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Students, parents rally against 'hate' group
Original post made
on Jan 29, 2010
More than 250 people gathered at the southeast corner of the Gunn High School campus in Palo Alto this morning in opposition to five demonstrators from the Westboro Baptist Church -- a controversial religious organization and picketing group from Topeka, Kansas -- who were conducting a protest across from the school on Arastradero Road.
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posted Friday, January 29, 2010, 9:58 AM
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Posted by Andrew
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jan 29, 2010 at 11:13 pm
Although I will be the first to say that what Fred Phelps and the WBC believe and say is off base and un-Christian, it must be noted that this incident cannot be generalized and applied to all Christians. I do not agree with anything that the WBC says. The WBC is an OFF-BASE group that uses the label of Christianity to spread un-Christian ideals. I write this response because I felt that the response was sorely mishandled and brought up some very interesting points. Furthermore, I wrote this to try to spread the true love of Jesus Christ, as the portrayal on Arastredero this morning was terribly inaccurate. I once heard a preacher say that "you should not fear God, because he loves all his children unconditionally. Rather, you should fear misrepresenting Him to others as that is not what He stands for." Misrepresentation of God, Jesus, the church, and Christianity was exactly what happened this morning. Please, as an open-minded Palo Altan, take the following words in stride and with a grain of salt and think on them. If you believe, pray on them. These sorts of extreme ideological clashes will be our undoing someday.
Second, it is questionable that Gunn teachers were allowed to participate in this protest. Although they are totally entitled to their own viewpoints, one must remember the idea of Separation of Church and State. I would bet really good money that the vast majority of all the teachers who attended the rally this morning preach the value and importance of the separation of church and state. Is it not ironic then, that teachers showed up at this protest to express their disapproval (at the very least) for the church and probably Christianity in general? By expressing these sentiments, the teachers who protested have gone beyond separating the church from their classrooms. They have degraded the church and probably created a classroom environment that is uncomfortable for those who do believe. It may have been that the teachers were simply protesting the ideologies and not the church, but one can never know.
Third, I'd like to say that although what the WBC says is un-Christian, they are still a church and not a "church." (First line second paragraph). It would be like saying that the PA Weekly was just a "newspaper" and not a legitimate newspaper. You are a newspaper and I doubt you would appreciate it if I called you a "newspaper." These folks from the WBC, however off-base they are, believe in what they believe, they congregate, and they are certainly a church. From the PA Weekly I have always expected non-biased, professional reporting. Mr. Sanchez, between friends in a private converstaion it is perfectly fine to put the word church in quotes, as it is your personal opinion. But Mr. Sanchez, I really don't care what you think, because it's up to the reader to decide that for himself. So please, next time anyone on your staff is inclined to inject their personal sentiments into a story, remember that you are a professional writing for the best newspaper in a small town so you must maintain objectivism. Thank you.
Fourth, may I point out that Principal Likins said early this week that she did not want any Gunn students or teachers to participate in any counter protest of any sort. However, she oddly declared this morning, "It's really uplifting to see the huge outpouring of support for each other ... I'm very proud." This puts her in the same boat as her faculty.
Fifth, I'd like to point out how hypocritical Palo Altans can be. We like to think of ourselves as an open minded people, but today's incident underlines just how narrow minded we can be. If being open minded entails acknowledging the possibility, even if it is slim, that an ideology foreign to our own might have just a speck of truth in it, then what was on display from the Gunn community this morning was not open mindedness.
Lastly, I'd like to say again that I do not beleive in anything the WBC says or does. Rather, I believe that Jesus Christ was the only Son of God and that it is our commission to spread His word. But what Phelps supported today in front of Gunn was not His word, so I worte this to try to set the record straight.
If you've read this far, thank you for your attention.