Monday, March 17, 2014

Sign of his times

The foremost proponent of divine hatred of "fags," America, Israel, Catholics, Ireland (no, really) and the rest of the world, too, reportedly is about to leave this accursed coil for an encounter with divine justice.

I wonder what the Rev. Fred Phelps of Westboro Baptist Church might think of finding one of his own signs at the end of the glory road.

After all, if God hates me, what would keep the Almighty from hating Fred, too? To presume otherwise would be the height of false confidence, don't you think?

And if God is the enemy of thee, what's to say he's not also the enemy of me? To presume otherwise is . . . presumption.

The two things we know about God are the two things we just can't keep straight about Him -- first, that the Almighty is all-merciful and, second, that He is perfectly just. We tend to presume upon one characteristic or overemphasize the other.

IN THAT RESPECT, the theology of God Hates Fags, America, etc., and so on isn't that much more screwy than what we hear about the supreme being from the rest of our culture, media or Father Feelgood. It seems to me that the theology of Fred Phelps -- the one he's about to have to defend under the glaring spotlight of Divine Truth -- is just more concentrated . . . and consistently negative.

If I'm Fred Phelps of Topeka, Kan., I'm worrying that I just might be screwed even if I'm right, because my God is a God who's spoiling for a smite. And I'm about to be in the crosshairs of the Holy Flamethrower. If I'm Fred Phelps, I'm thinking "I made myself and everybody else miserable for a God I can't even trust?"

What the hell kind of god hates everybody and everything? The answer lies in the question -- the "god" of hell.

And the problem Rev. Phelps will find himself hard up against is not the seething hatred of God for "fags," America, Israel, Catholics, Ireland, the world or . . . if the bad reverend has miscalculated . . . him. God does what He must and what He will, but hatred of his children isn't in the divine equation. God hates sin; God loves sinners.

NO, the problem Rev. Phelps soon will confront is that one of his scary band's whacked-out signs might actually be spot-on . . . and that it will be the one marking the end of his road.

This one.

Lord, have mercy.

1 comment:

Dez Crawford said...

Rejoicing in a death -- except possibly that of a serial killer, a Pol Pot, or a Hitler -- is just plain uncouth. Having said that, I did join a packed bar full of (mostly) women the night Ted Bundy was executed. The mood was strangely quiet as we all watched the news on the tavern TV, and then someone raised their glass and proclaimed, "Justice, at last." Everyone drank a toast, and many echoed "Justice!" There were some cheers and that was it. The funny part was that there was no formal arrangement for this. Everyone just gathered at their favorite watering hole to watch the news that night to confirm that he had been executed. We were all in college. Many of us had long brown hair. Any one of us could have been his victim. The air was much more of relief than celebration.

But rejoicing in the death of someone with whom you disagree on a political, religious or social issue? No matter how much of an asshole they are? NO! I despise David Vitter -- he is a self-righteous hypocrite -- but I would never celebrate his death. I confess that I might make a snarky remark about profits plummeting at the local cathouse -- that would be hard to resist -- but to celebrate a person's death? Never.