Sidwell Friends Braces for Westboro Baptist Protests

Secular Talk / YouTube

After protesting countless funerals, concerts and Pride parades with vitriolic speech and obnoxious signage, the near-universally hated hate group the Westboro Baptist Church is headed to the Sidwell Friends School on Wednesday for a Veterans’ Day picket, according to school officials.

The Topeka, Kansas-based church, which is primarily opposed to LGBT rights, announced the picket of the Northwest Washington private school in a bizarre, rambling Oct. 26 press release that criticizes President Obama for supporting abortion rights and “fag marriage.” The release also states, “expect signs like ‘God Is Sovereign of All,’ ‘God Hates Fag Enablers,’ ‘Divorce + Remarriage = Adultery,’ ‘Marriage = 1 Man + 1 Woman 4 Life,’ ‘God Hates Proud Sinners’ and ‘You’re Going To Hell.'”

Sidwell Friends is no stranger to the hate group: a mass of students and faculty greeted a 2009 Westboro Baptist picket with silence to counter their protest. In an email to students’ parents, Sidwell Friends headmaster Bryan Garman suggested that the school’s community is planning a similar response for Wednesday. Garman also wrote, “The group’s ideology is antithetical to the testimonies on equality and community and violates the central Quaker tenant that the divine is present in each person.”

According to the Washingtonian, Westboro Baptist was last in D.C. in June 2014 to protest Wilson High School’s then-principal Pete Cahall’s coming out. But on that occasion, the church was vastly outnumbered by Cahall and Wilson High supporters.

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