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Monday, 6 October 2008

Remembering Matthew

It’s ten years to the day that Matthew Shepard was attacked by homophobic thugs near Laramie in Wyoming. He survived in a coma for five days. Then he died.

The Matthew Shepard Foundation continues to ensure that the name of Matthew Wayne Shepard – a student at the University of Wyoming – is remembered.

Shepard’s murder – for which two men are serving life, one without the chance of parole – brought the subject of hate crime to national and international attention, and led to legislation at both state and federal levels in the USA.

The Laramie Project is an award-winning play (on which a film was subsequently based) depicting his life and death, and among the venues it’s due to be seen are Napa Opera House in Napa Valley, CA, and the Woman’s Club in Minneapolis, both on 19 October.

The website says:

In observance of the ten years since the murder of University of Wyoming student Matthew Shepard, the Matthew Shepard Foundation launched an aggressive anti-hate campaign aimed at creating a movement of people working to lessen the impact of hate in society. Realizing the importance of this 10th year observance, Judy Shepard [Matthew’s mother], Executive Director of the Matthew Shepard Foundation, launched the “Campaign to Erase Hate” by asking the crowd of more than 500 people to raise themselves to the power of ten and join with her in helping the Foundation fulfill its mission of erasing hate.

The overall goal of this new campaign is to equip individuals with the necessary tools to discuss and address hate in our society. These tools include personal webpages, resources on dealing with hateful speech and actions, monthly correspondence and most importantly, a way to invite ten others to join.

5 comments:

Jonathan B. Phelps said...

Proverbs 16:5: "Every one that is proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD: though hand join in hand, he shall not be unpunished." Jeremiah 6:15: "Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? nay, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush: therefore they shall fall among them that fall: at the time that I visit them they shall be cast down, saith the LORD." Amen!

God said...

Mr Phelps would do well to consider Deuteronomy ch23 v 1 & 2.

Andy Armitage said...

For the benefit of those who can't be bothered to look it up or feel that contact with a bible might turn them to dust (I wear surgical gloves, just in case), this is what Deuteronomy 23:1–2 has to say:

"He that is wounded in the stones, or hath his privy member cut off, shall not enter into the congregation of the LORD.

"A bastard shall not enter into the congregation of the LORD; even to his tenth generation shall he not enter into the congregation of the LORD."

Andy – post author

Anonymous said...

Indeed, those who committed the abomination of murdering a young man and leaving him tied to a fence should be punished. And according to all accounts those who murdered Matthew "were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush". They deserve, therefore the punishment they got. But what Phelps, and others of his kind should remember, is that, apart from being able to interpret any verse of the bible to suit your own meaning, is that the bible (which they claim to be the literal truth and word of god) also says that bats are birds, and insects have four legs. The only way this can be reconciled is that either god got it wrong, or the bible is not the word of god. The other alternative- that god changed bats into mammals and gave insects another two legs after he wrote that passage, also contravenes the biblical idea that "creation" was completed in 6 days. Whichever way you look at it, the bible was wrong.

Calum Bennachie
NZ

Matthew Flannagan said...

Yes Calum,
Or the other alternative is that a book written in hebrew did not contain the english word "bat" as defined by modern scientific consensus. nor did it contain the english word "insect" as defined by contemporary science. But rather contained hebrew words that did not have the precise scientific conatations these english words did.

But that would require you actually knowing what your talking about.

Matthew Flannagan