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The Westboro Baptist Church: The Face of Hate

Updated on August 7, 2013
Westboro Baptist picketeers
Westboro Baptist picketeers | Source
Police standing by
Police standing by | Source
Peaceful opposition
Peaceful opposition | Source

This was written several months ago before the WBC held a protest in Olympia, Washington. They are now in the news again as they plan on protesting in Newtown, Connecticut, site of the horrendous mass killings at the elementary school.

“WBC engages in daily peaceful sidewalk demonstrations opposing the homosexual lifestyle of soul-damning, nation-destroying filth. We adhere to the teachings of the Bible, preach against all form of sin (e.g. fornication, adultery {including divorce and remarriage}, sodomy), and insist that the sovereignty of God and the doctrines of grace be taught and expounded publicly to all men.”

Taken from the Westboro Baptist Church website, www.godhatesfags.com

IN THE BEGINNING

I have known hate my entire life. It has been my neighbor; it has been the person passing by on the sidewalk and the mother dropping her child off at school. It comes in different sizes and shapes, genders and races, constantly changing outward appearance and yet always the same. I saw it as a child in the 50’s, a teen in the 60’s and as an adult during the four plus decades that have followed.

The message of hate may change but it is hate nonetheless. My father hated the Japanese because of World War II. My neighbor, Mr. Streitz, hated Catholics. In my younger years I was surrounded by it and yet almost unaware of it. Not until I went to college did I begin to understand just how pervasive it was in our society.

Seattle University, where I attended college, was, and is, a small liberal school with about five-thousand students. It was there that I was introduced to other cultures. It was there that I was introduced to other races and religions, and it was there that I first began to understand the nature of hatred. Imagine my surprise that I was the target of that hate.

Sophomore Sociology class…..conduct a poll in the neighborhood about income disparity. No problem Mr. Peters! We spent a week preparing the perfect questions and then headed out into the predominately black neighborhood to conduct our poll. First house I went to I was told, “get the hell off our porch you *%^#* Honky!” I didn’t even know what a Honky was but I knew all too well what the adjective meant and I was fully aware of what the anger meant behind those words. That scene would be replayed several times that afternoon; I suspect that Mr. Peters was counting on those reactions because that became the Sociology lesson for the remainder of the week.

My lilly-white butt was the target of racial hatred that afternoon. I never saw it coming but I have not forgotten it since then.

By the end of my Junior year we had established a reading program for underprivileged kids in that same neighborhood and because of interaction with some of the parents we were treated with respect where once there had only been distrust and vileness.

WESTBORO BAPTIST CHURCH of TOPEKA, KANSAS

The WBC was established in 1955 and is loosely based on the doctrines of grace proposed by John Calvin. The five points of Calvinism are: Total Depravity, Unconditional Election, Limited Atonement, Irresistible Grace, and Perseverance of the Saints.

On their website, www.godhatesfags.com, they list the following numbers:

· 6,486 soldiers that God killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.

· 48,168 pickets conducted by WBC.

· 863 cities that have been visited by WBC

· 1,093 weeks that WBC has held daily pickets on the mean streets of doomed America.

· 398 people whom God has cast into hell since you loaded this page.

· 218,400,000+ gallons of oil that God poured in the Gulf.

· $15.73 trillion+ national debt of doomed America

· 8 people that God saved in the flood.

· 16,000,000,000 people that God killed in the flood.

· 144,000 Jews that will be saved in these last days.

· 0 nanoseconds of sleep that WBC members lose over your opinions and feelings.

A small band of these Church members arrived in my home town of Olympia, Washington today and held several demonstrations. As they were in the process of demonstrating they held signs that said God Hates Fags, Fags Hate God, Aids Cures Fags, Thank God For Aids, Fags Burn In Hell and Fags Doom Nations.

At most there were eight Church members, and hundreds of opposition demonstrators were there to show their displeasure with the event and to give speeches speaking out against the Westboro Baptist Church. The entire demonstration lasted no more than an hour; it was non-violent and relatively quiet and as a historical event it hardly deserves mention.

