Eugene Cho

god hates nerds.

Ugh. Our friends at Westboro Baptist Church is in the news again. If you remember, I publicly (via my blog) asked them to leave Seattle and return to headquarters in Kansas.

But today, I read about how this very small “community” planned a 45 minute protest and rally at the San Diego Comic-Con. In their words:

If these people would spend even some of the energy that they spend on these comic books, reading the Bible, well no high hopes here. They have turned comic book characters into idols, and worship them they do!

Isaiah 2:8 Their land also is full of idols; they worship the work of their own hands, that which their own fingers have made: 9 And the mean man boweth down, and the great man humbleth himself: therefore forgive them not.

It is time to put away the silly vanities and turn to God like you mean it. The destruction of this nation is imminent – so start calling on Batman and Superman now, see if they can pull you from the mess that you have created with all your silly idolatry. [source]

Seriously, what’s the lesson that we can learn from the Westboro folks?

I’d love to hear both your real and/or FUNNY answers!

My thoughts:

We often live as people who are defined by what we are against and not necessarily, what we are for. Imagine how our lives can be an agent of change when we live FOR truth, beauty, meaning, and causes. Deconstruction is clearly, more fun and draws larger crowds & venom. Creating and constructing new culture is much more difficult but imagine the possibilities.

But then again, I’m glad that the Westboro folks are protesting comic nerds rather than spewing out vitriolic anger against the gay community. Good job, nerds, for distracting these folks.

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40 Responses

  1. your friend says:

    I have lived long enough to notice what Christians once said in hate, they later ate.

  2. jchenwa says:

    I have 4 words. Revenge of the Nerds!+

  3. Dan Hauge says:

    Three thoughts:

    I find the choice of Romans 9:13 pretty funny (“Jacob I have loved, but Esau I have hated”) since Esau was the burly guy running around hunting, and Jacob was the quiet guy who stayed in the tents (NERD!).

    Since a large percentage of nerds are straight white males, I guess there’s at least something novel about them getting their own small little taste of prejudice-speech.

    More seriously, as a bona-fide comic-reading nerd myself, I can attest that in some cases it can indeed be a waste of energies that could be used elsewhere. Fortunately, I do not believe God hates me for it🙂

  4. Jeff Stewart says:

    This merely caps the long known conclusion that these people are just nuckin’ … never mind.

  5. Danny Bixby says:

    I’m also glad they’re being distracted by comic-con. Mostly because I feel the people at comic-con would take it lighter than WBC’s regular targets.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if a good amount of people from comic-con went and picketed alongside WBC for a gag.

  6. Rob Morris says:

    I think Anne Lamott says it best: “You can safely assume that you’ve created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do.”

  7. Adam Lehman says:

    If WBC spent as much time reading the bible (i’ll even compromise and let them read the 1611 KJV) as they do protesting….

  8. Lauren Rimkus says:

    Really? Then we’d have to protest any and every non-biblical interest or hobby. Sports, movies, art, the outdoors, etc. People can take interests and make idols in every area.

    Ridiculous.

    I so often feel that people desire to stand strongly against something because they are insecure with what they are for. It seems easier to tear down another and rip them apart than stand strong in the truth of what you love. Even with other faith, I personally have no place needing to prove them wrong but more so have interest showing the truth of my God and letting that speak.

  9. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Adam Lehman, Adam in Columbus. Adam in Columbus said: God Hates Nerds? Huh, I wouldn't have guessed that…. http://ow.ly/2cum1 […]

  10. David says:

    Won’t be the first time I’ve been told God hates me (the most recent was because I’m a stay-at-home dad–Mark Driscoll said that one).

    Shazam!

  11. Derek says:

    comic con is next week, so i guess that pic is from last year’s protest? those idiots just wanted to go to comic-con on the corporate dime… i’d do the same if my company would pay… j/k
    🙂

  12. BlondFlyboy says:

    Maybe they’re just angry because they’re not geek-chic.

