Thank God for Fred Phelps and the Westboro Baptist Church.
Fred Phelps and the Westboro Baptist Church folks are some of the most extreme people in all of religiousdom. The Westboro Baptist Church website is GodHatesFags.com, a slimy place full of unpleasant commentary including a countdown for the number of days Matthew Shepard has been in hell. The church and its flock often take their small children with them for protests and carry signs like those in the photograph and with phrases such as “Fags are Beasts” and “God Hates Fags.” They are known for protests of U.S. soldiers’ funerals, funerals of persons who died as a result of AIDS and funerals of hate crimes victims.
In spite of Phelps protesting soldiers, preaching that “AIDS cures fags” and claiming that the Pope is a Whore, for the most part, America wasn’t listening. Until his clan made a tragic mistake. They picketed American Idol, Adam Lambert. Straight and gay fans of Adam were outraged and the twitter hashtag #GodHatesHates was launched exposing the level of intolerance faced by many LGBT people to the masses. According to those on twitter:
#GodHatesHate was started by fans supporting Adam Lambert when protesters showed up at a concert with signs saying “God hates fags”. Adam has said in the past that “God hates hate more” in response to those protesters.
The hashtag quickly became the number one twitter trending topic of the evening on Sunday, August 30, 2009 and tweets poured through such as:
#godhateshate … That’s why @adamlambert was created…nothing but love…beautiful,awesome love. [via VTAlum01]
#Godhateshate Pastor Steve Anderson and Fred Phelps do NOT represent the heart of Christianity and I’m sorry for those hurt by their rants.
But there is a danger in all of this. Fred Phelps is a dramatic example of bigotry and it’s easy to spot his hate mongering; however, others aren’t so blatant like Maggie Gallagher, Pat Robertson, Carrie Prejean and the like. For example, Pat Robertson often attempts to be more discrete in his message of hate. When he spoke out against “gay days” at Disney World, he said:
I would warn Orlando that you’re right in the way of some serious hurricanes, and I don’t think I’d be waving those flags in God’s face if I were you, This is not a message of hate — this is a message of redemption. But a condition like this will bring about the destruction of your nation. It’ll bring about terrorist bombs; it’ll bring earthquakes, tornadoes, and possibly a meteor.
So, if your one of the many outraged over “God Hates Fags,” remember it’s the same message as many anti-equality people, just without the sugar coating.