Humanity, Love and Angels to the Rescue!
I was impressed that there was very little press given to a hate group (practicing under the guise of religion) preceding their arrival to Orlando this weekend. The press around here did not mention it, despite the fact that the Huffington Post gave daily updates on the planned disruption. Instead, this is what was promoted (links throughout for more detail):
Excerpts from an NPR report:
As mourners hold funerals in Orlando for the victims of last week’s nightclub shooting, the city’s theater community is banding together to protect them from anti-gay protesters.
Dressed in white and wearing large wings, the “angels” stood in a row in order to shield the family and friends of the victims. The idea, according to American Theatre, is to allow the mourners to “grieve in peace.”
The Orlando Shakespeare Theater led the effort after the Westboro Baptist Church called for its members to protest outside funerals in Orlando on Saturday, holding signs with anti-gay slogans.
“We didn’t know that anyone would protest the funerals here in Orlando, but that is now happening, so a counter-protest so that people that are attending those funerals and those that are in mourning don’t have to deal with hate is an important thing,” Orlando Shakespeare Theater’s Jim Helsinger told the Miami Herald.
“I don’t have any money to give, but I can spread love and I can spread hope,” volunteer Jeannie Haskett told the Herald as she pieces together the wings. “I was just waiting for an opportunity to use one thing I do have, which is the skill to sew.”
The Westboro Baptist Church has a long history of disrupting funerals. And as Helsinger explains, angel wings have been used on previous occasions to protect people from anti-gay protesters.
“Angel Action Wings have been done a number of times over the past 20 years, and were just another following forward and positive support of the fallen and in support of our community and Orlando,” Helsinger tells the Herald.
The volunteers set up a rotating shift system to protect mourners in central Orlando on Saturday, the Orlando Sentinel reported.
As we reported, only a handful of anti-gay demonstrators actually appeared outside the Cathedral of St. Luke on Saturday, where the angels were standing guard. But “they were outnumbered and out-voiced, though, by hundreds of people who showed up to support the victims and their grieving families.”
Other news reported…
A retired carpenter from Illinois built and delivered crosses for each of the 49 victims of the Pulse nightclub massacre in Orlando, Fla
Over the weekend a crowd of 50,000 gathered together to remember the victims.
Proof that LOVE is stronger than hate!