Sunday, December 6, 2009

In praise of Westboro Baptist Church (sort of)


Jewish date:  19 Kislew 5770 (Parashath Wayyeshev).

Today’s holidays:  Saint Nicholas Day (Christianity), Second Sunday of Advent (Roman Catholicism), Saint Day for Nicholas the Wonderworker (Greek Orthodox Christianity).

Worthy causes of the day:  “Divided We Fail:  Real people, real stories”, “Senate: Don't Compromise on Public Option! - The Petition Site”, and “ » Enough is Enough”.

Fred Phelps at his pulpit: August 4, 2002 All ...Image of arch-hate-monger Fred Phelps of the Westboro Baptist Church via Wikipedia
Topic 1:  “Westboro Baptist will protest Hillel Monday”.  Let me be frank:  everyone your humble blogger has ever heard give an opinion of the Westboro Baptist Church thinks they are a bunch of hate-filled bigots with a poor grip on reality.  They are most infamous for insensitively (to put it very mildly) protesting at military funerals, claiming that homosexuality is the cause of war deaths.  They are rabidly anti-homosexual, anti-Catholic, anti-Protestant, anti-Eastern Orthodox, anti-Hindu, anti-Islamic, anti-Jewish, anti-American—pretty much anti-anything other than themselves.  The reasoning given for the protest (and probably every protest they ever had) makes no sense.  They just give insults, paranoia, and verses from the Christian Bible out of context.  Relevant to this particular protest, they do not seem to know anything about the historical Hillel or the modern organization named after him.  And yet, in all this, there is something to be said in their favor:  they are nonviolent.  They do not injury people.  They do not kill people.  They do not commit acts of terrorism.  All they do is go around the US and protest, claiming that God hates everyone who does not agree with them.  Contrast what happens in certain other parts of the Earth when one group opposes another:  oppression, violence, and death.  (Just out of my folder for stuff to be possibly posted on this blog:  “Al-Qaida Kills Eight Times More Muslims Than Non-Muslims”, “AZERBAIJAN: Officials deny Alternative Service commitment, as victim challenges sentence”, “TAJIKISTAN: Court bans Baptist church”, “KAZAKHSTAN: 'I could now be deported at any time'”, “Indonesian Theology Students Withstand Threats, Illness”, “Vietnam Buddhists complain of ongoing harassment”, “Swiss party leader calls for ban of separate Jewish and Muslim cemeteries”.)  Are the Westboro Baptist Church good people?  According to a lot of (if not most) moral systems, no.  They may be hate-mongering lunatics, but all they really accomplish is to annoy people.  As far as accomplishing evil goes, they are nothing more than comic relief.

Topic 2:  “Catholic League slams PETA ad featuring Joanna Krupa holding crucifix over nude body”:  The Catholic League is complaining about advertisements from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) ripping off Christian imagery and containing nudity.  It must be noted that no one is adverse to adopting pets.  The problem is that PETA’s public relations committee, while having mastered  the art of getting attention, seems to have no clue that needlessly offending people is a horrible way of spreading their message.  Not to mention that PETA has no clue what angels look like.  Usually they get described as “men”, but Ezekiel 1 has a truly psychedelic description which is anything but humanoid.

Topic 3:  To end on a lighter note, I would like to note that the Jewish holiday of Ḥanukkah starts this Friday night, and present the humorous list “Top Ten Signs your Family is unsubtly hinting to you to lose weight during your family Chanukah party”.



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