Sometimes it takes the worst events to soften the hearts of people. The recent tornado that went through my home state and destroyed the city of Moore while killing 24 people (including 9 children) brought out some of the best in people while for others… it only brought out the worst.
Perhaps the WORST of the worst are the Westboro Baptist “church” folks who are known for turning up at tragic events to spread their homophobic message. They threatened to show up at the funeral for one of the children who was killed by the tornado and spew their venomous hate, but thankfully they never did.
While the absence of the group brought somewhat of a relief to me and my fellow Oklahomans, it also drummed up some anger from those who consider Christianity to be a weakness. The following is an excerpt from the Facebook timeline of one of my friends (it has some choice words, so read with caution):
“You gotta give the Westboro folks credit for one thing though: they’re honest about who they are and what they believe. There are plenty of Christians out there who talk the talk when out in the open, but then vote for shit like prop 8 or teach their kids at home not to trust muslims (like Obama! Haha)… To me the Westboros reflect the vile, fucked up shit you find in the Bible and I feel that in the long run that’s only going to help modern man escape millennia-old superstitions… They may be batshit crazy, but at least it’s the crazy you can see coming”
What particularly puzzles me about my friend and his comment is that it seems (to him) all Christians, whether we’re Catholic or Baptist or Presbyterian or Evangelical or Lutheran or whatever… are all a little “Westboro” crazy.
This troubles me greatly.
To say that Christianity secretly hates everyone who doesn’t share their beliefs is like saying Mother Teresa enjoyed freshly made kitten stew.
I’m quite flummoxed really. What my friend seems to be missing is that Christianity and the Bible don’t teach “vile, fucked up shit” and that all Christians need to raise our kids to harbor resentment to those different from us. It is the people reading the book and selectively interpreting what they want to get the result they desire. If someone wants to hate someone, they’re going to find a way to do it.
The people of Westboro Baptist Church are extremists. What they lack in love, they make up for in hate. If Jesus were to come to Earth right now, he’d put his arms around the very people who Westboro targets and I one hundred percent believe that without question.
Look, I’m not perfect. I’ve hated people before. I disagree with particular aspects of people’s lives and pass judgment too quickly. I’m human. But I always fall back on my faith. I can worry about the souls of others but can help only a few and pray for the rest. I trust God, I know he’s right and just and I can put my feet up on that.
With all this being said, I wanted to remove my friend from my list of Facebook acquaintances because of his anger towards my faith, but I decided to turn the page on hate.
I decided to pray for him instead.