There’s really no other word to describe this so-called “church”. It is a cult headed by one Fred Phelps, consisting primarily of his family. It is an infamous organisation of bigots who couch their hatred for, more-or-less, everything in the “unwavering” truth of the Bible—or, at least, their particular interpretation of it.
In a nutshell, they believe that all the world’s wrongs stem from homosexual activity. Or, more accurately, at God’s anger in regard to such activity. They reject the notion of a pure benevolent God who loves all mankind and, quite readily, point out that their malevolent demon of a deity is quite filled with hate. Hate that extends to all of mankind for the rather vicious crime of letting other people live their lives in peace (for the most part).
Well, except for his favourite little clutch of hatemongers.
Anyone who’s ever watched a professional wrestling match has likely seen this little Biblical reference splayed on cards. The reference reads:
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” – John 3:16
For most Christians, this verse is the justification for a belief that God loves all of his creation and only grudgingly punishes them to eternal torment for their lack of credulity in the face of underwhelming evidence. It seems, at least at face value, to suggest that much. Believe in Jesus as the son of God, that he came for your sins, and you get to live forever. In fact, this is their primary selling point. The Westboro Baptist Church, however…
“If you would actually read what the verse says, and read the context around the verse, you would find that the answer is right before your lying eyes – you just don’t want to see it, because it conflicts with how your evil, dark hearts think God oughtto be! The context is “the world of believers” (whether they are Jews or Gentiles). Those are the people God loves. Those are the people for whom Jesus died. Jesus didn’t come to condemn those people – He came to save them. But everyone else is already condemned, because they don’t believe.” (Read the whole diatribe here.)
They seem to be suggesting the exact opposite. More than that, they’re suggesting that the people who have already been condemned by their God have no choice but to be condemned because he hates them. It poses a few questions that I’d like some answers to, though I’m pretty sure I’ll never find them.
Why Does The Westboro Baptist Cult Bother Picketing?
If your God already hates me, has already decided that I won’t believe and has already decided that I’m condemned, what do you expect to do with your picketing? By this logic, you won’t change the homosexuals or public opinion—God has already turned them to their path, but you’re okay because you’re his sheep. Why bother anyone else with your nonsense?
I, honestly, do not understand the mentality. The point of picketing, in the normal world, is to raise awareness of something that a group feels needs awareness and, more importantly, sway the opinions of others so that change can occur. In order to bolster the anti-John 3:16 argument, they jump to another couple of verses.
“And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed.” – Acts 13:48
The argument offered by the author of the article (and, presumably, the general mindset of the “church”) is that these, along with others (that’s a PDF, by the way), support the position that God hates a large majority of mankind. It seems absurd to me to suggest that an entity would create so many things it would hate, for the sole purpose of punishing them, to love anything. The God that the Westboro Baptist Church offers is not a God to be loved or feared, it is only a God that any rational, morally capable, human being would despise even if they happened to be one of the people loved by such a God.
An alternative interpretation of the verse from Acts can be found here, but it’s clear that most Christians do not accept this interpretation of the Bible. At least, if they do, they don’t admit it openly.
Given, however, that this is the argument they present, I must ask again. Why bother picketing? You’re not going to change your God’s mind any more than you’re going to change the minds of people who, already, think you’re vicious and hateful. There doesn’t seem to be any point in this nonsense.
God Sent The Bombs
“The federal government is classifying the bombs as a terrorist attack, but say it’s unclear if it’s of a domestic or foreign nature. Here’s a hint — GOD SENT THE BOMBS! How many more terrifying ways will you have the LORD injure and kill your fellow countrymen because you insist on nation-dooming filthy fag marriage?!”
If that is what you believe, then your God is more depraved than I ever really thought. Actually, that’s not entirely true. This kind of vicious, unnecessary and inhuman disregard for the creatures he supposedly created, in his image, is what I see in your Bible too. It’s why, even if you could provide evidence that the Christian God existed, I would not be a Christian. Certainly, I wouldn’t deny the fact in the face of the evidence, but I could not, in conscience, follow anything that behaved in that manner.
The talk of morals, of heeding God’s commands, is irrelevant. In this, I am a better person than your God could hope to be. I am better than your God. And so are most of the people I count as friends, whether they’re religious or not. Nobody—that is, nobody who is possessed of reasonable compassion—looks at such an atrocity and finds something to be happy about. People died. Children died. If your God is responsible, then he is a monster and not worth the praise you offer.
There is no glory in murder. And as much as I normally love the idea of freedom of speech, such an obvious disregard for the grief of your fellow humans should carry some serious consequences. I suppose, that while not legal, you’ll cement the rest of the world’s distaste for your hatred and bigotry.
About the only positive thing I can say about them is that, at the very least, they’re honest. Sick, but honest.