The 7 Best Planting Peace Moments, Other Than That Kim Davis Billboard, Will Restore Your Faith In The Universe
In a simple yet effective billboard, nonprofit organization Planting Peace has the perfect rebuttal to Kim Davis. Towering above presumably the most popular road in Rowan County, Kentucky, right now, there's a sign that directly addresses the county clerk who has refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. "Dear Kim Davis," it reads, "the fact that you can't sell your daughter for three goats and a cow means we've already redefined marriage." Drawing on a Bible scripture that condones selling women into slavery in exchange for — yup, you guessed it — three goats and a cow. Pretty astute response amidst all the polemic backlash, right? Turns out, Planting Peace has an unbeatable track record of generating charming publicity against discrimination.
Planting Peace is an international nonprofit organization whose primary focus is actually humanitarian aid and environmental protection. According to The Topeka-Capital Journal, Planting Peace was founded in 2004 by an American named Aaron Jackson and a Haitian named John Louis Dieubon. Its first big project was opening an orphanage in Port-au-Prince. How is this related to LGBTQ rights, you ask?
Well, the company's mission statement is "spreading peace in a hurting world." And peace, for Planting Peace, can be manifested in many different ways. Below are all the ways they've done so. (Seriously, this is some genuine good-doer stuff. I have a lump in my throat right now.)
1. Officiated A Wedding Between Dumbledore And Gandalf
When Ireland passed marriage equality in June, Harry Potter writer J. K. Rowling suggested on Twitter that the two fictional characters from equally grand fictional worlds should get married there (although I'm not sure if Lord of the Rings author J. R. R. Tolkien would have affirmed her suggestion). For some inexplicable reason, trolling bigots known as the Westboro Baptist Church decided to challenger her, saying that they will picket the wedding if it takes place. Gotta give it to them for following Rowling on Twitter though. But anyhow, in the ultimate turn of events, the wedding did take place — and across the street from its biggest haters, too. As part of Planting Peace's vision for human rights and bully prevention, the Equality House — i.e. the cutest little rainbow-colored cottage — is located in Topeka, Kansas, directly across from the Westboro Baptist Church.
2. Helped Eliminate Intestinal Worms In Starving Children
Not every important milestone Planting Peace is a perfectly curated pop culture riff. For his deworming initiative in Haiti, Jackson received a CNN Hero award in 2007. Since then, Planting Peace has also reached Sudan and Dominican Republic and reportedly cared for 7.9 million children. Its goal is to deworm 1 million children every month, as intestinal worms affect 2 billion people in the world. Intestinal worms can consume nearly a quarter of a child's daily nutritional intake, leading to malnutrition and even death. Luckily, deworming is a simple procedure in the form of a pill.
3. Sent Coal To Pastor Steven Anderson
In case you forgot, Steven Anderson infamously proposed that the way to cure the world of AIDS is to execute all gay people. It would have been funny if this were satire, perhaps a nod to Jonathan Swift. But unfortunately, the Arizona pastor wasn’t joking around. So, to scold such hateful ideology, Planting Peace created an HIV/AIDS crowdfunding campaign in which for every dollar donated, one lump of coal would be sent to Anderson’s church. The cause raised more than $21,000.
4. Kept The World Just A Little Bit Greener
Planting Peace has planted 1 million trees and bought 624 acres of Peruvian rainforest land to save it from deforestation. "Rainforests contain 90-140 billion metric tons of carbon that impact every single breath we take and help stabilize local and global climate," the Planting Peace website says. “Unfortunately these areas are being destroyed at prodigious rates.” The organization plans to expand the their protected land and donate more seeds, as the majority have been planted in Haiti.
5. Stood In Solidarity With The 90-Year-Old Who Was Arrested For Feeding The Homeless
Aaron Jackson (the president and founder of Planting Peace, in case you forgot) is apparently friends with Arnold Abbott, the World War II vet who has been arrested three times for feeding homeless people in public in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. In November 2014, Planting Peace organized a feeding station in front of the City Hall. Since December, the city has lifted its ban on food sharing in public.
6. Responded To Religious Freedom Restoration Act With Love
After Indiana Governor Mike Pence signed the controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Act into law, which critics say allows for the discrimination of certain people based on a person or company's religious background, Planting Peace sent him an Easter basket of "love and chocolate to remind him, as well as any like-minded supporters of the bill and other forms of discrimination, that whispering love is much more powerful than screaming hate."
7. Opened The Orphanage In Haiti... And Then Opened Five More
Planting Peace currently operates four orphanages in Haiti and two in India. According to the organization's website, the orphanages prove housing, nutrition, medical care, education, and of course, peace and love for the inhabitants.
Images: KRMG News, Giphy.com