“We have just enough religion to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another.”
Let me start by admitting that I am not as caught up on current events as I should be. I try to read the news online every day, but with Jenda in the house, our TV is dedicated to Noggin and HGTV. I don’t like Jenda to see the news because she finds it upsetting. Frankly, so do I. Let’s face it, when I saw in March of 2007 that James Brown, who died on Christmas of 2006 had, up to that point, still not been buried, I was so skeeved out I couldn’t sleep for days.
Recently, one of my facebook friends sent me a link to join the cause to “Keep Phelps out of Florida.” I was rather perplexed. I watched the Olympics and watched Michael Phelps make history, and I was so proud of him in his little Speedos, uh, I mean, with all his gold medals. Why wouldn’t we want him to come to Florida? Then I realized they meant Reverend Phelps. I am using the term ‘reverend’ very loosely. If you aren’t familiar with his particular platform, he is most famous for his “God hates fags” protests. I have seen this idiot in the news, and I can’t help but wonder why God would hate ‘fags’ but have such an open-door policy for assholes.
The more I read about Phelps, the more afraid I become of his hatred, stupidity, and megalomania. I can tell you that I do not profess to know the mind of God, but I try to live according to His will. Allow me to state categorically that I do NOT believe that homosexuality is a sin. I do believe that every one of us on the planet IS a sinner. That has been made clear, because if you believe that Christ was the Messiah, the Savior, as I do, then you know that he died for your sins. We are created in his image, but none of us is the Messiah. That includes Rev. Phelps. I like to think that the image we are supposed to be mirroring is the joy, the unconditional love that Christ embodies. I don’t know what that love looks like. Maybe I’m the one who is doing it wrong. Whatever the case may be, I find that some of my Christian friends are the most judgmental, unloving, close-minded people I have ever met. Remember Christ, the one who died for all mankind? He was laughed at, spat upon, ridiculed, and feared. Sure, he was radical, and his ideas were different, and his ideals were revolutionary. He died for those ideals. He died for us. So I wonder, do you suppose that God made his gay, lesbian, and transgender children ‘different’ so that they would know the travails of Christ? To see if maybe THIS time, the rest of us would get it right and embrace the Christ in them instead of judging them, somehow deeming them unworthy of love, and ultimately exiling them from our midst? Because if that’s the case, we’re still getting it wrong. I have to admit, too that I have prayed for Rev. Phelps and his raving lunatics. I know that diamonds come from lumps of coal. Perhaps Rev. Phelps or one of his followers will be converted as Saul was.
After reading about him, I found that he and his followers are equal opportunity hate mongers. They demonstrate at military funerals and cheer at the deaths of men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country. Phelps and his followers cheer their deaths and the grief of their families, but have perhaps forgotten that they have the right to protest because of those dead soldiers. They celebrate tsunamis and natural disasters because they believe that God has sent them to punish homosexuality and those who refuse to condemn it. This is pretty sick shit! But I have to look at it this way. If you are one of those “fags” that God hates, you are in wonderful company. He hates soldiers who die for their country, he hates President Reagan, Diana, Princess of Wales, Billy Graham, Coretta Scott King, and pretty much anyone else who doesn’t believe in his rancid rhetoric. So that includes me. And he has plenty of reason to hate me. I have no desire to condemn people who are different from me. My roots are showing (which really isn’t my fault since my stylist is out on maternity leave.) And to paraphrase the immortal Truvy from Steel Magnolias, “maybe he hates me ‘cause the elastic’s shot in my pantyhose!” So for those of you that he hates, I am PROUD to be in your midst.
I look at a group like the KKK and the stupidity of running around in sheets and hoods to spread their stupid racist rantings and crap. Phelps is a similar kind of lunatic, but instead of wearing leftovers from the Sears winter white sale, he cloaks himself behind his convoluted interpretations of God’s word. Perhaps he does this to mask his own failures and shortcomings as a man. It’s too bad, because we all have them, but there is no need to project those onto others. And I find that in most cases, the things that we hate about other people, the things that we fear most about them are the qualities that we fear and loathe most about ourselves. So for those who spend their lives clothed in hate, beating other people up with their fists and baseball bats, or beating them down with their words and their ignorance, I will keep praying for you. And I will, as always, hope for the best, because miracles happen everyday. But we also have to want the miracles. We have to embrace and accept others; love one another as Christ has loved us. If not, then Rev. Phelps, please stay out of Florida. In fact, go to Hell.
I’ll be glad to help you pack!