Or so the Bible says … at least, according to the Westboro Baptist Church (WBC) of Topeka, Kan. During a long drive to L.A. this weekend, I thought of something that Louis Brandeis once said: “Sunlight is the best disinfectant.” What Brandeis meant was that if you want to expose something for what it is – if you want society to “see” – shed light on it. So today, I dedicate this column to the WBC, in hope that I will shed some light on the people that give Christianity a bad name.
I learned of the WBC last quarter while conducting online research for a sociology class. I’m not sure what I typed into the Google browser, but when I stumbled upon the WBC’s Web site at www.godhatesfags.com, curiosity took hold. I called my roommates in to have a look, as I perused the various tool bars and menu selections (there’s one dedicated to Canada since apparently He hates them as well), which make for hours of fun and entertainment. They even have traditional, family-oriented games like “lynch the sodomite.”
Needless to say, I thought the Web site was a joke at first. But after a more thorough search of the site, it became quite clear that what I perceived to be a morbid joke of some Web designer with too much time on his/her hands is actually the official doctrine of an actual church. I immediately bookmarked the site, knowing that I’d like to find out more about the WBC and the warped doctrine of Christianity being spilled from its pulpit. But before I had a chance to return to the site to gather more information to fuel my expose, those bastards at Fox “News” beat me to it.
I admit, I secretly love Fox – I love to hate it, that is. So whenever I have the opportunity, I inform myself as to how the other half gets its “news.” Sadly, when I listened to Shirley Phelps Roper of the WBC explain why “God hates fags” and why we should all “thank God for AIDS, for Sept. 11 and for dead soldiers,” Fox seemed to be the least of my worries. Ms. Roper explained to Fox’s “Hannity & Colmes,” exactly why God is punishing America by sending our troops home dead. Allegedly, the U.S. military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy is “enabling faggots,” which is, according to the WBC’s Web site, worse than actually being a “fag.”
If you are curious as I was about the WBC, I invite you to check out their Web site. There you will find out why the WBC has taken its stance against the not only “fags,” but the U.S. military, Sweden, Catholics, Jews and, of course, Canada (as if we need someone to tell us why we should hate Canada.)
Now, I’m no Baptist preacher, just a “fag” who, as a confirmed Catholic, was forced to read the Bible numerous times, until I decided Catholicism wasn’t for me. So while I’m not a theologian by any means, I do happen to have a rudimentary understanding of not only the Bible, but of that pesky little thing called history.
As you may or may not be aware, most Bibles printed today are dubbed the King James Version, since it was King James VI of Scotland who ordered a committee of biblical scholars and priests to translate the Bible into vernacular. But it is King James who is given all the credit, since he approved of the final translation. Now, whenever I read a book, I like to find out a little more about the author, so that I can be aware of not only my own “subject position,” but also about any bias the author may bring. I start by asking myself, “Who is the author?”
Clearly, the WBC never asked this question about who authored the King James Bible. Perhaps if they had, they would understand why his courtesans often called King James, “Queen James”: Because he was a “fag.”
Jack Ingram is a political science senior and a Mustang Daily columnist.