UUs Create a Separation of Church and Hate at Elizabeth Edward’s Funeral
On Saturday, December 11, about 25 UUs from area Raleigh, NC congregations stood in a crowd of about 200 to oppose the hate speech delivered by members of the Westboro (KS) Baptist church. Westboro protesters were in Raleigh to disrupt the funeral of Elizabeth Edwards. Despite chilly weather, by Raleigh standards, and a steady downpour, people gathered in support of the grace and dignity exemplified by Elizabeth Edwards and in opposition to the negative and hateful accusations voiced by the Westboro group.
On Friday afternoon, the Rev. Deborah Cayer, minister of the Eno River UU Fellowship, sent out a Call for Action of Immediate Witness to the UUCCNC (the cluster of UU congregations in central North Carolina) inviting congregations to join other religious liberals and conservatives who were forming a “line of love” to stand between the protesters and the church where the funeral was to be held. Despite the short notice and heavy rain, UUs from five area congregations gathered behind the “Standing on the Side of Love” banner in quiet witness to the power of love over hate.
Congregations represented were the Eno River UU Fellowship (Durham), the UU Congregation of Hillsborough, the Community Church of Chapel Hill-UU, the UU Fellowship of Raleigh, and UU PEACE Fellowship (North Raleigh).
Joining the group were ministers Ruth Gibson, Patty Hanneman, and Tom Rhodes.
The Revs. Gibson and Hanneman observed that we were indeed active participants in “the separation of church and hate.”