Friday, March 31, 2006

Rantings about Westboro Baptist and Funerals

I have a hard time with folks whose religion leads them to commit acts of violence or causes them to becomes assholes. There are plenty of examples of the first group in this dangerous world we’re now living and right now they’re not on my mind. Instead, I want to address the second group and leading the way is Westboro Baptist, a small church in Topeka, Kansas. This church is the poster child for homophobia. They believe the reason we’re stuck in a quagmire in Iraq is because of our nation’s liberal views on homosexuality. They have therefore taken it upon themselves to picket funerals of servicemen and women killed in Iraq, claiming that their death is because God is taking out his vengeance on America. That’s right, because America allows civil rights to gays, God allowed an Iraqi insurgent to shoot and blow up an American soldier, because they weve "defending America." Or so Westboro's misguided congregants say.

There was a funeral this week for a young man who graduated from a local high school three and a half years ago. A member of the 101 Airborne Division, he was killed by enemy fire on March 17. Westboro Baptist showed up at the funeral to protest. This is disgusting and has gotten so bad that legislation is pending in both the Michigan legislature and in Washington to make it a crime to protest near a funeral (I think the Washington law addresses just military funerals). It’s a shame we need to have a law to force folks to act decent and behave themselves at funerals.

I’m glad churches like Westboro Baptist are in the minority. If my only experience of the faith had been at hands of folks like that, I’d become like Crosby Stills and Nash who back in the 70s sang:

Open up the gates of the church and let me out of here.
Too many people have died in the name of Christ for anyone to heed the call.
Too many people have lied in the name of Christ that I can’t believe at all.

Luckily, not all churches are like Westboro Baptist and I’ve been blessed to experience other churches in which following Jesus’ example of love and humility and compassion is encouraged. Such a view is a contrast from making an ass of yourself in Jesus’ name and a mockery of his teachings.


  1. That is one of the most overwhelming disgusting behavious i think i have ever heard before. I am schocked an appalled that people would do such a thing as to protest a funeral of an innocent person.. and one who was fighting on behalf of these people. Regardless as to whether you agree with the war in Iraq or not, that is certainly not the time or the place to express your opinion. Shame shame shame on these people. Here from Micheles tonight. (Oh and I am still shaking by head in disbeleif of these people.. gah.. I can't stop ranting about how awful that is.. ok i will stop now :)

  2. It was shocking right here in Michigan.

    btw, saw you at Michele's.

  3. Hi - thanks for stopping by. And call me narrow-minded but I can't see how such a protest is right or even okay, from any point of view. How anyone can claim divine approval - much less exhibit such bizarre, morally repugnant behavior - is beyond me. Sounds like somebody's accountability network came apart or worse, never existed.

  4. I geuss there are all kinds in religion, just as in the rest of life. Too bad there are some who believe like they do. I believe they will get theirs someday - and it will not be what they expected!

  5. So many things get done "in the name of God" that are neither godly or good.

    It's an absolute shame that these people waste their time decrying homosexuality and how sinful it is, and instead of reaching out in love to PEOPLE (homosexual, hetersexual, bi or tri-sexual or whatever) that need God's love in their lives.

    And the hubris, thinking God cares about America more than some other nation on this earth! America is no special place in the eyes of God. It's a small piece of the big mass of humanity that Jesus died for. The Jesus these Baptists say they follow died for each person on earth, homosexual, hetersexual, male, female, Christian, Muslim, Hindu, ... whatever.

    It just goes to show what I heard someone say a long time ago: The biggest hurdle Christianity has isn't what it preaches, it how it's followers act.

  6. How people use religion to further their weird beliefs is crazy.

    Michele sent me here.

  7. Ya, the servicemen and women are doing their jobs. Not to memtion trying to protect us-our nation. They & their familis have paid the ultimate price. It is wrong to create such havoc at such a sad & personal time of these families. Peace can be hard enough to find at they don't need those crazy cold hearted pieces of shit adding more trouble to the tradegy

  8. There's a sort of mirror behavior that happens...a polarity of fundamental extremists that can be infectious to some and the bird flu or some other such thing.

    michele sent me.

  9. Unfortunately, the minority are the ones that make all the news and who we remember. Some even use them as an example of why organized religion isn't a good thing and that the Bible can be used to validate nearly anything.

  10. A lot of thing are done in the name of God that have nothing to do with Him
    here from Micheles today.

  11. 'Westboro Baptist showed up at the funeral to protest.'

    [looks horrified] is there no depths to which a 'religion' will stoop........?

    hiya Sage - saw you on my blog and popped over to say long time no see..... :-)


  12. Well let's not worry about the child molestors & rapists & serial killers etc etc etc....Let's show our humanity through hatred & discrimination. OMG, they're lucky that wasn't my family member! As with all your other commenters, I'm disgusted & angry....I've done a post about a similar thing tonight. Now I think I might have to do one about this too! Thank you for posting this as I hadn't heard anything about it.

  13. I came on yesterday. Us English put our clocks forward last week.

  14. tossers and frothers just can't seem to stay focused nowadays. swinging from killing doctors, kidnapping wombs and attempted egg molestation, harrasement of gays, forcing more kids into childrens homes and foster care and now the picketting of families mourning the tragic loss of loved ones lost to some lying rich blokes greedy xenophobic war which they were all in favour of 5 minutes ago....
    its quite pathetic yet terrifying.... as you may know its an old gripe of mine- new fodder is always sadly unwelcome but useful...

    thank you also for the reviews below.

    good reading you and thanks for your comments at mine*

    ps my word verification is tdlfax as in 'they are just a bunch of tdlfax, and they are talking pants'.

  15. Wow Sage--great post and a bit hard to take in

    Really have to think about it

  16. I agree with what you said and I don't condone their actions but I am thankful that I live in a country where we have the ability to protest without getting drug out back and shot. I don't think protesting at a funeral was the wisest of moves for helping their cause.

  17. Sage, I cringe, too, at things I hear in the news both local and national about how some Christians teach and act. I know some Christians who no longer want to identify themselves as Christians because of these things. Sometimes, I come close to that.

    At the same time, I remember something my dad has often said when we talk about other people's sin. It was, "If it wasn't for the grace of God, I'd be there, too." There's something that makes me stop and think when I recall that statement.

  18. I'm late reading this post but I can't resist a comment or two. I think when folks protest in such a cruel way, it is the most obvious indication that there is no "interior" work being done. What I mean is, if you are walking the faith path, seeking God and the good that brings into your character and spirit, then the purest,truest thing to do is to mourn with them the loss of their family member.I don't mean to sound preachy but this story seems the ultimate "lip service religion" possible! Would Christ have protested? Oh my goodness, no! Would He have been right in the middle of that grieving family...yes!That's why in the south(and everywhere else)we respond with platters of food and flowers and lines extending around the block of the funeral home to truly pay our respects.It is our loving presence and the meeting of basic needs that people need at such a time.