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The Westboro Baptist Church Is Right About the Bible

The members of the Westboro Baptist Church have been getting a lot of action lately. Their controversial picket themes, including the famous "God Hates Fags" campaign, have drawn crowds of counter-protestors at each stop along their seemingly endless picketing route. Their stops in Los Angeles included, of course, a visit to the Devil-sponsored 2010 Oscars, and upcoming tour dates include a visit at Virginia Tech next week, where they will lovingly let the students at VTU know that God sent the gunman who killed 33 students, faculty and staff and injured 25 more in 2007. You could say they aren't exactly popular.

There is almost nothing good to say about the WBC. They are bigoted, they are  hateful, they are against everything our Constitution stands for (except perhaps free speech, which they enjoy quite fully), and their signs look like they were cut  out of the side of a My Little Pony box. If it weren't for the dire state of religion in the modern world, I'd have nothing good to say about them. But they do have one thing going for them: they're honest.

They're honest about their Holy Book. They have read The Bible-- something it seems most modern Christians have not done. And they get it. While the Christians of 2010 sidestep what are clearly the main themes of that horrifying collection of stories to tell us that  Jesus "loves" us, the WBC are clear on the message: God is a wrathful, vengeful, jealous God who is ready to throw us into the lake of fire. And to those who honestly think this volume is the Word of God, how can you look at the WBC and see anything other than a group of heroes? If God really does hate fags (and it's quite clear in the Bible that the punishment for homosexuality is death; see Leviticus 20:13), aren't the folks who are really trying to warn the gays of their eternal punishment deserving of praise, not disdain?

The ugly truth of believing in the Bible is that it is not a book of kindness and Good News any more than it is a book of hate and, well... really really bad news. It's quite easy to say that the overarching message is one of love-- of course you say that! It's the only way to market your product! No one is interested in a religion based on hate, unless you terrify them  into it (and indeed, that seems to be the only way the WBC gains followers). So modern Christians try the next best thing-- they lie about their Holy Book. They say that God wrote it to tell us He loves us. Not that He wrote it to say we should kill wrongdoers (something repeated literally hundreds of times) or even that we should live lives of voluntary poverty (something Jesus talked about more than He talked about Heaven or Hell combined). No no-- Jesus' main message, and indeed, the message of the Bible as a whole, the Christians maintain, is one of love to our fellow human beings (something mentioned about forty times, as opposed to money, mentioned more than 800 times).

Well, it's a lie. And it's a sad lie. Because when Christians are able to drive this wedge in-- to pick out the nice, friendly parts of their text-- it means that they see through the fog of purported infallibility. They know that the only message worth spreading is one of reason, one of love. And so they puff up their little God to fit in that gaping hole left by the legacy of their faith over the years. If only Christians could take the next brave step and say, as Jesus did, that the legacy of their religion... is wrong. That it is based on lies, that the book it claims to honor is one that as often preaches hatred, fear and self-loathing as it does love or forgiveness. If they would go the next step, then they could disassociate themselves from the rhetoric of hate-mongers like Fred Phelps and his brainwashed family. But they cannot.
Because they claim to love and believe in a book that only upholds the claims of the Westboro Baptist Church.

The Bible can only be made to go against this kind of hateful activity-- the God Hates Fags protests, the  picketing at funerals-- in the light of present day liberal philosophy, that forces us to look at verses like "Love one another," and say "My goodness... That can't mean stoning my daughter. That can't mean killing homosexuals. Or even thieves. My  god, it can't even mean hating your mother and father, as Jesus taught." We've learned to move on from biblical teaching, but we have not learned to admit that we've moved on from the Bible.

When the Westboro Baptist Church makes its way to your hometown, Christians, stand up. Say "We will not take it! We will  not take the sullying of our good name by this man, by this family, or by this book."

When the Westboro Baptist Church  makes its way to your hometown, atheists, stand up. Say "We know you're honest. And we appreciate that you have the follow-through to be consistent with your beliefs. But your attitude isn't the only thing that's wrong here. So is your book."


The Bible isn't a decent moral guideline by the standards of a progressive society. If you hate the Westboro Baptist Church, ask yourself:

Do you hate them because they misread your Holy Book? Or because you're ashamed of what it says?

Comments

  • Liz B-Howard Stern Examiner 4 years ago

    Go Carrie! Testify! Or,...well,...you know what I mean!

  • SG 4 years ago

    That "God Hates your Tears" sign just really rubs it in...

  • Ross 4 years ago

    They sure are effective in getting publicity for such a small group of nutbags. I guess that's a good thing inasmuch as it makes all religion look bad by association, and shines a spotlight on the horrible moral precepts in the Bible. While I agree that they take the Bible literally, they are still doing their own fair amount of cherry picking. Everyone has to, since the Bible contradicts itself on almost every point. If they hate America so much, why don't they just move to a theocracy, like Iran?

  • Travis W. 3 years ago

    They would never move to an Islamic theocracy for a few reasons. They would be killed by Sharia law for blasphemy, WBC hates Muslims and Islam claiming that it was "created by a pedophile so he could fulfill his lusts," and because they want to live in a place where freedom of speech is legal just so they can take advantage of it. Funny thing is if you say something again they picket you acting like you have committed a crime. I just say we let them live in that compound in KS and wait for a tornado.

  • Travis W. 3 years ago

    They would never move to an Islamic theocracy for a few reasons. They would be killed by Sharia law for blasphemy, WBC hates Muslims and Islam claiming that it was "created by a pedophile so he could fulfill his lusts," and because they want to live in a place where freedom of speech is legal just so they can take advantage of it. Funny thing is if you say something again they picket you acting like you have committed a crime. I just say we let them live in that compound in KS and wait for a tornado.

