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.


    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…. […]

  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).


  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):

  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.

  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!” 😀

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One Day’s Wages

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the action of working with someone or a group of others  to produce or create something.

May we hold our logos, egos, and tribalism have their place. May we hold them loosely for they too shall pass. May we collaborate for the sake of the greater Kingdom of God ... which endures forever. As we honor Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., don't forget the God behind the man. The one true God who deposited this dream into MLK is still speaking to us today. Are we listening?

Be courageous. Be brave.

Being invited by the King Family to speak at the MLK worship service at Ebenezer Baptist Church in 2016 remains one of the most unexpected honors of my life. On the right is his daughter, Dr. Bernice King and his sister, Dr. Christine King Farris. Walking throughstreet markets in different parts of the world is the best. Soaking in the culture. Listening to the local language and music. Enjoying the amazing cuisine. Meeting new friends. Praying for the Gospel to penetrate. #ChiangRai Blessed be the local, indigenous leaders for it is they who live in the very communities they seek to love. For it is they who understand their context and culture...better than a Westerner ever will. For it is they who will continue to tenaciously pursue a better world with hope, justice and love when visitors like me leave.

Yes, blessed be the local, indigenous leaders. What an honor and privilege to celebrate with the on-the-ground local @thefreedomstory team to celebrate the recent opening of their Education and Resource Center for the local youth in Chiang Rai, Thailanf. This was made possible through a partnership and matching grant by @onedayswages and The Freedom Story.

While it was an honor to be there to cut the cord and say a few words, this is an example of collaboration. Much love to the Freedom Story team including their co-founders Tawee Donchai and @Rachel Goble, to their staff who live in the community, who understand their context and culture, and who tenaciously pursue a better world with hope, justice and love. And of course, much love to the students themselves for they each matter. Finally, to each person that donated to @onedayswages to make this grant possible.

May hundreds and even thousands of youth be impacted, encouraged, and mentored. May they capture a glimpse of God's love for them.

Photo: @benjaminedwards Part 2 on my wrestling with the complex issue of human trafficking. In part, documenting my trip to Thailand for listen, learn, and visit one of our partner orgs @thefreedomstory. More to come.

There's such painful and poignant irony in pursuing justice...unjustly. One way we do this is when we reduce people into projects...and thus, propagating the dangerous power dynamic of US as heroes and THEM as helpless and exclusively as victims. So dangerous.

Human trafficking is not just an issue. It’s ultimately, about people. Depending on the sources of statistics, there are anywhere from 29-40 million people in some form of forced labor and slavery, including sex trafficking.

And one thing I’ve learned, personally, is how easy it is easy to reduce people into projects which is why mutuality, reciprocity, and dignity are so vital. These are critical because God never intended people to be reduced into projects.

We forget this and we indirectly foster a culture and system of victimization or worse, the pornification of the poor or in this case, "the trafficked." And when you start dehumanizing the poor or trafficked, you have no genuine desire to build relationships with them. You believe or build stereotypes in broad strokes, singular, black and white narratives that have been told about them. You believe the lie that they have nothing to teach us and are incapable of contributing to the larger society.

Lord, break our hearts for the things that break your heart. Give us eyes to see others through your eyes. Give us humility so that we acknowledge our own need to learn and grow. (Photo via @thefreedomstory)

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