Being a subscriber to the GLAAD blog, I heard on Thursday that the Westboro Baptist church would be appearing on a radio program to talk about the shooting that recently happened in Tuscon. This angered me. I know what the Westboro Baptist church is going to say, and whether it is insane and extreme or not, there will be people who will agree and be motivated by their hate to hurt those with Rainbow identities.
I researched a bit more about what is going to happen with this radio program and found a video, from the host of the show, describing why he made the decision to extend an invite to the Westboro Baptist church. The gist of it is that the host of the program felt bad for the families of those that have died because of the violence in Tuscon. So, when he found out that Westboro Baptist church was planning on picketing the funerals of the dead, he felt that he needed to act. So he invited them onto his show on the condition that they do not picket the funerals of those that died in the Tuscon shooting. This seems like a kind move, and when he says that he feels that the Westboro Baptist Church is neither a Church nor is it Baptist it almost lulled me into believing him.
However, there is one glaring flaw: More people will be subjected to the hatred of this group than they would have been if they had picketed. This is amplified by the fact that the show will be hosted on a show that is affiliated (or run by) FoxNews. Should we really be giving people who already delude themselves with nonsense like a Obama being a Muslim (which he isn’t) another, possibly even more right-wing and extreme view? Should we really be allowing a company that encourages people to come to peaceful protests with loaded guns to hold a fair conversation with people who advocate killing people who are gay?
I am not sure what Mike Gallagher was thinking when he offered this. Maybe this is just the story of someone who feels that they can show up the Westboro Baptist church in a public arena. Maybe he hopes that his l33t debating skills will silence Westboro Baptist, at least for a while. If this is the case, he is truly deluded. People with extreme views like those of the Westboro Baptist church will not concede defeat, even when faced with masses of evidence and years to think about it. No matter what Mike Gallagher says to the Westboro Baptist church, no matter how scientific or intelligent the points he makes are, the Westboro Baptist will come out of the interview thinking that they won. Worse yet, those that are listening to this interview, could have their personal anti-homosexual view strengthened. And if even one of these people later goes on to continue the cycle of violence and oppression of Rainbow identified people, we ended with a worse result than the pissing off of a few families and the (completely unnecessary) making a bad day even worse.
So, please, in the future, could we just ignore, or counter demonstrate against hatred rather than giving it an International stage to preach its hatred?