On Facebook today, I saw a posting for a group called “Revolt Against Westboro Baptist Church.” It isn’t a group I have joined and have no intentions to do so, because I’m of the belief that it is wrongly directed anger and energy, and harms work towards full equality for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Trans persons more than it helps. In fact, it doesn’t help at all. It merely allows  the group’s members to feel superior to a small but distinct anti-gay group which can’t really harm the LGBT community in any way at all. This need to feel superior zaps strength, energy and ideas that ought to be turned towards anti-gay groups which can and do truly harm people everyday and everywhere.

Westboro Baptist Church (WBC) is an easy target! Without a doubt, their rhetoric is way out there past crazyland, and they are equal opportunity haters known to picket schools, and even the funerals for soldiers. The straight forward starkness of their message, “God Hates Fags,” creates a knee-jerk reaction in almost everyone, and it only seems common sense to want to shut them down. But I think, if you step back and think about it for a bit, it becomes more clear why this is such a bad idea.

Westboro Baptist Church beings people together who might not otherwise come out and support LGBT people and LGBT Rights. This is a good thing for all lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and trans persons. Anything that helps bring straight allies to speak out against homophobia is a good thing.

Some say that WBC isn’t a “real church,” but they are a real church, and given the protections in the Constitution for the Freedom of Religion, the Freedom to Assembly, and the Freedom of Speech, I think anyone within the LGBT community who decides to want and shut them down, ought to stop and think about if the same tactics were turned against the LGBT community. This is not to say that we have to like what they say, or the severity of their message or messaging techniques, but rather the way to counter them is not by silencing them because what they do, as hideous as it is, is protected.

WBC operates, I believe, in ways similar to the prophets of the Hebrew Scriptures/ Old Testament. They believed that God was angry with the rulers and the people  for not following God’s Will, and they set out to share that message. Many of those prophets were equally disliked and some were very much silenced (if we are to believe that they were real people and acted as the Bible stories suggest). A problem exists however because we don’t know how authentic any of those Bible stories are of prophets, nor do we know the whole story surrounding them. The men of power who assembled the Bible, from other writings as well as whatever text they added, did so with very specific messages they wanted to express, so it is no wonder the stories fit the intended message.

WBC doesn’t believe simply that God Hates Fags, but rather that God Hates Everyone! Certainly everyone is doomed (damned?). This severe position is pretty crazy, theologically unsound, and totally out

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