Hatred in the Name of God

First of all, I’m sorry it’s been so long since I last posted. I’d like to tell you that I’ll be more regular from here on, but I really have no idea if I will be or not. Just been way too busy lately.

Anyway, I want to rant for just a minute on a news story I’ve been hearing about for the last couple of days. Amazingly, I didn’t hear about this travesty when it first happened; it’s only because of the court case that I know about it at all.

Wednesday (10/31), the father of a dead soldier won almost $11 million against a church that picketed his son’s funeral; you can read the full article here. In March of last year, Westboro Baptist Church, of Kansas, picketed the funeral of Lance Corporal Matthew Snyder because they believe God is allowing our soldiers to die since America doesn’t prohibit homosexuality (and allows gays in the military). They held signs reading “Thank God for dead soldiers” and “God hates fags.” And it’s not just this church, either. There are several chuches across the country that hold demonstrations just like this one.

Of course, since America allows freedom of speech (something protected by men and women just like the ones these people protest against), these churches are well within their rights to voice their opinions. However, the jury in this case decided that they are not within their rights when they desecrate someone’s funeral with these protests. It wouldn’t surprise me to see this case appealed, but I’m glad they ruled in favor of the plaintiff. Church members held a demonstration outside the court house carrying signs that read “God is your enemy,” and one of them stood on an American flag while holding a sign that read “God hates fag enablers.”

If you’ve read my blog before, you probably know that I think homosexuality is wrong. I even wrote a post about it almost a year ago. But when I first heard about this story, I was furious and disgusted. It’s hard to even find words to describe what these churches are doing, but hatred and blasphemy probably top the list. While God definitely hates sin, he doesn’t hate sinners, which is a good thing considering the fact that all of us fall into that category. The statements these church members make are utterly repulsive.

It’s obvious to me that demonstrations like this aren’t done out of love for individuals, or to help them see truth. Instead, it seems to be based on a perverse desire to inflict agony on others. And when they are retaliated against, I’m sure they view themselves as martyrs enduring persecution. It’s sickening that we as human beings can become so twisted.

Ultimately, these people are no different than terrorists. Terrorists bomb us and kill us because they despise us. And they back those feelings up with their religion. These church members are exactly the same. Maybe they haven’t resorted to physical violence yet, but it’s not outside the realm of possibility for many of them. Just look at how many abortion clinics have been bombed and how many homosexuals have been beaten or killed.

Religion doesn’t have to be irrational or illogical. I don’t believe that God wants us to be so reactionary. He gave us intellect for a reason, and we should be able to use it to determine what’s right and wrong. I hope and pray that all of us can let go of bigotry and hate, and truly strive to help each other do what’s right. The people at Westboro Baptist Church (and all the others like them) have a responsibility to show love for God’s word and love for each other. Currently, they seem to be failing miserably at the latter (and if they don’t love their fellow man, how can they love God? – 1 John 4:20), and that doesn’t do anything for the cause of Christ. All it does is soil the name “Christian.”

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3 thoughts on “Hatred in the Name of God”

  1. Hey, nice to see you posting again. I hope your health is holding up.

    I’ve been thinking a lot about this situation lately. I’m glad you wrote about it. Those people disgust me to a degree I can’t even describe.

    People seem to have a hard time understanding freedom on so many different levels these days, this is a great example of that.

    In a short statement, your freedoms end when they start to encroach on the freedoms of others.

    This sort of hate filled protest seeks nothing but to inflict emotional harm on others, that is where their freedom of speech stops. Their ‘free speech’ is turned into hate speech and is an attack on the grieving family.

    That is how the court ruled; thankfully they finally got one right. My only regret is that false organization that parades around as a church doesn’t have the cash to pay up.

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  2. I agree. I’m usually not in favor of lavish settlements, but in this case, I think it was completely justified. Nothing can bring back his boy, or even the funeral, but those church members need to feel something for what they did.

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  3. Okay, yes, the Bible plainly states that homosexuality is sinful and that those who practice that lifestyle will be judged. However, I’m not sure that I really want our government to legislate against it (I can just see that leading to all sorts of problems).

    That being said, if I DID want legislation against homosexuality, or even gays in the military, wouldn’t it make more sense to go to the lawmakers themselves? I mean, how was this soldier or his family to blame for gays being allowed in the military? Why not protest on the capitol steps or write to their congressmen on this issue?

    And on a side note, I’m in awe of this man’s family for not ripping these people apart when they started protesting at their son’s funeral.

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