Janna Thompson: Free speech
May 5, 2011
"No God fearing man or woman would lift a finger to fight for a country that is washed in sin the way the United States is." These are the words of Reverend Fred Phelps, the man that editor, April Rogers, spoke out against in her last column. I want to congratulate her for speaking out against some the most hateful and blinded people in this great nation. I absolutely agree with April that these people are washed not in the love of Christ, but raw, callous hatred. I first heard Mr. Phelps's message on Fox News, and to be honest it made me sick to my stomach. Slurs like, "All U.S. militants where raised for the devil and will be cursed blindly to hell," and "the movie Broke Back Mountain is the cause of 9/11, which we are sorry did not kill more people," where spat at the American public. Unfortunately, because of misguided people like Mr. Phelps, this is the impression that many get about Christianity in general. I am here to back up what Ms. Rogers said, saying no, this is not Christianity at all, and I am sorry that these people use my God as a scapegoat to spread their hatred.
I uphold and value the right of free speech, however, this is a classic case of a group of people who go too far. First, Mr. Phelps's church, the Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kansas, truly believe that every man, woman, and child is doomed to hell, everyone that is except the people of their church. Many preachers have commented on this serious allegation, but Mr. Phelps says that, "Any preacher who says otherwise is a lying, hell bound false prophet. If you are not a member of Westboro you are not a Christian. You are not going into the house of God but rather a whorehouse. You are filth and all but us are Lepers that will surely die." He even goes so far as to say that any version of the bible that is not NKJ is " a pervert Bible." A pervert Bible? Who gave him the right to comment on the word of God? Where does he get off saying that God does not except different translations? True some forms of the Bible are more accurate to the original scriptures, but they should acknowledge that the word of God is not something to spit on, especially for someone who calls him or herself a Christian.
How dare they say these nasty things about the men and women that sacrifice their lives to protect them! I don't see Mr. Phelps ready to die for me. How dare he judge those how are willing to do what he will not. If America is so bad then I say leave. Get out because this nation, democrats and republicans, are ready to honor those that fight for us regardless of the politics. Our troops are willing to fight no matter who sits in the White House and I applauded them for it (my own family having a long line of veterans itself.) God doesn't go around smiting people, he has sacrificed too much for you already to turn his back on you now, but one may ask oneself, are you turning your back on Him?
In the end Fred Phelps is just an angry old man who I hope one day finds some peace. I am sorry to the families of fallen soldiers and I think I can speak for the rest of us by saying that your son or daughter is a hero. Any person who serves this country is a hero. You should all stand tall and not let filthy lies ruin what you stood and still stand for, our freedom. God bless all of you, and thank you April for shedding light on this hateful subject. Here are some last words of encouragement: Jeremiah 29:11, "For I know the plans I have made for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
Class of 2010