Wish I'd Said It

Weeds are flowers too - once you get to know them.

- A. A. Milne

Monday, February 06, 2006

Simple Math vs Reverend Fred Phelps

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.


Dawno said...

Serendipitous synchronisity here - I heard an NPR piece today about that looney. One of his daughters was singing a parody of God Bless America with lyrics so abhorrent I was glad that the reporter voiced over them quickly.

Apparently many major papers where he's protested have been ignoring him so as not to give him any press but he's made national news in that state legistlators are passing laws to try and prohibit his cemetary protests.

There's a biker club that rides out to counter protest him - a club that's veterans. I say yay for them.

The slippery slope here is First Amendment Freedom of Speech. Yes, it's repugnant what he's doing but this is a country that lets the KKK and NeoNazis march, too.

I'm with you on the math, Frank. This Phelps guy is going to get a big surprise on Judgement Day.

uniquematerial said...

bit of a twit?

My, you Canadians are the masters of understatement, no?

What do you call a riot?
A bit of a dust up?

p.s. Thanks for your concern

Othmar Vohringer said...

Unfortunately Phelps is only the tip of the iceberg.

In a recent international survey I read that America ranks at the very top of religious fanatics and bigots. With Pat Robertson and Van Imp, Phelps is only another voice abusing the Freedom of Speach to spread his poison hatred.

Othmar aka huntwriter

mogie222 said...

Phelps and his ilk are icky.

Sounds like he has his own cult going out there in the plains of America. And like all cults, it's based on ego, not ideology embraced by the masses.

The bible doesn't say "Love thy neighbor as long as they aren't (fill in the blank)."

If Phelps should make it to the pearly gates I hope he is wearing shorts because I suspect St.Peter will sit him down for a little chat and send him packing. Southbound.

Frank Baron said...

Dawno: Three cheers for those bikers from me too. I'm not against Phelps' right to voice his idiocy. Do you know if it's a crime in any U.S. jurisdiction to incite hatred? That might be a way to at least reduce the choir he preaches to, to his fellow cell mates.

Unique: A riot is a bit of a "to-do." However, that's theoretical because I'm pretty sure Canadians aren't allowed to riot. We can however, raise our voices - as long as the person we're hailing is more than 100 feet away. Pretty sure.

Othmar: I wonder if it's that the US has more than its fair share of loonies or is that everybody who lives down there is on tv?

Mog: Yes sister! Sing it! ;)
I agree. I think he and his ilk are in for quite a surprise.

Othmar Vohringer said...

"Othmar: I wonder if it's that the US has more than its fair share of loonies or is that everybody who lives down there is on tv?"

Maybe both. Perhaps they should go more out and do something useful. like fishing. :-)

Mark Pettus said...

Dawno and I listen to the same shows.

Why is it that when someone in the U.S. goes nuts, the first thing they do is change their first name to Reverend?

Religious whackos scare the bejeezus out of me. Pick a place in the world where people are doing terrible things to each other, and it always seems to be full of reverends, mullahs, rabbis, or fishermen.

Sorry, I couldn't help myself.

Phelps is part of the ignorant class, and the ignorant always follow the guy with the loudest voice.

Frank Baron said...

Othmar, I'd hate to bump into someone like Phelps while on the water. What a buzzkill that would be.

Mark, they scare me too. Plenty. (Except the fishermen.) ;)

Anonymous said...

That's one thing I do not like about religion in general. There's always some fruitcake out there who thinks they can speak for God and therefore has the right to judge everyone in the whole wide world.

I don't know where Reverend Whatshisname gets his information about God, but the Bible doesn't say God hates homosexuals. He might hate the action of it, but He does not hate the people doing it.

This so reminds me of a group here in Oregon called the 'Special Righteousness Committee.' At the end of their little protest to any new law that might give Gays the same rights as other people, they say, "Agree with us or burn in Hell."

That kind of intolerance on the part of the religious folk in the U.S. really ticks me off, because it does nothing to forward the cause of Christianity throughout the world. If anything, it only stunts the Church's growth.

Frank Baron said...

Yep Sean. Whoever's intolerant should just shut the heck up. They have no right to use the same air as the rest of us.

Huh? Irony? Whaddaya mean? ;)

Mac said...

Heh--God, bi-curious...heheheheh.

I love it.

Anonymous said...

I've known about Rev. Fred for years. He's done more for the cause of gay rights than any other person in the U.S., because even the conservatives don't want to associate with him.

I think I remember hearing that his visit to Canada was a bit of a bust...

Anonymous said...

It took me a moment, Frank, to see what you were saying. But you're right. I was as intolerant of Mr. Phelps as he is of other people. I admit it: I acted like a hypocrite, for which I apologize.

I just get so angry when I see people who claim to represent Christ treating other people like garbage....especially ministers. The word 'minister' means 'serve,' yet this man makes a mockery out of the word. I don't know why people let him get away with it.

But I have no business being judgmental. I'll try not to do it again, and again I humbly apologize for being that way.

Frank Baron said...

Sean, you misinterpreted my intent. There really was none. I was just being flippant. There's nothing in your post (in my opinion anyway) that warrants an apology.

If there was fault, it was my own for not being clear. :)

Anonymous said...

Understood, Frank. Thank you kindly. :)

I hope you have a great weekend.

uniquematerial said...

You have been tagged for the Weird Meme. I hope I got to you firstest, fastest....:)

Ray Wong said...

Phelps and his daughter are so twisted... yikes... I could say something really cruel about them, but I won't, here.