"Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends" (John 15:13). This is exactly what our soldiers do for us every day. Each and every one of them has demonstrated their love for this country. We civilians sometimes thank them as they walk past, some send care packages to a soldier they've never met, some pray for their safety every day. Others picket outside a fallen soldier's funeral with signs that say, "Thank God for dead soldiers." Yes, it's true. A Christian fundamentalist group called the Westboro Baptist Church has chosen to demonstrate their love for our troops by disgracing what it truly means to be a Christian and an American.
This group was founded in 1967 and is run by the ugly-hearted, anti-Semitic, homophobic Fred Phelps. Here's a shocker: Some people have actually chosen to follow this crazy man. They protest in front of the entire country, claiming that our soldiers die because our country is tolerant of homosexuality. Their signs range from "God hates Israel" to "Thank God for IEDs" – referring to roadside bombs that have killed many of our soldiers. They believe God hates the homosexual and that because of this, our soldiers are dying. Not quite sure how they came to that conclusion, but then again, I'm not sure it's meant to be understood.
Do they not realize that God also detests the wicked, the unrighteous, those who bear false witness against their neighbor and the adulterer? Here's the good news: He sent His Son so we all could be forgiven of those sins, which, by the way, we are all guilty of. Those uneducated buffoons are guilty in the eyes of the Lord. But regardless of their sin and mine, He still loves us. His Son died and rose again. That's all the proof I need to know that God loves me. If they want to be considered Christians, then they are obligated to love their neighbor and be a living testimony of God's love. Jesus did not call us to hate, but to love one another as Christ loves us. That's Christianity 101.
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The Phelps-followers have been hating for years, so why am I choosing to say something now? Well, besides the fact they are driven by wickedness and led by a deceitful lowlife, I am sickened by recent headlines involving Westboro Baptist Church. Al Snyder, the father of a fallen soldier and victim of the WBC, has been ordered to pay the "church" $16,000 after a federal appeals court overturned his initial lawsuit against WBC.
In 2006 Snyder filed a suit against WBC after they held a protest outside his son's funeral. They violated Snyder's right to grieve and used a hero's death as a propeller for their vile message. Snyder won his lawsuit, $11 million to be exact, but during the appeals process the ruling was overturned. It was announced last week that Snyder must pay the WBC for their court expenses. What an amazing justice system we have. Instead of protecting a victim and his family, the court opted to protect free speech for people who delight in the suffering of our soldiers. What kind of message is that? "Fight for your country, but if you die we're not going to do much to uphold your honor." Luckily, Bill O'Reilly has more sense than the people who made this outrageous decision. He offered to pay the $16K. I guess that's the silver lining.
The cherry resting upon this scandalous sundae transpired after Snyder said he couldn't afford to pay the WBC. The group pointed out that not only was Snyder late with his paperwork contesting the fees, but that he could pay with his dead son's life insurance. I'm sure that's exactly what Christ had in mind when he said, "Love thy neighbor."
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I know what you must be thinking: "Chrissy, you're a hypocrite. You are portraying the same hate for them that they have for others." Actually, I'm not. I don't hate these people; I feel sorry for them. I'm sorry that they have yet to feel God's true love. There is a big difference between what they do and what I do. They want sinners to die and go to hell. I want forgiveness of sins, mine included. That is exactly what I hope for the WBC. I hope Christ will forgive their transgressions against mankind. I am not without sin, but at least I can admit that. The WBC seems to think they are blameless … can you say DENIAL? Have they ever stopped to think that maybe their hate is the reason so many bad things happen to this country? They give real Christians a bad name, and they're turning people away from the Lord. How is that righteous?
What saddens me most is that our soldiers are fighting so people like this can say whatever they want. They curse fallen heroes without thought that these soldiers ensure their freedom. Our military serves so that the WBC can have the right to free speech. Yet, they mock the sacrifice that affords them that freedom. My dose of honesty is for these revolting know-nothing human beings – finish high school, quit brainwashing your children, educate yourself on the true love that is Christ, and find better use for you time. Surely you must have some skills valuable to society.