I have debated for weeks whether to write an article about this Church and their event today. On the one hand I am fully aware that they crave any attention they can get and as such my article just adds to attention I do not want them to receive. On the other hand I cannot with good conscience remain silent when I am in the vicinity of hate and bigotry.

THE FIRST AMENDMENT

Oh that darn freedom of speech clause! You know, it’s not easy being a citizen of the United States. In order to be a citizen we have to agree to allow others to speak freely in this country. We have to agree to stand by while someone fills the airwaves with hatred and says things that make our skin crawl. We do not get to pick and choose who can speak and who can’t because once we do that we have undermined the principle of freedom upon which this country was built.

That is a tough reality to swallow! To put it another way, I have to be willing to allow hate, to allow bigotry and to allow racism if this country is going to live up to its ideals and principles. DAMN!

THE NATURE OF HATE

I have always believed that the parents of hate are fear and ignorance. There can be no other logical explanation. Children are not born to hate. A newborn child is naturally trusting and accepting. It is only through continual years of indoctrination that a child grows to be spiteful and oozes venom from their lips once an adult.

But what about those who are now adults? Once one reaches the age of reason, who is there to blame? Where does a person find the justification for such hate.

Well, if we are to believe the parishioners and followers of the Westboro Baptist Church, the justification comes from The Bible.

I CHOOSE TO SPEAK OUT

I have read the Bible. I do not find the Bible to be a source of hatred but rather a source of love. How is it possible that I could interpret that book so differently from those of you who use it to justify bigotry?

What God do you pray to at night? How could an all-loving creator of all beings be used as a symbol of the kind of bacteria that you profess?

I am quite certain that if you were confronted about this you would say that you do not hate, that you are only professing what God has taught you. Please, do not hide behind God. Stand up and tell it like it is….that you are petty, mindless, bitter, myopic people who have hatred flowing through your veins.

Why do you hate gays and again, don’t tell me what the Bible says according to your interpretation? Why do YOU hate gays? Do you even know one? Have you ever sat down and had a conversation with one? I’ll tell you a shocker and I’m laughing as I write this: there are most likely gays in your congregation who have not spoken out because they are afraid of the retribution that awaits them, not from God, but by those of you who cannot form an intelligent thought on your own. Wouldn’t that be hilarious, if one of your best friends at Westboro were gay?

The people of Olympia handled your protest quite well I thought. They did not engage with you but left you alone on one side of the street while they held their own rally on the other. On the one side was a large group of positive, loving people while on the other side was a meager group of lost and pathetic people drowning in their own pool of ignorance and fear.

And really that’s how people like you need to be handled! You have had your fifteen minutes of fame and you now need to fade back into obscurity with all the other professors of hate who came before you. To acknowledge you any further is to give you a value you do not deserve. We have to allow you to speak in this country but we do not have to listen to you. You see, in the United States of America, not listening is as much of a freedom as speech is and from this day on I choose to not listen to you.

An update: The Westboro clan plans on protesting in Connecticut following the deadly shooting at the school there. I wonder this: what would Jesus do?

2012 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

For more on ignorance and fear see the following:

http://billybuc.hubpages.com/hub/Social-Issues-Fear-and-Ignorance

To buy my Lifestyle Choices book on Kindle go to:

http://www.amazon.com/Lifestyle-Choices-ebook/dp/B007ZV9G2U/ref=sr_1_3?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1336064586&sr=1-3

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    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mary, only God can help the WBC! I would have a hard time finding compassion in my heart for them.

      Thank you!

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 4 years ago from New York

      Geeze, I almost missed this one altogether. How could that be?

      Anyway, you always prove that love is the way to handle all. "Love one another", "For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you...." God help the WBC!

      Voted up, useful, and interesting.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Tom, I love the Bible quote...great line buddy! Thanks for the YouTube video; perfect!

    • Tom Koecke profile image

      Tom Koecke 4 years ago from Tacoma, Washington

      Our home state of Washington should be safe from them since we legalized gay marriage and marijuana simultaneously, thereby holding true to the Bible wherein it says "if a man lay with another man, he should be stoned."

      I'm surprised these people aren't met with violence more often.

      I don't have the answer to what would Jesus do, but here's a clip of what the Foo Fighters did: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6e5hRLbCaCs

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Teacher, one look at their website should qualify them as a hate group. It is unbelievable that their right to free speech has been protected this long.

