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Many of you invoking God’s name are clearly not talking about “my” God

Posted by doatmon on October 5, 2006

Okay, religion and politics…I am going to try REALLY hard to keep this short and thus focus on the first and not the second.  I do not want this blog to turn partisan…rather, I want everyone, regardless of party affiliation (yes, even you, Libertarians…but maybe not you, Ralph Nader…everyone else) to share my outrage.  That said, me trying to keep this short is probably a little like the Editors at US Weekly vowing to keep Jessica Simpson out of the next issue.  We all know that’s not going to happen.

Perhaps I should start with a little history lesson.  Apparently there is something called the Westboro Baptist Church.  I always thought Westboro Baptist Church was the fictional house of worship that allowed you to write anything you want on the church sign and e-mail it to your friends, thinking they’d laugh, but instead, they delete it away and mumble about you needing more to do.  Apparently not.  Apparently it’s a “real” Church.  It was started by a wacko named Fred Phelps.  You know, calling him a wacko, maybe an insult to wackos everywhere.  But since the other words I would like to use, I’ll stick with wacko and apologize ahead of time to Pauly Shore and Congressman Mark Foley.

According to sketchy media reports, Phelps was sitting around flogging himself one day and thought: “You know, for some reason, my Church just isn’t catching on.  I need a key message.”  Well after some soul-searching, apparently he settled on his platform of hating homosexuals.  And he started protesting funerals.  You heard me right.  The guy protests funerals.  Now, I think we’ve all pulled a Will Ferrell and tried to pick up people at funerals.  Nothing wrong with that.  But protesting funerals?  And not just funerals.  He started with funerals of AIDS victims and beaten homosexuals.  Because they hadn’t suffered enough throughout their lives.  They needed one last attempt to take their dignity.

Lately though, he has focused on military funerals.  **Warning: partisan piece of this blog beginning…** While I would LOVE to see Cindy Sheehan with a pitchfork in her eye…nothing would make me happier…at least she has the “decency” to just sit outside W’s ranch and do booksignings where nobody shows up.  Not this Phelps guy.  He actively protests military funerals.  He brings signs that say, “God loves dead soldiers.”

Say what you will about the war.  Say what you will about those in leadership who started this war.  These people still died.  And left behind wives.  And children.  And parents.  And they died, in the tradition of other members of the armed services who lost their lives protecting the very same freedom which ALLOWS these jerk-offs to protest military funerals.  Do you think there were very many “Phelps” at funerals for the Wehrmacht?  Yeah, not so much.  But to a certain extent, I will give him his right to do this.  It’s his way of speaking out against an unjust war.  As an American, I will deride him, call him names and question his sanity, but I will grant him his right to do it.  Within 300 feet.  Let’s not be ridiculous.

Proving the old adage that all the good ones are taken, Phelps is not only married, but has pro-created.  His daughter, Shirley Phelps-Roper (You heard me.  She’s married too).  She carries the torch now and has protested all sorts of funerals.  Homosexual funerals.  The Sago Miners funerals.  Starbucks employees funerals.   She hits them all.  In the name of God.  Not publicity.  In the name of God.  She says it’s her religion that drives her to do this and she MUST do it.  Keep that in mind.

The group’s latest escapade is what I find absolutely unconscionable.  It is impossible not to have heard about the devastating incident in Pennsylvania Amish country this past week.  I cannot even imagine the scene or the impact on this community.  And perhaps even more shocking is that they remain true to their religion and are trying to forgive this man.  I cannot even begin to fathom this depth of faith.  I’d like to think I have it inside myself.  But if I were honest, I would doubt it.  I would give in to rage and revenge.  I am simply not that strong.  The whole nation mourns the loss of these innocent children.

Well, not the whole nation.  Phelps-Roper. This “woman” went on a prominent talk show and said things like the following:

“”Those Amish people, everyone is sitting around talking about those poor little girls — blah, blah, blah — they brought the wrath upon themselves,” Phelps-Roper said, adding that the Amish “don’t serve God, they serve themselves.”

So this “church” made plans to protest the funerals of these amish young women.  In the name of their religious beliefs remember?  Well, guess what.  Apparently even God knows the value of free airtime.  Our warm and fuzzy friend Phelps-Roper announced today that they will NOT be protesting the Amish funerals.  Why?  God told them not to?  Nope.  They realized that the Amish are just as devout as they are crazy?  Nope.  They were offered an hour of radio time in exchange or them not showing up at the funerals.  You heard me right.  These, the most religious of people, the ONLY people in the world, according to them, who aren’t going to hell, gave up their religious beliefs for an hour of radio time on Mike Gallagher’s radio show.  Priceless.

So let me get this straight.  I DON’T have to take communion every week if I write a column about it?  Those “Hail Mary’s” the guilt-ridden Catholics say over and over again?  Unnecessary as long as they fly banners over major sporting events.  Hey…Muslims…all that praying toward the Ka’ba?  Please.  Just send out a mass e-mail.

The sad thing is, as a PR hack, I don’t know whether to want to lock these freaks up or whether to use them as a case study on successful PR in my next new business discussion.

Oh and, I just got the new US Weekly.  Shocking.  Jessica Simpson’s in it.  We all knew it would happen.

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