Westboro Baptist Church recently came to Lincoln to protest at the coffee shop Cultiva, evidently because of Natalie Weiss's recent confrontation with the Nebraska Family Alliance (NFA) at the coffee shop.
Lots of the good people of Lincoln turned out to oppose them!
In advance of the protest, the NFA released this statement:
We have never been nor will we ever associate with the Westboro Baptist Church. It is an awful, repugnant organization that has absolutely no affiliation with Nebraska Family Alliance. We denounce their activities and planned protest. To assert otherwise is intellectually dishonest and a clear attempt to slander our organization with false information.
With a statement like that, you might think they'd turn out to protest Westboro themselves! Of course, they didn't actually do that.
Yet, the statement is basically true. Westboro and NFA are very different.
The harm Westboro causes is limited to the effects of their symbolic grandstanding. They express hate as a religious conviction, but not as policy.
The NFA, in contrast, is not a church. They are a policy shop. Their policy continually puts Nebraskans in mortal danger. By opposing domestic violence law for unmarried and gay couples, they put people in danger of violence and murder. By supporting conversion therapy, they put people in danger of self harm and suicide. By opposing gay marriage and adoption, they have torn Nebraska families apart. They work to keep it legal for landlords and business to turn queer people to the street by reason of homophobia. The NFA is well connected; they have been able to make each of these policies into reality.
The Nebraska Family Alliance is guilty of far more direct harm than the Westboro Baptists. Make no mistake.