A few readers and a commenter noted this story about the militant anti-gay activities of one Rev. Fred Phelps and members of his flock who have taken it upon themselves to protest against the gay lifestyle in the most shameful of ways:
SMYRNA, Tenn. (AP) – Members of a church say God is punishing American soldiers for defending a country that harbors gays, and they brought their anti-gay message to the funerals Saturday of two Tennessee soldiers killed in Iraq.
The church members were met with scorn from local residents. They chased the church members cars’ down a highway, waving flags and screaming "God bless America."
"My husband is over there, so I’m here to show my support," 41-year-old Connie Ditmore said as she waved and American flag and as tears came to her eyes. "To do this at a funeral is disrespectful of a family, no matter what your beliefs are."
The Rev. Fred Phelps, founder of Westboro Baptist in Kansas, contends that American soldiers are being killed in Iraq as vengeance from God for protecting a country that harbors gays. The church, which is not affiliated with a larger denomination, is made up mostly of Phelps’ children, grandchildren and in-laws.
The church members carried signs and shouted things such as "God hates fags" and "God hates you."
About 10 church members protested near Smyrna United Methodist Church and nearly 20 stood outside the National Guard Armory in Ashland City. Members have demonstrated at other soldier funerals across the nation.
I’ve got a message for you, Reverend Phelps: You’re despicable. Not just to America, but to Christianity as well. God did not and does not "hate gays." God loves everyone, including disagraceful human beings like you who take His name and attach it to your pathetic little ‘crusades.’ Remember "love the sinner, hate the sin?" You have a right to feel what you want, you have a right to say what you want, but your exercising that right at the funerals of our fallen soldiers (men and women who have died for you to enjoy that right) coming home from Iraq is unquestionably reprehensible in the purest sense of the word. As I have stated before, with freedom in this country comes responsibility and just because you have the right to say something, doesn’t make it right to say! It’s no wonder your ‘congregation’ is so small:
The church, which is not affiliated with a larger denomination, is made up mostly of Phelps’ children, grandchildren and in-laws.
With moronic protests like the ones you initiate, it does give me some measure of satisfaction in knowing that your congregation is small, and not just small in terms of numbers, but small-minded as well. YOU, as a Christian, *know* that God loves all people, including gays, including adulterers, including people who stray from His teachings, etc. As a Christian, your responsiblity is to help spread the word of God and encourage people to turn to Him, to grow with Him, and accept Him into their hearts as their savior. His love is not limited to any color, sex, race, disability, or anything else. He may not be tolerant of sin but He is loving of the sinner. You should be ashamed for even daring to think you speak for God when you preach the hate that you do, and you express it the way you do. It’s a shame you even express it at all but even more shameful is you doing it during the funerals of our fallen men and women who deserve the be buried with the dignity and respect they deserve.
I am against gay marriage, and I support the Boy Scouts not allowing gay men to serve as Scout leaders. But I do NOT support the hate you are spewing, and I especially do NOT support the venues you have chosen to express it. You are a sick person, twisting the word of God to try and make it fit in with your narrow, perverted worldview, and the disrespect you show our fallen soldiers, as well as their family and friends is an unconscionable act. You do an extreme disservice to our fallen heroes, to America, to Christians, to conservatives, but most of all to God. You are not acting in His name nor mine, nor any other level-headed Christian in this country. This should be something that both liberals and conservatives in this country agree on.
Shame on you, Rev. Phelps.
Related: Dean Esmay notes a liberal media bias angle to this story (hat tip: Rob at Say Anything).