I saw a disturbing picture in yesterday’s newspaper. A couple of young, attractive, smiling women were snapped in mid-dance while holding placards. They were dancing on the American flag and the placards read, “God Hates Fags” and “Thank God For 9/11.”
They were followers of someone named Reverend Fred Phelps, a minister from Kansas. The story (by Thane Burnett of the Toronto Sun) accompanying the photograph was equally disturbing. Apparently Mr. Phelps is waging war against sinners and gays top the list. He encourages his acolytes to stage demonstrations at any event which he perceives as being remotely pro-gay, including, but not limited to, the funerals of American soldiers.
His “reasoning” is that the U.S. allows gays into the military which is a Very Bad Thing. Therefore all soldiers, gay or not, are Very Bad. So, in what passes for his mind, the funeral of a young person killed in Iran or Afghanistan is deemed an appropriate place for his followers to demonstrate the “truth” about how God feels.
Apparently God also allowed 9/11 to happen, perhaps even nudged it along, because he wanted to punish the sodomites.
I read that Mr. Phelps came to Canada in 2004 to protest the Supreme Court ruling that amended laws to include same-sex couples. Perhaps not coincidentally, shortly after his visit, inciting hatred on the basis of sexual orientation was added to our list of crimes.
The guy is more than a bit of a twit. ( For the foreigners among you, “bit of a twit” is Canadian for “loathsome lunatic.”) I debated writing anything at all about him. Adding even a minute bit of attention to his and his followers hateful practices could be seen as elevating his profile and some might interpret it as aiding the legitimacy of his cause. But then again, you have to shine the light on cockroaches now and again if you hope to squash them, or at least make them skedaddle.
I don’t want to get into a biblical or theological debate here. But Frank’s Simple Math Theory says that if you believe in God and that God made all things in his image, and he made gays as well as straights, then you have to figure he’s at least bi-curious.