When I was in high school and college, I was a big “censorship is un-American” kind of guy. And, to be honest, I’m still that kind of guy. I believe authors, artists, musicians, and the like should be able to express themselves as they see fit.
And, yet, I find my limits being pushed. “Freedom of speech” is generally a good thing…until we come across a message that we do not agree with. Then, we find ourselves up against a brick wall. Is it freedom for all or freedom only for those we like?
No, I’m not talking about the new Cee Lo tune…that thing is funky! Yes, I know it’s wrong for me to like it…but I just can’t help it!
I’m talking about the “Christian group” known as Westboro Baptist Church. They are in the news again. And, every time they receive press, I get angry. Every time I see one of their signs, I find myself becoming furious. I get so irritated because they do so much damage in the name of the Lord.
While many Christian groups are out their trying to love one another and bring about peace and unity, Phelps is creating a great divide between his church and those outside its walls. His message of hatred does damage to Christianity as a whole. It’s not often that one can “hate” someone into the Kingdom of Love.
Most sane people, inside and outside the Church, can see Westboro Baptist Church for what it is…a beyond fundamental institution that does not represent the whole. However, some may see the folks of Westboro and think that they represent the thoughts and beliefs of all who follow Christ. Obviously, this frustrates me.
And, yet, the same freedoms I would proclaim to protect art, literature, film, and music are the same freedoms that grant Fred Phelps and his insane clown posse the right to stand on street corners and preach their hatred. So, if Phelps doesn’t have the freedom to say the crazy things he says, that means you and I don’t have the freedom to say the crazy things we say!
The thing that really seems to be lacking in these United States of America is common sense. Yes, Phelps and his crew are entitled to their own opinions. But, common sense would indicate there is a proper time and place to promote their agenda. And, a soldiers funeral would not be the time and place.
Wouldn’t it be awesome if the Church received media attention because of the extravagant love it portrays in our world? Wouldn’t it be awesome if, instead of being known for its protests and scandals, the Church was known for being a place of grace, mercy, compassion, acceptance, tolerance, and peace?
So, today, I came across some images that demonstrate some creative protests of Phelps’ sign carriers. I think it’s great!