartfelt message. Of hate. Still, a sane person must mock the sociopaths who showed up at two St. Louis high schools and a Jewish community center on Monday to lovingly explain to the people there that they are going to fry in Hell. The first thing you see if you visit their website is:

Welcome, depraved sons and daughters of Adam.

75 reprobates have split hell wide open since you loaded this web page.

(The number of reprobates starts at four and quickly grows.) You can’t say they aren’t upfront about their beliefs. They hate Jews, fags, Obama, and everyone who doesn’t subscribe to the Calvinist idea of a God who suspends wicked sinners like a spider hanging by a thread over the hungry flames of hell.

Apparently, they chose Marquette High School in Chesterfield and Hazelwood Central High School in North County because those are two of the largest high schools in the area and because they are at different ends of the county. I attended the demonstration in Hazelwood. It’s bizarre to stand across the road from signs like these and hear the strains of a sweet, soulful hymn. The cognitive dissonance smacks you upside the head.

Also jarring is the sight of seven and eight year old kids carrying signs that say “God hates fags”. The Westboro parents are training the next generation to live in 1741.

Nary a smile flitted across any face–as befits a group rallying to warn you of hellfire. The weather did not cooperate on Monday, though, with their dark, brooding message. It was a glorious sunny day, seventy degrees.

Counterprotesters organized by Show Me No Hate mustered a much larger group. (In all fairness, though, none of them had to travel 400 miles to be there.) But the 400 mile trip doesn’t explain how dour the Westboro Baptists were and how cheerful, not to mention colorful, the Show Me No Hate bunch was. There were seven or eight cops there, by the way, to keep the peace, and they kept the two groups separated by the four lanes of traffic on New Halls Ferry Road.

(More pictures below the fold.)

“Cheerful” doesn’t altogether describe the counterprotesters. They took cheerfulness into whimsy.

And overall, they were the opposite of vicious.

Monday’s Westboro website had a sermonette for each institution they were scheduled to visit. Each high school got a different message, but it’s not as if the Westboro fanatics knew the specifics of any sinning going on at Marquette and Hazelwood Central. Each harangue is strictly boilerplate bonkers. (I should have taken a screen shot–sorry about that–because by this morning, yesterday’s vituperation had been replaced by new rants aimed at the places congregants will be visiting today. They maintain a busy schedule.)

Hazelwood Central H.S. – You teach the kids to H8 God! 15875 New Halls Ferry Rd Why do you insist on teaching your children rebellion against God? Don’t teach your kids to hate God, that kind of love’s a facade. It’s wrong in every sense of the word, fool! You’d better trust and obey Him! So we have only one message of truth and love for the little people who God has given you as a blessing, but which you would just as soon have killed, eaten and then sucked the bones for frequent snacking like your favorite idol Barack Obama tells you to. We are not like you, we actually believe that we should love our neighbour and teach our neighbour the truth: Psalm 34:11 Come, ye children, hearken unto me: I will teach you the fear of the LORD. AND Obama is the Antichrist and Hates you, too. AMEN!

They’re doing Jonathan Edwards proud with straightforward rhetoric like that. How could the Hazelwood Central students resist such a message?

Here’s the one for the Jewish community center:

Staenberg JCC – Alan Specter is a Specter of Doom! 2 Millstone Campus Dr As quoted in the Honolulu News: “We’re now at a point where the mainstream position that’s supported by the majority, both here in Hawaii and the whole country, is civil unions,” said Alan Spector of the Family Equality Coalition, which backs equal marriage rights for gays and lesbians. And you hateful, Fag-Enabling Jews are having this filthy brute speak at your Jewish Book Festival? Why not call that thing what it is: Fag Pride Conference! You see he is a Specter (a visible incorporeal spirit, esp. one of a terrifying nature; ghost; phantom; apparition.) of the DOOM of Israel. Check out what the Lord Jesus Christ told those Jews: Luke 17:28 Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; 29 But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. 30 Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed. You know about Lot, Sodom and Lot’s wife – you mock us for reminding you. Alan is your living, walking, talking, etc reminder that your DOOM is imminent! Praise the Lord Jesus Christ! AMEN!

“Filthy Jews” and the supposed Prince of Peace in the same tirade: did I mention cognitive dissonance earlier?