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  • Writer's pictureLeah Jones

First they came for the Jews

First they came for the Jews and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew. Then they came for the Communists and I did not speak out because I was not a Communist. Then they came for the trade unionists and I did not speak out because I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak out for me. Martin Niemoller

On Monday, my synagogue will be protested by Westboro Baptist Church. Yes, the church behind the site called God Hates Fags. The people that protested at Mathew Shepard’s funeral. The people that protest at the funerals of fallen American soldiers. And the people that have once again turned their attention to the Jews.

The Westboro Baptist Church, which I do not believe to be representatives of all Baptists, is working their way around the country and targeting Jewish organizations. On Monday, August 3, they will be protesting my synagogue in addition to many in Chicago. To respond to the protest, the Edgewater Community Religious Association has arranged a counter-protest.

This goes against the party line on dealing with the Phelps family church. The party line is to ignore and pay no attention, but ignoring was one of the first steps in the Holocaust and the religious community of Edgewater – Jews, Christians and Muslims – will have no part in ignoring this hatred.

Please come to Emanuel Congregation on Monday, August 3, at 11AM. Emanuel Congregation is at 5959 N Sheridan. It will be a peaceful, non-confrontational counter protest. More information on the DailyKos.

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