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The hypocrisy of the average common or garden bigot never ceases to amaze me. I cannot comprehend how a person can believe that by virtue of race, gender, sexual orientation, disability (or lack thereof) or any other reason, that they have a greater right to existence than another person.
Of course, there are some bigots bigger than other bigots, people and groups with that lethal combination of stupidity and fanaticism that so often makes history for all the wrong reasons. In medieval times, we had the Crusaders. In the early-to-mid 20th Century, we had the Nazis. And now, in the last two decades or so, we have the Westboro Baptist Church. Yes, I know they're old news to many people, but quite frankly I have to respond to them in some way!
The WBC has many prejudices, but the most vocal one is the prejudice they hold against LGBT people. The "Church" takes part in demonstrations against gay rights, distributes media claiming that homosexual activities are a mortal sin, pickets the funerals of gay people (particularly those who have had AIDS-related deaths or were the victim of a bigoted attack), and caries out other atrocious acts against the LGBT community. Their leader Fred Phelps justifies this (as do many other "Christian" leaders with an anti-gay bias) by his interpretation of the following Bible passage:
'Thou shalt not lie with mankind as with womankind; it is abomination.' Leviticus 18:22
Am I the only person who sees the problem with the interpretation of this passage? "Thou" addresses the reader, regardless of gender. Thus, the passage actually condemns gay men AND straight women! Heaven shall be full of straight men and lesbians!
All sarcasm aside, the fact that anyone would extract one sentence from a book that supposedly preaches love and peace for all people is worrying in the extreme. They would do well to remember a quote from a more modern source of philosophy:
The worst readers are those who behave like plundering troops: they take away a few things they can use, dirty and confound the remainder, and revile the whole. Friedrich Nietzsche
Now, I know that I have a reason to be biased against the WBC; after all I am an actor, and they regularly picketed theatres on the basis that "live theaters (especially Broadway musical productions) are a haven for homosexuality". But all personal loyalties to my profession and my LGBT and non-Caucasian friends aside, I still find the "Church"'s beliefs and conduct completely and utterly morally repugnant. Issues aside (and putting these ridiculous beliefs aside is certainly an issue), who could support a group whose members declare at funerals that the person being buried is going straight to hell? Who could support a group whose members support the assault and murder of harmless, innocent human beings? Who, in their right minds, could support a group whose members CELEBRATE A DEATH-CAUSING EARTHQUAKE because the people it killed were of another race?
As a supported of free speech, I unfortunately cannot call for the silencing of these bigots. However, I can certainly implore everyone else not to take heed of them.
Now to answer some predicted responses from trolls:
1) "You're a fag!": Actually, I'm not. I'm a proud supporter of gay rights, but I'm not gay myself.
2) "You're a heathen atheist!": Indeed I am an atheist. But I have no issue with religious people as long as they respect the rights and beliefs of others.
3) "You're a fag lover!": Well, let's see. I have several friends who are members of the LGBT community, and I love my friends. So I suppose, yes I am a fag lover. Thanks!