CHURCHES UNITED & QCAE
(The Quad Cities Association of Evangelicals)
CALL ON COMMUNITY TO
WESTBORO BAPTIST CHURCH"
Representatives from faith communities on both sides of the
river met on Tuesday, January 20, to discuss a response to the picketing
announced by Westboro Baptist Church in the Quad-Cities. The response was
united: Ignore them!
"We will not allow them to interrupt the most important
thing we do on Sunday, and that is worship God," said Melvin Grimes, pastor of
Tabernacle Baptist Church, Moline, and current President of the board for
Representatives of some of the faith communities being
picketed were present or had already communicated their desire that the
protesters be ignored.
"Doing nothing, in this case, is a positive response," said
Christine Isham, Senior Pastor at Edwards Congregation UCC, Davenport. "We are
choosing to put water on a fire instead of fuel it."
"The Quad Cities Association of Evangelicals (QCAE)
encourages our members to pray that good would overcome evil, light would
overcome darkness, truth would overcome lies, and that love would overcome hate
in every part of our community," commented Tom McGovern, president of QCAE.
Rabbi Henry Karp, Temple Immanuel, Davenport, explained that
Westboro has two things that fuel their efforts: stirring up attention and the money they
receive from suing counter protesters who are not as familiar with the law. He
encouraged faith communities and others not to give Westboro the attention they
"We do not want to become them by returning their hate,"
said Rabbi Karp.
Showing this support for other faith communities makes it
clear that this is a peaceful community, noted Imam Saad Baig, Islamic Center
of the Quad Cities. "This response makes the strength of our relationships in
this community solidly clear."
Instead, local congregations are urged to include special
prayers in this weekend’s worship services. If community members who are not
part of a congregation are looking for a way to respond, they are encouraged to
attend a service at a local house of worship in their community.