I really dislike these folks from Westboro Baptist Church – the folks behind the hideous website GodHatesFags.Com (I don’t even want to link it). Hate is way too strong of a word. And inappropriate in light of the sermon I preached this past Sunday about the sin of hatred. For the past two years, I’ve been teaching through the Book of Acts and while Paul had his issues and shortcomings, I spent some time talking about the “religious” folks that become the adversaries of Paul – that while they sought to defend their ideas of truth and proper doctrine, resorted to the ammunition of hate. Hate that leads them to plot murder.
I don’t care who you are. No matter your religious affiliation or allegiance (or lack thereof) or if you are a self-professing Christian:
If hate is your motivation, you are far from God. And you need to repent.
And while it may be easy to dismiss “hatred” to others, I would contend that ‘hatred’ can seep into all of our lives and impact our relationships – those far and even those in our inner circle of relationships.
Why am I talking about WBC and giving them press on my blog?
I really shouldn’t but they’re here in Seattle this weekend (for their annual visit) – visiting numerous churches, temples, and some graduation ceremonies including Seattle Pacific University and strangely, Garfied High School. I don’t want to have others in the larger media do what Christians and Christians leaders ought to be doing.
I (again) denounce WBC, Fred Phelps, and their venom of hatred and anger. Their actions and words are disgusting.
Now, get out of my city.
This is what they had to say about SPU and why they were protesting at their graduation ceremony:
Seattle Pacific University – Commence Ur trip to hell! 4th Ave. S & S. Royal Brougham We will be on hand at your graduation to ask a few things and point out a few things. Why do you Methodists want to pretend you are going to heaven? You know you threw out the truth of God many years ago. Now you are all about works righteousness, good deeds and such. You have forgotten your first love and gone the way of all the idolatrous perverts around you. Get real, and at least just admit you are all about appearances and could not care less about what God requires of you. The rate of divorce, remarriage and fornication (fag and otherwise) is extremely high amongst your membership. You are in big trouble for this and because you refuse to obey God. This song is really most fitting for you all: (Sing it to 50 ways to leave your lover) The problem is easy if you want to obey God. Put away your filthy idols and hear ye the rod. But you love all your sins and follow lying frauds, there must be 50 ways to eat your baby. Just give ’em to the Pope, dope; pass ’em through the fire – liar. Fornicate and divorce of course, just listen to me. Put ’em on a bun, son. Don’t forget the onion. Make ’em take the mark, Clark – and eat your babies. Yes Obama will make official what you religious hypocrites have been doing for several decades now – so get that shocked look off your faces! Deuteronomy 28:53 And thou shalt eat the fruit of thine own body, the flesh of thy sons and of thy daughters, which the LORD thy God hath given thee, in the siege, and in the straitness, wherewith thine enemies shall distress thee: all because you are rebels, and refuse to obey God! AMEN!
And here’s an article in the Seattle Post Intelligencer about WBC’s annual visit to Seattle. Maybe next year, Quest will be special enough to warrant a protest from these folks:
A church group known for delivering messages of hate around the United States picketed places of worship around Seattle on Sunday.
But they were met by stiff resistance, in the form of hundreds of people shouting right back at them.
The noisy protest group is part of a radical congregation out of Kansas belonging to the Westboro Baptist Church, run by Fred Phelps.
They targeted several churches and synagogues Sunday and plan to target more in the coming days.
They openly admit preaching a gospel of hate – since they believe God and the Bible preaches the same. And they openly despise much of what the United States stands for, including hating America.
The protesters targeted Mount Zion Baptist Church in Seattle during the worship service, shouting and waving placards saying “You’re Going to Hell” and “God Hates Fags.”
Jonathan Phelps, one of the protest ringleaders, said Mount Zion and other churches are spreading lies.
“They’ve preached that lie from hell that God loves everybody – that you can live like the devil and have any hope of heaven at all,” Phelps said.
But Mount Zion church members said the hate – wrapped in God’s name – makes no sense.
“If they’re really concerned about God’s work, there are people who are dying, of AIDS, of violence, they’re starving,” said Archie Pinkaney of Mount Zion.
Hundreds of counter-demonstrators, many of them gay and lesbian, hit the front lines to battle the shouts of hate.
Later, at St. James Cathedral, church members celebrated the Corpus Christi procession outside the church in white robes. Across the street, Westboro protesters took advantage of the moment by shouting their message waving placards.
“You’re the ones responsible for priests raping children,” shouted one protester.
Jarring comments like that need to be challenged, said counter-demonstrators – even if it means giving the messages of hate even more attention.
“A lot of times now we feel like we need not react to this – ignore it and it will go away,” says Eduardo Brambila. “But it’s not happening. We’re here, we’re proud, and look, you can’t even hear them. … And we’re not going to let this in our community.”
The protests were peaceful – though heated at times. And it’s not over.
The group from Westboro Baptist Church plans to picket outside Garfield High School on Monday, then show up at several Jewish centers in the city.