Thursday, October 05, 2006

Two Extremes

If innocence in the eyes of God can be personified, it is in the Old Order Amish people of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. The community met the horrific tragedy brought by Charles Roberts with resilience and acceptance, even expressing sympathy and condolences to the family of Roberts as they mourned their own loss. It would be hard to find elsewhere such testimony to the teachings of Christ as the Amish community exemplifies.
The notorious Westboro Baptist Church, of Topeka, Kansas could be seen as the exact opposite. The congregation of that organization is known to travel to military funerals carrying placards that read, "God hates you," "God hates America," and the like. They had been planning to carry their protest to Pennsylvania for the funerals of four of the young victims, until nationally syndicated radio personality Mike Gallagher offered their spokesperson a spot on his radio program.
Westboro spokesperson Shirley Phelps-Roper appeared on Hannity and Colmes last night, to be given the opportunity to explain the actions and intentions of the protesters. She spewed hatred for all of Humankind, saying that the children "deserved to die," and that the Amish people "brought it upon themselves," for "not obeying the commandments of God."
The main commandments I remember from Christianity are those which speak of universal kindness, such as "Treat others the way you want to be treated," "Love your neighbor as you love yourself," and "Judge not, lest you be judged yourself."
Phelps-Roper did not seem to be familiar with these commandments, which brings me to wonder exactly what commandments the Westboro congregation does follow, and, in fact, what God do they worship?
It is the same kind of extremism demonstrated by such organizations as Al Qaeda and Hamas. The silence of the Baptist Denomination concerns me as to whether the Westboro Baptist Church is representative of the tenets of the entire Baptist organization.
This isn't the most recent interview, but the following video gives and idea of what these people are like:

2 comments:

The Sanity Inspector said...

I don't suppose people like this would accept Oscar Wilde as any kind of voice of authority. But they could do worse than heed one of his epigrams: "If your morals make you dreary, depend on it--they are wrong."

Manny said...

Wow! I guess I knew there were people out there that were crazy, but this even went beyond my imagination.