Tag Archives: Hate

Fred Phelps: Let’s Picket His Funeral…With Love (from “The Gay Christian”) by Brandon Wallace

fredphelps

Fred Phelps, organizer and leader of the hate-filled Westboro Baptist Church, is reported on his death bed at the moment. It is news that is quickly spreading throughout social media, with flagrant tweets and Facebook statuses that are somewhat amusing, yet slightly disheartening.

Let me begin by saying that I am, obviously, not a fan of Fred Phelps nor the WBC. I believe they are vile, bitter, and downright dangerously cultish. They have nothing to do with Jesus Christ and the Gospel of the Kingdom.

However, it is moments like this that I have to re-evaluate where I stand, theologically. You see, I believe Christ has grace for people like Fred Phelps as much as he has grace for me. Even though I’m not quite sure I believe in a literal hell of eternal burning, I do believe there is a hell that we put ourselves into, even after death, until we can break free of certain chains and mentalities (racism, sexism, homophobia) that keep us in injustice – and I hope that Phelps does not stay there long. I wish hell upon no one, because I want all souls to encounter the true love that God has to offer.

godhatesfags

As I read some of the tweets, I realize that we are not going to get anywhere as a society until we begin to truly return hate with love. As Martin Luther King, Jr. so famously put it: “Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” There are many people calling for picketing of Phelps funeral, as it is Phelps himself that became famous when he picketed the funeral of Matthew Sheppard in 1998, and has been picketing funerals ever since. But how would this help things at all? It would only be a small, self-serving act of vengeance that would only continue to raise the hate level of those that are still in attendance at WBC.

One fact I found quite interesting is that Nate Phelps, Fred’s son that left the church many years ago and is now an LGBT advocate, said that Fred was “excommunicated in August of 2013.” Why was Fred excommunicated? At this point we can only speculate, as the WBC has not released this information at all. One can only hope that Fred woke up one morning and said, “Wait a second…I was wrong.” While this is quite a stretch of the imagination, it is not entirely impossible. Maybe he was actuallyreading Scripture one day, and realized he was on the wrong side. I like to think that he was flipping through John and ran across the verse in Chapter 13 that says, “Your love for one another will prove that you are my disciples.” Then, as he read it, he thought, “Oh, crap!”

But nonetheless, the fact is, Fred was kicked out for some unknown reason, and is now lying on his deathbed, with no one around him. He is dying alone, facing the consequences of decades of hate. I only pray that as he embarks on eternity, he is able to let go of the hate and bigotry that has kept him tied down for so long. I pray that he is able to let go, not only of the hate and bigotry, but of the things that ultimately led him there in the first place. Why did he hate homosexuals so much? Only Fred probably knows that. I hope he is able to let go of that, too.

My final prayer is that people do show up to his funeral as a show of pageantry. I hope they show up with large, decorated signs and billboards. I hope they line the streets leading to the funeral home, and I hope that they make sure they are seen. Finally, I hope every one of those billboards and signs read, “We forgive you.”

Maybe that little sign of love will do something to the remaining members of WBC, and show them that a life filled with hate is really no life at all, but that a life filled with love is the only way to live. I strongly believe that true Christianity – and what I mean by that is simply people following Christ in doing exactly what Christ wanted us to do – is simply having love for everyone, even your enemies, and fighting for justice throughout the world (1 John 3:23, Micah 6:8, John 13:35).

So, Fred, may you be released from the bondage of hate and bigotry, and may God prepare your heart and soul for eternity. Maybe one day in the ever after, I can look you in the eyes and say this to you face-to-face: I forgive you. May you also be able to forgive yourself.

Amen.

 

George Takei: “I take no solace or joy in this man’s passing. We will not dance upon his grave, nor stand vigil at his funeral holding “God Hates Freds” signs, tempting as it may be.
He was a tormented soul, who tormented so many. Hate never wins out in the end. It instead goes always to its lonely, dusty end.”

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under The Ramblings of a Reformed Ecclesiastic

Hate and Love

Hate and Love

Leave a comment

December 6, 2013 · 19:59

Westboro – again! Doncha just luv ’em……NOT?

