Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Beyond the Free Speech Case

Westboro's adherents argue that the First Amendment is designed to protect speech the majority may not want to hear. But [Shirley] Phelps-Roper is ambivalent, noting that man's law won't matter much when America meets divine wrath.

"Her destruction is imminent," she said. Laughing, she added: "And it's going to be marvelous."

This is one sorry bunch, the Westboro "Baptist Church" (my quotes). I hate the fact that their speech is protected--but it is--by the First Amendment of the Constitution of the country they hate so much. Perhaps the Supreme Court can define some limits of decency that the law can enforce--we shall see. However, there is a larger issue.

They call themselves Christian and their puny 100 person family-run organization a church.

But I don't see very much that is like Jesus in any of their actions. The signs they carry are full of hate. The signs they carry indicate they think they know what God thinks or what He will do. No one fully knows that information. They are playing God, bringing God's supposed "word" and proclaiming judgement on others. The quote above indicates a lack of love for all American people--people Jesus suffered, bled and died for, in the ultimate sacrifice, so that people could experience grace and love and forgiveness for sin and be reunited with God.

Yes, the Bible talks about judgement for sin, but it is also full of grace, love and second chances. None of the latter is part of the dialog with the Westboro organization.

We are instructed by Jesus not to judge, so I will leave the final verdict on the Westboro organization to God. I think Matthew 7: 21-23 gives a bit of a glimpse as to what may transpire when the time for judgement arrives. The verse is part of the Sermon on the Mount preached by Jesus Christ during his ministry on earth:

"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?' Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!' (NIV)

I didn't really want to pollute my blog with a photo of these people, but a little paint and it's a little more palatable--a little. (USA Today photo)


Capt. Schmoe said...

Great post observer. These folks make me ill. While I agree that they have the right to their opinion and the right to express their position, I don't believe that they have the right to disrupt the very personal activity of a funeral.

Their very actions, plus the fact that the group is tightly controlled by a small number of related people lead me to believe that perhaps power and notoriety are more important to them than moral or spiritual beliefs.

Either way, they are due for a fall.

the observer said...

Capt. Schmoe:

Well put!

Thanks for reading and commenting!

the Observer

Ann T. said...

Dear The Observer,
Well, this is the first I've heard of these nutcases. Apparently they are going to South Carolina. I later found that Low Country Crime and Punishment is talking about this.

They make me ill. This isn't about any higher power, it's about hating many to reinforce the power structure of your group.

Ick, ick, ick. And at a funeral. It's a good thing it ain't my funeral, b/c I'd rise up from the grave to kick you know what.

Thanks for letting me know.
Ann T.

P.S. I tried to comment days earlier, but left my computer muttering words you don't like in your blog. Ick ick ick just doesn't cut it.

the observer said...

Ann T.

It was all I could do not to fall into the judgement trap with regard to these people. They make you think very uncharitable thoughts.

They like attention too. A commenter pleaded with KC Star online readers not to bring the comment count above 100. However, I think that would be like trying to tell Niagra Falls to quit flowing. Right minded people just want to say their piece about these nut jobs.

Thanks for reading and commenting.

The Observer