This isn’t about writing, or needlework, or my family. This is a personal tirade against a select group of people. It is filled with invective language and personal opinion. You have been warned.
The news was sad this weekend. The death of actor Heath Ledger – under whatever circumstances it may have occurred – is an unfortunate loss of a talented young man. That is not to say that it is more or less unfortunate than the loss of the hundreds of thousands of others around the world who passed that same day, it’s just he was famous enough to make the news.
Now comes word that, because of his role in the movie “Brokeback Mountain” the Westboro Baptist Church and its rabid leader Fred Phelps will demonstrate at Ledger’s funeral. You see, Phelps and his crazed band of lunatic followers (all of whom call themselves “Christian”) are so vehemently opposed to homosexuality that they will take any opportunity to behave in inappropriate ways, spreading their message of hate. Lest you think I’m making this up, the church’s website is www.godhatesfags.com. Get the picture?
I don’t care if you agree with homosexuality as being normal, or if you believe it a sin. I do care if someone takes the name or label of a religion and tries to abscond with it to promote their version of things over the reality. At what point did Christ teach that screaming spiteful, hate-filled trash at men, women, and CHILDREN, was an acceptable practice? I have personal, first-hand experience with this one. The church I used to attend was targeted by Phelps and his merry band of social deviants for protesting. As we walked into church at 8:00 on a Sunday morning, Phelps and his protesters stood across the street with signs which read much like his web address, and they called out to us as we entered the sanctuary, “Hey, mister, you sucked any d***s this morning?”
We had children with us. Worse yet, so did they. This is Christian behavior? Not in my bible.
To my way of thinking, Phelps and his ilk should be cataloged with Al Qaeda and its followers. How can anyone justify taking the word of God and using it to harm others? Yes, Christians did this for centuries, what with the Crusades and all, but I’d like to believe that some of our beliefs, some of our behaviors evolved beyond that. I’d like to think that perhaps God’s message about “Love thy neighbor as thyself” (a COMMANDMENT, not a suggestion, and one to which the three major religions ALL subscribe) meant more than just the guy next door who looks and believes like you do. Will someone point out to me where I missed the “except for gays or other people we decide we don’t like” exclusionary clause. I didn’t miss that much Sunday school.
When you take a huge document such as the Quran, the Bible, the Torah, and choose to focus only on a limited text with a limited interpretation, you are in essence turning your back on the remainder of the teachings. The fact that some of them may seem to contradict your original message should serve as a wake-up call to you – maybe you need to broaden your perspective??? Just a wee bit, perhaps???
I, personally, do not believe that a God (no matter by which name that God is called), powerful enough to create the universe and all things within it, would put humans on this planet with the sole purpose of having us duke it out over who has the best God. The ancient Greeks considered this, and ultimately it fell out of favor because it couldn’t be reconciled with the realities of the world. Doesn’t it make more sense that we should accept that not everyone thinks the way we do, or behaves the way we do, or believes the way we do? Doesn’t make more sense that a truly powerful and creative God capable of such achievements would want his or her creations to find ways to grow closer in understanding and acceptance? If we adopt the model of God as cosmic parent, you have to believe that this parent is terribly disappointed in the kids down here, squabbling and fighting over who Mom or Dad loves the most. It’s just stupid, really.
Regardless of your religious ideology, regardless of your political beliefs, you have to acknowledge that there is no benefit, no useful purpose in deliberately going out with the intention of causing more pain in this world. That’s the job of sociopaths and psychopaths.
We can’t stop all the lunatics in the world, but there is something you can do to stop Fred Phelps. Go to: http://www.petitiononline.com/master/petition-sign.html to sign a petition demanding that Phelps be stripped of his license as a Pastor in the Southern Baptist Convention. Hate has no place within a so-called Christian community, and people like Phelps and his followers need to understand that their behaviors are out of line with the way that normal people think and behave.
We now return you to your regularly scheduled blogging.