07 August 2006

What kind of Christian are you?

I am not a Christian and was not raised in a Christian household. However, my husband was and his grandmother, who is one of the people I admire most in this world, is the epitome of what I think a "good" Christian is supposed to be. Gram is neither preachy nor judgmental. I'm sure she could recite the bible forward and backward and has a great deal of faith in her religion. She never once made our differences in religion or beliefs a factor in getting to know me and making me feel a part of her family. An oft repeated refrain from Gram is, "It's not for me to judge." And she firmly believes this. She is one of the most giving, generous and open people I've ever met. Even if she disagrees with you, or knows of a wrong you may have committed, another thing she'll tell you is, "I'll pray for you." And she means both of those things. She DOESN'T judge and she WILL pray, all the while not trying to impose her beliefs on you.

The people of the Kansas-based Westboro Baptist Church are supposed to be Christians. Yet I find their behaviour so bewildering and appalling. These are the very people that go to soldiers' funerals to protest. These aren't anti-war protesters, these people go and hold signs that read, "Thank God for dead soldiers," "Soldiers Die, God Laughs," Their website is called "godhatesfags.com" The reverend of this flock, Fred Phelps, firmly believes in preaching hate. Click HERE for full article.

What spurred me to write this post was the following article: "Family, friends honor Cpl. Baucus" And while the headline of the story looks innocuous enough, it's the content that is worth reading.

While I am all for free speech, this church's actions are so abhorrent that there have been laws passed limiting their ability to protest. "The Respect for America’s Fallen Heroes Act (PL 109-228, 120 Stat. 387) is an Act of Congress, enacted on May 29, 2006. It prohibits protests within 300 feet of the entrance of a cemetery from 60 minutes before to 60 minutes after a funeral. Penalties for violating the act are up to $100,000 in fines and up to one year imprisonment." (read more)

Are these people so blinded by hate and a literal interpretation of the bible that they forget about respecting life? How do you call yourself a Christian and not have respect for life? These are the same people that think abortion is murder, yet will gun down an abortion doctor outside his clinic. They think that embryonic stem cell research is morally reprehensible because it's murder. Yet already formed, viable people are dying every day from Diabetes, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's Disease because valuable research cannot be performed. (read more) Do they not see the contradiction in this?

I wonder if it shames Gram to have people like the flock of this church and people like George W. Bush call themselves Christians and wrap themselves in their "Christian" morals, yet contradict themselves in everything they do? I certainly don't understand it. As a Christian, does it make YOU feel bad?


The Statistics said...

These people give all of Christianity a bad name. This is the kind of thing that turns me off all organized religion. It is sometimes hard to be remotely spiritual in the wake of these ass holes. To bad they never had a Gram that cared so much.

the heretic

Anonymous said...

very well said and to the point.

The Statistics said...

In my experience with Christians, and there are many, I would have to conclude that most of them live life on a day to day basis, doing what they feel is right within their own span of moral conscious. If that moral span falls into that of dogmatic Christianity, then its just convienient. Good acts make for good christians.

The Russian anarchist Peter Kropotkin claimed that people live in accordance to their human moral obligations to eachother, with or without the church. In his opinion, the church was only there to take advantage of that human condition, whether the advantage was monetary or for social power. Also, the church can refine those morals, or pervert them, to fit their view of reality. Hence, the church served no good for human progress and was ultimately useless, as those morals of fraternal respect and common agreements were there from the very begining of human society.

I guess that doesn't say much about what church, or what religion, and if that stigma applies or doesn't apply to them all, but I do think that Kropotkin has a point. We can see it happening everyday. You can see it in televangical pyramid schemes or you can see it on the nightly news straight from the oval office. It can happen to any religion, but it just so happens that manipulating a person's fears, loves and suspicions and then taking advantage of that weakness is very easy to do if the power is too one-sided.

I personally think that the Westboro Church is just another hate group. I think their leader Fred Phelps is a megalomaniac who has severe homophobia and an extreme case of bad manners. He uses his flock's natural fear of xenophobia, and the bible to support it, to extend his own hateful agenda on the rest of the country. He's a hate-mongering idiot that is only doing injustice to the Christian faith and single-handedly contradicting the benevolent message of the one man who they do claim to love unconditionally, Jesus Christ.

For slandering the dead he should be excommunicated as a preacher. But for slandering dead veterans he should burn in hell.

Fight To Survive