Saturday, June 18, 2016

Angel Action Wings

There are many stories that have come out of the Orlando shootings, but I found this one about the angel action wings compelling.

The Orlando shooting story has many religious angles, and most of them distress me.  The idea that people from Westboro Baptist Church will try to disrupt funerals--I have always found this idea abhorrent, and this time is no different.

What theology are these people hearing every week?  Does their Jesus really command this kind of behavior?  Why do we permit these people to disrupt funerals?

I realize that there are many reasons, chief amongst them freedom of assembly and freedom of speech.  I love that people are using these same laws to get counter-protest permits, and I love the creative approach to helping the mourners.

The Orlando Shakespeare Theater has been making huge angel wings (imagine white sheets on long sticks that extend above the wearer's head and beyond the body too) for people to wear as they shield the mourners from the Westboro people.  Those shields could have been in any shape, but making them angel wings makes it even better.

The picture of the man wearing the wings takes me back to every Christmas pageant I've ever seen, and that makes me smile.  The idea that a theater group made these costumes also makes me smile.  But what really makes me smile is the idea of fighting hate this way.

They could have held up signs with counter messages--those would have also served as a shield.  The fact that they're angel wings, not protest signs, is a powerful message.

The leader of the group says that the group's goal is to rise above hatred and to show love and compassion.  Today in Orlando, that love and compassion will be on display in the form of gigantic angel wings.

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