What Happened to ‘Go Forth in the Knowledge & Love of God’?

24 01 2008

So this is what the fundies get up to when they think they’re not getting enough column inches.

By Sky News SkyNews – 23rd January 2008

A controversial church described as a “hate group” has said it will protest at Heath Ledger’s memorial service because he played a gay character in Brokeback Mountain.

The Kansas-based Westboro Baptist Church – which has previously said they wished a million people had been killed in the London terror attacks in 2005 – issued a statement saying the Australian actor was “now in hell”.

“WBC will picket this pervert’s funeral, in religious protest,” the group said.

They also called the Roman Catholic church the biggest paedophile organisation in the world and were taken to court recently by a family whose funeral they picketed.

I cannot see any upside to this sort of behaviour.

I find myself getting extremely aerated by fundamentalism of any sort; who has the right to speak for God? And in any case, why does anyone feel that, if they are empowered to speak for their Deity, that another human would necessarily want to hear about it?

Recently I posted, somewhat imprudently, on another Wiccan’s blog; she had a couple of Born Again Christians who were trying to get her to come back to the Path. Ever so nice, they were; but this sort of encroachment, no matter how polite, sets me wrong. Who has the right to impose their beliefs on another? Surely, it’s only plain good manners to not whitter (or rant!) on about a topic that your interlocutor is not minded to hear? When I was growing up, you discussed neither religion, politics nor unfortunate events in company.

I more than most want religious toleration to become universal; let decency, good manners, respect and understanding win the day. Until then, you will have to excuse me if I get slightly, oh so very slightly irritated by being encroached upon, and seek to bite the hand that attempts to feed me this anodyne crip-crap – I’ve heard it all before, thank you; and didn’t buy it then, any more than I do now!

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6 responses

24 01 2008
fox

Oh, Westboro are a bunch of hateful little crazies. The US recently (not sure if it was country wide or just by state) put a ban on protests at funerals because of this “church”. I guess it shouldn’t surprise me that they would add this funeral to their list. Sad thing is, this group has no farther to go than the closest mirror to see the evil that they hate so much.

24 01 2008
The Green Witch

I’ve done a little reading up about them and they seem to be entirely off the beam.

They have to be allowed their voice, I suppose – free speech becomes complicated when you have to allow people to say at the top of their voice that which you’d spend a lifetime refuting at the top of yours!! However, this rule has to go hand in hand with good manners – no-one disrupts a funeral. Just utterly disrespectful!

25 01 2008
Noctiluca

Westboro Baptist Church are famed for their funeral-picketing, sadly. They are the creators of http://www.godhatesfags.com and they are led by Fred Phelps, a somewhat charismatic, very frightening old man who is very reminiscent of the likes of Charles Manson and other men who have been able to put ideas in people’s heads.

When they appeared on Icelandic television a while back for picketing at a soldier’s funeral, I did an incredible amount of research on the Phelps family, and I must say, their story brought me to tears several times. Fred Phelps, head of the family and head of the church has brainwashed, beaten and abused his children since they were little. Some of them even ran away and are not members of the church. The ones that stayed are now doing the very same to their own children.

They uphold rules that are from the old Testament, rules such as a child who is born out of marriage cannot enter a church – yet Shirley Phelps (who is the most likely out of the bunch to continue her dad’s legacy after he dies) has a son, Sam, who was born out of wedlock. This is a fact that they have tried very hard to hide from the public, afraid of exposing their lies.

These people make me sick to my stomach, they are hateful, violent, destructive and vicious – nothing like the Jesus that they supposedly worship.

I recommend this video for anyone who wants to know a bit more about the people behind this hatred:

After a couple of weeks of research and near-obsession, I decided that these people, even though thousands of kilometers away, were having way too much of a negative influence on me and I did a cleansing meditation, focused on the things in my Icelandic society that I am grateful for, and stopped thinking about them. They still bother me, but they cannot get me emotional or upset anymore. When I see them, I think of karma and how many bad things they have already received in their lives – harrasment and isolation from the outside world, they are hated by most and feared by many. Not a life you would want for yourself, but you reap what you sow, eh?

I can’t even begin to describe how incredibly, deeply and completely grateful I am that such a church does not exist in my country, because that would bother me a whole lot.

25 01 2008
The Green Witch

Lovely to see you here, Noctiluca, thanks for visiting!

I know what you mean. They are a hateful crowd – so wrongheaded and vicious. God won’t do anything about them, the same way as he won’t do anything aobut war or pestilence – free will in action!

That’s interesting research!

27 01 2008
Mereth

What is more troubling than anything is that by mentioning them over and over, we must be giving them more power than they would otherwise have. Personally, I’d slap a D notice on the lot of them. If they do not have the public voice to perpetuate this sort of hatred, it will spread and grow less easily. There’s nothing that can be done for the likes of those who generate such hate, but best not to spread it to the neighbours, eh?

28 01 2008
The Green Witch

I do agree, Mereth, but I also think this argument has another side – if we ignore them, they’re NOT going to go away!

Discussing them gives them publicity, on the basis that any publicity is good publicity, but it also makes sure everyone is aware of the threat. Not that everyone (or indeed, most anyone) reads me but ya know what I mean!! 🙂

I wonder, if we decide that there’s nothing to be done, if this will make their job easier? Wasn’t it Churchill who said that all that is required for evil to spread is that good men do nothing?

For and against, we could certainly argue both sides of this one!!!

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