Saturday, April 21, 2007

Fuck Westboro Baptist Church, and the Reasons I Don't Have Respect for Christians

The Westboro Baptist Church, you know, the "god hates fags" people, has a new music video:



So, people, spread the word: I want some Christian to explain this to me. I want some Christian to explain the hatred, racism, homophobia . . . fuck, I want someone to explain to me why these people are so anti-life. And I want someone to explain why there isn't a Christian picket line outside their so-called church, 24/7, of good-minded Christian folks who are appalled that these fucking nutjobs are calling themselves Christian, or Baptist -- why you're not deeply ashamed and appalled by what these people do. I need for someone to explain to me, if there's ever going to be any hope that I will stop holding Christians in contempt, how it comes to pass that Westboro Baptist Church continues to exist unmolested.

I mean, these people are political. The gloves are allowed to come off. They have repeatedly put themselves in the public eye. There's no legal, and certainly no moral, reason not to roundly, soundly and absolutely condemn them. And I don't mean here. I mean to their faces. I mean, at their churches.

Because when I googled "Westboro Baptist Church protests", what I got was largely shit about their protests at funerals (!!!) and the like. It wasn't until the fourth page that I found some Christians that actually criticized Westboro Baptist. But it was weak, wholly verbal protest - as opposed to the Westboro folks who really know how to get a protest goin'.

It just seems odd to me that these Westboro fuck-os can get the funds together to travel all over the country to terrorize the families of the recently deceased, but Christians can't be bothered to get the money and effort up to systematically protest this sick cult out of existence. So, someone, explain it to me.

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21 Comments:

Sacred Slut said...

Fucking weird. I couldn't figure out whether it was a parody or not until I went to YouTube. I don't understand why they were all laughing.

But I guess a certain segment of Xians are entertained by the idea of getting their reward in heaven while watching all us "sinners" writhe in agony in hell for all eternity. How deeply immoral is that? That tells you a lot about the underlying moral evil or emptiness of some forms of Xianity.

April 21, 2007 11:07 AM  
vjack said...

I am guessing you'll get a bunch of the "they aren't real Christians" claim. At least, I usually do when I bitch about things like this.

April 21, 2007 11:35 AM  
Kathi said...

The gist of what I got from your post is that because of your contemptuous view of Christians per se? you automatically assume that these people ARE representative of ALL people calling themselves 'Christian'.
I could call myself a 'mud hen' or something equally absurd...but that would not Make me a 'mud hen'.
Anymore than the WBC CALLING themselves Christians, makes them representative of Christianity,either.

It's my 'take' that the WBC is a bunch of canny lawyers, who call themselves a 'church' in order to obtain non-profit status. And they fund their activities by using lawsuits. (see the Wikipedia entry about the WBC)

I also think they call themselves "Christians" precisely because that is a buzzword designed to generate reaction,from both Christians and non-Christians alike.
When you get sidetracked into an argument about whether or not they ARE 'Christians', you're missing the point of their existence.
You said it yourself "these people are POLITICAL."

They protest at highly charged emotional events (funerals) in order to get a response from the people at the events....what they Most hope for is for someone to assault them. Then...lawsuit on their part, and More funds for them to operate with.

Responding to them with hatred only fuels their fire. One reason the Patriot Guard Riders have been so successful at shutting them down at the funerals of fallen soldiers is that the PGR members do Not Respond to the WBC at All.

You seem to want the "appalled Christians" to repond to these "so-called Christians' in the same manner that the WBC uses to spew their vitriolic messages of hate?

And that's not really the way Christianity as I know it operates. We are called to "love your enemies"..."pray for those who persecute you"...and "do not respond to evil with evil,but respond to evil by overcoming it with good."

As a "non-Westboro Baptist" type of Christian (to clarify myself), I AM deeply ashamed and appalled by these people and what they are doing in the 'name of Christ'. They have perverted everything I believe in,to justify their political and hate-filled agenda.

You can call this a cop-out? But I think it would do neither me, nor them, nor Christianity in general, any good to respond to them in the same manner (protests) that they use.

I CAN pray for them, I CAN (attempt,lol, because I'm just not THAT 'good' of a Christian) to 'love' them, and I CAN respond to their protests (as either a member of the PGR or simply a private citizen) by standing in silence to shield the families of the funerals they are protesting at, and IGNORING them.

