Fred Phelps Update: Megan Phelps Forsakes Homosexual Protest

How rude is it to not show up when you promised to attend a good old fashion homosexual protest rally?

Here is what happens when the Phelps fell to follow through on their committments… they leave, “one protester, Anthony Battaglia from First Baptist Church in Gonzales, wound up facing a crowd of about 500 counter-protesters alone.”

Protester outnumbered 500 to one

DUTCHTOWN — A threat to protest Dutchtown High School’s production of “The Laramie Project” by anti-gay Westboro Baptist Church became in turns a conversation about religion, a shouting match, and an occasional sing-along.

No one from Westboro actually showed up Thursday night, as scheduled on the Topeka, Kan., church’s “picket list.”

One protester, Anthony Battaglia from First Baptist Church in Gonzales, wound up facing a crowd of about 500 counter-protesters alone.

Battaglia said while he doesn’t agree with Westboro’s methods, he does agree with the church’s view of faith, a faith that sees homosexuality as wrong.

“I don’t see myself as fitting on either side, but I can’t stay in the middle,” Battaglia said.

Counter-protester the Rev. Clinton Crawshaw with The Big Easy Metropolitan Community Church out of New Orleans, replied that Battaglia had picked the wrong side. “You know you have to choose a side — hatred, or love,” Crawshaw said

“The Laramie Project” tells the story of Matthew Shepard, a gay University of Wyoming student who was brutally beaten in Laramie by two locals later convicted in his death. Westboro Baptist Church picketed Matthew Shepard’s funeral with signs that read: “Matthew is burning in Hell.”

The mass of counter protesters at Dutchtown High carried signs with slogans such as “God hates fat-free mayonnaise,” “God Drinks Haterade” and “Jesus had two dads, why can’t I?” meant to deflect the message for which Westboro is known.

In the end, Battaglia’s only sign read, “God Bless Our Soldiers” — Westboro has also protested outside soldiers’ funerals — and was passed on to him by a counter-protester who was leaving the event.

Many counter-protesters stored their signs outside the cafeteria while they went in to see the performance.

The event remained peaceful, if lively, until Battaglia, still alone, left around 7:15, when the rest of the crowd dispersed.

His message, he said, was to let people know about “the well-rounded character of the God of the universe, and while God is love, he is also just.”

But that “you’re not OK” viewpoint of faith and sexuality, said Keith Mozingo, pastor at the Baton Rouge Metropolitan Community Church, causes a lot of suffering, especially in high school students, which is why he helped organize groups to lend moral support to the play.

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And here are the oh so coveted comments:

  • Anonymous:

    Way to go Louisiana! I am proud of the turnout. This shows why Don’t Ask, Don’t tell WILL be repealed. As Meghan McCain said, ““This is why young people are turned off by this movement. And I’m sorry revolutions start with young people. Not with 65 year old people…’ The coming generations will wonder what all the fuss was about.

    Posted on Mar 19, 2010 at 8:49 AM
  • Anonymous:

    That church is something we don’t need here. Yet, regardless of religious views, gay is wrong. And a gay church, what Bible are these people reading?

    Posted on Mar 19, 2010 at 11:15 AM
  • Geaux:

    Awesome. I’m proud of my state. Westboro is ridiculous and overwhelming fueled by hate. Typical “you’re different and we don’t like it”. I’m glad they didn’t show up.

    Posted on Mar 19, 2010 at 11:59 AM
  • Anonymous:

    I agree with the local pastor!!! The church that picketed those funerals is off the mark. The real problem is why did this school let the teacher pick that play, knowing that it is not in good taste. She is the problem! School should use common sense and stop that from happening.

    What’s this?

    Posted on Mar 19, 2010 at 2:00 PM
  • Anonymous:

    This makes me so proud of my state! Kudos to the teacher for picking a play with such difficult subject matter, and A to the students for agreeing to perform it. Ignoring the hate and injustice in our country will not make it go away.

    Posted on Mar 19, 2010 at 3:52 PM
  • Anonymous:

    Hurray for tolerance, at last making inroads in the state of hate and ignorance. I am proud of the youth of our great state in a way that almost covers the disgust I harbor for those that preceded them…it’s time to do something productive Baby Boomers, instead of spending the country into insignificance on the global stage. Let’s focus on the real issues: health care, education, and the economy.

