Friday, October 2, 2009

Ugly moment

Driving home from work this evening, I came to an intersection two blocks from my house -- one that's on my daily dog-walking route -- and encountered quite a scene. A dozen or so otherwise normal looking people, including a few children, were gathered on the corner waving signs that commanded the attention of passersby.

"God hates fags," said one. "God hates Jews," proclaimed another. "Jews killed Jesus." "Obama is a beast." "Bitch burger" (huh?) And "God is the enemy."

I'm not sure what God hating Jews and gay people has to do with Obama or burgers of any sort. I've made enough trips around the sun to know that it's a phenomenal waste of time trying to make sense out of the nonsensical. But I work in communications, so I can't help but try, when I encounter an organized effort such as this, to figure out what action the organizers hope to inspire. For the life of me, I can't fathom what they were protesting, why they were in my neighborhood, or what onlookers to this scene were supposed to do with this mish-mash of foulness, other than dismiss its perpetrators as hateful beings.

It scares me to know that people like this are out and about in society, and that they bring children with them to pass the revulsion along to succeeding generations. I'm less charitable than another small group that had gathered on the opposite corner with hastily hand-drawn signs noting that "God loves everybody, even these guys."

But I also believe in free speech, even when it's offensively spewed. So I'll support their right to spew it

But I took another route for my evening walk with Otis.

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