Perhaps my answer will mean nothing to you? And that's OK with me. I had no hopes when writing this that I'd be able at all to persuade you to change your views of 'Christians' or change your views of the 'Christian' response to the WBC.

And I doubt I've given a very cogent 'explanation',anyway, in response to your request for one. I'm not very good with words, nor in explaining in a nutshell my beliefs and attitudes as a Christian.

But, I think your post deserved a response, and this is the best that I could come up with.

April 21, 2007 12:41 PM  
divabeq said...

Vjack hit the nail on the head there.

Yeah, kathi, your answer was a cop-out.

April 21, 2007 12:56 PM  
Santiago said...

kathi said...


You seem to want the "appalled Christians" to repond to these "so-called Christians' in the same manner that the WBC uses to spew their vitriolic messages of hate?


No Kathi. I can gaurantee you that Chris does not want people to respond to them with hate. I've gotten to know Chris pretty well and I can tell you that he is one of the most non-violent people you will ever meet. Violence doesn't fit his philosphy or life style in the least.

What he does want, and I want it too, is action from "good Christians" against these people. Not violent action, but action that shows that the Christian community is as opposed to such radicals as the rest of the world is.


And that's not really the way Christianity as I know it operates. We are called to "love your enemies"..."pray for those who persecute you"...and "do not respond to evil with evil,but respond to evil by overcoming it with good."


So when does the overcoming start? Why haven't the heads of various religious organizations gone public and denounced these people and other groups like them?

Political organization or not, these people are out there and they are using religion to broadcast their message of hate. Where are the "good Christians" to do something about them?

April 21, 2007 3:23 PM  
Chris Bradley said...

Sacred Slut,

One of the early church fathers, Tertullian, wrote that the chief pleasure of those in Heaven was watching the suffering of those in Hell. It goes back to the 2nd century, I guess, that Christians have thrilled at the idea of the suffering of their ideological foes.

And, yes, it is deeply immoral. I suspect that people like those in Westboro would not be so enthused about their religion if there wasn't someone to hate, that they'd change religions, if they had to, to find someone to hate with official sanction.

April 21, 2007 5:03 PM  
Chris Bradley said...

*looks at vjack's post*

*looks at Kathi's post*

Yep.

April 21, 2007 5:04 PM  
Chris Bradley said...

Kathi,

I am contemptuous of all Christianity, which is not the same as saying I am comtemptuous of all Christians. I'm just talkin' their religion, here.

But, honestly, while the folks down at Westboro might represent a particularly vicious strain of Christianity, the public face of Christianity in America is deeply fundamentalist, racist, sexist, homophobic, war-mongering and bigoted. Take, for instance, TV. Do so-called moderate and/or Christians have their own TV network? Do they having like Pat Robertson's Christian Broadcasting Network? Absolutely not. So a person watching American TV to discover the "truth" about Christianity would find CBN and nothing else. Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) has done . . . probably dozens of studies by now about the fundamentalist Christian bias in reporting. So, when Christians say this to me -- and they say it pretty regularly -- and given how incontestable it is that fundamentalist Christianity is NOT the "normal" form of Christianity in America, I have to wonder if they're ignorant (and why are they ignorant -- is it intentional?), blind or stupid. Kathi, if you listen to me in nothing else, listen to this: fundamentalism is the largest, commonest, most powerful type of Christianity in America. And this is obvious. If you are merely unable to see it, take off your blinders! Acknowledge that fundamentalism in America is the default Christianity!

I think it is . . . I find it incredulous that you think that the Westboro people are in this for money. Perhaps one or two at the top are -- but I doubt it -- but it is undeniable that the rank and file members of the church are deeply committed to their religious views. I think that it is impossible to dismiss this, and you miss large parts of the issue if you try to believfe that's the case. How they are funded isn't nearly as important, I think, as what they use those funds for -- which is to further their Christian message of hate.

The next stuff I'm going to respond to is difficult for me, and I am trying not to become angry at you, because I believe you're trying to be reasonable and did not understand the implications of your words. I will be especially careful myself.


You said:

What they Most hope for is for someone to assault them and Responding to them with hatred only fuels their fire.