    • justateacher profile image

      LaDena Campbell 4 years ago from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz...

      Bill - I am ashamed to say that this "church" is from my state. I have had to listen them for far too many years. I hear there are petitions around that are trying to get them classified as a hate group. They certainly fulfill all the requirements of one...

      Tammy - I read that they are going to say that the tragedy was brought on by God because they just passed a law that legalized same sex marriage. I truly hope that none of their children are harmed or killed - what would they say to that?

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Tammy, they are going to protest Connecticut's right to gay marriage law, and they are choosing the school as the site of the protest. As you said, just when you think it can't be any worse.

      Thanks my friend; keep the faith, what's left of it. :)

    • tammyswallow profile image

      Tammy 4 years ago from North Carolina

      This is just sickening. What are they going to protest, the killings or are they saying that life deserved to be taken? These poor families have been through enough. It is no wonder the nation is so divided on religon. These zealot groups really make everyone wary. I couldn't imagine this situation being any worse till now. :(

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Cool!

    • lrc7815 profile image

      Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

      Google it Bill. It looks like Anonymous is on it.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Linda, bless you, and of course I agree. We can come together. Someone in Newtown needs to make a stand against this insanity and hatred.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Nell! I'm not sure how you stop free speech, but I hope someone finds a way to stop this free speech. It will cause too much pain at a time when this community needs healing.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 4 years ago from England

      Hi billy, the trouble is as you mentioned, ignorance, and in the case of gay people these people don't realise that its just nature that makes people different, I have seen either these or others like these on tv over here and they make me so mad, but thats their aim I believe, I hope they don't go to connecticut, and if they do they get stopped, I sat and watched through th night the vigil over here and it was so warming to see so many faiths together at this horrible time, nell

    • lrc7815 profile image

      Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

      Bill, my friend, I am so proud of you for writing this one. For this group to protest at Sandy Hook makes me ill, literally. I watched last night as clergy from every faith came together in Newtown to offer solace to the families who lost loved ones. I was so moved by the unity of Jews and Muslims, Lutherans and Catholics, Bahai and Christians. It was proof that we can come together as one people. Now, to read this hub and news, I find it hard to express my disdain. Thank you Bill. I hope all your readers will post this on their facebook pages, twitter accounts, etc. And, I hope this group will be met with a force like none they have ever seen - the force of LOVE.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Alexandra, I have no answer for your question. The Supreme Court ruled that if speech harms others then it can be curtailed....it would seem to me that this is harmful to the survivors and families, but that's way too logical. :)

    • profile image

      SilverGenes 4 years ago

      Bill, this is an excellent article. I have a question though... at what point do we cross the line from free speech to hate speech? It seems that line was crossed long ago with these people and I have to wonder why they are allowed to continue spewing this kind of venom. As for your question in the update, one can only hope we find out.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      pstraubie, I will never understand this kind of hate. I understand not agreeing with homosexuality, but I do not understand hating people because of it. This kind of hate is beyond my grasp.

      Thank you!

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 5 years ago from sunny Florida

      billybuc...you nailed it with so many points. I cannot imagine belonging to a group that is filled with hate. How much turmoil must fill their lives seemingly on a daily basis. If only the hate could be turned to love, what a difference they could make.

      Hate destroys those who allow it to consume their lives as well as those to whom it is directed.

      How funny it would be if in an among the WBC congregation sat those as yet unidentified Gays as you said. How sad on the other hand for them if they must hear the way they are spit up and chewed out by those who have not God's pureness of spirit.

      To silence them by not listening as you suggest takes the sting of their hatred away to a large degree. If I ignore you I give you no power over me. That is an excellent suggestion. Thank you again for telling it like it is.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Lisa, thank you so much! I have seen this kind of hate my entire life; believe it or not, it was commonplace when I was a child. I'm not sure if we have made gains as a society or if the hate is sneakier now and not as vocal. That's why this group is such a shock to the system; a group hasn't been this vocal in a long time.

