Does God Hate Westboro Baptist Church? genre: Gaylingual & Hip-Gnosis

Fred Phelps' Westboro Baptist Church, renowned for the vitriol its members spew on a regular basis...at just about anybody and everybody...was the victim of a suspicious fire early this past Saturday morning. In the following video, Phelps accuses fags and/or fag sympathizers of setting the fire. Phelps correctly calls the act mean spirited...all the while blind to the numerous mean spirited acts he and his followers commit each time they protest the funerals of innocent individuals.

From The Kansas City Star:

TOPEKA | The Topeka Fire Department is investigating a small fire outside of a church whose members protest at soldier's funerals.

A fence and garage at Fred Phelps' Westboro Baptist Church became engulfed in flames early Saturday, according to the Topeka Capitol-Journal Web site. The fire did not spread to the church building.

Topeka Fire Marshal Greg Bailey said the cause of the fire has not been determined. However, a spokeswoman for the church, Shirley Phelps-Roper, said she believes it was deliberately set.

From WIBW.com:

The pastor of the Westboro Baptist Church has asked Attorney general Mike Mukasey to treat the fire at their home over the weekend as a "hate crime."

Pastor Fred Phelps sent the Attorney General's office a letter Sunday claiming "[t]here is evidence that hatred of our religion was the motivation, in part at least."

The letter calls upon the Department of Justice, as well as the other law enforcementagencies who received copies of the letter, to involve themselves in the investigation and treat it as a violation of Federal Civil Rights and Hate Crime legislation.

So hate crime legislation is good and necessary legislation when applied to religious intolerance, but it's the granting of "special rights" when applied to violence against gays? Don't get me wrong...I'm not defending those who set the fire. They were wrong and they should be charged and punished accordingly.

At the same time, Phelps' comments in the following video are a testament to the absolute ideology he embraces. If a soldier is killed in Iraq, he insists it is God's punishment for a country that enables fags. If a gay man is murdered or dies from AIDS, the Phelps clan concludes that it's God's retribution for their sinful ways.

On the other hand, if something bad happens to Westboro Baptist Church, it isn't a sign of God's displeasure with their actions. Rather, it is merely a symbol of the degree to which the rest of the world has succumbed to evil and embraced sin. Now I understand that this selective reasoning is simply the nature of faith in its most extreme form.

At the same time, it is by no means a rational endeavor and it lacks any modicum of checks and balances. If one is so certain of one's beliefs to the point that one is never wrong, one will always find someone else to blame and there isn't apt to be a scintilla of introspective analysis. Multiply this extreme fanaticism by the number of religious ideologies that feel the same and one quickly sees one of the prevailing sources of unresolved conflict. So long as each of these groups remains steadfast in their absolutism, tolerance is seen as little more than a blatant violation of one's beliefs.

As each of these groups sets out to remake society in accordance with their own narrowly defined dogma, the potential for conflict expands exponentially. If one group gains the upper hand, the others feel compelled to resist and react...often by whatever means they deem necessary. The more they feel threatened by the opposing ideologues, the more inclined they become to do whatever it takes to purge the system of the evil doers...even if that means acts of insurrection.

I have no idea who set fire to Westboro Baptist Church. I do know that if it had been my house, Fred Phelps would be the first to assert that it was simply a message from God that he hates fags. If I were a believer, wouldn't that same rationale entitle me to conclude that God hates Fred Phelps and Westboro Baptist Church?

I suspect I've simply described the circular nature of religious extremism. Then again, if I'm going to have to think about this incident in terms of circles, I would prefer to invoke a well-known axiom...the one that proclaims, "What goes around, comes around".

Tagged as: Bigotry, Fred Phelps, Hate, LGBT, Shirley Phelps Roper, Topeka, Westboro Baptist Church

Daniel DiRito | August 4, 2008 | 8:29 PM
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Comments

1 On August 5, 2008 at 1:54 PM, Benjamin J. "Joe" Browning wrote —

I believe everyone is off base on the true meaning of this fire. It is very obvious to anyone not having a pre-set agenda: "God Hates Garbage Cans"

2 On November 20, 2008 at 2:28 PM, Anton wrote —

I've gotta say, and maybe it makes me a bad person, but I don't think so, bravo, fire starter. This church has been begging to be burned to the ground. Too bad it didn't spread to the church.

Thought Theater at Blogged

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