Now even people who don’t believe in Christianity know what christianity is trying to spread, no matter how annoyed they become by continuous efforts to spread the word. Christians promote love. They are a caring and loving religion that believes anyone can be saved if they are willing to confess their sins to Jesus.
So how can a group who believes the exact opposite of these ideas be called the same religion? Westboro Baptist Church believes that can pull this ludicrous idea off. They are judgmental, hateful, and full of prejudice; the morals precisely opposite of modern day Christians.
Westboro Church is a “Christian” organization located in Topeka, Kansas. They have been an organization as early as 1955 but were not originally a group so radical about homosexuality. The first year they participated in events like these was 1991 when they sought a crackdown on a homosexual event happening at Gage Park located a few blocks from their church. They are known for their constant picketing at events that they fully believe are against gods will such as gay pride rallies and soldiers’ funerals. They are said to picket six times a day!
They will be picketing Miami on October 25th. Groups are coming together to protest this picket which could turn out to be an interesting turn of events.
Groups at Miami University are reaching out and putting together a group that promotes love and unity between minorities and cultures to counter-picket their arrival. This will be an important day in the history of Miami as It is the first time Westboro has came to picket the campus. They claim Miami students are being taught in school to rebel against god.
I’m sure that me and 16,000 other students feel that this is not a common goal for the professors here at Miami. Now they feel they must come and show students the truth. The only truth they promote is that of hate. No one at Miami will appreciate this and has already stirred a lot of tension in the community. We may have no say in if they come or not, but a majority of students do not want them here including me.
Miami is a liberal arts school that is very interested in the diversity of students. They even offer a 10,000 dollar scholarship to students of diverse backgrounds. When I say diverse, I not only mean African-American, Hispanic, or Asian, but I also mean homosexual. Naturally, most of the population at Miami would agree that they accept all types of beliefs and diversities.
Westboro Baptist Church is basically denouncing our diverse views and announcing that Miami teaches its student to rebel against God. Miami neither does that or promote God. Students are given the freedom to pick and choose as they please. The problem with Westboro Baptist Church is they think nothing is right unless it is a direct approach to their views. Their views being that of hatred and unfairness.
Westboro is a media frenzy group. They once turned down a picket just to get air time on a radio station (Wiki). They more than likely enjoy the attention they receive when it comes to counter-picket picketing and such. The best way to make them hear your message is to not listen at all. They are selfish and only want to be seen or heard.
Though some may not agree on Westboro coming to picket their hateful, they have a right as the freedom of assembly laws state as long as they are not blocking highways or promoting intimidation, it is legal (link). Some could argue that they are intimidating students but as hateful as they are, they are a non-violent organization who may intimidate, but do not do it directly. They are sometimes called a cult who translate or interpret the bible in the wrong way.
As a group, Westboro Baptist Church tries to follow the bible to it’s most direct statements and make them more indirect than before. “Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman. That is detestable (Lev. 18:22).” This is more than likely where Westboro gets the idea of hatred toward gays, lesbians, and transsexuals. The problem with Westboro is they only believe people will go to hell without any chance of redemption for their “sin” which is the main focus in the typical Christian life.
Sure most denominations do not accept gays, lesbians, transsexuals, but they try and pray for them or help to support them to show them that they are doing the wrong thing. It might not work, but it’s an effort for the better rather than just to denounce their way of life.
Westboro also doesn’t agree with soldiers fighting in the service and killing people. Maybe the 6th
commandment is their reason to disagree with this. Maybe it’s Jesus stating “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God” in Matthew 5:9, a part of the sermon on the mount. Westboro sees this as direct violation of the commandment and Jesus’ word.
A lot of churches disagree with this. They see it as defense of your country and honoring the death of others who have died in the crossfire of war. Some churches fully agree with the idea of war and pray for them continually as they are over seas.
Other churches do not fully agree with the idea and these are the peacemakers. But they do not believe the soldiers will go to hell. You can not go to hell for wrong if you do not know that it is wrong, and that is the belief of many Brethren denominations. Instead, they pray for the soldiers, and hope that when they do return home they will come to God and ask forgiveness for their sins. This idea seems to be more of “Christian” aspect rather than banishing them all to hell as Westboro is doing.
Groups all over the nation have come together in a resistance to show love and kindness and the real message of Christianity or equality.
On 20/20, a particular family affiliated with Westboro Baptist Church was approached for an interview.. A reporter went to the Drane’s house one day and questioned a young boy of this family. He asked him a series of question such as “Why do you picket soldiers’ funerals?” and “Who do you think will go Hell?” The boy had answers that would seem unimaginable for a young child to even think about.
As a child growing up in a Christian family, we’re usually convinced that everyone went to heaven and that the world was a loving place. This could partially be the reason why I am such an optimist now, but this child had answers that were the exact opposite of my past belief. He stated that all gays and hundreds of jews would burn in hell. He also stated that Soldiers will burn in hell because they allow their children to be raped. What kind of father would instill those thoughts into a young boys mind. Not only is it his mind, but it is the mind of their three other children. And if their children were to ever turn their back on the beliefs of the Westboro Baptist Church, they would never be allowed to be a part of that family again.
This is true for Lauren Drane, the oldest child of this family. She saw hypocrisy in the church and did not fully believe in all the hatred. They banished her and she has not seen her family since. What kind of family would even think about banishing their own children let alone actually do it. There are crazy people in the world and they have mental disorders, but this family’s only problem is their ridiculous belief in a hateful God. They were asked “What is he (the son) grows up and doesn’t believe anything anymore?” The father simply states “Goodbye Bo.”
Their God hates, and banishes to hell for sin. My God, and the God of many others, is a loving god who will allow you to ask forgiveness for you sin. This is the God most people know even if they do not have a personal relationship with him. Westboro Baptist is doing a terrible thing to the youth of today, and I fear as they continue to have more and more children, their organization will grow that much bigger. We must stand up and show Westboro that we do not worry about their message. We must be a loving community that accepts everyone. Maybe then will some of their followers realize how powerful love really is, and turn away from the idea of hatred without the cost of losing their family.