If you can't guess by now who I'm talking about, it is the Westboro Baptist Church leader, Fred Phelps. No, I don't know the guy personally, but I did see the hatred that he spewed across the airwaves of the world. I saw his signs that he held. I saw many people hurt and wounded by his words.
I can't sit here and judge his place in this world, but I know that what these people spewed from the pulpit of their tax free church enterprise was way over the line. If they profess to follow the bible, I think they miss the entire sections of living their life like Jesus did. Jesus preached love, not hate. Jesus commanded that we love one another, not that we rip apart, destroy, and put down one another.
Yet, Westboro Baptist Church stands for anything but love. Fred Phelps taught these people and from the sounds of some of the children, he taught it in abusive ways. He might have professed to be the spokesperson for God and Jesus, but I would say if you observe his actions, he did not teach that which he proclaimed.
It would be easy to want to hate him as much as he hated everyone else, including the part of society that I belong. Yet, if I hate him like he did to me and many others, am I not just as bad as him? If I show hatred to him, then maybe I don't have a clue what love is? Maybe I'm no better than him.
Yes, it is hard to love someone like this in spite of what he has done and said. It isn't easy and I'm not sure I can completely show him 100% love. His words have wounded many so deeply.
Just as if my own father or older brother were to pass away, I'm not sure how I would feel. Their actions have caused deep pain in my life. I continue to work on forgiving them, but it isn't easy. It isn't easy to love them no matter what. Anyone that says it is easy to love someone like these people is not in touch with reality or they've truly never traveled through deep pain.
Maybe the best way we could show what his life did to everyone affected is to go out in the street and dance while we portray the spirit of life's celebration. Maybe we should all show that we are much more than hate, by living our life to the fullest. Maybe we should all reach for the stars to show that no matter how much hatred there is, we can love in spite of hate.
I learned a long time ago that the best thing I could do to get back at my dad and brother for what they did was to become all that I could be. The more I prospered and grew and healed, the more I diminsihed their power over me and over life. Maybe the same applies to Fred Phelps and Westboro Baptist Church.
Maybe we can love in spite of hate.
Blog Post And Images (c) 7/2/14 by Don Shetterly
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