Those of you following me on Twitter may have already seen my latest tweet:
WesWoodell: just got an email informing me Westboro Baptist Church has secured a permit to protest outside our church building in SF Friday. I’m Serious
That’s right – Fred Phelps and his band of followers (mostly his family) are scheduled to be here Friday morning right outside our church building.
No, they’re not protesting against us. They’re planning to rally against our Jewish neighbors – the Brandeis Hillel Day School whose facility is adjacent to that of the Lake Merced Church of Christ and who we share our parking lot with.
Apparently, the WBC feels it’s their duty to inform Jewish people they’re going to hell by holding up signs saying as much in front of Jewish schools. Their reasoning goes a little something like this: Jesus was/is the Son of God, the Jews killed Him, therefore Jews are going to hell (apparently they’ve never been informed that Jesus and most of the early church fathers were also Jews … maybe someone should tell them).
Yelling things like,”You’re going to hell!” to Jews is not all these idiots do … for those of you unaware of Phelps and the WBC’s ”work”, here’s an excerpt from Wikipedia’s article:
Fred Waldron Phelps, Sr. (born November 13, 1929) is an American pastor who is the founder of the Westboro Baptist Church (WBC), an independent Baptist church based in Topeka, Kansas which is notorious for its anti-gay protests, claiming that most natural disasters and terrorist attacks are God’s punishment for a society that tolerates homosexuality. The church is monitored as a hate group by the Anti-Defamation League and Southern Poverty Law Center. Phelps is a disbarred lawyer, founder of the Phelps Chartered law firm and previous candidate for political office and was a civil rights activist in Kansas. He and his daughter, Shirley Phelps-Roper, are banned from entering the United Kingdom.
He is known for the slogans that he and his ministry use against people he deems sinful, including “God Hates Fags”, “Thank God for Dead Soldiers”, “America Is Doomed” and “Priests Rape Boys”. He claims that God will punish homosexuals as well as various public figures such as Bill O’Reilly, Coretta Scott King, Ronald Reagan, Howard Dean, and anyone else whom his church considers “fag-enablers”.
Phelps and his followers frequently picket various events, especially military funerals, gay pride gatherings, high-profile political gatherings, and even Christian gatherings and concerts with which he has no affiliation, arguing it is their sacred duty to warn others of God’s anger. When criticized, Phelps’ followers say they are protected in doing so by the First Amendment.
Phelps says that he believes that homosexuality and social acceptance of it have doomed most of the world to eternal damnation. The WBC has 71 confirmed members, 60 of whom are related to Phelps.
The group is built around a core of anti-homosexual theology, with many of their activities stemming from the slogan “God hates fags”, which is also the name of the group’s main website. Gay rights activists, as well as Christians of virtually every denomination, have denounced him as a producer of anti-gay propaganda and violence-inspiring hate speech.
So they don’t just hate Jews. No, no – these folks are equal opportunity hate mongerers.
I had a friend who died in Iraq a few years ago. In a recent conversation with his father, I found out these people picketed the funeral. Obviously, it hurt my friend’s family very much to see a “Christian” group holding up signs saying things like “Thank God for IEDs” – the very thing that ended his young life – “God hates soldiers,” and ”Your son is in hell.”
Speaking of hell, I’m pretty sure God (the real one, not the “god” these people follow that doesn’t actually exist) has reserved a special place there for people who parade around using His name to spread lies, hatred, and despair. Of course, it’s not polite for a Christian minister to say things like that – some would even think it’s a sin. I don’t – I believe it’s the truth.
I hope they don’t show up on Friday. We’ll see.
If you were to make a few signs of your own to counter the types of things the WBC’s will say, what would you put on yours?