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June 05, 2006

Absolutely Disgusting

In what can only be described as one of the most inhuman practices ever conceived, the Westboro Baptist Church has been running a campaign recently of protesting at the funerals of American soldiers and stating that those deaths are God's payback for a culture that has become increasingly permissive of homosexuality. This is a problem on so many levels.

First, these "Christians" state that God hates homosexuals. It is generally (though not totally) accepted by Christians that homosexuality is a sin, and God hates the sin, not the sinner (and do not argue that this is not possible; it is quite common that people get mad at things that others do, but these actions may not change the feelings they have for each other). God has love for everyone. To suggest that God hates anyone is incredibly irresponsible. It (1) turns people off to Christianity and (2) likely does not affect the choices that homosexuals have made.

This "church" not only states that God hates homosexuals, but will also state that God hates people and organizations that show support for homosexuality. Thus, Westboro will purchase a new URL, usually of the form http://www.godhates______.com, and demonize the group. Criticism is one thing; stating that the Creator will incur damnation onto a group crosses the line.

They believe they have the divine call to treat homosexuals as less than human, rather than showing them their love and God's love. As Christians, we are called to make followers of the world, not enemies. The Westboro Baptist Church, by itself, might be able to reverse weeks, months, and perhaps years of hard and honest work. But what does that matter? They are evil and hated, never mind the fact that even the most liberal interpretations of God's Word would not support such a viewpoint.

Oh yeah, and then there is that little thing of Westboro's protests that take place at the funerals of American soldiers. These men and women make sacrifices we cannot begin to understand to protect us. Their loved ones do as well, and sometimes, that sacrifice proves itself a big one. It is never easy to face the death of a family member or friend, and for it to happen, most often, to someone so young, just makes the pain that much more difficult. These soldiers, and their family members, have given us more than we could ever hope to give back. They deserve our compassion and thanks.

What does Westboro do? Laugh at the death, believing that it is the next step to proving their cause. And to make matters worse, they make a public spectacle of themselves, as close to the funerals or memorials as legally possible. I have heard some liberal friends who think there is nothing wrong with being disruptive and disrespectful in a protest; I wonder if they would still express such a sentiment after hearing of this.

One parent has decided he will not take any more of this crap. And while I generally do not look favorably on lawsuits (as many these days are frivolous and self-serving), I am hopeful that Albert Snyder is successful. Using the deaths of soldiers for personal (or perhaps even political gain, *cough*cough*stopusingthedeathcount*cough*) is irresponsible and reprehensible.

Westboro Baptist Church? Sounds more like a cult to me.