Westboro Baptist Church Petition Becomes Most Popular Ever For White House
A petition to declare the Kansas-based Westboro Baptist Church a federally-designated hate group has become the most popular initiative yet on the White House’s We The People platform. Garnering over 280,000 digital signatures (as of last night) before it’s deadline is even up, the petition recently surpassed one calling for federal action on gun control.
The WBC first rose to nationally attention when demonstrating at the funeral of Matthew Shepard, and has become infamous for their strange, anti-gay, anti-US protests. They demonstrate most notably at military funerals, but at other notable events and civilian funerals as well. The petition notes that organizations like the Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center already designate it as a hate group.
The petition was filed on Dec. 14, coincidentally the same day as the Newtown shooting. But the WBC’s announcement that they would demonstrate at the funerals of the victims may have spurred the petition’s popularity. It is similar to other petitions which seek to strip the church of its tax-exempt status.
The We The People platform has also garnered much attention, especially recently, due to successful petitions regarding state succession, gun control, CNN host Piers Morgan, and a Death Star. The site promises that any petition gathering 25,000 signatures in 30 days or less will get an official response from the White House.
However, there’s been no guarantee about what a “response” entails, and few petitions have gotten one anyway.
Personally, I’m hesitant to give the WBC any attention or reaction at all, lest we encourage them. Due to their saavy trolling and the media’s coverage, the group of a few dozen (at most) relatives in Topeka have gained entirely too much influence already.
What do you think?
[via The Huffington Post]