Now that is what I call “just desert”! The cruel and intolerant Westboro Baptist Church leader, Fred Phelps and his followers could use a lesson or two in “tolerance” as well as “civil liberties”.
By the end of today, the inhabitants of the Westboro Baptist Church compound in Topeka, Kansas, should have a new view out their windows, just past their FAG MARRIAGE DOOMS NATIONS sign: a new gay-rights center across the street, painted in brilliant rainbow colors, with a pride flag flying from a 30-foot flagpole.
Right now, a crew of volunteers is at work on the siding of a house opposite the headquarters of the publicity-hunting hate-preacher Fred Phelps.
The center is the work of a roving do-gooder named Aaron Jackson, a 31-year-old community-college dropout whose other projects have included opening orphanages in India and Haiti and buying a thousand acres of endangered rain forest in Peru. This year, his charity, Planting Peace, also intends to de-worm every child in Guatemala.
Jackson was drawn to Topeka after reading about Josef Miles, the local boy who last year, at the age of nine, photobombed one of the Westboro protests with a handmade sign that read “God Hates No One.” Jackson had been looking for a way to support equality, anti-bullying programs, and some sort of pro-LGBT initiative, he said.
“I’ve been accused in the past of being all over the place, and they’re probably right on some level,” Jackson told me last night by phone. “Right now we are standing up to bigotry and promoting equality.”
So while considering the Westboro Baptist Church, he began dinking around on Google Maps late one night. He pulled up the church, at 3701 SW 12th St. in Topeka, and took a virtual walk around the block. In the front yard of a house across the street, he noticed a For Sale sign.
“It hit me right away,” Jackson told me last night by phone. “Huh. That would be interesting to own a house across from the Westboro Baptist Church and turn it into something.’ And then, within five seconds: ‘And I’ll paint it the color of the pride flag.’ Perfect.”
The house he’d thought for sale no longer was, but he found another, two doors down, that was still across the street from the Westboro compound. It was listed for something in the $80,000s.
“I find that if you have a hate group in front of your home, that should bring the price of your home down just a little bit,” Jackson said. “Unfortunately the gentleman that was selling the house, he didn’t seem to agree with me.” The guy wouldn’t budge. Jackson was tempted to walk away. “What he did not know,” Jackson said, “where he had me, was I needed this home. I had to have this house. There was no way around it.”
- Fred Phelps Gay? Former Westboro Baptist Church Member Says Maybe (gawker.com)
- Group Paints Rainbow Colored Home Across From Westboro Baptist Church (wibw.com)
- Activist Painting House Like a Gay Rainbow, Across Street from Westboro Baptist Church (blogs.browardpalmbeach.com)
- Westboro Baptist Church Founder Fred Phelps May Be Gay, Suggests Former Member Lauren Drain (huffingtonpost.com)
- Westboro Baptist Church Epically Trolled By Rainbow Colored House Right Across The Street (addictinginfo.org)