Got Justice? Surviving in a Grossly Litigious Society

August 17, 2008

Why Fred Phelps one of the Strongest PRO-GAY Voices…

Filed under: Catholic,Off Topic,Religion,Soap Box Rant — gotjustice @ 1:01 am

I’m sure you’ve seen them before. In the media at the very least. A small group of people whose God-given duty is to spew vile messages and hate regarding what they view (correctly but very poorly skewed and emphasized) as a foundational biblical message. They are members of the Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kansas, and their ring leader is a very crafty and vitriolic man whose name appears in the title of this piece.

I am a native Topekan. I was born there, and lived there most of my life. Phelps and his crew were a common facet of life in Topeka: They picketed my High School (Topeka, KS) and my Church (St. Matthews Catholic Church). I went to school with some of their kids (who tried to list picketing as a “community service” for various applications). And after living through their shameless brigade of hatred and less than polite signs and rhetoric, I came to a conclusion:

Fred Phelps and his crew have done more for the legitimization of the homosexual community than almost any other individual. Or at least, he’s worked very well to support the homosexual agenda and give bait to those who need an effigy of the “intolerant hatred” spewed by the “religious wackos” who are opposed to homosexuality. He should probably put up one of these signs next:

Sorry, was that too crude? Not much worse then his regular stock, honestly. I hope he sees it and takes note. Actually, I hope somebody makes a real life version, and stands across the street from him…

So why do I say this? This is why: I watched the people of Topeka go from people who were neither ambivalent nor supportive of homosexuality in general in the 80s and early 90s, to overall a rather pro-homosexual group of people. Why the change. “Because I don’t want to be like that Phelps bigot”. Over and over I heard people cite Phelps as their number one reason that pushed them one way on the issue of homosexuality – and it was always towards the pro-homosexuality side of the issue.

Let me make one thing clear: I am not in favor of the legitimizing of homosexuality. I am a devout catholic, and I believe firmly that it is a distortion of human sexual love and intimacy. This is what the Catechism of the Catholic Church says about homosexuality, just for reference:

2357 Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity,140 tradition has always declared that “homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.”141 They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.

2358 The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God’s will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.

2359 Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection. (Catechism of the Catholic Church)

Phelps, by his ridiculously hateful methods has been the devils greatest ally. He has not only made being opposed to homosexuality seem the most bigoted thing in the world (compared to even 30 years ago when the complete opposite was true), but he has also lampooned in the mind of many Christianity as a small minded, hateful bunch that few people want anything to do with. Heck, for years I hated Christianity because I assumed deep down all Christians were closet versions of Phelps.

Let me make another thing clear: Though I view homosexuality as intrinsically disordered, I do not view people with homosexual inclinations as inherently wicked, any more than I view anyone who has lustful thoughts as a complete abomination unto the lord. I’m in the “love the sinner, hate the sin” camp – heck my mother-in-law is gay. We all face temptation, and some people – be it for reasons of nature, nurture or a combination – face sexual temptations with people of the same sex. It is not WRONG to be tempted, but it is a sign of our damaged human nature that we give in to temptation (and that we are tempted to some things my be also a sign of our damaged human nature – though not all temptation must be such a sign, for Christ himself was tempted thrice by the devil).

The absolute worst thing you could do if you want to “win souls for the Lord”, is make the religions seem like a bigoted, small minded group of saps (this is also my gripe with the Creationist groups); especially because the opposite is true. Christianity in general – and Catholicism in particular – are a sure road to the things that matter most in life: Truth, Beauty, Goodness, Peace, Joy, Love….God. We are all called to holiness, to grow to be the best versions of our selves we can be, to be conformed to love and the image of Christ Jesus. Phelps is NOT helping the cause. I don’t know why he thinks what he is doing is working, but anyone can clearly see that it is not.

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Got Justice?

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UPDATE: I’ve gotten a lot of hits on this particular topic, and felt it would be a fair place to re-direct people curious about such “back-wards” thinking as to some of the reasons that I (and moreover the Church) feels that Homosexuality is disordered, and is also the natural fruits of any culture which accepts contraception as a good.  See here.

Also, you might reading this book.

I’ll try to respond to comments soon…

10 Comments »

  1. Probably because he is a few apples short of a fruit basket.

    Sorry, but biology never read the bible. We do the best we can with what we are given.

    Comment by Richard Eis — September 23, 2008 @ 3:50 am | Reply

  2. This was a terrific post. I stand on the opposite side of this issue as the poster, but this may be the first time i have ever come across someone expressing the anti-homosexuality perspective with so much compassion and thoughtfulness. I agree that ridiculous cartoonish and hateful people like Phelps probably do more for my side of the argument than his, as well as making me wonder whats going on deep down inside Phelps’ sexuality.I have a great deal of respect for peoples right to beliefs that differ from my own, particularly ones which are based on a spiritual belief system. this posters compassion and well reasoned beliefs are worth paying attention to regardless of the fact that my life and belief system has led me to different conclusions.