  13. brambonius says:

    “You can safely assume that you’ve created God in your own image, when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do.” (Anne Lamott)
    Are you aware of the google ad I see underneath this blog post? ‘Ancient Rome sim-city’ with some weird bikini-clad agressive woman with a sword… Looks like something for nerds…

  14. The Chiz says:

    I’m pretty sure that some day their understanding of God’s wrath is going to come full circle, and they will be standing outside their own church with “God Hates Westboro Baptist Church”, thus closing the depravity loop. Until then, may they never run out of poster board and Sharpies.

  15. Paul Glavic says:

    I want Steve Carell to show up to join them for one of their rallies and just keep yelling “Loud noises!!” (a la Anchorman).

  16. Mickey Gallagher says:

    If you haven’t heard the brilliant (and constructively church-bashing) Derek Webb, check out his song to Fred Phelps, “Freddie, Please” at this link (the song’s about a third of the way down the page):

    http://paulburkhart.wordpress.com/2009/07/06/it-is-done-derek-webbs-stockholm-syndrome-album-release-new-free-song/

  17. Maia says:

    “We often live as people who are defined by what we are against and not necessarily, what we are for”
    – Eugene Cho

    I’m going to quote this to no end.

    • /Choose your enemies carefully, ’cause they will define you/
      /Make them interesting ’cause in some ways they will mind you/
      /They’re not there in the beginning but when your story ends/
      /Gonna last with you longer than your friends/
      Cedars of Lebanon – no line on the horizon – U2

  18. Jeff Stewart says:

    Rick Warren made that point pretty well a few years ago when he said that we’ve cut the legs and arms off of the body of Christ and become one big mouth.

  19. Ben Richardson says:

    I guess now we know why all of their signs are hand made…because if God hates nerds then computers must be the devil!

  20. jchenwa says:

    Romans 9:13, just looked it up. Hahahaha, so funny!

  21. JNJ says:

    I always wonder, where in the Bible Phelps read, that he should send this “sort of message” to
    unbelievers? In Luke 24:47 it’s witten “that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name to all the nations beginning at Jerusalem” – repentance and remission of sins, not concentrated hatred. In my view Phelps is nothing moore than another self styled false prophet, who has never understood that the Old Tesatament times are over and that’s why he brings shame on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ by denying the grace of God.

  22. Taylor says:

    If these people would spend half the time they devote to hating various children of God to earnestly reading the Bible then maybe they would come to understand that God loves everyone. Furthermore that as Christians we are called not to judge one another but to love.

  23. Kevin says:

    Does it strike anyone else as very Pharisee-like behavior from WBC to condemn a group of people with the accusations of idolatry when it seems pretty clear they have idolized the protest? If they were really concerned about the nerds they would follow the example and engage them on their level, finding the unique way to relate the true story of God to comic book stories.

  24. Brad Melton says:

    I’m with ’em. If I’m gonna rot my teath I want sumth’n with chocolate. http://bit.ly/azMZzt

  25. jeff e. says:

    they’ll likely be protesting the 2nd coming with signs that say, “God hates Jesus.”

  26. Bill B says:

    I wish you would ignore this group altogether. Condemnation of Westboro Baptist Church is a waste of time. You are ‘casting your pearls before swine’. Ignore them and take solace in Matthew 7:16.

  27. Austin says:

    I always knew Esau loved Dungeons and Dragons a little too much

  28. Ronnie says:

    Sorry to crush the spirits here, but that picture is just a sad Photoshop job that is stirring up fake news. The ‘nerds’ is clearly a digital typeface–Arial to be exact.

  29. Jeff Stewart says:

    Sure enough Ronnie. Good eye! We’re all busted. 8-\

  30. […] hates jesus” during the second coming).  but eugene made the point that WBC is way more known for what they’re against than they ever will be for what they’re for.  i guess it is a decision they made, and as […]

  31. Steve says:

    I Love WBC

    And Because I do, I pray they repent…for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand, and I don’t want them to remain outside…as they seem to be determined to do

  32. mo says:

    As a nerd, I’m now feeling very insecure about my faith. Maybe watching akira will make me feel better.

