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The Anti-Christianity of Fred Phelps and the Westboro Baptist Church

March 12, 2011

I am a Christian, an independent Baptist of the Bible believing kind.  I haven’t always been a Christian though.  I started out as a child raised in the Roman Catholic Church until I was ten.  After “leaving” Catholicism I thought little of God until I became an adult.  Still I wasn’t a Christian, though I always believed in God.  I just had a lot of issues with the concepts of the Bible and the Lord Jesus Christ.  Looking back on those years now I fully believe that I was a Deist, much like some of the Founding Fathers.  I had never really read the Bible. There was no need when the priests told us what it said right?  Well, much of that has changed now.  I HAVE read major portions of the Bible (KJV).  While I still have more to go of the Old Testament, I have received and now understand the Good News.  I have accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior.

I wish Fred Phelps and tPURE EVILhe family congregation of his Westboro Baptist Church would  turn from the anti-Christianity (I originally used the term atheism, but I decided it was wrong to malign the world’s atheists by associating them in any way with Mr. Phelps and his hateful church) they follow now and accept the Lord Jesus Christ into their lives.  How can I say such a thing about Mr. Phelps and his congregation?  Well, lets just say I am applying the age-old test of if it walks like a duck, swims like duck, quacks like a duck……it must be a duck!  I suppose I should show you the duck so you can make up your own mind.  That would only be fair, right?  Okay, then let’s get to doing just that.

To begin this with I want to make everyone aware that I will not refer to Mr. Phelps as any kind of pastor, preacher, reverend or minister.  I don’t wish to malign the men who are by associating them – even indirectly – with a man like Fred Phelps.  I also want to make clear that while Mr. Phelps and his church (small ‘c’ – just like the small ‘c’ in the word cult) have their 1st Amendment rights, as recently upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court, I do not agree, condone, or support the hate they are spewing.  They are sick, twisted minds in need of a huge helping of humanity and forgiveness from the Lord Jesus Christ.

Speaking of the Lord Jesus Christ, ever notice how the Westboro Baptists or Fred Phelps never seem to speak of Him?  They confine themselves to speaking of God only – as far as I can tell.  I did a Google search on the church and look at the pages of images and not one reference to the Lord Jesus!  It made me wonder why, and after a little thought it became pretty clear to me why they don’t – they’re anti-Christians who don’t believe in Jesus Christ.  Let me explain.

By ignoring or denying Jesus and only talking of God, Mr. Phelps and his church can restrict themselves to using just the Old Testament.  While they use even that wrongly, it frees them from the tenets of Christianity.  Let me walk you through a couple of ideas.  First we look at the claim by Mr. Phelps and his church members that God hates homosexuals.  Really?  How can that be?  I won’t argue that God deplores the sin of homosexuality, but there is not hate in God for the individual who is involved in homosexuality – or any other sinful behavior.  If Mr. Phelps wishes to rest his case against homosexuals on Genesis 18 and 19, then perhaps should also acknowledge that he is not a Christian, for as Christians know God does not directly intercede with humanity as He did in the Old Testament.  Mr. Phelps is ignoring that while sin is within us all, God gave us His only Son, who in turn gave His life so that we – sinners all – may be granted salvation.

Mr. Phelps and his church regularly protest at the funerals of U.S. military personnel killed while serving our nation.  Mr. Phelps pursues the line of – false – belief that the death of any service member is God’s punishment on the service person, their loved ones, and the United States for allowing homosexuality to exist in our nation.  What a spittoon full of spit!  Mr. Phelps fails to realize that U.S. military personnel have sworn an oath to protect and defend the Constitution and to follow all lawful orders of those in authority over them.  The concept that God would hold them accountable for the sins of another is totally without foundation in Christianity.  Their honorable sacrifice to the nation is being stained by the horrid behavior and lies being spewed by Mr. Phelps and his church.  Were it not for their service to the nation men and women of the type in Mr. Phelps church would likely find themselves prohibited from being able to spread their hate through the harassment of their protests!

