X-Ray Crowd, by American painter, graphic novelist, and illustrator Eric Drooker

The Westboro Baptist “Church” are coming to my neighborhood in Vancouver to protest a small play running at the Havana about Matthew Sheperd, a gay American University of Wyoming student who was hate-crime murdered near Laramie on the night of October 6–October 7, 1998. (These classy, classy people are also planning on picketing Obama’s grandmother’s funeral.)

From their awful site, godhatesfags.com:

C1/28/08 Vancouver, Canada – Havana Theatre – Matt’s in hell & God Hates Canada! 1212 Commercial Drive With signs in hand and smiles on our faces, we shall travel the great distance from Kansas to Canada – AGAIN! When Canada determined to fight against God, they took up a satanic mission which must be addressed. We cannot make you behave, but we can tell you some words, to wit: Ps 9:17 The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God. Just because you are really, really evil and hateful does not mean WE will not lovingly tell you the truth because that’s our job, man! Matthew Sheperd is in hell, 10+ years now, and will remain there for the remainder of time. Deal with it! AMEN!

If they manage to cross the border, a group of us are planning on attending as well with counter signs that state GOD HATES SIGNS, (based off Isaiah 44:24-25), GOD SENT ME TO SELL YOU ATHEISM and any other appropriate anti-slogan we can think of. As Mike Levens points out, “http://www.godhateseveryoneexceptforus.com should provide some inspiration”. What we’re going to do once we’re there is still up for discussion. Some people are planning on arriving in angel wings, which I think sort of buys a little too deeply into their belief structure, plus is something for them to rail against, which they thrive on, and some people are planning on attempting to stand with the Westboro people with anti-signs in hand. “… just kinda sidle up to them. Act like you’re in on their cause and want to support it. Act surprised and offended if they try and distance themselves. Join in their stupid slogan-chants but get the words wrong.” Me, I’m more for the second plan.

To go with this, a collection might be taken up to donate money to the matthew shepherd foundation, accepting pledges that will increase with every hour the Westboro people protest.

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