UPDATE: The Counter-demonstration is cancelled. The synagogue has been advised by the ADL that the best response is to ignore the bigots. I’m not sure this is the right action, but it is their house of worship and will respect their decision.

I think Fred Phelps’ insanity is growing, as apparently he now only hates gay people and US soldiers, but is now a vicious anti-Semite too. I gotta say his announcement of his Rosh Hashanah protest is a new low (WARNING: This is a link to Fred Phelps hate website)

Here’s an announcement I received from the OKC Peace House of a response planned for this event. I hope to be there and I hope you’ll consider being there for the support action for Emanuel Synagogue too:

“Rev” Fred Phelps’ Westboro Baptist Church from Topeka will picket Oklahoma City’s Emanuel Synagogue this Friday evening (Sept. 18th) as congregants gather to celebrate Rosh Hashanah, the most holy time of the year for the Jewish Community. (Westboro has been protesting Jewish communities this summer, possibly because gay rabbis are being ordained in both orthodox and progressive Jewish traditions.)

The Interfaith Alliance and Peace House invite participation in a silent vigil of solidarity and support for Synagogue members as they enter the Synagogue for worship. Rabbi Abby Jacobson welcomes us in the spirit of support for her congregants.

This is NOT a media event, but an expression of support for Synagogue members.

WHEN: 7:20pm to 8:20pm, this Friday, Sept. 18th
WHERE: east end of parking lot of Emanuel Synagogue, NW 46th Street and Francis Av. (block east of Western Ave.) Please park on 46th or Francis to keep the lot open for congregants. Signs of support are welcome, as “We’re with you tonight” or “Love Overcomes”.)

DO NOT engage or communicate to the Westboro protestors, whose permit is for the 47th Street (north side) sidewalk at 7:30 pm … those doors will be locked,
and congregants and friends will use only the south side (46th Street side) of the Synagogue. We are gathering ONLY to show support for Synagogue congregants,
and NOT to protest or engage the Westboro protestors.

– – – Jeff Hamilton, The Interfaith Alliance, and Nathaniel Batchelder, The Peace House

P.S. Do not even approach Westboro members, who finance their operation by suing anyone who touches them.

Earlier on Friday, Westboro will picket the Hillel Foundation in Norman, where O.U. students plan a “Diversity Celebration” inside …. then the Jewish Federation in OKC, which will be locked and empty …. then Temple B’Nai Israel which will also be locked and empty. … then Emanuel Synagogue.