It’s hard to know what’s more shocking, the Supreme Court’s decision today supporting the Westboro Baptist Church’s right to harass a grieving family trying to bury their son, a fallen Marine, with love and dignity, or the appalling distortion of biblical teachings and grotesque characterizations of God emerging from the mouth of Westoboro Baptist’s spokesperson, Margie J. Phelps, daughter of church leader and counsel for the group, Fred Phelps.
Follow the logic offered by Ms. Phelps if you can: An all loving God created some human beings as homosexuals - psychologists now agree that gays were born that way. This very same God then condemns gays and chooses to destroy them and their families and any person or nation, for that matter, who supports them.
Now read these words uttered by her holiness, Ms. Phelps, following the court’s decision today as reported by the Huffington Post:
"Let me tell you what this church does: Shut up all that talk about infliction of emotional distress," Phelps said, in response to the claim by Albert Snyder, father of slain marine Matthew Snyder, which had provided the impetus for the lawsuit. "When you're standing there with your young child's body bits and pieces in a coffin, you've been dealt some emotional distress by the Lord your God."
The Huffington Post article continues:
The Westboro Baptist Church has repeatedly drawn controversy with its inflammatory picketing efforts, which often include bright signs displaying slogans such as "God Hates Fags" and "Thank God For Dead Soldiers." The congregation most recently drew fire in January for announcing that it would demonstrate at the funerals of those killed in the Arizona shootings, though it eventually backed down on plans to protest at the service of the youngest victim, 9-year-old Christina Taylor Green.
According to the above article, Phelps went on to say:
"I very much appreciate the fact that I get to be the mouth of God in this matter," she told reporters.
As a graduate of an accredited theological seminary with a master’s in divinity, I must say that Phelps is not the mouth of any understanding of God that I’ve glimpsed in my studies of the Bible and the works of leading theologians, or that I’ve experienced in my personal devotional life.
On the contrary, the God that I worship is a God of compassion, love, and grace who leads by persuasion, never by coercion, as vividly demonstrated in the life of Jesus who lived and preached non-violence. Apparently, Ms. Phelps, her father, and the members of Westboro Baptist Church, all of whom call themselves Christians, have never studied the life and teachings of Jesus.