The Westboro Baptist Church was given a surprise by their new neighbor, and Roy G. Biv were they shocked. The infamously anti-gay group got a taste of their own medicine when the nonprofit group Planting Peace moved into a house across the street and painted the front of the house to match the colors of the gay pride flag. Hallelujah.
[Check out pictures of the Equality House.]
Aaron Jackson, one of the founders of Planting Peace, who are credited with opening orphanages and promoting rainforest conservation, bought the house several months ago across the street from the church's compound in Topeka, Kan.
They had plans to paint the house that they reportedly purchased for $83,000 in December, but were forced to wait until Tuesday since it had been too cold in Kansas.
With a few snow flurries falling, the home dubbed “Equality House” was painted with bright gay pride colors across the street from the notoriously homophobic church.
Jackson, 31, explained to the New York Daily News he was inspired to make a base in Topeka for his nonprofit after he came across a picture of a little 9-year-old boy name Josef Miles that countered the WBC's message of hate by holding a penciled in sign that read “God Hates No One.”
"I didn't know anything about the church or where they were located, but that story kept popping up. And one night I wondered, Where is this church? I got on Google Earth, and I was 'walking down the road,' and I did a 360 view. And I saw a 'For Sale' sign sitting in the front yard of a house. Right away it hit me, Oh my gosh, I could buy a house in front of the WBC! And immediately I thought: And I'm going to paint that thing the color of the pride flag," Jackson told the Huffington Post.
The point of the “Equality House” is to combat the WBC’s message of hate.
“We thought there was no better place to start than the Westboro Baptist Church. Obviously, they aren’t the most powerful group, but they are the poster child,” he told the news site.
In typically WBC fashion, Steven Drain, a member of the church, told the Daily News he isn’t concerned about the “goofy rainbow house.” In fact, the WBC sees it as a good thing.
“I think it’s amazing. I thank God for that house,” he said, “because what it does is shine a brighter and brighter light on our message.”
“This is just another instance where someone is declaring their sin as Sodom,” referencing Isaiah 3:9, “but that doesn’t change God’s word.”
Fred Phelps founded the Westboro Baptist Church in 1955. It became infamous for their pickets and protests, especially at funerals, where its members hold offensive signs with slogans like “Thank God for Dead Soldiers” and “God Hates America.” Its website’s url is www.godhatesfags.com.
Click here to find out more about the Equality House.