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On being a Christian, Gay Rights, Picketing Soldiers Funerals and other stuff...

Earlier today I saw this shocking post on tumblr from thedailywhat about a Baptist Church that pickets soldier's funerals.  This isn't the first time that I've seen this issue come up.  This church has been at this song and dance for a while and each time I see something about them it gets me angry.

The Kansas based church pickets the funerals of soldiers, most of them have died in service to the country though some (from what I've read/seen) have also been veterans.  They picket to protest gay rights. 

They aren't picketing against the war, they're picketing about gay rights.

Before I even touch on why their actions make me angry - the correlation between the war and gay rights just doesn't make sense to me.  In responce to why they would picket funerals, the pastor replied:

"When the whole country is given over to sodomy and sodomite enablers ... the country needs this preaching."
There seems to be a disconnect of logic here.  Yes, preaching.  As a Christian - I agree with that.  However, I cannot nor would I ever approve of the method by which they go about fulfilling what could be an educational discourse of [insert positive topic].

Picketing a soldier's funeral, disrespecting the families of those who are having to say goodbye to a loved one is just cruel.  How does an act like that spread Christ?  What if those people saying goodbye to their child or sibling or parent are Christians?  How does that create a loving community of believers?  How does that win people over to your cause?

Alienating people and hurting them is not the way to have a positive discourse and convince them your way of thinking is right.  It's actually the opposite.

I know that a lot of people have and will take issue with my opinions on gay rights, and that by stating them publicly will probably mean that I'll never be certified as a pastor, but this is what I believe:
  1. Religiously - from what I've researched, I cannot in good faith say that my doctrine supports homosexual relationships.
  2. Politically - it's none of my damn business who you marry or what you do.
I've known gay people.  I have friends who are gay.  Heck, I've even written gay characters!  I have nothing wrong with people who ascribe to a different sexuality than what I think is 'right'.  I would never, ever dream of telling a person they were 'wrong'.  I think that since we have a separation of church and state and marriage is more like a legal contract, a joining of two functioning parts of the society machine, you should be able to marry whoever you want, and thumb your nose at anyone who says otherwise.  Yes, that's a very unpopular opinion for me to have in my conservative Christian circles, but it's what I think. 

Religiously, I have to stand by the historical-cultural context of homosexuality in the Old Testament.  I researched this because when I was in college the idea that there was an exclusion based on something as silly as sexual preference just didn't and in a lot of ways still doesn't make sense to me.  After researching it, I have to stand by the religious decision that God frowns on homosexuality.  I don't know what that translates to beyond death, I don't know if it's a deal-breaker for God, I'm just not the authority to say one way or the other.

(As a side note - if you really want to point out the OT talking about tattoos, before you do - go do some research please and then we can talk.)

After reading different articles on the picketing on CNN and NPR I'm angry and ashamed to be lumped with people who would picket soldiers funerals like that.  I'm a Christian, yes, I won't apologize for that.  I've always ascribed to a Love God, Love People mantra.  At times I know I fail, but it just boggles my mind that people who say they believe in Jesus would do something so hurtful and purposefully malicious.

I went to the Westboro Baptist Church website for all of fifteen seconds before I was too shocked and disturbed to continue reading.  They plan on picketing the school of a child who shot her mother in the head - because the child was sent by God to punish her mother.  How is this a "Christian" message?  It isn't.  The God they say is so hateful isn't the God I know.

3 thoughts:

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Cid said...

I appreciate freedom of speech, but if you're going to be profane on my blog and trash people, at least own up to your identity. I removed the comment above despite agreeing with it because of how it was said and my desire to keep this blog PG.

Stoner63Reflex said...

Yes, being a Christian as well, I agree totally with what you`re saying. These people are, well, there`s not really any other way to put it, totally insane, crazy, mentally afflicted. A way to stop this, would be to have some people picket pro-gay rights across the street from a funeral at their church.

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