Monday, November 9, 2009

Fred Phelps, Gays, Jews, and Bullshit

Fred Phelps, the gay and lesbian hating minister of Westboro Baptist Church, recently took his "God Hates Fags" publicity circus to protest outside of Sidwell Friends, the Quaker-founded school attended by Sasha and Malia Obama.

This, of course, is crossing the line.

Phelps likes to protest near military funerals of servicemen and women killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. His "logic" is that God is punishing us with 9-11 and military failure because of our semi-acceptance of gays and lesbians.

When I started looking for something to post tonight, I figured I would trot out the Biblical Re-interpretation schtick I've been running with for the last few weeks....I could claim to discover that 2000 years of anti-homosexual persecution was due to a typo, and that God Hates Figs, not Fags. I could end the post by suggesting that Phelps go protest outside the headquarters of Fig Newton manufacturer Nabisco. It coulda been funny.

Then I started looking around the Fred Phelps/Westboro Baptist website. There's not much there to laugh about. First of all, they have a link to a charming site called Jews Killed Jesus.

Speaking of Jewish people, here's the Westboro Baptist protest and demonstration schedule schedule, along with Biblical commentary, from November 11th when the church planned to demonstrate outside the U.S. Holocaust Museum:

U.S. Holocaust Museum - You haven't seen ANYTHING, WAIT 4 IT 100 Raoul Wallenberg Pl. SW
The sorrow which some Jews experienced during the WWII Holocaust, at the hands of the vicious German, and other Gentiles is NOTHING compared to what the Lord Jesus Christ is going to inflict upon His return.
Check it out, suckers:
2 Thesalonians 1:5 Which is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God, that ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which ye also suffer:
6 Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you;
7 And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels,
8 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:
9 Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;
10 When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day.

Flaming fire = holocaust, dummies! The Lord Is Coming. AMEN!

In other words, the pain Hitler inflicted during the Holocaust was nothing compared to what the Holocaust victims are now enduring in Hell. You see, most of those unfortunate people who died in the camps weren't Christians. They didn't believe that Jesus was the one and only sacrifice for their sins. Therefore, God is having them tortured forever.

I'm sorry, but that's bullshit. Fred Phelps' interpretation of it, in my opinion, is 100% accurate. Whoever wrote it meant exactly and precisely what Phelps says it means. If you don't believe that God had a son who was also himself, who died horribly to get Himself to forgive us, then God/Son/Spirit are going to torture you forever. That's what those verses mean.

And that's bullshit. I've yet to meet a Christian who I can't persuade to privately affirm that it's bullshit. Mostly it's because they've never really thought about it. But once you think about it, you eventually realize that there is no Presbyterian Hell For The Torture Of Dead Babies. There is no hell filled with bewildered Asian non-Christians who died in the year 396 A.D. And Hitler's concentration camps weren't a preview of Hell for the Jews who suffered there.

It's the year 2009. We've been to the moon. We're mapping the human genome. I'm sitting in a dining room in Fort Worth, Texas and within an hour people will be reading these words in Australia, Europe, South America, and even Yazoo City, Mississippi. When will we outgrow our tribalism?

In my first 23 years, I read, studied, and memorized more Bible than many of you can imagine. A lot of it is merely false, and some of it is downright harmful. And that passage above, from 2nd Thesalonians? It's bullshit. It causes us to hate the people who aren't like us.

The Islamic beliefs of Major Nidal Malik Hasan, the gunman who killed 12 soldiers at Fort Hood? His religious beliefs that "infidels" should be beheaded and have boiling oil poured down their throats? That's tribalism. His religion caused him to hate people who weren't like him.'s bullshit.

I'm tired of arguing with people who can't reference anything but bullshit. I'm tired of hearing people justify atrocities by reciting chapter and verse bullshit. I'm tired of enduring people who have no interest in learning about the origins of their bullshit or the evolution of their bullshit.

You can start to view the world through a lens of logic, reason, and basic decency, or you can remain loyal to Tribal Bullshit. Pick a side. Fred Phelps is waiting.

Little girl with God Hates Fags poster came from here.


Cedric Katesby said...

When I first came across the likes of Fred Phelps, I was absolutely convinced that he was a "Poe".
There was no way that somebody could be that far gone.
No way.
I did a little digging and, much to my horror, found out that Phelps and his odious family cult were deadly serious.
My overall regard for humanity went down a couple of notches after that.

And that's bullshit. I've yet to meet a Christian who I can't persuade to privately affirm that it's bullshit.

The concept of Hell for "ordinary people who just don't happen to worship a brand-name god" sticks in the craw. Even as a child going to Sunday School, it seemed so blatantly unjust that I felt obligated to bring up the topic with my minister.
I don't exactly remember his reply but I do remeber that it left me feeling deeply unsatisfied.

The legal system will punish the most offensive of crimes but there's no provision to burn and torture people for all eternity.
That's sick.

The Whited Sepulchre said...

For once, we are totally agreed.