If your social media friends are anything like mine, you’ve probably seen a picture of a house being painted in rainbow colors floating around over the past few days. The photos come with captions explaining how the house is directly across the street from the Westboro Baptist Church, who are well known for their protests at military and LGBTQ funerals, and anywhere they can get people furious (aka campuses and other events that gain publicity). But, who is behind the house and what’s it all about?
The house, now dubbed “The Equality House” is the brain child of Planting Peace, who believes in every persons ability to make a difference and focuses on projects around the world including supporting orphanages, deworming projects, rain forest conservation and tree planting as well as many other projects fostering equality and piece. Here’s what they say about the Equality House Project:
“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. This faction preaches extremism in our communities and directly targets our youth. 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.
Located directly across from the Westboro Baptist Church, the House is a symbol of equality, peace, and positive change. The house, which is painted the colors of the Pride flag, will serve as the resource center for all Planting Peace equality and anti-bullying initiatives and will stand as a visual reminder of our commitment, as global citizens, to equality for all.”
I think this is a great visual smack in the face to the Westboro Baptist Church. There ARE people out there who won’t stand silently for your selfish extremist behavior. I recall fondly a photo I have of a friend’s mother standing outside alone with a ‘protest’ sign at a local memorial service for a friend, at which the Westboro Baptist Church had made their presence known. It’s a photo which to me makes a big statement and represents what Planting Peace says, “We emphasize the power of one; the ability that each person possesses to make a difference in the world.” Kudos to Planting Peace for standing up for those who are silent, and for giving all the opportunity to realize that even small things can make an impact.
You can donate to Planting Peace on their website or at their CrowdRise website.
Written by Georgianna Dolan-Reilly,LMSW
SJS Staff Writer