The Queen of Mean vs. The King of Cruel

So it looks like the horrid Westboro Baptist "Church", which has been labelled as a hate group by the Anti-Defamation League and others, is in the news again. The "church" had formerly made a name for itself by cruelly protesting outside of military funerals, and for its notoriously confrontational slogan: "God hates fags." There are many reasons to lament the attention given to such a hateful group by our news media, but this time it seems as if the joke was actually on them.

Lisa Lampanelli, a comedienne who was the focus of their most recent protest, has found an ironic way to teach them a bit of a lesson. The church had promised to protest a show of hers in Topeka, KS, because of her outspoken support of the LGBT community. In advance of said show, Ms. Lampanelli announced that she would donate $1,000 to the Gay Men's Health Crisis for every protester who turned up.

What a dilema for Fred Phelps and his people! Do they show up to take advantage of the first amendment rights they so enthusiastically abuse, and by so doing enable a sizable donation to an organization fighting HIV/AIDS? Or do they take a rest from their belligerent hate-mongering and just sit this one out?

Well, it turns out that 48 of them decided to show up, and in so doing they raised $50,000 for the GMHC. This is probably the most productive thing that the group has ever done. Good job, guys.

Lisa Lampanelli's smart move was undoubtedly an inspiring gesture, and a big boo-yah to the angry and hurtful actions of the Westboro protesters. It's hard to argue with a group who thrives on controversy, and whose primary system of action is belligerent ignorance mixed with uninhibited hatred. But, somehow she found a positive way to censure them. As the CEO of GMHC put it: "She is holding up a mirror to bigotry and hatred, and reflecting back love and generosity."

As the self-titled "Queen of Mean" herself put it: "I'd love to see their inbred faces... hopefully their jaws will drop so fast that their three remaining teeth and cro-magnon foreheads will plummet to the floor."

Ok, so I never said she was a nice person... only that she did something great. Well done, Lisa!


May is Plastic-Free Month!

Well, at least for my friend Allison it is. She's embarking on a trial to consciously eliminate unnecessary plastics from her life, and she's starting this month by declining to purchase or acquire any new plastic items. She'll continue to re-use the plastics she started out with before her experiment began.

Periodically she'll be posting tips and reflections on what it means to live plastic-free, sharing her own successes and failures, highlighting for others the feasibility of this commitment.

She's inviting people to join her on this journey, and to share their experiences as well. If you're interested and want to find out more, check out her blog: From Garbage Patch to Cabbage Patch!

"When it comes to living a sustainable life, we have to go MacGuyver!" -Allison Chang