So, this morning, I wrote this little letter:
Dear Westboro Baptist Church,
I don't think God would look very kindly at
you for disrespecting his Creation. I think there's a spark of God in all of
us, and when you hurt anyone, particularly deliberately, I think you hurt God,
too. (Cue up Joan Osborne's "One of Us" music)
Jesus told his disciples
to go out and preach the Gospel. Nowhere in the Gospel have I found Jesus
telling anyone that you should hate anyone else. Nope. In the last few lessons
at MY church the last few weeks, Jesus has wandered amongst the unclean and
loved them. Frankly the only ones I've noticed Jesus be upset with or encourage
shunning or avoiding are those who are self-righteous...
I don't care if
you like me. I don't need you to love me. And while God may ask that of you, I
don't. And I think He might understand that it is difficult to love everyone.
Jesus talked about it a lot, in fact. It is not easy to love one another as I
love you. But try.
But I don't expect it. I don't require it (not
that my requirements should matter to you). I just ask you simply to allow me
to live my life in peace. You don't need to bless my unions - my church and my
God will do that. You don't need to come to my funeral - in fact, I kinda would
prefer if you didn't, since you don't seem to act particularly respectful of the
dead and those who mourn. But I may invite the folks at Texas A&M to come. They seem to understand what
it means to honor the dead and respect the living.
If Jesus were here
today, do you think he'd want anyone's website that was proclaiming his GOOD
News to have the words "God Hates" in the domain name? No. God doesn't hate.
God loves. And Jesus asked you to do the same, although he didn't expect it.
I think God and Jesus would accept the following compromise: You live
your life and follow your beliefs, and do no harm to others, and I will do the
same. Fair enough?
A Child of God
And I posted it on Twitter with the hashtag WestboroBaptistChurch.
Good news. They received it and within about a half hour they responded. Here's the full exchange:
The interesting thing is that was it. A quick ten minute exchange, and they never responded to my last question. Hmmm... I really expected that I would be quoted chapter and verse, but I wasn't... although I was pulling out my copy (I was already at the church by this time) ready to respond as needed. Maybe they haven't read it after all?
I guess they finally realized - Resistance is futile!
P.S. I take back, though, the statement I made in Loving A Small Town about beginning to like it when strangers called me "dear". There are certain strangers I don't feel so warm and fuzzy about when they call me "dear"... after all.
P.P.S. Thank you SO much to all the Tweeps who piped up and responded that God does not hate. I already knew that, but the support is wonderful! Go Aggies!!