by Jennifer Bowman
Psalm 11:5, "The Lord tests the righteous and the wicked, and the one who loves violence His soul hates."
There is a rampant claim made by Fred Phelps that God hates, in his own personal words and not mine, "fags."
This sort of thing goes beyond anyone's personal beliefs on gay marriage or homosexuality in general. I would say that this even goes beyond whether or not you believe in the universalistic viewpoint that "God loves everyone!" This is one of the most destructive ideas in American history.
Their group has made more attention than it really deserves with its barely legal protests and passive-aggressive, infantile attention-garnering tactics. The Westboro Baptist Church has fewer than 100 members, with 90% being related to Phelps through blood or marriage. I believe that constitutes a cult, and in reference to their beliefs, it certainly doesn't constitute a Baptist denomination label.
I've actually known about this group of people since the case of Matthew Shepard a few years ago. That's when they first garnered the amount of media attention they did, with outrageous protests at the funeral. A group of people, calling themselves the angels, surrounded the protestors, concealing them with their "wings" from the view of all people.
Since, I've been able to ignore the tactics of these people; no matter how angry they made me, because they seemed mostly inconsequential. Yes, they're hateful and horrible, but really - everyone knows how ridiculously wrong they are in their stance against humanity, and they can, for the most part, be ignored, because they don't really have any effect on the way society functions.
But when Sgt. David Weir died, I had no idea that these people would actually be so filled with hatred and disgust that they would find it apt to actually come to this town and disrupt the process that all people should be entitled to: a quiet, peaceful funeral and a time to mourn. When I first found out, my jaw literally dropped open. I had immediate plans, plans to sabotage everything, to save the Weir family, and plans for the Phelps that I cannot mention for fear of conspiracy charges.
Eventually I calmed down enough to realize the inevitable doom of these actions, and my mom mentioned to me that I have class, and I absolutely cannot miss it.
So, again, I can't save the world. I can't even save Cleveland. I'm inconsequential and my actions wouldn't matter anyway.
But that's how we have to view these Westboro Baptist people - an eyebrow-raising cult, for whom we should all pity. In fact, prayer is in order for these people. The only prayer mentioned on their entire website is an imprecatory prayer for the destruction of America. It seems that these people have forgotten to talk to God altogether, that they completely ignore the message of Jesus Christ, and focus only on hatred - which if, is truly something that God partakes in, is reserved for God and God alone. All other hatred is a sin, and all other judgments must be left for the one true Judge. The one who loves violence and hatred, and feeds off it like plankton to algae, is Fred Phelps.