Mr. Phelps and his church decry that God hates homosexuals, yet since we know that to be not true it must be Mr. Phelps and his church who hate homosexuals.  That being said I reflect on the Gospel of Matthew:

Mat 6:14  For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:
Mat 6:15  But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

Albert Barnes (1798-1870) wrote notes and commentaries on the New Testament, and I rely on these commentaries to aid me in my understanding of the teachings of our Lord Jesus Christ and his apostles.  In writing on Matthew 6:14-15, Barnes relates:

For if ye forgive men their trespasses – If ye forgive others when they offend or injure you.
Your heavenly Father will also forgive you – This is constantly required in the Bible. See the notes at Mat_6:12. Our Saviour says we should forgive even if the offence be committed seventy times seven times, Mat_18:22. By this is meant, that when a man asks forgiveness, we are cordially and forever to pardon the offence; we are to declare our willingness to forgive him. If he does not ask forgiveness, yet we are still to treat him kindly; not to harbor malice, not to speak ill of him, to be ready to do him good, and be always prepared to declare him forgiven when he asks it, and if we are not ready and willing to forgive him; we are assured that God will not forgive us. (emphasis mine)

It seems relatively clear that were are being taught to forgive in order to receive our own forgiveness.  Mr. Phelps and his family congregated church may do well to heed the words of our Lord Jesus Christ and discontinue their practice of hatred against homosexuals, as well as all those they implicate as suffering because of the homosexuality in America.  They are defying the very God they proclaim to be serving.  Yet, does one example prove the case that Mr. Phelps and company are anti-Christians?  For many, since hatred towards homosexuals is the central tenet of the protests by his church, we could say it does.  But it makes better sense to provide further evidence of the anti-Christain ways of Mr. Phelps and the Westboro Baptist Church.

Mr. Phelps and his church regularly proclaim who will be going to hell.  While I agree with the statement that has been made that we are all sinners and hell is the default consequence for sinning, it is not up to Mr. Phelps or his church to decide who will, or won’t, be going to hell.  That is the province of God through our Lord Jesus Christ.  Mr. Phelps and his church dare to stand in God’s stead and condemn the souls of men over which he has no authority.  Certainly God has not provided him this authority, power, or right.  It belongs to our Lord Jesus Christ:

John 5:22  For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son:

I don’t need Albert Barnes to help clarify such a straight forward statement from the Lord Jesus Christ.  In understanding that statement it shows further that Mr. Phelps and his church band of haters are standing in sin as they proclaim the judgments that will be handed out to the sinners or righteous of this world on Judgment Day.

But there is no reason to stop now.  We might as well get a few more examples.  In a recent FoxNews.com article on the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in favor of Mr. Phelps there were statements attributed to Mr. Phelps lawyer (and daughter) that I would like to submit for your consideration.  Referring to Margie Phelps the article relates:

Phelps, who declared that “the default for mankind is hell,” stated that she had no “objective indicator” that will prevent the Supreme Court justices from going to hell, and declared the president’s fate without hesitation.

“Absolutely on the president. That’s a big 10-4,” Phelps said. “The president is going to be king of the world before this is all said and done, and he is most likely the beast spoken of in the revelation.”

The reference to the President of  the United States being the beast (more commonly spoken of as the Anti-Christ) of the Book of Revelation is far-fetched and without foundation.  Mr. Phelps and his congregants may have chosen to make President Obama the Anti-Christ, but that doesn’t hold any more water than their attempts to usurp the authority of our Lord and His Father.  If necessary I can recommend some good books on the exegesis of the Book of Revelation to aid him in better interpretation of the end times?

