This horse has probably been beaten to death several times over by now, but as a parent of a soldier, I have to comment. I could hear the anger in my son's voice when he brought it to my attention, and after watching the video clip
, I could see why. Shirley Phelps Roper, who claims to be a Christian, rationalizes all the evils that are plaguing us, including the deaths of American soldiers at war and AIDS, as the justifiable wrath of God.
I've got news for her. The evils that are plaguing us are products of the ignorance of man. Anyone who can hate in the name of God just adds fuel to the fire; Roper and her ilk are perfect examples of what happens when religion goes overboard.
Man's ignorance has always played a part in his spirituality. Early in mankind's history, he has looked up at the stars and seen them as evidence of a greater being. Anything that could not be explained by man's limited knowledge was attributed to the mysterious workings of some almighty deity or another.
Nowadays, Roper's church displays that ignorance openly and arrogantly. Religion has always produced nutcases, and the present day is no exception. This church's beliefs shocked people a few weeks ago when Roper was interviewed on Hannity & Colmes. It didn't suprise me a bit. Jesus tried to teach the masses about love, tolerance, and understanding. Instead, the most persuasive of His "followers" have distorted his message to gain power and money.
Roper's father, Fred Phelps, runs the Westborough Baptist Church in Topeka, Kansas, and encourages his congregation to protest at the funerals of soldiers who were killed in action. Apparently, he and his followers believe that the wage of sin is literal death, and that the deaths in Iraq are the result of God's wrath because of - get this - America's promotion of homosexuality.
Where have these people been for the past six years? The last thing this country is promoting is any kind of alternative lifestyle. The powers-that-be are gnashing their teeth because everyone in the country doesn't believe in the same "value system" as them, and most Americans don't want to change their lifestyles to conform to the right-wing version of what an American should look and act like.
And now these religious right-wing "social conservatives" have created a monster. A monster so deluded that it considers it its christian duty to demonstrate at funerals, carrying banners that say "Thank God for dead soldiers", while the families of those soldiers mourn.
If God's wrath is responsible for these soldiers' deaths, it's aimed at the Bush administration for sending them to die unnecessarily. If He's pissed at anything, it'd be at the way Roper, Phelps, and their ilk are twisting their followers into the mindless zombies they are, and using His name to promote hatred.
If I remember correctly, Jesus preached love, peace and tolerance. Kinda the opposite of what these clowns are promoting. Or for that matter, any of the religious right-wing groups that are trying to shape our country into a homogenous, mindless congregation.
I just hope this episode serves as a wakeup call for those who feel justified in tormenting, or even discriminating against, someone who is different than them. If not, more of these groups will surface, and not all of them will be satisfied with peaceful protest. They'll take God's wrath into their own hands, and people will die. Normally, we call these groups terrorists.
Are you ready for christian terrorists?