Pink lemonade: newest way to protest the Westboro Baptist Church
Jon Sink has been helping his daughter, Jayden, operate a lemonade stand that’s been serving up ice cold glasses of sugary summer delight in the most peculiar of locations. The Sinks have set up their “Pink Lemonade for Peace” stand on the front lawn of a house directly across the street from the Westboro Baptist Church’s Topeka, Kansas headquarters.
The WBC has made headlines for years due to their incessant
protests that regularly take them to the sidelines of
high-profile memorials. Just in the last few months the group
planned to picket funerals for the Sandy Hook elementary school
shooting victims and those killed at the Boston Massacre. When
six people were killed at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin last summer,
the church wrote from their Twitter account that the rampage was
a “beautiful work of an angry God who told Wisconsin to keep
their filthy hands off his people.” The group often attends
with homemade, colorful “God Hates Fags” signs, and says the
deaths are a result of God’s wrath being brought to avenge
Jayden Sink doesn’t know the specifics of the church’s attitude, but said she wanted to do something nice when she heard the group spreads hate. That’s when the people at Topeka’s Equality House stepped in, and said Sink could set up shop there to help raise money to go towards “spreading messages of love and peace.”
Sink has also taken her lemonade stand online, asking those who
can’t make it down to Kansas to make a donation that goes towards
Planting Peace, a nonprofit organization that owns the
rainbow-painted Equality House opened up last year across the
street from the WBC headquarters.
“Even people who don’t believe in LGBTQ rights are supportive of our efforts because we stand against the church,” Aaron Jackson, Planting Peace’s founder and president, told NBC News.
Mr. Sink wrote on a website for his daughter’s lemonade stand that business has been great since their mini storefront opened up on Equality House’s yard early Friday. Even on the first day of business, Sink wrote that the shop was greeted by some surprise visitors:
“The highlight of the day was when about 15 motorcyclists came by to buy some lemonade. They happened to be active soldiers stationed at Fort Riley military base. They hung out for quite a while and definitely showed their support,” he wrote.
Across the street at the church, Jackson added to The Update, WBC parishioners "were standing in the front yard ... and were visibly aggravated."
Sunday morning, the WBC tweeted a photo of the young entrepreneur with a link to an article about her project. “*WHO* let nasty fags get hands on this poor child? #danger,” the account tweeted.
"Jayden is promoting LOVE and PEACE," the Equality House tweeted back on Sunday. "A little lemonade goes a long way. The world could use a little more sweetness."
How long can it go exactly? According to the crowd-funding page set up by the Sinks, Planting Peace pulled in more than $12,500 this weekend — or 2513 percent of their $500 goal.