|Fred Phelps, founder of the Westboro Baptist Church (est. 1955)|
"The arts of power and its minions are the same in all countries and in all ages. It marks its victim; denounces it; and excites the public odium and the public hatred, to conceal its own abuses and encroachments." - Henry Clay
Yes, that Westboro Baptist Church. I read today that they would be attempting to protest the funeral of Christina Taylor-Green, the 9-year-old victim of the Tucson shooting, I had enough. It's not bad enough these people protest military funerals, pop star funerals, and victims of hate crimes, but now they are targeting a child. Why? Because she is Catholic. First I was livid (as I'm sure many are), and incredibly sympathetic to the family. But then a thought occured to me, "Nobody is okay with people protesting the funeral of a 9-year-old murder victim, are they?" Turns out the majority of people aren't.
My point is this: the hate mongering members of the WBC present a perfect object of disdain for us all to look down upon. Instead of being polarizing, it can join all of us together: democrats and republicans, liberals and conservatives, etc. Two of the biggest critics are Bill O'Reilly and Michael Moore, and if they can agree on something there is certainly hope for the rest of us. They are not accepted by the mainstream of Christianity let alone the Southern Baptist Convention.
But first, a little about Westboro. It was founded in 1955 by Fred Phelps and currently has 71 members, almost all of which are related to Phelps (most likely several times over). The call themselves Christian and Baptist, however most Christian groups consider them a cult (or nicely "extremely Calvinist or primal baptist) because they do not believe that acceptance of Jesus as their savior can grant them clemency for all sins (basically, you're just screwed). This being the penultimate principle of Christianity, it certainly appears the WBC is in fact a cult. They have protested the following funerals:
*countless military funerals
*countless AIDS victims
*Coretta Scott King (MLK's wife)
*Fred Rodgers (aka Mr. Rodgers)
*Ronnie James Dio (Black Sabbath, Dio)
It's not only funerals they protest. According to the group themselves, they protest on average six times a day in Topeka, Kansas, and other places; accumlating travel expenses upwards to $200,000 a year! The silliest thing I've seen them protest was a Swedish dry cleaners because in Sweden, anti-gay pastor Ake Green was prosecuted. According to them the Pope is a "vampire" feeding on the genitals of young boys. Can't make that up, it's just too loony. Things they hate include but are not limited to:
*Catholics (papists, idolaters, and pedophiles)
*East Orthodox Church (idolaters)
*Mormons (because frankly a lot of christians hate them and they aren't on my good list either at this point)
*Muslims (probably because they believe differently and they are brown)
*Jews (because why the heck not, everybody else does)
*Nazis (apparently they are fags...)
*Pop Music (fags)
*AIDS victims (fags)
*US Military (fags)
*Barack Obama (Antichrist, and probably because he's black)
*United States (pick your reason)
*Heavy Metal (I'm assuming it has to do with devil)
*Italians ("mobster-breeding fags")
The ironic part in all of this is that claim to be anti-racist, siting that the bible does not condone racism (guess that's one tiny, fake, shred of light on all of this), and they are against Nazi's and the KKK. However, they are anti-civil rights, hate Jews, Muslims, etc (WHICH MAKES THEM RACIST!), and anti-American. They have even gotten in trouble for trampling the flag, as well as holding up signs that say "God Hates America". Losers that they are, they even protested San Diego's Comic-Con International. They were met with hilarious responses from counter protestors, including a cosplayer dressed as Futurama's Bender holding up a sign that said "Kill all Humans".
Westboro Baptist Church, the hate group that it in fact is, has the ability to join us all. For the conservatives: c'mon, they walked on the flag, they hate America, they protest military funerals. That's enough to get you guys going, right? And for my fellow lefties: they are anti-civil rights. I know that's enough to get that side going. There is something we can all hate about them. And then, all the sensible consevatives, liberals, and centrists and can sit down and talk like real, intelligent citizens of a democracy. I truly believe we can all learn from each other. And the loudmouth pundits of both sides who stir up hate, misunderstanding, and sometimes violence can be left to wayside as the fools they are. The terrible tragedy in Tucson, whether caused by the aptly named political "vitriol" that has taken over the country or not, it has brought the severity to everyone's attention. Can't we just take a lesson and stop now, before anything worse happens?
An important lesson can be taken from WBC. It has certainly united communities, for one. Tucson is attempting to pass a law similar to the one Pres. Bush did forbidding protest withing 300ft of the funeral an hour before and an hour after to protect the families and mourners. It's not really taking away from their free speech, they can still protest, just not in the face of the mother who just lost her child. And besides, how much time to we spend protecting the villains and leave the victims to fend for themselves?