Fred Phelps and his followers at Westboro Baptist Church (if you can call it a church) are certainly always good for discussion fodder. Although I’ve seen their “God Hates (fill in the blank) signs in the media and in person, I found this one particularly chilling:
In a way, I think we owe Mr. Phelps and his ilk a debt of gratitude. for one, he takes intolerance to such an extreme that nearly all of us – Christians and non-Christians alike – can find common ground in agreeing this kind of propaganda is dehumanizing and cruel. Second, it actually serves to galvanize some sense of unity between Christian conservative and progressives.
If only we could be so unified over something other than common disdain for a negative.
I’m curious about what others think about things like this expressed in the name of Christianity. Not whether it’s acceptable (it’s not), and not whether they’re actually Christian (not for us to say). But I am interested in how a religion based on (as I understand it) love, compassion, mercy and justice for the marginalized can give birth to such a thing.
What is it in our nature (not just Phelps’ nature, but ours too), that feeds off of hate? How do we get to a point as a species where it’s even conceivable to put our children in a shirt like the ones above.
Interested in your thoughts.