Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Others find pleasure in things I despise, I like the Christian life

Decent Right-wing evangelical leaders (whatever that is) want to throw these people under the bus, but do they really disagree, or is it just bad publicity:
A grieving father won a nearly $11 million verdict Wednesday against a fundamentalist Kansas church that pickets military funerals out of a belief that the war in Iraq is a punishment for the nation's tolerance of homosexuality.

Albert Snyder of York, Pa., sued the Westboro Baptist Church for unspecified damages after members demonstrated at the March 2006 funeral of his son, Lance Cpl. Matthew Snyder, who was killed in Iraq.

. . . Church members routinely picket funerals of military personnel killed in Iraq and Afghanistan, carrying signs such as "Thank God for dead soldiers" and "God hates fags."

. . . The church members testified they are following their religious beliefs by spreading the message that soldiers are dying because the nation is too tolerant of homosexuality.
Clearly these people are out of their minds with hate and fear. Here's an opinion by Apologetics Index, an organization that provides resources on cults and other religious wackos:
The Westboro Baptist Church, of Topeka, Kansas, is a hate group masquerading as a Christian church. Led by the Rev. Fred Phelps, the misguided members of this church target homosexuals and a range of others with messages of hate. The church’s ourageous protest actions - the group prefers to picket funerals(!) - have earned the Phelps and his ilk much media coverage.

The church’s web site,, is deservedly listed as a hate site by many internet watchdog organizations. Its content is the verbal equivalent to what you would find in any other sewer. The same is true for its companion web site,

Phelps and his followers say his civil rights advocacy in the early 1960s was “the Lord’s work.” They insist it arose from the same strict reading of the Bible that propels them to savage homosexuals. Daughter Abigail Phelps, one of several children who live near their father in the Westboro Baptist Church compound in Topeka, says Phelps “isn’t flip-flopping” from one extreme to another.

But Topeka civic leaders counter that Phelps’ metamorphosis from civil rights lawyer to anti-gay scourge was motivated by his craving for publicity and gadfly’s obsession with stirring up trouble. “He’s made himself an institution in town by attacking people,” said Bill Beachy, an official with the Concerned Citizens of Topeka, a local civic group.

But exactly how far fromt the mainstream of Right-wingers are Phelps and WBC? They claim a well-known Presidential candidate is a "believer":
Church members released an open letter to Thompson this week, saying he had discussed his views on homosexuality with them while handling the case of a woman who had sued the state's Republican attorney general for sexual harassment.

"We know what your position used to be on the homosexual question — and it was wonderful, and we saw eye to eye," church members said in the letter to Thompson.

Is this wishful thinking, or true pot, meet kettle? I don't know, but it's interesting.

Regardless, both the Right-wing "base" and the WBC wackos are far out of touch with the middle of the American electorate, which is a good thing for the Progressive Left.

The WBC are who will be left behind. And while I don't at all agree with the violence shown in the above video, the point is that these people are actively seeking these confrontation.

Crusaders are always dangerous.