Westboro Baptist, known for being very public with its controversial messages, picketing funerals with messages like ‘God Hates Fags,’ and ‘God Hates Jews,’ will find it hard to ignore the message from a peace group moving in next door.
“For too long, the Westboro Baptist Church has been targeting the LGBTQ community with messages of hate and discrimination. Often, protesting American soldiers’ funerals and organizations that support equality,” says the message at Planting Piece’s website. “To combat their messages of hate and to support equality and anti-bullying initiatives in schools and in our community, Planting Peace has established the Equality House in Topeka, KS.”
Planting Peace has purchased a property across the street from Westboro Baptist and is in the process of painting the home in the colors of the gay pride flag. Planting Peace president Aaron Jackson tells KIRO Radio’s Luke Burbank Show that he was inspired by a 9-year-old boy.
“I was reading this story about a kid named Joseph Miles, he’s a 9-year-old boy from Topeka, Kansas and he counter protested the Westboro Baptist Church by holding up a sign that says, ‘God loves everybody.'”
Jackson tells Burbank he decided to do some research on Westboro and Google Earth led him to an interesting idea.
“I did like a little 360 in front of the Westboro Baptist Church and I saw a for sale sign in the front of the house,” says Jackson. “I was like, maybe we can start a little equality project out of that house and right away I knew I’m going to buy that house and paint it the color of the pride flag.”
After contacting a realtor, Jackson learned the home he saw in the Google Earth images had actually been sold, but he found an even better one nearby.
“It’s on the main street and there’s no trees or anything in the front yard blocking the view,” says Jackson. “We just took some general funds out of our charitable account and we purchased the home. I don’t own this home personally, the foundation does.”
The home won’t just serve the cause with the imagery, Jackson says it will also be a base for volunteers working on anti-bullying and equality campaigns around the country.
“We’re going to use the home as a volunteer base, have volunteers live in the home and use those volunteers to help create and sustain and further our anti-bullying initiatives.”
The public can donate to the equality house project or the anti-bullying and equality education initiatives. Planting Peace explains the full purpose of the project and is collecting donations at their website.