    Posted on Mar 19, 2010 at 4:08 PM
  • Anonymous:

    I cannot believe that in 2010, someone with access to a computer and the ability to type is moronic enough to post, “The real problem is why did this school let the teacher pick that play, knowing that it is not in good taste. She is the problem! School should use common sense and stop that from happening.” First, the play is not in bad taste. Theatrically, it is stunning in staging, ingenious in dialogue and mesmerizing in content. Second, any agency that would try to restrict the artistic enlightenment of staging this production is headed for a very slippery slope of free speech rights. Third, the school system is there to teach, not cast judgement about lifestyles or religion. Teachers need support and encouragement, just like the students. How brazen to condemn her without substance, information or justification. I applaud the Dutchtown community, faculty and students for this enterprising endeavor. Perhaps if this were a more common-place event, there would be fewer cases of 2010 moronitis.

    Posted on Mar 19, 2010 at 5:17 PM
  • Anonymous:

    Sorry to break it to you bigots, but gay people exist, and like most of the other people in the world, they don’t believe the exact same things you do. Get over it and leave gays alone.

    Posted on Mar 19, 2010 at 5:54 PM
  • brian in br:

    To the ignorant idiot who anonymously posted: And a gay church, what Bible are these people reading? I think it is the Bible where Jesus preached love and acceptance. The same one where we find out that God made us all in his image. In my Sunday School class, I learned that Jesus loved all of the little children, not just the straight ones. It is people like you who use religion to advance intolerance that would make baby Jesus cry.

    Posted on Mar 19, 2010 at 10:47 PM
  • Anonymous:

    It’s funny that all the holy rollers in Baton Rouge seem to have forgotten Jesus’ greatest hits: the Beatitudes. I’ve ever seen people who hate the poor, those who are different, and the downtrodden as much as Baton Rouge Republicans.

    Posted on Mar 20, 2010 at 2:00 AM
  • Anonymous:

    I am proud of Anthony Battaglia. He stood firm on the truth of God’s Word regardless of the outcome and preached to everyone there. It is hard to find Christian men like him who will not recoil at the potential of persecution or confrontation in an effort to do THE most loving thing any Christian can do….tell people the whole truth of the Gospel, even if it hurts. God has clearly defined what is right and what is wrong and people hate it when their favorite sin is condemned by HIs Scriptures so they either hate Christianity or form a religion around their sins with a god that is complicit with the sins they so love.

    Posted on Mar 20, 2010 at 11:12 AM
  • Anonymous:

    I hope Mr. Battaglia doesn’t let this go on in HIS church…. and I’m sure that it doesn’t happen at Hillsboro, either: In 1 Corinthians 14:34-35, Paul wrote: “As in all the congregations of the saints, women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the Law says. If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church” (vv. 33-35). Soooo let’s not do EVERYTHING the bible says, ok…. let’s ONLY do the things we find easy, convenient, and to our own personal likening, shall we?

    Posted on Mar 21, 2010 at 11:00 AM
  • Anthony Battaglia:

    Regarding 1 Corinthians 14 and every other Scripture reference. Logic and reasoning in everyday life just don’t permit truth to be taken out of context. For example, if you see snippit of a video of a man knocking another man to the ground you might assume violent aggression without knowing the whole truth. Upon viewing the entire video, you would be able to see the gunman who planned on taking the man on the grounds life. Your emotions will now flip from questioning or disliking the aggressor to praising or even thanking the aggressor for saving the mans life. CONTEXT is everything, and Scripture is no exception. The context of 1 Corinthians 14 regards the gifts of the Spirit and in particular Prophecy / Tongues. Very simple to answer and practice regarding the Church, the role of women and the use of Spiritual gifts in the Church Service, WHEN we take into account the well balanced view of the entirety of Scripture. Not just does my Church obey this Scripture but tens of thousands around the world, as we should all of Scripture. And Brian there are no “gay” children in the Bible. Homosexuality is a choice to sin, just as fornication, adultery, murder. Jesus never condoned anyone’s sin, He absolutely loved them and always told them to “repent” or “go and sin no more”, because this is real love … to have compassion enough to tell someone that they are not right with God and without a Savior they will perish on the Day of Judgment. Love tells the truth and no greater love is there than Christ laying down His life for His friends. God is Love and He showed it is crushing His Son on a cross 2000 years ago to save His people from their sins (Isaiah 53:10).

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