Leave a comment

September 17, 2013 · 10:06

Ten Things You Can’t Do While Following Jesus

Jesus, follow, christian, what not to do

by Mark Sandlin
Lot’s of people claim to be “following Jesus” and then they do stuff like this. Sure, people who follow Jesus do these things all the time but you can’t say you are doing them because you are trying to follow Jesus’ example. (Clearly, this is not a complete list but it’s a good place to start).
10) Exclude people because they practice another religion. Jesus was constantly including people and he did it with a radical disregard for their religion. We have not one recorded incident of Jesus asking for a person’s religious affiliation before being willing to speak with them or break bread with them. We do have several records of Jesus seeking out folks who happen to practice faith differently from him. There was even this one time when he used a hated Samaritan as an example of how we are supposed to take care of each other.
9) Exclude people for what they look like, how they were born or things beyond their control. I may have mentioned this already but Jesus was constantly including people. Jesus had this rebel streak in him that actually sought out folks who didn’t “fit in.” People who were different, people who were marginalized, people who were made to feel unwanted in one way or another held a special place in the heart, life and actions of Jesus. I suspect he did it because he understood they weren’t actually different at all. Touch the leapers (the “untouchables”). Do it.
8) Withhold healthcare from people. Ever play the game “Follow the Leader”? If you don’t do what the leader does, you are out. Following means you should imitate as closely as possible. When people who were sick needed care Jesus gave it to them. If we are following Jesus, we will imitate him as closely as possible. No, we can’t repeat the miracles he did but I’ve seen modern medicine do things that are about as close to a miracle as I expect to get.
7) Exclude people. Last time. Promise. Jesus was constantly including people. It’s a little concept called love. He was pretty big on it.
6) Let people go hungry. When Jesus said “feed my sheep,” it was about more than just a spiritual feeding. As a matter of fact, if Gandhi was right (and I suspect he was), you can’t have one without the other: “There are people in the world so hungry, that God cannot appear to them except in the form of bread.” There is not a food shortage in the world. There is enough for everyone. There is not a problem with having a capable distribution system; I can eat lobster from Maine while looking at the Pacific ocean. The problem is that we aren’t very good at sharing.

5) Make money more important than God (and the children of God). The love of money really is the root of all sorts of evil. Every day we make choice about what we will do with our money. Our choices speak louder than our words. Willingly or not, our choices frequently hurt the least of these and others rather than help them. Sometimes we even hurt ourselves. Our money is so important, we willing shop at stores because they are cheeper even though we know the products they sale recklessly endanger the lives of those who make them. We buy food which is mass produced with disregard for health impacts because the farmer down the road is more expensive. We’d rather keep more of our money than pay the taxes it takes to provide for those in need. We have a money problem.
4) Judge others. “That ‘speck of sawdust in you brother’s eye’ and ‘let he who is without sin cast the first stone’ stuff? Meant it,” Jesus.
3) Be physically aggressive or violent. Okay, okay. “Jesus in in the temple grounds with the money changers.” I’ll give you that one but other than that Jesus both gave the example of and taught his followers to avoid violent behaviour. “Put your sword away, (Insert your name here).” So, what about the money changers? See #2.
2) Use the church to hurt people. For the most part, Jesus practiced Dudism. That man could abide. However, there were a few times when he seemed to get more than a bit worked up (most notably, with the money changers in the temple grounds). What could take this chill, peace-loving, Jewish-hippie from 0 to 60 in the flip of a switch? Using an institution whose primary goal is meant to be love to hurt people. (It’s important to note that while you might describe Jesus as aggressive in the temple grounds with the money changers, even then he was not physically violent toward people).
1) Hate. The one possible exception might be “hate” itself but even then hate breeds hate, so best to avoid it.

Leave a comment

Filed under The Ramblings of a Reformed Ecclesiastic

Hate

hate

Leave a comment

January 28, 2013 · 11:16

All you need is love – love is all you need

All you need is love - love is all you need

2 Comments

January 25, 2013 · 13:07

In the “Land of the Free”

Image

Leave a comment

October 18, 2012 · 23:45

Fear

Fear is the path to the dark side. 
Fear leads to anger. 
Anger leads to hate. 
Hate leads to suffering.
– Yoda

Image

Leave a comment

Filed under The Ramblings of a Reformed Ecclesiastic

Not Hate but Fear

Not Hate but Fear

Leave a comment

August 17, 2012 · 20:45

Different Faiths

Image

1 Comment

Filed under The Ramblings of a Reformed Ecclesiastic