    • Lisawilliamsj profile image

      Lisa Williams 5 years ago

      This is an amazing article. I have heard about these people picketing at soldiers funerals. When I lived in Florida my husband used to listen to this shock jock named Bubba the Love Sponge. He actually let one of this groups leaders (or spokes people), come on his show to spout ignorance for like a hour or two in exchange for them not to picket at a soldiers funeral that was happening the next day. After the time was up he rebutted her and the audience knew what was going on so it was tolerated and they did not picket the funeral.

      I can not believe that there is still so much hate and ignorance in the world. Thank you so much for this fantastic article. I voted up!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Aurelio, I don't either and never will. Thank you!

    • alocsin profile image

      alocsin 5 years ago from Orange County, CA

      I just do not understand people who use the Bible as an excuse for their hate.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jdrogers, thank you; we walk the same path.

    • josh3418 profile image

      Joshua Zerbini 5 years ago from Pennsylvania

      You are welcome Bill.

    • jdrogers91 profile image

      Jimmy Rogers 5 years ago from Muscatine, IA

      I may not be very religious, but I have respect for religion. Acts or organizations like this truly sicken me, and paint a horrifying picture of just how far religion can go. Voted up, interesting.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Josh and of course I agree completely. This kind of hate will always be a mystery to me and I have very little tolerance for it.

    • josh3418 profile image

      Joshua Zerbini 5 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Bill, this is a great hub on such a relevant topic. I had things about this church, but am now shocked as I read some of the comments you posted from their website! I am a Christian, so it is an utter shame to see others acting in such a hateful, despicable way! I have gay friends, and I treat them with unconditional love and respect! How else will they see the love of God, if i am retributing them? Thanks again Bill, voted up, useful, beautiful and shared!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Truth, thank you for visiting and leaving such a great comment.

    • truthfornow profile image

      truthfornow 5 years ago from New Orleans, LA

      It is a shame when people use God and religion to hate. Christianity is supposed to be about love for everyone. What scares me is how people are teaching hate to young children to where they are on the Internet singing a song of hate and getting praised for it. Negativity does unfortunately get a lot of attention. We need more positiveness and love. Great topic to write about!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Skye, it's always a pleasure to see you stop by. I agree with you that number one, this group reflects poorly on Christianity and two, I'm sure some think all Christians are like this. There are extremes everywhere; it's for those of us in the middle to find some sanity and reason.

      I really appreciate you; take care, be happy and I'll talk atcha later.

    • skye2day profile image

      skye2day 5 years ago from Rocky Mountains

      bill Hello brother. Great hub you shared here. You are a great writer. These people are a sad, sad, sad, sick voice standing for Christianity. I think I have heard of these nuts before. These sort have twisted scripture per their own agenda. Yuk.

      Vengeance is mine say the Lord. God will deal with them, amen.

      I am happy you took the time to write this bill. Groups like this give true Christians a bad rap. Many in the world do think all Christians are like this. Not! love ya bro. hugs your way.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Tact, I am gaining more of an appreciation for you daily. I love your sense of humor and your "edge" that infiltrates all of your words. My kind of woman! I appreciate your words; I truly do. And thumbs up to your town in Idaho for making it clear that hate is not wanted there. Thank you!

    • Tactfullyrude profile image

      Tactfullyrude 5 years ago from Idaho

      Oh my dear sweet Billy, how do I love thee??? I have been such a slacker following my amazing hubbers, but my house is done and I now have 'some' free time. Imagine my delight that the first hub I read is yours AND regarding this disgusting excuse of a church!! What an amazing hub!! Thank you so much for sharing...The church was recently in our town here in Idaho, and I am proud to say I have amazing followers on my DJ Facebook and was able to help get the word out along with many other amazing individuals including our incredible bikers who worked together (regardless of clubs) to prevent them from ruining our sacred event, so much so that the church decided to go home haha!!! This is the 5th time they have been here and they have yet to do A THING! Hmm, if you 'know' your views are correct, why be scared to voice them? Our community banded together to prevent this hate from spreading in our wonderful little town!!! You are an inspiration to many Billy, thanks so much for your amazing words!!!!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Brian, a great addition to the comments. LOL...thank you!

