So, a few thoughts on this video (via Andrew):
First of all, this is awesome. The Westboro Baptist “Church” is a blight on this nation and on this planet. (They’re going to boycott the funeral of Paul Harvey???) I’ve heard of other groups who try to oppose them as well – namely the Patriot Guard – but seeing these frat boys do it brings up the fact that sometimes for real cultural shifts to take place, one often just has to “wait it out.” As older generations with older ideas pass on, new generations with new ideas start to shape policy and dictate cultural norms. Sometimes this is for the better, sometimes for the worse. With gay rights, as with civil rights issues in the past, it’s for the better.
Sometimes it’s just as simple as that. That doesn’t mean people should stop pushing for gay rights, but it does mean that they should keep their expectations reasonable. It’s going to take time. This cuts straight to the “gay uncle” theory. When enough Americans have gay uncles (or aunts, etc.) we’ll start to see real, popular support for gay rights, gay marriage etc. This is what personal experience does for people, how empathy shapes us as a culture. And the real benefit of gay marriage will be the step closer it brings this country to viewing homosexuality as just plain normal. That’s good for gays, but it’s also good for our society as a whole. Sub-cultures are only valuable if they exist by choice rather than by discrimination.
So expect to see more frat boys and bikers denouncing intolerance in the future, and hopefully fewer and fewer Westboro Baptist Church hate-fests. That’s the shape of things to come.