Thursday, March 09, 2006

The Shame of the 'God Hates Fag' Church

The Christian name is once again defamed by the Pharisee-wing of the church for the whole world to watch.

The LA Times reports today that a Baptist congregation in Kansas has vowed to continue to picket the military funerals for fallen soldiers.

In the past, the homophobic 'God hates fags' Baptist church has picketed soldiers' funerals with words of damnation and ruin. In their twisted mind and un-Christian avowal, God is using the Iraqi war to smite a nation that condones homosexuality.

Imagine the inconceivable and sickening ordeal experienced by family members when a group of religious bigots decide to picket the funeral of a loved one, destroying precious last private moments. Recently, Oklahoma, Indiana, Missouri and Wisconsin banned demonstrations at funerals; and Westboro Baptist Church begrudgingly told reporters they will obey the law.

The Daily Telegraph of London also reports today that "a volunteer army" from the Patriot Guard Riders," a motorcycle band of brothers whose guiding principle is to pay homage to "fallen heroes, their families, and their communities" recently acted as honor guards to the grieving family members of Sgt. Rickey Jones. Jones recently died in Iraq from a roadside bomb.

Members were able to mobilized "more than 200 bikes" for the military ceremony; and because of the continued threat of demonstrations, "turnout was greatly increased" as a result.

Well, praise the Lord and Hallelujah; and a thousand Hossanas as well.

As a Baptist who loves core church tenets, recent Baptist history has annihilated the initial precepts of the faith. A story by the Associated Press via the Honolulu Advertiser retraces the church's origins; and no they did not start out as neocons.

Most Baptist factions trace their roots to Roger Williams, the 17th-century minister who founded Rhode Island and organized the nation's first Baptist congregation in 1638. The uncompromising provocateur was banished from Massachusetts for attacking state-sponsored Puritan congregations, demanding the separation of church and state, and arguing that American Indians had property rights.

Williams was fiercely committed to what he called "soul freedom" — or freedom of religion. Just months after organizing the first Baptist congregation, he left it and rejected the institutional church altogether.

Williams said he had a "restless unsatisfiedness" in his soul, and one of his contemporary critics called him "constant only in his inconstancy." Scholars say those attributes continue to mark the faith today.

"Wherever two or three Baptists are gathered together, there's a schism," said J. Stanley Lemons, the First Baptist church historian.

Funny, my core progressive beliefs lie closer to the vision of Roger Smith than Jerry Falwell, yet somehow the Jerry Falwells of the world were able to hijack the faith. As a person who believes in divine nudges, perhaps a few of the faithful will join the church and fight to bring the body back to her Biblical core.

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