LETTER: Columbia residents speak up against hatred

Friday, February 19, 2010 | 11:26 a.m. CST

Missouri is known asthe Show-Me State, and many residents of Columbia did exactly that Feb. 10 when the Heartland Men's Chorus of Kansas City presented a concert, "And Justice for All," at the Missouri Theatre Center for the Arts. Columbia's Human Rights Commission assisted with a grant to help fund the costs of the concert. Faced with tirades and overt unpleasantness from members of Westboro Baptist Church, who picketed the concert and concertgoers, Columbians of all ages and backgrounds spoke up clearly and with conviction that hatred is not a "value" held by this city.

Our chorus members were encouraged by your support, the enthusiasm for our mission and our music and the public stand taken in favor of justice and equality for all people. We extend our grateful thanks for the welcome, hospitality and the positive experiences offered to us. Many of our singers met with audience members after the concert and were overwhelmed by the words of gratitude for the comforting words they heard that night. As the song goes, “Everything is possible…” and the audience made us feel that. Columbia is a great and generous community, and it was a special pleasure to sing for you last week.

Matthew Stretz is the chairman of the Heartland Men's Chorus Board.

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Mary Waterton February 19, 2010 | 3:15 p.m.

God bless the Westboro Baptist Church. Doing the Lord's work preaching to DOOMED AMERICA ... who won't listen and won't repent. They love living their sins the way a pig loves rolling its own filth.

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hank ottinger February 19, 2010 | 9:47 p.m.

Ms. Waterton, I think you need to hone your reading skills. Mr. Stretz's article clearly points out, to wit, that "Columbians of all ages and backgrounds spoke up clearly and with conviction that hatred is not a "value" held by this city." Note as well that our fair city is characterized as "a great and generous community," the kind of place I've lived in for nearly 50 years and can proudly confirm. The citizenry has little, if any, tolerance for the likes of your rantings. In fact, I bet your "Lord" would take a mighty dim view of your lockstep adherence to the GOOD book.

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