Recently, Washington state was in the news for a very bad reason. One mentally ill man went on a rampage, killing five people. Five people going about their normal lives, enjoying friends, coffee, or just driving to someplace on the list of errands for that day. I can’t understand why gunmen target coffee shops; this is the second one that has been targeted like this in our state. The last time was in Lakewood a couple of years ago, feels like last week. Now we have this tragedy.
If this tragedy wasn’t enough, now the Westboro Baptists think they can come up here and disrupt the funeral services that friends and families are holding to honor their dead so randomly taken from them.
The Westboro ‘fake’ist claim to be Baptist trying to get “God’s” message out to the public. This organization “pickets celebrity funerals and public events that are likely to get it media attention.”
Real Baptists or Calvinists (supposedly they follow the Calvinist theology), do not do this. True Christian believers seek to be “Christ”-like. “Love one another as I have loved you.” John 13:33-35. Jesus also told his followers to “Love your neighbor as yourself” Luke 10:24-38. Never once did he yell at people making choices that were contrary to what they “should be doing.” Well, there was the time in the temple but that was more being angry at people who knew better and were robbing those coming to worship. (Even now, I struggle to model Christ’s love toward these people.)
Calvinists believe in “stressing the total contingency of man’s salvation upon the absolute sovereignty of God.” Basically, either you will be a Christian or you won’t be, all by God’s doing. Nothing I do will change that. If the Westboro Baptists believe in this manner, why are they out there making a scene? Let God bring the people in. Let God judge, not man.
I wonder if the best approach is for everyone, news media included, to totally ignore these ignoramuses. Without the audience or counter protesters Westboro would have not platform to stand on. No one would hear their hate or their lies. This is neigh impossible because of the Westboro followers. They make a practice of going to places of great tragedy where many people will be gathered. By going under the guise of protesters, they abuse the rights of every American to gather and stand up for what we believe in. I say HOW DARE YOU!
How dare these people use pain, tragedy, and horror to spew the horrendous hate that they are known for. Death is hard enough for people to deal with. No one needs someone disrupting their lives more.
In an amazing local response, several local area pastors have made a stand, for which I am very proud of them.
Many people on Facebook are organizing an event to shield the families from these extremists. If you are in the area and want to help, go for it, http://www.wherevent.com/detail/Hilary-Dehey-Turnberg-Shield-families-friends-from-Westboro-Church-outside-Racer-Cafe-Victim-Funeral.
My fear is that these funerals will become about stopping the idiocy and not about celebrating, remembering, and grieving for those murdered. Let us not forget the true reason people in the Seattle area will be gathering this weekend. Let us remember the members of our community torn from their friends and family by horrendous violence.
Tell the Westboro Baptists to go home.