Well that didn’t take long. A mere day after the terrible news that Moore, Oklahoma was hit with a devastating tornado that left dozens dead and hundreds injured and a path of destruction that is absolutely breathtaking in its scope, the attention seeking hate group Westboro Baptist Church led by attention seeking hate group leader Fred Phelps tweeted out an explanation to the question on many people’s minds: “Why did this happen?”
According to them it’s about basketball.
— Fred Phelps, Jr. (@WBCFredJr) May 21, 2013
Yep. the death and destruction was brought upon a random suburb of Oklahoma City because a basketball player who plays for the Oklahoma City Thunder told another team’s basketball player that he was proud of him for coming out of the closet. It’s so great that God gave us the Westboro Baptist Church because His punishments would be EXTREMELY hard to decipher if they weren’t here to connect the dots.
I’m going to assume that the members of the Westboro Baptist Church mean what they say, because the alternative is even worse. The idea that a group would spout this hateful vitriol and NOT mean what they say is entirely more offensive. So, I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt (how very Christian of me), and take them at their word. Here is what the world looks like when you are member of this congregation:
The Biblical God is heavily active within the modern world. He has a chosen people, Christians – well, some Christians – and he hates pretty much everyone else. He hates a lot of things: scientists, homosexuals, politicians, Americans (generally), Americans (in specific groups), the troops, minorities, the Chinese. The list goes on and on. He hates a lot of people okay? Almost anything you can imagine doing (and I’m not that imaginative) he hates as well. When a person, especially if they are well known, does something or is someone that God hates, he lashes out. But not right away. And not the person doing or being the thing He hates. Maybe a couple of cities over. Or a city in an entirely different state. So by Jason Collins coming out of the closet, it was only a matter of time before God got payback for his transgression: Which was telling people he was gay. Remember, he’s been gay for his entire life. So it was the telling people he was gay part that really must have irked God. And then, he was probably going to let it slide (don’t say God isn’t merciful), but then God was browsing twitter and saw something that he COULDN’T let slide: Kevin Durant sent a tweet expressing support for Jason Collins. It was then that, according to the WBC worldview, God decided that in a month he would level two elementary schools…11 miles away.
According to the Westboro Baptist Church, God does this a lot. He has an incredible amount of beefs – many probably overlapping within the same person or community – and His only way of expressing himself is through knocking things over. Maybe the Teletubbies had it right. It’s sounding more and more like God is a giant sky baby.
It gets creepier. God also hates entire countries (he has a huge problem with China for reasons that only Fred Phelps seems to fully understand) so he will occasionally send earthquakes or landslides or Django Unchained over to their lands in order to punish them for, actually I don’t know on this one, being Chinese? Living in China? Seeing Jamie Foxx’s junk? His punishments are beginning to look less like “teachable moments” to enlighten the sinners of the folly of their ways, and more like violence for its own sake. God is The Joker, a chaotic force hellbent on nothing more than causing fear and pain.
And sadly, God is apparently a bumbling idiot. Neither able to anticipate upcoming sins or reverse the tides of change that seem to be rising all around Him, he rages on. In an increasingly directionless fury, he lashes out like a confused and stubborn shell of a once All Powerful being. The Westboro Baptist Church have intentionally and unintentionally been left behind (not the Kirk Cameron kind) in a world that has increasingly embraced diversity, science and compassion. This is no country for bigoted men, not any more. Fred Phelps is a living, breathing representation of hating what you don’t understand. He doesn’t understand the world and he hates it and his God hates it. It has often been noted that the image of God tends to reflect that of the people who worship it. No truer could this be than with the Westboro Baptist Church. A clan of closed minded, bigoted Americans worshiping a closed minded, bigoted, hateful God, what are the odds? So if we were to imagine what God looks like to this family of imbeciles it would have to be a reflection on the family themselves. Not a sun baby, nor a Joker, I imagine their God looks a little like this:
How sad it must be to live in a world you hate, surrounded by people you hate, doing things you don’t like. How uncomfortable and cruel it must be to live with a family that teaches you that people deserve to die because they think differently than you. Theirs is a small God. A God concerned with hall monitoring and strict rules. A black and white world divorced from moral wrangling and self doubt. It’s a world of cowboy hats and wood paneling, and not at all about truth seeking and compassion building. Fred Phelps will one day die, and when he does he will have left this Earth having never once experienced the joy of uncertainty or of changing his mind or the thrill of reaching out. He will close his eyes, release his last breath, and hope that he will soon join a God who doesn’t mind exterminating dozens to avenge a tweet by a basketball player. How bizarre.