Approximately 37 seconds after the first bomb went off during the Boston Marathon on Monday, Shirley Phelps-Roper and her band of poster children for Stockholm Syndrome fell all over one another to announce that this was yet another example of the kind of punishment God delivers to nations that endorse same sex marriage. Bombs, superstorms, hurricanes, earthquakes, IEDs in Iraq, famine, airborne AIDS, global moistening, dog-pattern hair loss, the disappearance of Twinkies, Ryan Seacrest’s bid for the 2020 presidency, you name it. No matter what does or does not happen in this world, if it’s bad, then it’s because God hates “fags”.
What’s strange, though, is that all of the punishment that takes the form of natural disasters is always consistent with locations that just sort of generally lend themselves to that kind of activity. For example, earthquakes in California, hurricanes in Florida, etc. Personally, if God wanted to send a message, you think he’d throw something down that we couldn’t explain … like a volcano popping up smack in the middle of Washington DC.
What’s also strange is that all of Scandinavia (minus Finland, but they’re working on it) legalized same sex marriage back in 2009. And we all know what a wretched, lawless hellhole that part of the world has become in recent years, am I right?
Well, whatever the justification this time around, the Phelps Clan felt they couldn’t pass up another opportunity to go picketing (I’m not going to directly post the announcement on the main page), showing the country and the world that true Christians celebrate the death of three innocent bystanders and the mutilation of about 150 more from a random act of violence, not mourn it. Such devotion to a god with such misplaced priorities quickly drew harsh criticism from pretty much everyone on the Internet, regardless of their walk of life. The hacker group Anonymous set up a parody Facebook page in response to their recent announcement, and said, “If #WBC protests the Boston funerals, they will have to expect us.“
I’m not surprised that this is WBC’s tactic. I’ve commented about them from time to time on this blog, and none of this is out of character for them. They’re a bunch of trolls who have managed to find a way to capitalize on their crippling sociopathy by fine-tuning an astonishingly offensive message and using social media to spread that message from coast to coast. This basically means that the entire world thinks they’re nuts, but they’re still being heard by the entire world. That’s saying something.
But the strong response they’re getting is the reason they’re doing it in the first place. Sure, as a family member of friend of one of the people injured or killed, I’d feel the urge to send them to meet their maker a little ahead of schedule … but they feed off of that as well. Nothing gets a religious zealot off more than the prospect of martyrdom, and they’re no exception. They’re trolls. They’re very effective ones too, since they lack basic human compassion and empathy as a result of living under an abusive psychopath with what I can only guess to be severe self-loathing for his own homosexual desires. They have no problem posting pictures of dead or dying people and gloating over it, satisfied with their own moral certainty.
I’ll refer to something I wrote the last time something like this happened; it’s appropriate now as it was then:
They should be showcased, much in the same way those convicted of drunk driving are forced to make amends to their victims in some states. Every time they protest, the media should be there to show the world what happens when the message taken from the bible has nothing to do with kindness, mercy, or compassion, but one of hatred, ignorance, and ever-growing rage against the entire world.
This approach likely won’t convert Christians to non-belief, nor would I expect it to. But I hope it would have the effect of persuading some people a little too worried about gay marriage to reconsider the focus of their faith … and perhaps spend a little more time on the passages like the Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 25:34-40 (the corporal works of mercy, if you’re Catholic), or even just the two Great Commandments – love God and love your neighbor as yourself. Ideally, the overall tolerance for fundamentalists and evangelicals in politics will drop, to be be replaced with the kind of Christians I suspect even many non-believers (like myself) wouldn’t really care too much about one way or the other.
Honestly, it’s my hope they just stay home and stew. If not, then they’re going to give the people of Boston yet another reason to pull together in the face of pointless adversity and show how good and kind complete strangers can be to one another when the need arises.
On a final note, I was lurking around WBC’s Twitter feed, and this comment came up, from the Man himself:
Pastor Phelps: What do we learn from Job chapter 8? It’s easier to talk about doing the right thing, than to do it.
… and then, shortly after:
“Doing heavenly services may render you contemptible in the eyes of men—but neglecting may render you contemptible in God’s eyes.” —Brooks
These folks keep beating their drums about God hating fags, and repeatedly revel in the deaths of American citizens … but (and I’m not complaining) … I wonder why they haven’t taken matters into their own hands and killed some homosexuals themselves. It’s there in the bible. Leviticus 20:13 is pretty clear:
13 If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.
So what are they waiting for? They’ve made it clear already that they have no respect for the president or the laws of the land that happen to conflict with the Bible. Murdering homosexuals is condoned in the bible (well, not really, but they interpret it that way). They claim to be saved, or children of God, or what have you … so what’s stopping them? Secular law? What should they care? What’s a lifetime in prison if they end up there for carrying out what they think to be God’s will?
Now to be clear, I’m not condoning this course of action. But they’re talking a lot about actions speaking louder than words, quoting parts of the bible calling for the killing of homosexuals, cheering when people die, but then falling short of taking direct action because of what I can only imagine to be a set of laws they shouldn’t care about in the first place. They’ve kind of painted themselves into a corner with their rhetoric, turning them into hypocrites on top of everything else.
We’ll see how this plays out.