God hates everyone?

Erica Weisburn

Pack your swimsuit and find your tanning lotion. I hear hell is unpleasantly hot this time of year. Apparently I, and likely most of you, am taking a one-way flight to torture and misery with no hope for salvation. No passing go, and no collecting $200, just straight to Satan’s lair. At least that is what the Rev. Fred Phelps and the Westboro Baptist Church preaches.

I’ve had the privilege to study their beliefs, and, honestly, what I found angered, disgusted and saddened me, to say the very least. What other reaction did I expect from a church homepage like godhatesfags.com?

The Westboro Baptist Church’s views are nothing less than narrow-minded and discriminatory. As I browsed the site, I stumbled upon their idea of God’s hit list. Let me warn you now — you are probably on it.

I was welcomed by slogans like: God hates fags, God hates journalists, God hates America, God hates soldiers, God hates miners, God hates Sweden — the list continues.

Usually Phelps and his followers direct most of God’s hatred toward anything linked to homosexuality. But in some cases they spread the hate around.

According to the Westboro Baptist Church, God hates my colleagues and me for choosing journalism as our field of study.

“All media — in contemptuous hatred, disrespect, disregard — metaphorically urinate on the Bible,” the site says. “You are the helpless captives and bondslaves of his majesty the devil, slavishly working his will.”

It’s comforting to know I have enemies nation wide.

What adds fuel to my fire of repugnance, however, is the church’s attitudes concerning fallen soldiers.

“Our view of this situation is that God Almighty blew these kids to smithereens and sent them to hell,” claims the 76-year-old Phelps, who says God is punishing “a fag army — don’t ask, don’t tell — for a fag-loving agenda of a fag-loving nation.”

Phelps also added, “These turkeys are not heroes. They are lazy, incompetent idiots looking for jobs because they’re not qualified for honest work.”

So much for “support the troops” car magnets, I suppose.

Not only do they have these extreme opinions, but they parade them around at funerals proclaiming, “Thank God for Dead Soldiers” and “Thank God for IEDs (improvised explosive devices).”

The Westboro Baptist Church attended a memorial ceremony for the 12 miners who died in West Virginia earlier this year. According to The Charleston Gazette, “The group, led by a disbarred lawyer and his extended family, carried inflammatory signs proclaiming that the 12 miners were in hell because America tolerates the existence of gays and lesbians. They also sang a slur-filled version of ‘Take Me Home, Country Roads.'”

Coincidentally, it seems God hates everyone except the members of the Westboro Baptist Church.

A concluding message from the Westboro Baptist Church: “God hates you. You are living filthy lives, leading you irreversibly to hell; and you cannot repent. Have a nice day.”

Infuriated? Appalled? Feel free to contact The Westboro Baptist Church at godhatesfags.com. I’m sure they would gladly welcome any comments and questions.

Erica Weisburn is a junior newspaper journalism major and columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected].