Westboro Baptist Church a Hate Group? What’s Wrong with the Petition

I won’t dignify the antics of the Westboro Baptist Church group by linking to their despicable escapades. We got to experience their virulent brand of theology first-hand here in Chardon after the shooting that took place in February of 2012.

Now an on-line petition has begun at WhiteHouse.gov to petition the Obama Administration to legally recognize the Westboro Baptist Church as a hate group. It has over 290,000 signatures at the moment. And I’ve been encountering requests from other sincere Christians on Facebook to join the cause.

But I have a few problems with the petition.

It’s not that the Westboro group doesn’t seem to be full of hate. For those not familiar,  they seem to target high-profile funerals as the place to proclaim God’s hatred and judgment for all sorts of people. This account from The Huffington Post on Dec. 19 sums it up:

The Westboro Baptist Church announced plans to picket Hochsprung’s funeral on Wednesday in Woodbury, Conn., and “sing praise to God for the glory of his work in executing his judgment.” The group has blamed the mass shooting on Connecticut’s same-sex marriage legislation. On Dec. 14, 26 people were shot at Sandy Hook Elementary School, 20 of those victims included children ages 6 and 7.

Let me be clear: I despise what they do. They are, at best, misguided in their theology and unwise in their practice of it. At best. That’s me being non-hateful. But we could also argue the same about James Dobson’s Newtown comments. It’s a matter of degrees. Should Focus on the Family be labeled a hate group? I know some of you are yelling, “Yes.” My point exactly.

Which brings me to my two concerns:

  1. Why petition the White House? When the Obama Administration started this on-line petition thing, some claimed it an innovative way to interact with government. Then someone began petitioning to let states leave the Union. Now it’s simply a high-profile way to gin up support for your cause. But isn’t that what Congress is for? Regardless of which party controls the White House, the President should not have the power to declare anyone as much of anything without Congressional approval. I think members of both parties will acknowledge we’ve slid far enough in that direction. We have a Constitutional process through which we declare something illegal. It’s called Congress. Enough with the petitions to the Executive Branch already as if the President can or should have the power to unilaterally grant your wish.
  2. Labeling them as a hate group is a slippery and dangerous slope.  Once we go down the road of the government deciding which voices are suitable to be heard, there’s little chance we can ever get back. Christians should be concerned that nearly 300,000 people in this country (some of them Christians) want a Baptist Church labeled as a hate group. Yes, their actions are stupid, mean, and hurtful. So were those of the flag-burners in the 1960s — many of whom now work in the White House. One man’s church is another man’s hate group. Remember that Rome justified the horrific slaughter of Christians by essentially declaring them a hate group, as well. After all, those religious fanatics were cannibals, don’t you know, eating bodies and drinking blood!

Lest you think I’m all that far off in my concern, see this story from Reuters and then watch and listen to Christian apologist William Lane Craig’s thoughts here. Key graphs from the story:

 France will deport foreign-born imams and disband radical faith-based groups, including hardline traditionalist Catholics, if a new surveillance policy signals they suffer a “religious pathology” and could become violent.

A French Islamist shooting spree last March that killed three soldiers and four Jews showed how quickly religiously radicalized people could turn to force, Interior Minister Manuel Valls told a conference on the official policy of secularism.

His warning came two days after President Francois Hollande announced the creation of an agency to track how the separation of church and state is upheld in this traditionally Catholic country with Europe’s largest Muslim and Jewish minorities.

Valls and two other cabinet ministers told the conference on Tuesday evening the Socialist-led government would stress the secularist policy called “laicite” that they said was weakened under the previous conservative President Nicolas Sarkozy.

“The aim is not to combat opinions by force, but to detect and understand when an opinion turns into a potentially violent and criminal excess,” he said.

“The objective is to identify when it’s suitable to intervene to treat what has become a religious pathology,” said Valls, whose ministry oversees relations with religions. [emphasis mine]

Freedom isn’t free. It requires us to put up with wackos, hate-filled protesters, and flag-burners among many others. That’s the price of freedom. If we’re no longer willing to pay it, maybe we should have an entirely different conversation.

But enough with the petitions to the White House. Seriously. I don’t think our government can even afford to respond.

About Bill Blankschaen

Bill Blankschaen is a writer, author, and communicator who empowers people to live a story worth telling. As the founder of FaithWalkers, he equips Christians to think, live, and lead with abundant faith.

His next book entitled Live a Story Worth Telling: A FaithWalker's Guide is scheduled for release in May 2015 from Abingdon Press. His writing has been featured with Michael Hyatt, Ron Edmondson, Skip Prichard, Jeff Goins, Blueprint for Life, Catalyst Leaders, Faith Village, and many others who shall remain nameless.

Bill is a blessed husband and the father of six children with an extensive background in education and organizational leadership. He serves as VP of Content & Operations for Polymath Innovations in partnership with Patheos Labs. He is the Junior Scholar of Cultural Theology and Director of Development for the Center for Cultural Leadership. He works with a variety of ministries including Equip Leadership (founded by John C. Maxwell) when he's not visiting his second home -- Walt Disney World.

  • http://yahoo shane turner

    I can understand what you mean but I have never heard of a group going to picket innocent people’s funerals especially children’s funerals. They use their status as lawyers to sue people and use it to go out and promote hate among fellow Americans. If I saw these people I would flat out ignore them or say whatever. There have been a lot of bad things that have happened to them such as having their tires slashed, spit on, and cursed at etc. They really anger people to the point where things like this happen to them. No it may not be right to be hateful back but some people are going to be extremely intolerant of these WBC people because that is the way some people are.

    • http://BillintheBlank.com Bill Blankschaen

      I agree that they are asking for trouble, but to try to silence them through some legal designation is not the answer. Your cause, whatever that may be, may be next. Maybe praying for them — that God would either change them or silence them — is the answer?

      • Hunter Edwards

        No. There are no excuses. They have to be labelled as a hate group. They are THE hate group. All they promote is hate. You can’t dabble in prayer, you have to speak out! It shouldn’t be easier for them to picket funerals and insult gay people/gay supporters than it is for you to force them to stop what they’re doing.

        Sincerely, a Canadian.

  • Mark Moore

    The group does exemplify what one might call the “gospel of hate,” the embrace of justice without mercy. The strategy they embrace is to usurp God’s role. Speaking for God they pronounce judgment, without knowing how much mercy God may pour into the mix.

    • http://BillintheBlank.com Bill Blankschaen

      Hmmm. So you’re saying that they are becoming as God by failing to allow for God’s mercy? You may be rigth there, though they should be free to do so from a legal standpoint, yes?

  • Bailey

    Well as a Mother of 3 that would literally become violent and spend the rest of my life in prison if these people protested my child’s funeral, what else can we do to stop them??? God cannot silence them, they have free will, if they would ban them from funerals, then we wouldn’t have to give them a label now would we! I’m all for your rights til you blatantly use them to create hate! I do not want children subjected to such tirants!!! I have the right to bury someone without a damn Pickett line!!! I believe in labelling the very small few ,1 family, to save the rest of us from getting in trouble for hurting one of them! !!

    • http://BillintheBlank.com Bill Blankschaen

      Perhaps when the same reasoning is used to silence youfgrom speaking about somethign you are passionate about you might feel differently. Don’t get me wrong. I do not agree with them and would gladly join a protective line to insulate grieving parent from seeing them — as many have. But I do not believe that we have aright to bury someone without a picket line. A want. Maybe. But not a right.

  • Jason Schroeder

    I am a former member of WBC. I left the church because of sexual abuse and violence. Some of the members of the church have a suicide pact and have all agreed to commit suicide if ever cornered such as Jonestown . Please help me save the children that are being victimized by WBC.

    • http://BillintheBlank.com Bill Blankschaen

      Do you have some evidence of this?

  • rvs

    The Baptist churches in America should–of course–ridicule on a regular basis Westboro’s use of the term “Baptist.” Indeed, that they call themselves a church is annoying enough already. I wouldn’t be bothered if they used the term “fundamentalist,” however.

    • http://BillintheBlank.com Bill Blankschaen

      Ahh, I’m going to assume that last remark was sacrastic. Sort of. Having been raised in fundamentalist circles, I can understand the scars — and yet respect those committed to preserving the “fundamentals” of the Faith as they see them. I’m not referring to Westboro, but to fundamentalists on a broader scale.

      • rvs

        Yes, sort of sarcastic. Thanks for the good point about preserving fundamentals. I also like your defense of the first amendment here, which is crucial to a thriving democracy. I worry–for example–about countries that want to punish satirists for religious cartoons, etc. I’ve forward your blog to a couple of friends who are also interested in these issues.

  • Agnostic

    I heard they are tax exempt because they are a church? If true, then — what’s up with that? I mean, I may be able to somewhat/sometimes/barely but tolerate the fact that religious organizations don’t pay taxes, on the basis that they generally play a socially beneficial role; but the WBS and other fanatics — why should they be subsidised?

    P.S. FWIW, I am not 100% sure that the religion is THAT beneficial on the balance, when you subtract from their good deeds all those bad side effects — sectarian and inter-religious wars, mutual hate of the fringe religious groups that sometimes pulls in whole countries. Romans fed Christians to lions, Christians burned pagans and Jews and scientists, now many Muslims and Jews are hating each other… Brrrrr!

    • http://BillintheBlank.com Bill Blankschaen

      Well, I can feel your discomfort with it all — the horrors done in the name of religion. But if you’re goignto be fair, you must include the horrors doen by those claimignto be without religion, as well. Add those to the scale tilts it overwhelmingly back infvaor of religion in general. And Christianity itself opposes the violence you detest. It has been historically only a few instances which have been repeatedly denounced by Christians. And no, you can’t count Hitler as aChristian. He clearly was not thought he used Christian language to cover and sell his Darwinian humanist tyrrany.

      As to the tax exempt status, you and I may disgaree on the use of the word “subsidized.” I’ve written on that before. Religious tax-exempt status should not be given on the basis that a group plays a socially beneficial role but that they are religious in nature. See IRS code for 501(c)(3). It’s an issue of the legitimate and wise separation of chruch and state.

  • Brian Westley

    The main argument against this petition is that “hate group” is meaningless insofar as US law is concerned — there IS no such official designation. The closest thing would be the FBI’s internal list of extremist groups they monitor, which is not a public list (and WBC is probably on that). Private groups like the ADL and SPLC create lists of hate groups.

  • Agnostic

    > But if you’re goignto be fair, you must include the horrors doen by those claimignto be without religion, as well.

    – I know of only one historically significant group of people who did a lot of evil while actually claiming to be without religion — the Communists. And, most of the evil that they did was not actually to advance the atheism. (Incidentally, they are not tax-exempt in the USA.)

    —–
    > Add those to the scale tilts it overwhelmingly back infvaor of religion in general.

    – If you are saying that more evil was done to (specifically) advance atheism than that to (again, specifically)advance religion I ‘ll probably disagree (from what I know… but I must admit I didn’t do a count). I’ll definitely say that both the atheism and the religion way to often are used as tools, and as cover for evil deeds.

    —-
    > And Christianity itself opposes the violence you detest. It has been historically only a few instances which have been repeatedly denounced by Christians.

    – This depends too much on how the (very numerous) Texts are interpreted, and which parts of those (every religion has peaceful and not-so-peaceful Texts), and then how much secular power the religion wields at the time. It’s not about the Christianity in particular (sorry, no offense). Probably every major religion, when it had enough power and/or thought for its very survival, did evil things — or, its leaders or pseudo-leaders did the evil in the name of religion . In this respect, it’s hard to differentiate between the (at least, organized) religion and any old good (or bad) political movement.

    —-
    > And no, you can’t count Hitler as aChristian.

    – Just FTR, I didn’t, actually. But I’ll take it as an invitation to comment on this :-).

    ——-
    > He clearly was not thought he used Christian language to cover and sell his [..]

    – That he sure did! Hitler (as so many before and after him) managed to use Christianity rather successfully to calm the people’s conscience by giving stamp of approval by the God himself. The stamp was fake, it all was very superficial and wrong — but it worked on most because they wanted it to; who wants to be a monster? — and here, some (if flimsy) excuse for being a monster without being one. Very, very convenient… (FWIW, you just can’t do it with atheism! That’s why when USSR got involved and Stalin needed to mobilize the nation he — former Seminarist, and at that time a rabid atheist, got back to the Christian phraseology — not “comrades” but suddenly “brothers and sisters”; and then he even started to to allow opening churches.)

    —-
    > [..] his Darwinian humanist tyrrany.

    – I don’t know if Hitler used Darwin as he used Christ, but if he did, then I am pretty sure that:
    a) The use of Christ definitely brought him much bigger political dividends.
    b) The use of Darwin’s name in this context is about as unjustified as the use of Christ’s. First of all, Darwin’s theory applies exclusively to the biological evolution. There is a perversion of Darwin’s ideas called “Social Darwinism” that extrapolates his ideas to sociology and politics but even that doesn’t go as far as to call for “eradicating the sick, the flawed and the weak (individuals and races)”. [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_Darwinism]

    —-
    > Religious tax-exempt status should not be given on the basis that a group plays a socially beneficial role but that they are religious in nature. See IRS code for 501(c)(3).

    – If you look at the IRS code for 501(c)(3) you may notice that the “advancement of religion” is listed there amidst the socially beneficial activities:

    “[..] relief of the poor, the distressed, or the underprivileged; advancement of religion; advancement of education or science; erecting or maintaining public buildings, monuments, or works; lessening the burdens of government; lessening neighborhood tensions; eliminating prejudice and discrimination; defending human and civil rights secured by law; and combating community deterioration and juvenile delinquency.”

    so one could argue that it’s there exactly because it’s considered to be socially beneficial. By the IRS at least ;-).

    > It’s an issue of the legitimate and wise separation of chruch and state.

    – Hmm. Let’s assume — just for the sake of argument — that the advancement of religion is listed among all other 501(c)(3) activities NOT because it’s socially beneficial but exclusively because it’s, yes, RELIGION. Religion itself is “the service and worship of God or the supernatural”, which is a matter of personal believes. The question then becomes why would a state allow only the religious people to effectively shield their communal property (directly related to the advancement of those believes) from the taxes? Why the personal believes that are associated with a God or the supernatural are better than other kinds of the (no less and no more personal) believes that don’t involve neither God nor the supernatural? How does such state’s favoring of _religious_ groups make for a _separation_ of one from another? That’s some very interesting idea of separation. The state gives the religious groups of people this financial (tax) advantage, comparing to the equally non-socially-beneficial (remember, that was our assumption) non-religious groups of people. This means that the latter effectively end up subsidizing the former, just because they have a different system of personal believes.

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  • Agnostic

    Okay, back to the main topic :-)

    > Why petition the White House? When the Obama Administration started this on-line petition thing, some claimed it an innovative way to interact with government.
    – Isn’t it?

    > Now it’s simply a high-profile way to gin up support for your cause.
    – Yes. What’s wrong with that? If your cause gets a wide national support, then shouldn’t the government (and news) know about this, and — hopefully — eventually act on that (not necessarily exactly how it’s petitioned but at least to acknowledge, discuss and address the issue)?

    > But isn’t that what Congress is for?
    – Yes, it is. But Congress seems to be missing (I tried to Google such a resource but to no avail) a convenient, unified, and well-advertised way to petition for *national* issues (including lawmaking). There should be such a channel; so far the Obama’s “on-line petition thing” is best there is. Even if Obama can’t or won’t do this or that, it’s out there for everyone to see; and it can be used by any politician (congressmen included) to see what’s hot and to use this information, act on it.

  • Agnostic

    (Oops, seems like this issue is not “hot” anymore, and everyone has moved to the newer news so to speak… the proverbial “short attention span” phenomenon. And I am left behind, all alone here with these old windmills. Ha-ha.)

    • Jennifer

      I don’t want you to feel lonely….. This might be one of the problems with this form of petitioning. Thousands upon thousands petition on a momentarily “hot” topic and then, days later, move on. Online petitions reflect the momentary interests/emotional pulse of the nation but not necessarily lasting concerns. It’s very easy to tap the petition button without really having to think through an issue (sort of like pushing the “like” or “friend” buttons on Facebook). I agree that these petitions are information. I don’t think the information is of high value, though, given, as you say, the short attention span phenomenon.

      • http://BillintheBlank.com Bill Blankschaen

        I would add to that that there is away to connect with your representative — as the COnstittuion designed it. Talk to your congressperson. And to your Senator since we changed that process.

  • Agnostic

    > Online petitions reflect the momentary interests/emotional pulse of the nation but not necessarily lasting concerns.

    – Exactly because there seems to be no lasting concern about even dozens of killed people but only momentary interests/emotional pulse of the nation, so any means should be used to entice (even force) politicians to act ASAP while the blood is still wet and red. The events like these are few and far away (relative to the nation’s attention span), so if there is no immediate action… there is no action.

    > there is away to connect with your representative — as the COnstittuion designed it. Talk to your congressperson. And to your Senator since we changed that process.

    – If the founding fathers lived today when communications are instantaneous, mass-media is national, and one can get from one point in the US to another in 3 hours, and there is a strong national (federal) government — don’t you think that they’d take these realities in consideration and designed the Constitution somewhat differently? Back then, the states were almost real states :-), much more diverse and independent from the central government. Now it’s more like political districts. The Constitution had to defer to the states’ power because otherwise there ‘d be no way for the US to form — the states would just refuse to join. But it’s pretty clear that the vector was towards creating a unified state, eventually. Now, to have regional powers is very important too — to promote regional interests and to serve as a political restraint to the central government — however for the nation-wide issues it’s just not that effective a tool.

    You contact your local guy about some issue that GOP and Dems are split upon (say, gun control), and there is a good chance that your voice will be ignored (or at least given less weight) if it’s against what your guy preaches. This is discouraging and, well, disenfranchising. There should be some place where you can register your voice/vote on the national issues, so it then can be considered on par with the voices from other states — by the Congress as a whole. I don’t care whether such service is offered by a White House, by the Congress or by eBay :-), for as long as people know and trust this service, and the politicians can troll it for the good stuff, and be able to use its info (and the # of votes) to advance the issues. Don’t worry, most politicians won’t spend theit effort advancing really fringe initiatives, even seemingly popular ones :-)

    • Jennifer

      Some of these petitions seem to reflect an emotional reaction to an event. Take, for instance, the petition to let states leave the union. There ARE probably people who have signed that petition and still want their State to leave. I hope I am right in guessing that most of those who signed did it on an angry impulse and had not quite thought through the implications. Should politicians have acted swiftly to set state removing wheels in motion? Should we always act on our first emotional impulse? I know that I am guilty of responding on a largely emotional level to many things that I consider wrong or unjust. I remember a day when my son came home from school bruised and angry after another student had harmed him. It was probably a good thing that I didn’t have an “eject student” petition button in front of me :). People do not always think clearly in the time immediately following an upsetting event. They almost never have the complete set of facts or have had time to think through the complexities of a situation. And because of this I don’t think that these petitions are always an honest reflection of how the nation thinks. I would be concerned about a politician using these petitions to push forward his agenda based on the number of votes a petition has received.

      • http://BillintheBlank.com Bill Blankschaen

        Such petitions are also incredibly unscientific — even worse than on-line polling that asks you to click if you agree. The data they give is meaningless. So the only reason to do it is to give the appearance that you care without actually being required to do anything in return.

        • Jennifer

          >So the only reason to do it is to give the appearance that you care without actually being required to do anything in return.

          That reminds me of something my Uncle told me when I was younger. We were discussing an advertisement I didn’t like on television. He told me that if I really didn’t like it I should write a letter to the company because one written letter carried more weight than a hundred phone calls. Companies know that you must really care about something if you TAKE THE TIME to write and mail a letter of complaint. Very few people send letters any more, but the point about the significance of invested time and effort is still valid.

    • http://BillintheBlank.com Bill Blankschaen

      Our founders set up a system of government that by design would not be subject to the emotional impulses of the people. They perceived the need for greater deliberation and wisdom. Hence such protections as the electoral college and state election of senators. The Founders rightly feared tyrrany both by the one and by the many.

      I admit that communications has changed things since our Founder’s era and that the reality today is not the reality of the Constituion re: state sovereignty — though it should be. But we are not a democracy nor should we become one. What you are espousing — an individual having adirect say into national government — is not the American syetm of governemtn as delineated in our Constituion. You may wish to change that, but it is the reality.

      Thanks.

  • Agnostic

    > It was probably a good thing that I didn’t have an “eject student” petition button in front of me .
    – Why? That’d indicate your state of mind to the school principal. He doesn’t have to immediately act on this info. When he gets a few such petitions from different parents on his desk he ‘ll start looking into the problem though, gathering facts and more info. (There also can be an option to call off your vote but that’s technical, just a little improvement; and even then it may be useful to know that that student’s behaviour really upsets many people, if only temporarily.)

    > And because of this I don’t think that these petitions are always an honest reflection of how the nation thinks.
    – It’s just more and better information than what one can get using traditional regional channels that are less known to the people, are less convenient to use, and are prone to the additional distortion on the regional level.

    > I would be concerned about a politician using these petitions to push forward his agenda based on the number of votes a petition has received.
    – Most politicians ‘d have enough common sense in them (and caution too) to avoid pushing obviously fringe petitions; it’s also not easy to push any initiative so extreme ones just won’t pass the Congress (unlikely even to get to the floor). The petition is not a mandate, it’s an indicator — better than many — of how strongly the nation feels about this or that issue, in almost real time.

    • http://BillintheBlank.com Bill Blankschaen

      OK. Since you brought up the “P’ word — principal — I’ll weigh in on this one because I’ve dealt with hundreds of such issues when teachers had concerns about students. If teachers had an “eject student” button, it would be counterproductive to real growth becasue the issue itself — a classroom problem involving a student — is a multi-faceted one that requires a meaningful conversation, perhaps several, careful observation, and reflection. If the teacher had the button, he/she might push it and think that they have done something meaningful, when in fact, they have not done what should have been done, namely come to talk with me about the issue. Teachers do push that button, by the way, they just do it in their own ways — a snide remark to another teacher that they hope got back to me, a sarcastic reply to the student in the classroom, or a question asked in a faculty meeting that is supposed to hint at the real problem, for example.

      It’s rather like the guy who goes to the bar with his friends, vents about his horrible marriage, and then feels better because his vocie was finally heard — but not by anyone who cna do anything about the issue. Until he goes back home. He then feels even worse because he took action ( “I signed the petition to the White House!) to feel better about it, but now he fels worse because that option failed to help at all. He took some action — venting instead of doing the hard work of talking with his wife — so now what? More frustration.

  • Jennifer

    My “eject student” button example was in response to your sugeestion that petitions would encourage politicians to act ASAP and that immediate action was necessary for many of our short-term concerns if we wanted any action at all. . I think that any Principal worth his salt would be aware of what goes on in his school (not every little detail – but problems big enough to be acted on). I think any politician worth his or her salt would be the same. I will freely admit that too many aren’t!
    I am not arguing against these petitions being an indicator of the immediate concerns of the nation. I am concerned that the all-too-human politicians might selectively use these petitions – which, again, are sometimes based on emotion rather than reason – to push through their personal agendas. I question whether using what seems to me to be a faulty “vote” total could result in good policy. It reminds me in a subtle way of villagers with torches and rope.

  • Agnostic

    > My “eject student” button example was in response to your sugeestion that petitions would encourage politicians to act ASAP and that immediate action was necessary for many of our short-term concerns if we wanted any action at all.
    – By “action” I meant galvanizing politicians into acting on issues that they see really hitting the nerve of the nation; to force them to start having a serious discussion. It gives the issues like THIS ONE a better chance of being addressed.

    > I think that any Principal worth his salt would be aware of what goes on in his school (not every little detail – but problems big enough to be acted on).
    – He ‘d be much better aware of many things if he got more information, and in a form that’s easier to verify and to analyze too. He’d know of the problems earlier, and he’d have a chance to act on them before they reach higher level of nastiness. That, in turn, ‘d free more of his time to deal with the education-related issues.

    > I think any politician worth his or her salt would be the same.
    – Same for the politicians. If more people (not just politically charged ones) would have an easier way of having their voice counted (and without a possibility of being discarded because of some regional polititian’s bias), then the politicians as a whole ‘d be better informed. Numbers count. Even the “stupid” numbers do (like the Texas secession ones).

    > I will freely admit that too many aren’t!
    – Is it their fault that they got elected? :-)

    > I am concerned that the all-too-human politicians might selectively use these petitions – which, again, are sometimes based on emotion rather than reason – to push through their personal agendas.
    – I am more concerned about such issues forever (well, even if not forever, even 2-4 years can be really a lot) left aside. That the solution is achieved because it fits someone’s personal political agenda, I can live with that (along with dozens more people who regrettably won’t if e.g. this particular issue goes unaddressed again). After all, it’s almost always somebody’s personal agenda anyway; politicians are not our old trusty robots, and most of them most of the time won’t vote (or even let a vote happen) on wacko petitions. Also, petition doesn’t have to be taken as a direct recipe for how exactly to solve the issue — but rather that there is an issue and many citizens are concerned about it, nationally.

    > I question whether using what seems to me to be a faulty “vote” total could result in good policy.
    – This is an information. If processed right, a faulty information can be converted into a meaningful and useful one.

    > It reminds me in a subtle way of villagers with torches and rope.
    – It’s a good analogy, except for a very important detail — that it’s not a direct (and immediate) action but rather a call for one. It may look subtle but IMO it ruins the analogy pretty bad. It’s like vigilantism vs a judicial process. They both may lead to the same result (be that justice or injustice or partial justice) sometimes but the process is paramount here.

    • Jennifer

      We obviously have different viewpoints and are lucky that we live in countries that allow this.
      Best wishes!

  • Agnostic

    Best wishes 2 U 2!

  • Bean

    Any self respecting Christian would easily be able to see that this church is in fact run by satan, not Jesus Christ. His spirit and presence is no where in this church to be found. The WBC USES the term “baptist church” and the very few verses they know from the bible as their way to promote their hate. They are not true Christians, they are spreading hate which is of Satan instead of love which is of God. And FYI, not a single church in the US recognizes them as an actual Christian church. They should absolutely be recognized and labeled as a hate group, as that is all they sperad and promote. Instead of praying for God to silence them we should pray that they actually find Jesus Christ because all of them are going to hell. Also if you have not seen it yet, check out fall from grace, it is a documentary on the WBC. It allows you to truly see how ugly and hateful those people are.


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