    • profile image

      Brian 5 years ago

      “The more I know about people, the better I like my dog.” – Mark Twain

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Vicki, it seems that intelligence has a lot to do with whether hate and bigotry will continue into adulthood. I can understand the brainwashing at an early age but generally when I child heads off to school they start to understand differently. Not at this church evidently. Thanks as always my dear friend from Arkansas.

    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      I'm glad you decided to write this, Bill. Somebody needs to speak out. I love the video of the folks in your town, and I love how peaceful it was. I grew up in a very conservative church, so I was surrounded by some of that bigotry, although not nearly to the extent of Westboro. It didn't take me long to realize that the way some of the people around me thought was not how I thought. I don't understand intolerance and hate. Hate! What would Jesus do? Certainly not hate! Wow. So much to be said about this. Well done with everything you said.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sonya my friend, I'm always happy to see you on my site. I hope you are well and happy and thank you, as always, for stopping by and the warm wishes.

    • Sonya L Morley profile image

      Sonya L Morley 5 years ago from Edinburgh

      Cuttingly well-written my friend, I just don't understand how anyone can 'burn' with such hatred, but then, we know how to burn with love... What a spectrum we humans exist on! Take care, warm wishes to you over there.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Made, that is a wonderful comment. You are right, accepting the beliefs of others is most certainly a path towards mutual understanding. I have been taught acceptance my entire adult life. It is hard, though, when I am trying to accept hatred. Thank you my dear for your great comment.

    • Made profile image

      Madeleine Salin 5 years ago from Finland

      I live in the so called "Bible belt" in Finland with different Christian churches. I know that members in some of these churches don't accept homosexual people. I think they have been sitting on their butts in their churches their whole lives, and they have been listening to preachers telling them that being homosexual is wrong. They should go out in the world to see what the reality looks like, and start to think themselves. On the other hand, I need to accept their opinions. Thank you for writing a great hub. Voted up!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Minnetonka, hello my friend. I hope this finds you and your sister doing well. Thank you for visiting! As you can see from the hub I have no patience with this kind of belief system.

    • Minnetonka Twin profile image

      Linda Rogers 5 years ago from Minnesota

      Dear Billy-You couldn't have said it better. Bravo to you for writing this hub on hate. It always blows my mind when people take the bible and make up their own rules to fit them and their beliefs. Great job!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Shea, that is a point I've often thought about. I don't think Jesus would be a hit in Topeka, Kansas, at least not at that church. Thanks my friend; I appreciate you stopping by.

    • shea duane profile image

      shea duane 5 years ago from new jersey

      Great hub Billy. Those people are just crazy... all that hate. Christ could show up and tell them that he loves all people, and they probably throw rocks at Him.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Ruby! There are times when we simply cannot be silent and this is one of those times. I appreciate you greatly.

      bill

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 5 years ago from Southern Illinois

      These people are full of hate, hiding behind a church. If they knew God, they would know that God loves us all and reminds us to NOT be judgemental. GREAT hub Bill..

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sha, I have seen this my entire life, as have you. There is no logical or rational way to explain this kind of behavior. Of course, it is not for me to explain and in this case I choose not to even try to understand....

      I have now given them my fifteen minutes and they can crawl under their rock and disappear, only to be replaced by another, and another, and another.

      Such is the nature of mankind.

      Thank you as always my dear friend. Have a wonderful remainder of the weekend.

      LOL

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Mdkenzie! I would hope people can differentiate between true Christians and groups like this one. I do like you description of hate...a degenerating disease. Nicely stated!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Amy, as always, you are an eloquent speaker of the truth.

      In all honesty I wrestle with the subject matter of my hubs at times. I never want to sound like I'm preaching and yet sometimes I'm afraid that's what it comes across as. But....I simply cannot in good conscience stay quiet when faced with hatred of any kind. To stay quiet is to give affirmation to it and I won't do that.

      Thank you my friend and I do, in fact, consider you a friend.

    • Mekenzie profile image

      Susan Ream 5 years ago from Michigan

      I have been appalled by the position this Church has taken. Makes it difficult for people to differentiate between this ignorant bigotry and those who know God and love Jesus too. I'm sure it is especially hard if your Church affiliation happens to be Baptist ... I've never known Baptist's to believe like this Church. SAD

      "God so loved the WORLD that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes in HIM might be saved." God loves the WORLD .. that means everyone He created. He longs for all of his creation (all of us sin) to believe in Him and accept the gift of salvation provided through Jesus. Jesus died for ALL.