I am not sure where you got the idea that they should be assaulted. I think I was clear in saying that I thought that they should be protested. I, also, never said that they should be responded to with hatred.

The reason I near anger is because it seems to me that you're suggesing that I want to hatefully attack them, that you attribute to my post hatred and physical violence. Which I find terrible. I am certainly angry with them, but anger is not hate, and I am almost totally anti-violence (believing that it is permissible only in immediate self-defense, and only to such an extent to stop the violence, and I believe that all violence is a tragedy, even when justified).

I am also disturbed because . . . is this the only way YOU can think of to approach them? With violence and hatred? I will tell you how I would like to deal with them: reason. With education and, if necessary, psychological help (people hate that hard only for reasons, and rarely pleasant ones). And not even in the sense of depriving them of their freedom, but in the sense of working with them to see how . . . deeply wrong they are. I would approach them as a consensualist, believing that the only effective way to break the cycle of hatred is with their consent. That is my preferred way of dealing with them. Even the idea of constant protest against them would be a distant second to that (and only as a way of engaging them, really -- to shock them into thinking about what they're doing and the effect it has on the world around them).

You seem to want the "appalled Christians" to repond to these "so-called Christians' in the same manner that the WBC uses to spew their vitriolic messages of hate?

Yes and no, the difference would be that you would not be spewing a vitriolic message of hate. It is nihilistically post-modern to ignore the actual message, which wouldn't be "I hate you and am happy when you suffer" but "guys, you're doing sick things and need to stop". The first message spreads misery in the world, the second restricts misery in the world. That's a really important difference, I think.

And, yes, I think that praying for them is a cop-out. For two reasons. The first is entirely materialistic: it won't work. "Praying" for something to improve is, I feel, a balm for your conscience. Rather than do something "real", you'll instead just "pray" and hope things will work out.

The second reason that prayer won't work in this case is theological. Christians believe in free will. Thus, your god will not intervene in cases of free will. Even by normal Christian reasoning, prayer in these situations won't work.

April 21, 2007 5:26 PM  
Chris Bradley said...

Santiago,

Here, here. And you're right! I am anti-violence and hate. ;)

April 21, 2007 5:26 PM  
Stew said...

Your post has a very valid and timely point. Every time some Muslim nutter blows people up, people say that it is the work of fundamnetalists and does not represent the mindset of the ordinary moderate muslim. Other people then condem the "ordinary moderat muslim" for not taking a stand against the nutjobs.
You've rightly pointed out that the same scenario exists with christianity. I'd always pegged Wetsboro' and AIG etc as fundie nutjobs but never taken the next logical step to wonder why moderat christians weren't doing something about it.

April 23, 2007 12:12 PM  
Kevin Bussey said...

I'm sorry that you have a bad idea of Christianity. The Westboro clan doesn't serve the Jesus I serve. They don't have the "Fruit of the Spirit" that the Apostle Paul mentions in Galatians 5:22-23.

I don't know what else I can do except expose their mess. Did you see my interview with Shirley?

April 23, 2007 1:24 PM  
tina said...

Just makes you wonder about almost all religions.

April 23, 2007 2:25 PM  
Chris Bradley said...

Kevin,

*looks at vjack's post*

Here's the thing, the Westboro guys also use passages out of the same book to justify what they do.

I go to their website and I find, right on the front page, these little jewels:

"If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them." Leviticus 20:13.

"Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them." Romans 1:32.

They've got their quotations, too. And that second one? Written by the same guy that wrote Galatians.

You say that these guys aren't worshiping the same Jesus you are -- but they are. The same guy who talks about the fruits of the spirit talks about how sinners are worthy of death.

April 23, 2007 4:44 PM  
Chris Bradley said...

Tina,

I admit I'm mostly past the wondering about religion stage, hehe. A very small number of interpretations aside, I'm fairly firmly in the anti-religion camp.

Oh, sure, I think people should have a choice in the matter -- just like they should have a choice in a lot of other things that'll fuck them up, like they should have the choice whether to break their marriage vows or whatever -- but I am, myself, pretty firmly against religion as a socially acceptable form of insanity.

Y'know. You say that little green men from Mars came down to earth and whipped up humans from their genetic material, and people say you're a weirdo nutjob. You say that god did it, you're a "proponent of intelligent design". ;)

April 23, 2007 4:48 PM  
breakerslion said...