Clearly Mr. Phelps and his church are not practicing any understood form of Christianity.  The behaviors of Mr. Phelps and his church are contrary to the teachings of Jesus Christ and therefore one can reasonably conclude that Mr. Phelps and his church are using religion to condone hateful and ungodly acts.  It is that lack of Christianity that shows Mr. Phelps and his congregants to be anti-Christian wolves among Christian sheep.

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17 Comments leave one →
  1. Judy Sabatini permalink
    March 12, 2011 11:24 am

    Some things & people can be forgiven, but, in this case NO. They are the most vile, mean & hateful group that I know of. They not only protest the funerals of service members, but they also protest the funerals of children who die in fires, or who were killed by some deranged person, such as in the case of Gabrielle Giffords. I wonder how they would feel if people protested the funerals of any of their members & held up hateful signs like they do.

    Yeah, the 1st amendment gives you the right of freedom of speech, but in this case, I think it was wrong for that judge to allow them to continue. But, I look at it this way. When their time comes, they will stand before God, maybe & will have to answer to him.

    • March 12, 2011 4:27 pm

      I have to admit to choking down the bile when I defend their 1st Amendment right to say such horrid things – but our freedoms can be lost so easy and fast when we start putting in exceptions to the right.

      I would be on the front lines in blocking their protests (and likely in jail for punching them in the nose for demeaning the sanctity of the funerals by spewing their hatred).

      • April 14, 2011 4:54 am

        I’m sorry, although you make reasoned an intelligent arguments there has to be a limit on free speech. Race hate is one of them. Abusing people because fo their sexuality is another.

        You don’t have to be anti-free speech to believe that there is an obligation for people to treat your fellow man with respect.

        I think the Supreme Court went too far in this judgement.

        As for religion, well my view if it is something that makes you feel good and positive about life (and death) then go for it.

        It is when zealots start trying to force their views, prejudices and opinions on others that religion leaves a nasty taste in my mouth.

        • April 14, 2011 10:23 am

          I am very understanding of your position, yet I must side with the Supreme Court. While I find Phelps and his church an ugly group I can not risk that we begin losing rights just to keep someone’s feelings from being hurt.

          Who will decide when speech has gone beyond protected speech in any limiting laws that would be enacted? Am I to trust 535 members of Congress who can’t agree on which brand of toilet paper to put in the restrooms? Should the President and DOJ had the authority? I hope not as I don’t trust either of them (nor did I trust Bush and his DOJ team).

          There is an expectation, as decent humans, to treat each other respectfully. You can’t obligate interpersonal communications in a general sense. We try that in this country constantly and it is called being PC, which is nothing more than trying to obligate what people say and how they say it.

  2. charlie miles permalink
    March 12, 2011 2:07 pm

    dont even get me started on these a holes if god hates america and they live in america then god hates them also but not as much as i do that judge should be ashamed i cant tellyou how pissed off i am i hope every one of those sick asses die today

    • gmanfortruth permalink*
      March 12, 2011 4:07 pm

      Just tell how you really feel 😆

  3. Cyndi P permalink
    March 12, 2011 4:03 pm

    Well said Judy.

  4. Greg Fessler permalink
    March 12, 2011 5:32 pm

    while i understand that yes we have a first ammendment right to freedom of speech, i believe mr. phelps and his cronies are actually guilty of disturbing the peace, they have the right to speak, but they havnt the right to speak wherever they choose and at any time they choose, do it on the internet and i have no probs with u, then only those who choose to see your filth and hatred may view it at their own leasure, for u to force it down peoples throats and especially in a time of sorrow is just plain disorderly and it should have been upheld that way, let them do it at the judges sons funeral and see what his take is then, ill stop now cuz hateful things come to my mind and i must rid myself of the thought process, keep em comin g, this is def a good one

  5. March 12, 2011 6:05 pm

    I have read the Bible (certain passages several times for a college course–bible as literature). I haven’t read the entire thing front to back. I was raised a catholic (was an altar boy — oy vey). My sister (passed 3 years ago) was gay. I had stopped going to the church long before my sister came out. I have very big issues with the catholic church (with religions in general) but my wife (#4) is a church going catholic. She believes big time. I have no problem with believers; hell, they might be right and where does that leave me?

