Tuesday, July 8, 2014

That's Not Real Christianity

I lived in Topeka and went to KU. I’m writing because I read the story about you... I watched your story...and...I don’t want you to give up on making the movie because of what I’m going to tell you.

Last year my mother and my sister and me went to a concert and Westboro was there with their signs. We were celebrating my sister’s birthday that night since she was 14. Even though we grew up in Topeka we had never seen the people and the signs up close until that night and we had to walk close by them to get in the building for the show. Two of the boys in the Westboro people and a woman picked on my sister and said mean things to her because she was kind of a tomboy. We went on to the concert but my sister was crying about what the boys and the woman said to her. Two days later my sister hung herself on the rod in her closet. She left a note that said she was gay and dying in the closet was easier then living in it. Those signs and the hateful things that Westboro did killed my sister. Three months later my mom overdosed on pills and was in a coma for two weeks until she died. She thought my sister dying was her fault because she made us go to church and they taught that gay was bad...

From a friend"

Saying anything beyond this seems to dilute the impact.  I've deleted some content in the interest of protecting the author. 

At the same time this letter came to my attention I was reading a blog by a friend. The blog wasn't what stirred me though. I mean, the blog was great...her blogs are always great...but it was the comments on the blog that got me thinking. Specifically, it was one of those comments where someone insists that Westboro isn't real Christianity, most Christians aren't that way. Then the commenter goes on to explain that "real" Christians don't hate, they just think that some behaviours are evil and those who engage in them will  suffer exquisite torture for eternity.  

See the difference?

Well I sure as hell don't!

For the young girl in this letter, I can guarantee-damn-tee you that the difference was lost on her. I have no doubt that this girl spent years listening to the teachings of "real" Christians as they played word games that let them feel good about hating, while sending her the loud and clear message that she was evil and would suffer for it.

It's times like these when I grow weary of the bullshit. It's times like these when I am disgusted that someone wants to parse words and try to carve out a middle ground where they can justify their kinder, gentler hate while people are dying! I don't give a damn about any particular version of fantasy/religion when I imagine the real world reality of a parent finding their child hanging in a closet, or when I try to put myself in the shoes of this writer as she struggles to come to terms with the real world loss of a sister and mother.  

Ideas have consequences. Don't you dare get on your self righteous  horse and try to tell me that your version of hate isn't just another version of hate.  If you follow "I don't have a problem with gay people" with a " but", you are responsible for the death of this girl. Period!

There is no middle ground here folks. Either you accept that every human on this planet has the same rights you do, or you are complicit in the deaths of those you would trod underfoot.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

What disgusting people to shout awful things at anyone, especially a kid. Your family is truly delusional and I wonder how much blood they have on their hands. Thank you for speaking the truth N8! Thank you for refusing to back down when they attack you with their lies.

July 8, 2014 at 8:54 PM  
Blogger Philip CalledtoQuestion said...

What a tragic story.

I wonder if it is all just a cop-out, the whole "love the sinner hate the sin" stuff. This belief allows for the "believer" to put all the blame of punishment on "God", "Hey don't get mad at me. I love you, but God is the one who will punish you." and get off free of any blame of being hateful. I suppose they do not read the words in their 'sacred' bible that states, "Judge not, lest you be judged."

I find it extremely frustrating what some humans do all in the name of some imaginary divinity. My community is stifling with religion, the very air you breathe has a religious flavour to it. Just yesterday I received yet another door visit from a "believer" inviting me and my family to 'come to the Lord'. Blah! Yet I remain, I like to think of my family and I being agnostic missionaries to these uncivilized Christians. All I need to do now is raise support from fellow agnostics and atheists. :)

All the best Nate.

July 21, 2014 at 9:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excellent post, Mr. Phelps, thank you.

Humans being what they are, “Christianity” has become exactly what Jesus warned us against when he was alive. “Christianity” became the continuation of same religious power system that killed him, in fact. It is not a function of doctrines or even world views such as theism or atheism; it is just about power. Power corrupts. Power oppresses. Power kills. Give gentle mendicant holy men power and they will become killers. Give rational scientists power, they will become killers. And so Jesus was not a killer; Jesus was the killed.

Jesus had a message: RENOUNCE POWER. For me, this is the only meaningful definition of “Christianity”. Everything else that people call “Christianity” is bullshit. This girl was killed by a “christian” power-trip just as effectively as if they had stoned her a la John chapter 8. That seems perfectly clear to me, and yet in that very recognition, I have to pause, reflect, and lay down my stone. I have to try to lay down my anger at the crusaders and the inquisitors and the jihadis and witchhunters, the Calvinists and the Wahabis, even though I’m convinced they’re wrong.

Contrary to what all the churches say, Jesus does not command armies of angels to force you to do something or not do something (in fact Jesus specifically denies this in Matthew chapter 26, if you care, Jesus said he is just going to sit in the courtyard teaching until they arrest him). He gave us an example, that’s all, and he backed it up with how he lived and how he died. So I try to remember that. I try not to judge; I try not to condemn; I try to remember to live simply as an example, figuring it out as I go, because that’s all any of us can do.

Forgive the Christians, they know not what they do. And forgive me, I’ve not too sure either.

September 4, 2014 at 5:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Either you accept that every human on this planet has the same rights you do......"

So the rapist has the right to rape, the paedophile has the right to abuse kids. That's their choice how dare anyone judge them

March 4, 2016 at 10:44 PM  
Blogger Nate Phelps said...

No more than you do Anonymous.

March 5, 2016 at 4:16 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I truly despise that phrase "love the dinner hate the sin" for all th reasons you mentioned. It really is more than just rhetoric. It's hateful and terribly hurtful.

February 5, 2018 at 1:49 PM  
Blogger Shawny Darby said...

And I hate autocorrect. Lol

February 5, 2018 at 1:50 PM  

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