      Thanks for exposing hate ... it is a degenerating disease.

      Mekenzie

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      Shauna L Bowling 5 years ago from Central Florida

      Touche for speaking out about this, Bill!

      Hate is so unadulterted and never justified! Some may hate me because I have blue eyes or because I'm short, or hell, let's really stretch - because I'm a woman!

      Obviously, this "church" is unaware that God is Love and He made man in his own image. We are all humans on this earth struggling to make a good life and to be honorable human beings. Tell me, what on earth (or Heaven) does it matter what your sexual tendancies are?!

      What does matter is how kind a person is. How caring. How giving. How LOVING. How unselfish. How FORGIVING!

      How can these people truthfully live behind glass houses? What would they do if they discovered one of their children is gay (which, as you know, means joyful!) Would they disown them? Or worse yet, burn them at the stake?

      I just don't get it. If you have an aversion to a certain mindset or way of life, walk away. Live and let live. I don't like mean people, but do I make a public ass of myself? No. I avoid mean people.

      What will really get these people's goat, is unless they claim Jesus as their Savior, their names will not be in the book of Life. They will not walk from this earth in twos. But then again, God is forgiving. Perhaps they will!

      I was raised Catholic (oh... another reason to hate me! I'm a blue-eyed-short-female Catholic!!). We are raised to believe there is a Heaven and a Hell. We Christians know we fight the devil each and every day (he's the one that tempts us with monetary gain and all that compromises our Godly souls. He's very clever, really. Travelling thru our lives incognito!)

      I, for one, pray for their unhappy souls. They are fighting so hard to deny all that is God. They should try going inside themselves, individually, and become leaders, not followers.

    • Amy Becherer profile image

      Amy Becherer 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      The problem is that those 15-minutes of fame are enough to rouse enough hatred to last a lifetime in those so motivated. I still have a difficult time wrapping my mind around the fact that a maniacal German house-painter roused enough hatred to murder millions of people that didn't fit his plan for a master race. I don't want to hear what a powerful orator he was...he spewed hate. It speaks to the cowardice of those that were only following orders. He was one poor excuse for a man. Those following orders numbered far greater. And, how many have died in the name of religious differences? Far too many. It drove me from the back of the church, up and out the door. I believe in God, but not a human concept of organized religion. In the case of Hitler, I cannot abide one positive attribute bestowed upon a monster, for that tells me it could happen again. Yesterday, a city in Syria was subjected to further murders, leaving more civilians dead than surviving. Groups like the Ku Klux Klan still live on. Despite what humanity learns from history, it still repeats itself with intolerance and hatred for those you think differently. God created each of us, intended to be unique, with out own set of ideals and goals. If that isn't enough to see our diversity as a god-given gift, what is?

      Fantastic piece, Bill. Don't ever give up speaking your peace.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Time2rite, thank you for your comment. I have very little patience for people who use the Bible as a shield and an excuse. I appreciate you taking the time to leave your comment.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Twodawgs, an interesting perspective. Thanks for your add and for taking the time to leave a meaningful comment.

    • time2rite profile image

      time2rite 5 years ago from Navarre, Fl, USA

      Great hub, BillyBuc! This is a topic that needs addressing: hatred. Ugly word (shudder).

      I have found in life, both as a Christian and a human, that it takes a small heart to hate and a much bigger heart to love. I find that love is much simpler and the better choice!

      The Bible clearly states in IJohn 4:7-8 that God is love and we are to love one another, that if we don't love we don't know Him.

      I'm saddened by the fact the WBC protests the very soldiers who gave their all to protect the freedoms they have to assemble and speak out...

      Great piece! Blessings!

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      twodawgs 5 years ago

      Many of us grew up learning to love the good, and hate (or do battle with) the bad. Who's to say that's not all the members of WBC think they're doing?

      So for me, this raises the question: Who's the authority on what is really "good" or "bad"? Everyone has different opinions. And more importantly, what good does it do to hate something bad, even if everyone agrees it's bad? Does it keep us safe from it? Usually not; if anything, it may actually draw us closer to it. So why waste precious mental and emotional energy on something that does no more than just make us and others miserable?

      The conclusion I've come to - for myself, anyway - is this: Hate nothing - even the bad. Make the focus of all your mental and emotional energy upon all that you love in the world. Hating anything - even the members of WBC and all they stand for - only hurts us, and feeds their hatred.

      And they have unwittingly polarized the rest of society - Christians and non-Christians alike - on the side... OF LOVE. That is something we can be truly thankful for.

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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      The more I read about this, Xenonlit, the more I realize that through word of mouth there is always a counter-demonstation waiting for these people. I think the word is out and I love the way most groups are handling these hate groups....thank you!

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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Chloe, I agree...awareness is the key. Thank you so much!

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      Xenonlit 5 years ago

      I am concerned that counter demonstrators do not follow them where ever they go. What is wrong with us? Great hub!

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      chloelozano 5 years ago

      It is kind of scary that "churches" like this exist. It is also pretty disgusting. I took a glance at the website and was appalled, although the URL of the site pretty much says it all. Thanks for this article. People need to be aware that disgraceful places like this exist.

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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Gail! I was equally impressed with how everyone handled the situation. There is no reason to confront these people. They will fade away in time.

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      Gail Sobotkin 5 years ago from South Carolina

      I love the way the people of Olympia handled the coming of this small group WBC group- with peace, dignity and a community display of what love of neighbors, friends, family and self looks like.

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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Dee, I suspect you are correct...anyone who comments is the "choir" in hubs like this one. The ones who hate would never consider for a second that they are wrong. We need to just increase awareness and outnumber them. Unfortunately, when one hate group slithers back into obscurity another takes their place. Sigh! Thank you for the share and bless you always.

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      Dee aka Nonna 5 years ago

      You are so right...the "face of hate" is all around us, and I suspect many reading this hub have stared into the face of hate. It has always saddened my heart that those who hate the most hide behind their religion and the church.

      Like you, I do not interpret the Bible the way those who see hate, sin, judgement and exclusion interpret it.

      I am just really tired and weary of it all because like you said they spend o nanoseconds considering the thoughts or opinions of anyone else. How sad!

      Voted this up because it is a message people need to hear...but I'm afraid you are preaching to the choir. However, I think the message is important enough that it should be shared which I intend to do.

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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Shining, I did see that on yahoo news and it is also on Youtube now and it is a great sight. These little pockets of hate all get their fifteen minutes of fame and then slither back under the rock they came from. Thank you my friend; it is nice to see you back again.

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      Shining Irish Eyes 5 years ago from Upstate, New York

      I was taught to never feed into ignorance and prejudice of any kind for doing so would only further stoke the fires. After all, thats what these low lifes are trying to do - get a rise out of us. I do have to say, it would be very difficult for me to stand there and not say something if I were witnessing these fools. However, I researched the jerks after catching an article on the internet. The article was about a group of bikers who went up against them. The article included a video and I'm sure, since you wrote such an informative hub about this, you have heard about it. This group of bikers had to be one hundred strong and each one carried a huge American flag. They pulled up in front of these morons and each one got off their bike, grabbed their flag and blocked every single one of these creeps from anyones view, with the American flag. It was a "goose bump" moment. These bikers started a movement across the entire nation. Now, where ever these "narrow-minded" and "get-a-life" people protest, the bikers in that location are not far behind.

      The Westboro Wacko Wimps are the scourge on the face of our globe.

      Great hub and I thank you.

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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Hey Cyndi, always happy to give you ideas for hubs. :) I have often gotten ideas from other hubs so turn about is fair play. Gandhi was one of a kind for sure and we could all learn from his example. Thank you Lil' Sis!

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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jools, nutters for sure! I will never understand this kind of hate but then I really don't have to understand it....just oppose it. Thank you my friend.

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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Au fait, no, I didn't know you wrote on this subject. I will make sure to link yours to mine. Thank you for the visit and enjoy your weekend.

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      Cynthia Sageleaf 5 years ago from Western NC

      Profound hub - and even funny at times - the part about the first amendment cracked me up - it's not that it's funny, but just knowing you, I can actually SEE you saying that. Hehe.

