So today is September 11, 2011, 10 years after one of the most tragic events in American history. While everyone is remembering those who were lost or just shedding tears due to reliving the events of that catastrophic day, one group is picketing with signs in New York City thanking God for that day, those people of course being the Phelps family who make up most of the Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, KS. Since around late March of this year, I've been doing a bit of research on the church trying to understand how a message that I've been told is about love, can be turned into such hatred. Since I first heard about the Westboro Baptist Church, it has pained me to know that there is a group of Christian believers with such passion and fire for taking God's word to the people, only to take that passion and turn Jesus Christ's message of love and forgiveness into one of hate and doom.
I'm no expert on the Christian faith I follow, but from what I've read God doesn't hate America like the WBC preaches. But at the same time, I don't totally disagree with that statement either. I certainly believe God would be a little upset with America in terms of what it has become, a land where its people abuse their freedoms and where it has become a land of excess, and considering this country was founded on religious freedom, it has turned into a country where most are embarrassed to reveal or even talk about their religion because of how unpopular it seems to be in the mainstream of our culture.
Thanks to the media who constantly give them attention for some odd reason, the Westboro Baptist Church(WBC) has now become the most talked about and most featured group of Christians in America, now making the stereotype of the judgmental and hateful Christian more prevalent than ever. But how does this message of hate come into being? The following is my theory to answer that question.
The 20th century brought about many things to add to our culture. But one major change was how Christianity took a step back in people's lives. People seemed to the realization that they could still lead enjoyable lives without a Christian faith in their lives, and with that, people cared a lot less to listen to people who still choose to believe in a Christian faith and who voice their opinions about it. Which in turn leads to Christians who talk about their beliefs, fall on deaf ears. This became very frustrating for Christians who put themselves out there like that. This is where the WBC comes in. While this trend started to happening, I think the frustration that was caused by this preaching falling on deaf ears turned to anger in the WBC, and soon certain passages in the Bible started to take on new meanings of hatred towards the human race who ignore God's word, and given time the hatred becomes a delusion that those who make up the WBC are the only living people who will get into heaven and the other 6 billion people on earth, even those who are God fearing Christians, are doomed to go to Hell.
Certainly this is just a theory, I have little to backup this theory other than trends in American culture, and how the WBC started to get attention in the mainstream media. Its just conjecture based on observations. But taking this viewpoint on the Westboro Baptist Church, hopefully gives others a chance to view them how I've come to view them, because I understand how Christians can just feel totally disgusted as to what God's most cherished creation, humans, have become, while totally ignoring God's presence in their lives, as well as Christians, especially those in missions, get so frustrated at people who won't even give a moment of their time to hear about the Gospel. But the difference between me, as well as most Christians, and the Westboro Baptist Church, I still remember God's infinite forgiveness for people and I know that I need to extend that to others who have wronged or angered me in my life.