The World Series is one of the biggest sporting events of the year, usually encompassing a weeks’ worth of time as millions watch to see who is the best in the game of baseball. And every year, famous athletes and celebrities attend at least one game to show their love for the game.
But this year, a familiar group plans to show up to Busch Stadium for Games 3 & 4, but not because they love the game. Because this specific group claims that “God hates Fags” and that the “Redbirds” and “Red Sox” represent the spilled blood of murdered unborn babies. The group I am talking about, if you haven’t guessed by now, is none other than the Westboro Baptist Church.
Now, for those few of you that do not know, the Westboro Baptist Church is a hate group that spread their beliefs by picketing the funerals of veterans, outside schools and businesses, and are able to use legal language to get away with their protesting. So, while you may disagree with what they believe (I sure do), they are legally allowed to protest.
But that is not the point. The point is: How will the city of St. Louis respond. The Westboro Baptist Church is claiming the 2011 Joplin Tornado (which I saw the damage of in person two straight years), and this year’s Boston Massacre are “God’s warning” for the support of gays.
No one crosses the line of freedom of speech more than that church, but saying the Boston Massacre and Joplin tornado, tragedies in which innocent people died, and blaming them on people who support LGBT, is far from just expressing an opinion. It’s a radical statement, offensive to millions of people not just nationwide, but worldwide.
It remains to be seen whether they actually do protest at Busch Stadium. It is a way for them to get attention, although it’s also a way for violence to potentially break out. But they have backed out of protesting events before, whether because of scheduling conflicts, the Freedom Riders driving them away, or because they are just scared of a little backlash from people.
The bottom line is: Despite the Westboro Baptist Church’s scheduled appearance, Busch Stadium will be filled in a sea of red. And no, Fred Phelps, the red in the stadium isn’t blood drawn from God for us supporting gays. It’s tens of thousands of fans drawn in because of the love of their team and the countries’ pastime: baseball. And no amount of picket signs, bigoted language, or bull crap propaganda is going to ever prevent the fans from supporting their team, their city, and what they believe is right morally. Boston and the state of Missouri have been through a lot these last two years, and while we have different opinions on which team to root for, we share a common bond: the bond of rebuilding after tragedy.
So the Westboro Baptist Church can take their “God hates Fags” signs, their megaphones bloating their radical beliefs, and stick them where the sun don’t shine, because when Games 3 & 4 roll around next week, only one thing will be on the minds of St. Louisians (and Boston fans) in town: World Series baseball. And they will be two amazing games, that’s for sure. Whether Game 4 will be the clincher remains to be seen, but if I were Fred Phelps, I’d bring some extra protection. Because this is no small town you are dealing with. It’s St. Louis: the last place (besides East St. Louis) where you want to make threats to people over beliefs.
We’re prepared for your arrival, WBC. Your move…
For those that want to see the Westboro Baptist Church flyer about the World Series, here is the link: