The Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kansas (no affiliation with other Baptist organizations) seems to be known as a hate group masquerading as a Christian church by most watchdog groups. Fred Phelps is the leader of the group and most members in the congregation are from his large family. For one thing, the church is against homosexual activity. They protest across the United States at military funerals and cause controversy and heartache.
Back in November 2010, the funeral of Jacob Carver in Harrisonville, Missouri was protested by the Westboro group. Supporters for the family, from several counties and cities, banded together to ensure the family that the Phelps clan could not get close enough to disrupt the funeral. A band of brothers, called the Patriot Guard Riders, braved sub-freezing temperatures to get to the funeral providing a motorcycle escort for the funeral procession. The Patriot Guard Riders show up at many, many funerals to help protect the families and provide an escort.
Fred Phelps and members picket military funerals to draw attention to their view that United States deaths in Afghanistan and Iraq happen because God is punishing America for their tolerance of homosexuality. As a result of pickets at funerals, Kansas has passed a law prohibiting picketing at such events. The Supreme Court has ruled that the First Amendment protects their right to protest.
Just this month, the Westboro protestors chose to take radio airtime over picketing at the funeral of a family that was killed in a plane crash. WYYX-FM 97x provided them with the alternative platform for their message to keep them away from the funeral in Niceville, Florida.
While this group believes the wrath of God is pouring onto this land, the skeptic takes issue with their methods and their consequential spread of hatred. It brings to mind the well-known motto by many Christians, “What would Jesus do?”
Jesus would not and did not spread hatred. He is the total opposite of hatred. He is love. He advocated love for his followers. “Love ye one another.” So it would be impossible for this skeptic to accept the group’s premise that signs and words promoting hatred are from God.
Jesus had no tolerance for sin in any form. He called us to be perfect. We still have a long way to go, but hatred is for those in the dark shadows of this world where the devil himself dwells.
Jesus is the light. Let’s follow His lead, where hatred has no place, and stay in the light where our lights can shine for all the world to see.