Now that I have your attention….
The freak show from Topeka that is the Westboro Baptist Church has dropped plans to hold an anti-homosexuality rally at the funeral of a soldier killed in Iraq (as is their usual custom, making them beloved by the parents of the fallen troops whose funerals they disrupt) in order to move their protest to the funeral Tuesday of the Reverend Jerry Falwell.
And you ain’t gonna believe why…
The church, based in Topeka, Kansas, believes (or says they believe) that U.S. soldiers are dying in Iraq because America tolerates homosexuality.
While this would seem to make Dick Cheney’s claims of Saddam’s ties to Al Qaeda seem rational, Westboro Baptists go further. Here’s what their church attorney, Shirley Phelps-Roper (daughter of Westboro “pastor” the redoubtable Fred Phelps) has to say about the man many consider the founder of the Evangelical political movement in the U.S.:
“There are dead soldiers everywhere. You don’t have a very high-profile, cowardly, lying false prophet like Falwell dying every day.”
She goes on to say that Falwell was never harsh enough in his condemnations of homosexuals as the source of America’s problems (this despite his well reported statements in the wake of 9/11):
“That coward is afraid. He is ashamed of the Gospel of the Jesus Christ. He claimed he had the Word of God and then he hid it.”
We don’t have certified nut jobs like Westboro Baptist “Church” showing up in my backyard in South side Virginia every day, either.
There’s something to give thanks for….
Categories: Religion & Philosophy
I just wish I could be there for the show, Jim. I’ve seen the Westboro pack up close and personal out here, and a more inbred crowd you’ll rarely have the chance to observe outside of captivity. You watch them and listen to them and you’re almost shocked when they don’t have teeth growing from their foreheads.
Honestly, I couldn’t have wished for a better end to the Falwell saga. The only sad part is that his supporters won’t be able to look at Phelps & Co. and realize that the difference between the two congregations is thinner than one of the hairs in Jerry’s rat-fur toupee.
I’ve seen ’em, too. Somehow, this confluence of events seems almost … biblical. 🙂
Gosh, fellas, I can’t wait to see these yahoos. It’ll be sort of like when I saw THE TEN COMMANDMENTS at the drive-in with my folks back in like 1957 or ’58. Except with no redeeming social value – even as entertainment….
I’ve been following Westboro for a few years now, ever since they tried to disrupt Matthew Shepard’s funeral.
There is some comfort in knowing that the “congregation” is solely made up of the Phelps family. Their special breed of hate is pretty well confind to their immediate circle. Note that their lawyer is family, as well.
I don’t understand the amount of attention paid by the media to this very small band of — as Sam Smith said — inbred folks. Yes, their messages and actions are shockingly illogical and hateful, and while there may be some thought that by bringing attention to their views and appalling activities can generate some worthwhile dialogue, I’ve yet to see that happen. The conversations tend to sound like a rational person attempting to reason with a sociopathic psychotic on acid; the “conversation” always deteriorates into the realm of the absurd. Everyone winds up sounding ridiculous. The irony is that the Jesus they try to foist onto the issues they rail about didn’t exist. The Gospel is about love, and if anyone is “hiding” the Gospel message, it’s the Westboro folks (who are sorely in need of some of that “agape” love themselves).
Maybe they’re just dyslexic. They seem to have gotten the whole “love the sinner, hate the sin” thing backwards – well, half backwards anyway – “hate the sinner, hate the sin, hate the family of the sinner, hate those who don’t hate enough, etc.”