I don't normally go around criticising what other people believe or other people's religions (except perhaps Scientology....what's that all about??) But I'm going to make an exception today. And the reason I am making an exception with the Westboro Baptist Church is that I don't really see them as a religion, I see them as a hate group. And I'm perfectly happy speaking out against hate.
The WBC make the mistake of taking the Bible literally. And I mean literally. They study every word. This doesn't make good sense. No book in the history of our time has been rewritten and translated more than the Bible. And as such it has become a literary collaboration with each translator adding his own bias to the framework. The Bible relies heavily on interpretation. It can be read as an allegory, as a work of symbolism, a series of opinions.... What I think would be pretty impossible to assert is that it is hard fact.
Yet that is just what these numpties at WBC are trying to say. And worse, they take the odd random verses from the Bible and string them into a hate campaign that they proudly announce as "God hates Fags." (Their own choice of term for our friends in the homosexual community). That would appear to be their final conclusion after all this extensive biblical analysis, apparently God has a problem if you fancy your own gender.
Well apart from the fact that that's rubbish (I'm sure God has a lot more to worry about than who's bonking who) and apart from the fact that its bigoted, discriminatory, potentially libellous and definitely downright offensive - more importantly its wrong. When I say wrong, what I really mean is entirely fictional, a tentative conclusion based on a random string of (sorry Christians) unsubstantiated opinions. This point is brilliantly illustrated by a spoof website who, in response to "God hates Fags," have come up with their own slogan "God hates Figs" which cites just as many biblical references for the condemnation of the fig fruit as Westboro have found for the condemnation of gay people. The rather obvious conclusion being that you can find enough random texts in the bible to support pretty much any argument if you look hard enough. (Either that or you’re going to Hell if you have ever enjoyed the fruit of the forbidden fig tree of sin….)
The WBC also seem very confused about who is gay and who isn't. They spend thousands of pounds each year picketing high profile funerals to draw attention to their campaign against gays. In most cases the dead person (usually either a celebrity or a soldier) have no personal leanings toward homosexuality. The picketing is just done for maximum publicity, public shock value. Its a cheap way to make a point.
Now what I find hard to swallow is that these people actually believe what they are doing is in the name of God.They seriously believe that God would want people put to death for being gay. Capital punishment is a pretty abhorrent punishment in itself but it takes on grotesque proportions when we imagine it being used to punish people simply for having a sexual preference for their own gender. This is all about hate, nothing to do with God’s love or tolerance, just pure simple hatred. It would be dangerous were this group not so universally ridiculed for their unique and somewhat idiotic interpretations of the Bible. As it is most of their preaching falls on the deaf ears of the sane and non bigoted.
But what kind of God must they believe in if they think he wants them to turn up at funerals waving placards and causing chaos and distress to people mourning their loved ones? That isn't a God I could ever get behind. And it isn't the message of the Bible either. If you do happen to believe in the Bible, Jesus told people to love God and love their neighbour. I can't imagine he forgot to add: "unless that neighbour is gay in which case turn up uninvited at funerals and shout a lot."
The WBC leave no stone unturned in their relentless crusade against what they perceive to be sin. They burn the American flag, flush copies of the holy Koran (sacred to the Islamic faith), call Catholic churches “whorehouses” and refer to Jews as “Nazis.” Basically unless you happen to be a member of the WBC (*shudder* perish the thought!) they believe you are a sinner destined for the fiery pits of Hell.
This all may well offend you. I’d be surprised if it doesn’t. It certainly offends me. So if you would like to share your views with the hate group themselves – here is their web address http://www.godhatesfags.com/. Undoubtedly they will reply and tell you that you are going to Hell for your evil beliefs. But take it from the Degu Witch, you’re not. And who are you going to believe – some psychotic group of Bible literalists or your favourite common sense talking witch? Go on – get typing!
Image by Toxic Butterfly Media and used with kind permission from the artist.
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