Just received notice that Congregation Beth Simchat Torah in NYC is going to be picketed by Fred Phelps and his gang this Sunday. The CBST website says the following:
"June 18th, 2009
CBST has received warning that members of the Westboro Baptist Church are coming to protest against our congregation this Sunday at our Bethune Street location. They have targeted other New York synagogues this weekend.
Led by Fred Phelps, the Westboro Baptist Church is a hatemongering organization known most widely for picketing the funeral of Matthew Shepard, for their protests at the funerals of servicemen killed in Iraq, and most recently, for protesting at the funeral of Officer Stephen Tyrone Johns, the security officer killed at the National Holocaust Museum in Washington.
We are responding in two ways:
CBST will be holding a non-violent prayer vigil and service during the time of their protest. We cannot allow this group to go unchallenged as they engage in hateful speech at our synagogue. The most powerful response to such hatred is our demonstration of what makes us strong and powerful in the face of bigotry. We will not engage in any confrontational action or shouting matches. They would love it if we were to lose our composure. We will present who we are in a strong and meaningful way.
If you have a tallit, please bring it. If you would like to make colorful signs, please consider using:
"We are all created in God's image"
"God loves all of us"
"God made me gay"
and similar messages
8:45 AM on Sunday, June 21st at our Bethune location
Inspired by a gift from Mitchell Gold, CBST will be participating, as many other LGBT organizations have, in a fundraising effort to counteract the attacks on us by this group.
Mitchell Gold has pledged $10 per minute that the Westboro Baptist Church representatives are picketing us. Their presence will benefit us! We can tell them each minute how much they are raising for us!!
Once the total amount has been raised, we will be sending an acknowledgement letter to the church to let them know that their appearance helped to raise money to support LGBT causes. Many other organizations around the country have done this and raised funds to defeat those who would attack us. (check out phelps-a-thon.com to be inspired by other stories like ours).
As of the writing of this email, we have already raised $40 per minute!
we are delighted that Fred Phelps will help raise money to strengthen the work we do to create a progressive religious voice"
You go peeps!