      But, back to the point. I just watched an incredibly moving video on Ghandi last night. It truly inspired me. You have to fight hate with love. That's all there is too it. Lots of times, the haters will have more powerful weapons or forces, but in the end, love is the ideal that will prevail. When the British left India, it was because of Ghandi's peaceful resistance (who's followers sometimes DID engage in frustrated violence). In the face of hate, guns and non-reason, he remained steadfast to his cause. It makes me feel like I have a LOT of work to do if I want to make my own difference in this world. You also gave me a fantastic hub idea. Thanks! :)

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      Jools99 5 years ago from North-East UK

      Bill, interesting hub. And yeah, Judi's right, we call cigarettes 'fags' so their slogans don't quite cross over. The voices of good people should always be loud enough to silence nutters like this lot. Sometimes, when I read stuff like theirs I just think to myself,'Have they really taken the time to read what they've written and does it really sound like the words of sensible people?' - Nope, I was right the first time -nutters!

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      C E Clark 5 years ago from North Texas

      Well, as you know I wrote a hub about these people just 2 or 3 weeks ago, because a little 9 year old boy confronted them and said, "God hates no one."

      You didn't mention it, but there are only about 100 members in this church and 80% of them are members of one family.

      It's pretty horrible what some people do in the name of God. Just as horrible is what some people blame God for doing when really it is often people who are doing the horrible things with no assistance from God whatever.

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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Mhatter! I appreciate the visit.

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      Martin Kloess 5 years ago from San Francisco

      ...and in the name of the Lord. :(... but thank you

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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I believe that good always outnumbers bad and in this case most definitely so. Thank you for the following and best of luck to you with your writing.

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      Miche Wro 5 years ago

      sgbrown you are correct. It's the fear of the unknown. Hate is something that is taught. Things happen to people then they change their views of other groups of people. One apple spoils the whole bunch. Such a terrible saying. That's one apple, I am sure there are many more good apples in the bunch.

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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Sgbrown, and I agree with you completely. Fear is usually the main culprit when it comes to this kind of hate.

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      Sheila Brown 5 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

      I believe mean, hateful people are scared. Scared of what they don't understand. I believe they feel inferior down deep inside and try to make themselves feel better by belittling others. They can use God as their excuse if they want to, but they will have to face him when it is all said and done! Great hub, voted up and interesting! :)

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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Paula, I appreciate you stopping by in your weakened condition. I like your response and I will continue to work on tolerance. Get some rest my friend and we'll chat later.

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      Paula 5 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      bill....oh, bill....I'm a bit fatigued today as I was up very early and worked quite hard......so, honestly friend, for lack of energy, I will make this short and sweet.....God help us...and God bless us....for there will always be the ignorant, the pitiful and the hateful.

      This church(?) full of poor excuses for humans are all of those things and then some.

      We learn tolerance. They help us.

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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Jlava; there are times I simply do not comprehend my fellow human beings. I appreciate you, as always.

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      Jennifer Vasconcelos 5 years ago from Cyberspace and My Own World

      I could not agree more Billy, fear and ignorance are the driving force behind these crack-pots.

      I am glad I don't have a God like theirs - no wonder their terrified. I couldn't help but marvel at all of the malice their God does to his own creations, hating them, killing them, casting them into hell.

      Ignoring their antics is probably the best way to force them into oblivion.

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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Kelley, I'm afraid they would say that you and I are twisting the Bible to promote our own views. Sigh! It's best just to let them wallow in their own pool of venom. Thank you my friend and have a great weekend.

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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Judi, that had me laughing out loud. Great comment and it's always nice to see you stop by.

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      kelleyward 5 years ago

      Ha ha Judi Bee! This is a thought provoking hub Bill! I am a Christian and I am saddened when people choose to take statements out of the Bible and twist them to promote their own views. Thanks for sharing this important hub! Take care, Kelley

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      Judith Hancock 5 years ago from UK

      What makes this group even more ridiculous to British eyes (as if they need to be made any more ridiculous) is that we in the UK know cigarettes as "fags", so they just appear to be demonstrating God's hatred of the tobacco industry.