Thou Doth Protest

Things get rather complicated when those who preach hate truly seem to believe they are doing it out of love for their fellow humans.  Such is the case with an insular group from Topeka, KS.  This group decided to visit Houston, TX to protest 2 locations – a transgender therapy clinic in the Montrose district and a gender conference taking place at the University of Houston.  While the contingent was small (I really expected a larger number of members to appear), their presence was no less felt by students and alumni of the university, which saw a large contingent of counter-protestors to meet this small but famous group.

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Early on, some counter-protestors decided to mix in with our guests. This only lasted a few minutes before they separated. One can imagine the police did this in order to keep the peace.

 

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Despite the sunglasses, I’m pretty sure she was looking at me as I pointed my camera. Her smile was the dead giveaway. If the message is God’s love, why is she putting herself in the center?

 

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The group is engaged in a song. This group is known for its parodies of popular songs.

 

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Does God really hate America?

 

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She’s only too happy to answer a reporter’s questions. I’m assuming they were denied the opportunity at the transgender clinic as they (the clinic) asked that no media come to that event.

 

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Their websites are many, but the message is the same.

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A couple of counter protesters in the median inside University Drive. The Baptist Student Ministry is in the background.

 

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The discussions from students with members of the group were, for the most part, civil. Most of the antagonizing, unfortunately, came from the students who walked by the group.

 

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The discussion between these 2 is still going on. No harsh words were exchanged by either side. Both were unyielding in their positions.

 

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How is it love when they seemingly want to invite hate?

 

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The discussion is still ongoing and remains civil. She chooses to only step on the flag rather than let it fall and be trampled. Could this be a safety issue? Or could it be more a demonstration of her control.

 

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Their signs are their shields.

 

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This is 3 of their group of 4 on the corner. The much larger counter protest is on the opposite corner.

 

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On a day when tempers could easily be flared, a moment of love between 2 strangers drowns out all the noise.

I went in not really knowing what to expect.  The last protest I attended was in Austin where a group of liberals was protesting the actions taken by Wisconsin governor Scott Walker to limit the power of the public sector unions in his state.  The anger there was palpable, and the speakers were cheerleading that anger, but were careful to not incite it beyond a temporary emotion.  The anger at the Tea Party rally was also palpable, but the crowd showed tremendous respect and restraint.

This non-political (in the government sense) protest was new territory for me.  All in all, it was peaceful.  The group wasn’t projecting the hatred for which they are known, but there was something more sinister.  They believe theirs is the righteous position.  Knowing their firm belief in this made them seem more powerful and insidious than they outwardly project.  Even the website, which, prior to the death of their founder, was full of fire and brimstone, has taken a more nuanced approach in spreading the message.

As stated in the captions, the rhetoric that came from some of the counter-protestors was just as hateful as the signs carried by the guest protestors.  At one point, a man who I believe is a student went up to the lone man in the crowd and asked if he perform fellatio on the protestor.  Nothing was said by the target of this attempt to incite.  A few minutes later, the same student, thinking I was with this group, asked me the same question.  He walked away with an angry look on his face when I told him that I wasn’t with the group, so I wasn’t opposed to it.  Unfortunately, my initial reaction was anger at the young man who seemed to just want to pick a fight, but I kept my cool (owing a lot to my military training).  In the end, however, his embarrassment at his own false assumption was gratifying and my anger quickly dissipated.

I must say I did expect a little more energy from our guests.  Perhaps it was the heat, their small numbers, or exhaustion from already having protested that day that kept their energy level on the lower end.  My rational and romantic minds were both stimulated that day.  The rational felt the darkness in their hearts and realized they mistake it for light.  The romantic mind came away with a respect for their resolve, despite the abhorrence of their ideals and their message.

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