Wednesday, April 14, 2010


I Hate the Westboro Baptist Church. More accurately, I Hate Fred Phelps.

I don't use the word Hate to convey that I am mildly displeased with him, his group, or their actions.

I use it in the sense that when I hear their name I feel my blood pressure rise. My cheeks turn red. I shake. I imagine doing things to them that are against my very nature and beliefs.

If you are unfamiliar with Fred Phelps or his group let me give you a quick but by no means extensive run down.

They are the church that protests deceased soldiers funerals, among other things. They are the ones holding up signs at those funerals that read "God hates Fags" (as well as others). They believe that because there are homosexuals and Jews in America that God has cursed America and that every dead soldier shows that God hates us. Obviously there is no correct country at this time according to this them but this group, calling themselves a Baptist church, made up of 70 or so members, led by Fred Phelps and comprised mostly of his children and grandchild, believe they are the only people blessed by God.

They also protested at Rev. Jerry Falwell's funeral. So they are equal opportunity haters.

I Hate them for what they do to grieving families. I Hate them for what they believe. I Hate them for their signs and their lawsuits and all of it.

But my God is not a God of hate. And I constantly have to remind myself of that when I think of this group.

My God tells me to Love my Neighbor (John 13:34-35, Luke 10:25-37, Matthew 22:39, & Mark 12:31).

My God tells me that when others wrong me it is not right to seek revenge but that I should forgive (Matthew 5:38-39 & Leviticus 19:18).

Jesus preached to all regardless of if they were different from him or not. He preached not only to Jews, which he was, but the Gentiles. He preached to the Romans, to the poor, to the wealthy, he preached to the sick and the healthy alike. His legacy lives on today because he reached out to everyone and loved all as his neighbor.

So I am torn. This Westboro church is coming to Denver next week. They are protesting several schools, one Catholic school and several Jewish Temples. I could join the counter-protests that are being organized throughout the city and tell them how wholeheartedly I disagree with them. I could tell them I Hate their views. I could tell them that they are wrong. That they have perverted God and the Bible the way a Muslim Terrorist has perverted the Qua ran and Allah.

In my mind they have done the same thing.


Or I could volunteer in my community. There is garbage to be picked up, soup kitchens we could work in and donations of household goods and clothing we could make.

Or I could work in my garden. I have specific plants and containers where I am growing food for donation. I have been meaning to post about those but couldn't gather my thoughts enough to tell everyone about my goals.

But. I will now.

I received a packet of free seeds from Plant a Row for the Hungry and have planted them, along with a variety of other items. My family is not super great about eating our vegetable's so we will be donating anything we don't eat to a local food bank or pantry that I found through Ample Harvest (which has an iPhone app, FYI). I suspect that there will be a lot of tomatoes and jalapeno's in addition to the carrots I am growing specifically for them.

So, do I teach my children to stand up against evil with words and actions at a counter protest or do I teach my children to stand up against evil with compassion and actions at home?

I don't know honestly. WWYD?


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