It’s your feel-good moment of the day. Remember this amazing 9-year-old boy, Josef Miles, who decided to teach the Westboro Baptist Church a little something about God? While walking by a group of WBC protesters, Josef decided to make his own sign that said, “God Hates No One.” His mom proudly put a picture of the scene on her Facebook page and the rest is viral internet history. But the story doesn’t stop there. Josef’s brave and simple stand inspired another amazing act.
Aaron Jackson, a man who has made it his mission to help the needy in almost every walk of life, from opening orphanages in Haiti to preserving rain forests in Peru, read about Josef’s sign and decided that he wanted to create one of his own. He wanted a symbol of equality and unity right in Westboro’s backyard.
So Jackson purchased a house across the street of WBC’s Topeka, Kansas compound and he decided to paint it with the colors of the rainbow pride flag. It’s such a simple statement, just like Josef’s. It shows that even though there is ugliness and hatred, there are also people who support equality and kindness.
Westboro has responded with predictable class to their new neighbors. They sent out this tweet after the house had been painted:
But at the same time, these headlines are different. We aren’t all stomping with anger at the vileness that these people promote in the world. We’re smiling, because we know that there are good people standing up for what matters. We’re feeling hopeful and positive, even in the face of something as grotesque as WBC.
I think Aaron Jackson has done an admirable thing, and from the sounds of it, he’ll continue to do many more. His charity, Planting Peace, will be working to de-worm children in Guatemala next. And hopefully, Jackson won’t be the last person inspired by a 9-year-old kid who put out a simple, loving message in the face of despicable hatred.