  • Carrie Poppy 4 years ago

    Good points, Ross! Maybe it's more accurate to say the WBC are at *least* as honest/accurate (and probably more so) than modern Christianity. But you're right-- they have to ignore the good stuff because "love your neighbor," for example, should not include stoning her.

  • Réne Girard (San Diego Christianity & Culture) 4 years ago

    Some good points, but some that are clearly off base such as: "So modern Christians ... lie about their Holy Book. They say that God wrote it to tell us He loves us. Not that He wrote it to say we should kill wrongdoers (something repeated literally hundreds of times)" Your counting is waaay off! I don't know of one scripture in all of the New Testament where followers of Jesus are told to kill "wrongdoers"; in the Old Testament, there were punishments for crimes within the Israelite community, but they were consequences for crimes willingly committed. Don't want to be stoned to death? Don't break the law. Most punishments were not that harsh anyway. God's people did engage in acts of war where the enemy was killed. But throughout the scripture, from the very beginning in Genesis when Cain killed Abel, God condemned those who murdered others.

    The problem that many people have, Westboro and yourself included, is not reading the Bible like a book they really want to understand.

  • Travis W. 3 years ago

    So a fitting punishment for disobeying your parents is to be dragged out to the middle of town and be stoned to death. And wearing clothes of two different fabrics is a crime? and people should be stoned for being born gay? you agree with that? I am glad i don't know you personally. You seem very harsh.

  • Carrie Poppy 4 years ago

    "Don't want to be stoned to death? Don't break the law."

    Right, the problem is that these laws were awful. You were to be killed for adultery, for mislabeling yourself as a virgin, for striking your parent, for speaking ill of your parent, for blasphemy... The status quo of the time does not matter. If you're God, you can overthrow seriously disgusting laws like these. And you can do it without waiting for your son to come around 1500 years, and many wasted lives, later.

  • Hugh Kramer, LA Atheism Examiner 4 years ago

    "And so they puff up their little God to fit in that gaping hole left by the legacy of their faith over the years."

    I just LOVE that line!
    :)

  • Gnosticy Fellow 4 years ago

    I agree with Carrie. I've known baptists who say the same things in private, and worse. More in the Landover theology. I really wish atheists, agnostic and other freethinkers would stop assisting mainstream evangelicals from trying to silence this group.

    I beleive in free speech, and I want to know who is out there, and what they think. So please support Westboro. If you've read the OT, then you would know that god really does hate you. They are refreshingly honest. Say what you really mean, and feel, and let us end the political correctness from the right and left.

  • Mean 4 years ago

    Finally someone who gets it. What they way is true. The people who seems to be most upset about them is other Christians. Then they try to turn the bible against them and fail. Ive not seen many atheists trying to debate with them and I think I know why.

    Atheists are hardly offended.

    There is 2 things keeping the church together. Its the hate from the outside and the love from the inside. If you watch the videos about them you see that they do love etch other and care for there children. They also seem to a fun and social bunch if you meet them close and personal. I totally get why they newer would leave that family for a world that hates them.

  • Snow Leopard 4 years ago

    Carrie,

    You have obviously not read the Bible. Of course I know you will deny this statement, and you will assure me that you've read the Bible cover to cover in dozens on different translations. You and I know this is false.

    Does Jesus preach more on voluntary poverty than He does on Heaven and Hell? Absolutely not. By no stretch of the imagination is this statement true.

    If you read the Gospels, you would know that Jesus recounted the prayers of a Pharisee and a tax collector. The Pharisee thanked God that he was not like other men, which, as far as it goes, is not a bad prayer. However, he was not expressing a sincere thanks for God's mercy towards him, but rather speaking solely out of pride. A large part of the moral is that one can say, or even pray, something which is true, and yet their motives and disposition can simultaneously discredit them in the eyes of God.

    WBC are right that homosexuality is a grievous sin which leads to Hell. But they pray like Pharisees.

  • Rcreative1 4 years ago

    So true, Carrie. In Matthew, Jesus even taunts the Pharisees for not being true to the scripture because they refused to stone people to death as much as their god had demanded. The problem of most actual believers not taking the Bible seriously has been around since the beginning. I'm also amazed when I encounter churches that kick out members they discover are gay, while forgiving members who get divorced, commit adultery, gamble, cheat and steal, even though Paul condemns those types of sinners in equal measure with homosexuals, often in the same sentence.

  • Jesus Christ 3 years ago

    The Westboro Church is the best thing to happen to Atheists in a long time.

  • Anonymous 2 years ago

    I know this was written a year ago but as i read it, my heart broke. As a believer i have read my Bible cover to cover multiple times and God gave his one Son to save humanity. It may not be logical but love is not a logical emotion. I personally apologize for the horrible things which have been done in the name of Christianity " For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son to die." He paid the ultimate price. Religion is messed up because people are flawed not because God is.

  • Anonymous 2 years ago

    The Westboro Baptist Church would say to you what every pastor from 1700 to 1900 would say to you:

    "Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man."

    Yes, the Bible says fear God.

    As for loving God, the Bible defines love for God as obedience to him. In other words, you love God to the extent that you obey him and you hate God to the extent that you disobey him.

    The God of the Bible does not love everyone. The Bible clearly states that God hates -yes, hates- workers of iniquity.

  • Anonymous 1 year ago

    They are the only ones getting christianity right.

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