  33. BlondFlyboy says:

    Check out the awesome counter protest by the Comic-Con attendees. My favorite is probably the pic of the Star Trek officer holding the sign saying “God Hates Jedis!”😀

    http://www.geekologie.com/2010/07/westboro_baptist_churchs_comic.php

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It appears I brought a little Seattle to the NYC. Drizzle fest. 24 hour gathering with a small group of leaders from around the country. Learning. Listening. Asking hard questions. Head exploding. Heart trying to have hope. As I soaked in this breathtaking sunrise this morning above the clouds, I felt compelled to pray for so my places in America and around the world that are experiencing such pain, heartache, injustice, and violence. At times, it feels so overwhelming but in prayer, I was reminded of these words from John 16:33. As we keep striving, working, hoping, preaching, loving, truthtelling, reconciling, repenting, forgiving, dismantling, peacemaking, Kingdom building...may we fix our eyes on Christ: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” - John 16:33 Grateful for a very full weekend of ministry and preaching in Toronto, Canada (GTA). Such a privilege to partner with @worldvisioncan @wvcollective to advocate for the most vulnerable around the world. God is so gracious. A true honor to meet and encourage local pastors, lecture at Tyndale University & Seminary (photo), and preach at Richmond Hills Community Church, Compass Point Bible Church, and New City Church. Thank you, Lord, that you use broken and imperfect people like me to speak of Your love. Today, Minhee and I dropped off our eldest child at her college. We have been thinking and praying about this day for many years. On some days, we hoped it would never come. On other days, we couldn't wait for it to come. On some days, we prayed for time to stop and other days, we prayed with anticipation. 
After an entire summer of laughing it off, it hit us...hard...this week. Seeing all of her stuff laid out on the basement floor was the catalyst to a load of emotions.

After unloading the car and taking her stuff to her new home for this year and mindful that she might never live with us again; helping sort out her stuff, saying hello to her roommates...I wasn't sure what to do or say.

A flood of thoughts rushed my mind.

Is she ready?
Have we done enough?
Have we taught her enough? 
What if this? What if that?

And so we shared what we have shared with her the moment she began to understand words: "Remember who you are. Remember WHO you belong to. Remember what you're about. God loves you so much. Please hold God's Word and His promises close and dear to your heart. We love you so much and we are so proud of you." And with that, we said goodbye. Even if she may not be thousands of miles away, this is a new chapter for her and even for us. I kept it composed. Her roommate was staring at me. I didn't want to be that father. I have street cred to uphold. Another final hug. 
And I came home.
And I wept.
Forget my street cred.
I miss her. I love her.
She will always be my little baby.

I'm no parenting guru. I just laughed as I wrote that line. No, I'm stumbling and bumbling along but I'd love to share an ephiphany I learned not that long ago. Coming to this realization was incredibly painful but simultaneously, liberating. To be honest, it was the ultimate game-changer in my understanding as a parent seeking after the heart of God.

While there are many methods, tools, philosophies, and biblical principles to parenting, there is – in my opinion – only one purpose or destination.

Our purpose as parents is to eventually…release them. Send forth. For His glory. Met a friend and fellow pastor who I haven't seen in over 20 years. In him, I saw a glimpse of my future. While only 10 years older, his kids are married and he's now a grandfather of 3. His love for his wife and family were so evident and his passion for the Gospel has not wavered. It was so good to see someone a bit older still passionately serving the Lord with such joy and faithfulness. Lord, help me to keep running the race for your Glory. Happy wife.
Happy life. - Eugenius 3:16

I still remember that time, many years ago, when Minhee was pregnant with our first child. She had left her family and friends in Korea just two years before. Her morning sickness was horrible and when she finally had an appetite, she craved her favorite Korean food from certain restaurants in her neighborhood in Seoul, Korea. I had no way of getting that food from those restaurants so I actually said, "How about a Whopper? Big Mac?" Sorry honey. Eat away. You deserve it.

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