Protesting with Prayer

A certain so called “church” group was in Denver last weekend. I am not going to mention their name because I do not believe in giving them free publicity to fuel their hate. I was going to go to their protest and all the counter-protests and I was going to video tape it and take pictures for Patheos. And I was going to write about the experience and the hate these people spread. I was really motivated to go and write about it.

Of the like 20 places they were going to protest, 15 of them were Jewish locations. They have some really horribly hateful things to say about Jews.

And then the day came that they were going to be here, the first day, and I thought, you know, it’s rainy out and they were going to be all the way up north in Boulder and they weren’t hitting too many Jewish groups that day, it was mostly high schools and churches and I was FAR south of there at work that day… and I was thinking, oh well, maybe I’ll go tomorrow.

And I looked at the schedule for the next day and it was the beginning of the sabbath, it was Friday. I thought, I should go… but then I thought maybe I won’t go, it’s the sabbath. I’m not going to go before the sabbath and I have to work that day… maybe I just won’t go.

And then I looked at their protest schedule for Saturday and it was pretty much exclusively Jewish organizations that they were protesting. Not just protesting but they were planning to be outside before Saturday morning services and during the service. While people were praying, they wanted to disrupt the prayer. And I thought to myself I should go, I should go, I should go and videotape it and see what’s happening. And I then thought to myself, nah, you know, it’s the sabbath and I don’t like to work on my Shabbat and I don’t like to videotape or use electronics on Shabbat.

Why am I going to put myself out and watch these people protest while people are praying?
Could the best protest that I could participate in be davvening, praying, myself?

And I never ended up making it to any of the protests or counter-protests, though I completely support the people who got out there a stood up for love and not hate. We have a really phenomenal group of people that got out there to all of these sites and stood up to these people and counter-protested their hate. But you know, I realized these people who are full of hatred don’t deserve my energy or my thoughts or any sort of positive energy that I might exude or throw off of my being, that they would receive by them being in MY presence.

I can’t say that we can totally ignore them because sometimes that just isn’t right but I won’t be writing about them beyond this blog entry and I certainly won’t be mentioning their name.

But I will be praying that that their message of hate dies soon.

(Originally posted at the Jewish Portal at Patheos)