The Westboro crowd are the true Scotsmen, I mean, Christians! Have you read that book, you lovey-dovey guys? Pay special attention to the Revelation of St. John, the Mental Case. Paul's Huckstering Crap is also revealing (you will be assimilated). These guys were hyper-zealous nutjobs, setting themselves up as the Leaders of Men. Your triune god does not deserve your support, you are far more moral than he.

As for the True Christians, I have a little song for you guys:

Tra-la-la
Tra-la-la
Tra-la-la
You've got worms in your head.

April 24, 2007 4:10 AM  
Anonymous said...

I will tell you how I would like to deal with them: reason. With education and, if necessary, psychological help (people hate that hard only for reasons, and rarely pleasant ones). And not even in the sense of depriving them of their freedom, but in the sense of working with them to see how . . . deeply wrong they are. I would approach them as a consensualist, believing that the only effective way to break the cycle of hatred is with their consent.

I hate to come off like a dick, Chris, but um, good luck with that.

Anyway, that Westboro continues to exist unmolested is a shining example of our tolerance – yours, mine, everyone’s – for different opinions, no matter how heinous those views might be.

As to why I don’t picket Phelps, that’s easy: there are only so many minutes in a day, and I don’t want to spend any more of them than necessary thinking about that self-righteous attention whore and the twisted dynasty he has spawned.

Moreover, since I don’t sue people every other day, like the Phelps clan apparently does, I don’t have the money to fly to Kansas and slam Phelps’ views to his face.

And finally, even if I did have the money, I’d rather burn it than waste it on an opportunity to meet the rotting husk of a human being. Also, there are homeless people out there who could use a hand and some food a lot more than that jack-hole could use more camera fodder for that traveling dog and pony show of his.

Frankly, I’m not sure what the hell religion Phelps is. He’s got his Christianity, talking as he does about the elect and salvation; he’s got some sort of bizarro-world version of Judaism; and both of these are mixed in with a huge, steaming pile of idol worship in the person of Ol’ Fred himself.

This latest video from the Phelpsies is just another example of their desire for negative attention, like a kid throwing a tantrum. They’re a fringe element among fringe elements, and they are more famous than they deserve to be as a result of their antics. -- Martin

April 24, 2007 1:48 PM  
Chris Bradley said...

Martin,

You mean to tell me that no Christian or Christian group in the world -- which has many of the wealthiest people and groups in the world -- has the moral courage combined with the guts to counter-sue this guy into oblivion? C'mon. You can't expect anyone to buy that. You're Christians. You're members of the richest religion in the world. Take up a fucking collection.

But, yet another example of vjack's point. Again, they're not a real Christians.

This time combined with, "Oh, he's not worth worrying about."

*shakes head* My contempt for Christianity continues to grow apace.

April 24, 2007 2:28 PM  
Santiago said...

Chris,

Did you notice that the video is no longer available? It appears that YouTube took those wack jobs down.

April 24, 2007 5:02 PM  
Anonymous said...

You mean to tell me that no Christian or Christian group in the world -- which has many of the wealthiest people and groups in the world -- has the moral courage combined with the guts to counter-sue this guy into oblivion? C'mon. You can't expect anyone to buy that. You're Christians. You're members of the richest religion in the world. Take up a fucking collection.

Since I don’t belong to a church, my ten percent goes right to “the least of these.” If you think I’m going to waste my time or money on that POS, Phelps, merely so atheists (et el.) feel a little less contempt for Christianity, you’re mistaken.

And what, pray tell, would I/we counter-sue Phelps for, anyway? He’s not doing anything illegal. In fact, his clan is meticulous in following the law if for no other reason than to benefit by its protections.

But, yet another example of vjack's point. Again, they're not a real Christians.

Have you ever heard Phelps mention Jesus in a sermon? I haven’t. How about in any of his circulars? He talks about the judgment of God an awful lot, but if the WBC didn’t call itself “Baptist”, most people would be hard-pressed to link Phelps to Christianity.

Give me one example of where Phelps mentions Jesus in a sermon or circular – that reference on his splash page hardly counts – and I’ll eat crow.