    I do not think for a second homosexuality is a sin and don’t feel bible quotes are valid to say one way or another if God (if there is a God) thinks it a sin or not. No idea.

    That particular group of protesters are pretty vile and it would be nice for everyone if they just went away (or were followed home and beat senseless–I am not a pacifist), but I never once associated them in arguments against religion in any way (even though I take great issue with the catholic church’s stand on homosexuality, abortion and their overwhelming desire to protect pedophile priests in the Vatican.

    Did I mention that Gman is crazy yet? Batshit? Nah, just kidding. He’s alright by me. He’s invited to the eye-talian dinner with the Colonel too.

    • March 12, 2011 6:37 pm

      I credit Catholicism (BTW – I was an altar boy too….oy vey) with compelling me to question, question, and question (for a good 30 years at least). The contradictions in the Catholic Church became so immense to me that I could no longer act on the blind faith demanded by the priesthood and the Vatican.

      My wife is also an ex-Catholic and we are at an unspoken agreement with her parents (who are Catholics) not to get involved in religious discussions.

      I have no problem with anyone believing or not, anyone choosing what life to live (it’s not my place tell them otherwise). Faith is an individual and personal issue for each of us to determine. My faith is for determining MY walk with God – I am not going to dictate the rights or wrongs to others. I will happily and politely discuss my faith with one who wishes a discussion, but not otherwise – and to me that is the essence of the problem with people like Phelps and his church, they choose to spread falsehoods in the most hateful manner possible.

  6. anita permalink
    March 13, 2011 1:46 pm

    Good job PS. 12 years Catholic school here. Currently unpracticing for 25 or more years as I decided the good people of the church are actually just sheeple. We’re a tight family but I’m sure you can relate to my ranking…baaa baaaa! I also have to swallow WBC’s right to free speech. (I’d call it hate speech) That’s fine..Patriot Guard has their number and in the end the (the church (lol) ) will have to answer to a higher power than us.

    • March 13, 2011 5:20 pm

      Yes, they will answer for their sins, and I have to say I would want to be standing there listening to how he justifies himself.

      Bless the Patriot Guard. I’d love to see citizens from the towns and cities show up in force as well. Just surround the whole bunch and drown them out.

  7. anita permalink
    March 13, 2011 1:49 pm

    G,

    Have your email address from another angle..mind if I use it?

    • gmanfortruth permalink*
      March 15, 2011 8:17 am

      I’m not sure what your asking. Can you rephrase?

      • anita permalink
        March 15, 2011 7:07 pm

        May I email you please, sir? I have your address? 🙂

        • gmanfortruth permalink*
          March 15, 2011 7:13 pm

          Yes you may, just be tender 🙂

  8. Random Aussie permalink
    December 15, 2011 10:04 am

    I know this is very late, but I for one, am happy that there are Christians who actually follow the Lord Jesus Christ. No, I’m not a practicing Christian of any denomination, let’s just say, I believe in the Almighty.
    I’m not American, so unfortunately the Christians representing you are the “people” like Phelps and other haters.
    Oh yes, we take issue with them in Australia, too. Rejoicing in the deaths of people (how does one rejoice in the deaths of others, unbelieving sinner or not? Can you say sociopath/psychopath much?) of the Victorian bush fires and claiming it was God’s judgement. Yeah, cos a country with frequent bush fires caused by hot weather and any number of seemingly small various sparks is God’s judgement on people. Bring on the eye rolling!
    And the disrespect at the funerals of people grieving because of hate, nature or war is deplorable. I thought the news wasn’t serious when I was informed. I’m not one for wars, but to disrespect service men and women defending your country is extremely low!
    But, then look at the unity they are creating for people who are banding together against their evil and Anti- Christian messages.

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