    Namaste.

    Comment by Sean Lockard — September 24, 2008 @ 9:35 am | Reply

  3. As a gay teenager in a mainly-Catholic community I’ve heard some rotten, unjustifiable stuff from “Christians” like Phelps and his kind. It’s hurtful and humiliating and sometimes I feel pretty bitter towards the whole organised-religion shebang. That’s why it’s a breath of fresh air to see a Christian expressing their views in such a respectful, reasonable manner as you have done. This proves that we don’t have to be hostile and offensive to each other just because we don’t agree. Bless you hon!

    Comment by LadyM — September 24, 2008 @ 2:46 pm | Reply

  4. In Ireland we call it Ian Paisley factor. Paisley from the 60s to 90s was such a rabid anti-catholic, anti-republican, anti-Irish bigot, that there was always a rumour that he was put off-limits by the various republican organisations, because the moderate majority were so incensed by his behaviour he became a touchstone for the IRA.

    Comment by Donal — September 25, 2008 @ 2:55 pm | Reply

  5. Oh, and Paisley also shows even bigots can learn to moderate their opinions. I was born a catholic, but I’m better now. And happy I’ve living in a world (pr at least Europe) where all your bigoted predujices are becoming laughable. I figure I win, because I was born to the stupidity that is religion but fought my way to open-mindedness and aethesism and taught my 3 kids to think for themselves. So I’m 4 up.
    Homosexuality is GOOD, because it’s biologically NATURAL. Any other position is ignorance & dogma.

    Comment by Donal — September 25, 2008 @ 3:01 pm | Reply

  6. Or… you know, it’s possible that both of you are operating off of the same book – The Bible – and he’s just willing to go to the teeth about it. Dogmatic religious beliefs will *only* ever hinder the process of discovering workable human ethics. It’s more emphasized with screwball lunatics like Phelps, but people who quote the Bible as though it ever had anything original to say about ethics (aside from the Levitican bit about murdering our daughters and children for things that aren’t crimes) don’t help anything, either.

    The solution to the question is not a “correct” interpretation of the dogma of any church, but a *renunciation* of religious conviction in favor of *useful* conversation and honest inquiry. Being gay is not a crime. *Considering* being gay is not a crime. Lustful thoughts are not crimes. “Giving in to temptation” is not a crime.

    Comment by Steve — September 26, 2008 @ 1:45 am | Reply

  7. Those Westboro a-holes are also a bunch of shyster lawyers. They HOPE someone will take offense at their retarded signs and stomp one of their heads into a greasy spot on the asphalt so they can sue. And sue. And Sue. And sue.

    For Jesus.

    Comment by Dave — September 27, 2008 @ 10:21 pm | Reply

  8. I would like to start by saying that I appreciate your thoughtful and tactful approach to this subject. Yes you are right this manner of speech will win more souls than the hate spewed spawn that is Phelps. That however is the end to our agreements. I am going to quote you here, because it is precisely this narrow minded thought process that is slowly killing the western world.

    “I am not in favor of the legitimizing of homosexuality. I am a devout catholic, and I believe firmly that it is a distortion of human sexual love and intimacy.”

    Why must The christian faith (although I do more commonly run into it with Catholics not Christians) continue to preach this kind of vile crap. Human sexual love and intimacy is a truly beautiful and powerful sentiment that is so beyond the narrow minded view you are expressing. Why must we limit that and say it is wrong? Because it makes some people uncomfortable? Well war makes me uncomfortable but for some reason we think that it is culturally acceptable. What is the difference really, one is a war on terror and one is a war on sexual expression.

    Comment by Allen — September 30, 2008 @ 5:29 pm | Reply

  9. If anyone says homosexuality is unnatural, immediately refer them to this documentary and this book:
    out in nature
    and biological exuberance

    Comment by Kat — October 7, 2008 @ 1:22 am | Reply

  10. It’s a good step to desire that everyone be treated with respect and as equals, regardless of whatever “sinful” behavior they exhibit. However, if you’re going to be reasonable about this one thing, why not be reasonable about everything else? Whence comes this sin you are citing? There is no evidence in favor of the theory that homosexuality is any kind of disorder or maladjustment, or even abnormal, in humans as well as other animals. There is plenty of evidence that it’s perfectly natural. To continue regarding it as wrong in that case requires some kind of generalization that wouldn’t sit well with any thinking person. The burden of proof is upon you believers to demonstrate that any single piece of your dogma – catholic or otherwise – has any foundation in reality and is worth perpetuating.

    Comment by Andrew — October 13, 2008 @ 7:21 pm | Reply


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