Anyway, if you’ll allow, the Bible contains a test by which to measure someone’s level of Christianity: Matt. 25:32 - 45 …and all the nations 15 will be assembled before him. And he will separate them one from another, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will place the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. Then the king will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.' Then the righteous 16 will answer him and say, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? When did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?' And the king will say to them in reply, 'Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.' Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you accursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, a stranger and you gave me no welcome, naked and you gave me no clothing, ill and in prison, and you did not care for me.' Then they will answer and say, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or ill or in prison, and not minister to your needs?' He will answer them, 'Amen, I say to you, what you did not do for one of these least ones, you did not do for me.'

I suspect you, Chris, do a lot more for the downtrodden than Phelps ever has. Hell, you’re a better Christian than he is, and you’re an atheist.

So, no; Phelps isn’t a Christian. He’s a faker with delusions of grandeur and personal importance - prideful, spiteful, and vain. The most fitting fate for that asscanker is irrelevance.

This time combined with, "Oh, he's not worth worrying about."

He isn’t worth worrying about. He’s quite possibly one of the most worthless anti-celebrities out there, and that’s saying something. I’m not gonna stand on his lawn singing ‘Kumbaya’ until he quits with that three ring circus of his, because he never will quit. That would only embolden him; it’s an audience, after all.

Phelps destroyed his own career as a lawyer, and nearly took his kids’ careers down, by his antics.

If you know anything at all about Phelps, and yet can’t see that, nothing will convince you.

*shakes head* My contempt for Christianity continues to grow apace.

The game was rigged.

- Martin

April 24, 2007 7:36 PM  
Chris Bradley said...

Well, Marty, I'm sure you meant POS in the most charitable and Christian of ways.

Phelps mentions Jesus pretty often. He says he's a Christian, he's got his quotes, you've got yours. Not everyone in the Nazi Party gassed Jews, and maybe if some of them said, "Hey, we shouldn't gas Jew" some of them might not have gotten gassed. You say that trying to stop him won't work. Well, maybe, but not trying will DEFINITELY not work, and it smells to me more like moral cowardice than deep conviction.

Seriously, this just makes me think even more that most Christians are hypocrites. Not because you don't belong to a church, but because in addition to using the no true Scotsman fallacy, you've engaging in name calling and that always strikes me weird in a Christian.

Well, if you're helping the poor with your ten percent, tho', I can't really criticize that. I just hope it's true.

April 24, 2007 9:56 PM  
Anonymous said...

Well, Marty, I'm sure you meant POS in the most charitable and Christian of ways.

No; my view of Fred as a POS is decidedly un-Christian, I’ll admit.

Phelps mentions Jesus pretty often. He says he's a Christian, he's got his quotes, you've got yours. Not everyone in the Nazi Party gassed Jews, and maybe if some of them said, "Hey, we shouldn't gas Jew" some of them might not have gotten gassed. You say that trying to stop him won't work. Well, maybe, but not trying will DEFINITELY not work, and it smells to me more like moral cowardice than deep conviction.

You’re right that Phelps mentions ‘Jesus’ a lot more than I thought, and so I must eat the crow. I don’t know if cowardice is as good a description of my position as fatigue, however: people have been dealing with Phelps’ outrageous behavior since at least the 1970s. He’s been disbarred, attacked, smeared – you name it. He sees that as proof he’s on the right track. And he has such contempt for humanity that even those who express agreement with his views – yech! – are treated as enemies.

He wants enemies. He wants protests. He wants attention. For example: http://www.godhatesfags.com/sermons/outlines/Sermon_20070401.pdf

You could be right, though. Perhaps it is time to call Phelps on his nonsense in a tangible way.

Seriously, this just makes me think even more that most Christians are hypocrites. Not because you don't belong to a church, but because in addition to using the no true Scotsman fallacy, you've engaging in name calling and that always strikes me weird in a Christian.

Why would name-calling strike you as odd in a Christian? Christians are just people like everyone else.

Maybe you’re right. Maybe Phelps is a Christian.

Well, if you're helping the poor with your ten percent, tho', I can't really criticize that. I just hope it's true.

My family and I honestly do our level best in that department. We see it as an obligation, kind of like paying a utility bill. But unlike paying a bill, the money and time we spend trying to help is an investment in hope. If I’m wrong and there is no God, at least I’ll have left the world a better place than how I found it.

April 24, 2007 11:41 PM  

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