Religion

The worst of the worst….

I hadn’t intended to post anything today, but I do feel obliged to point this out:

Westboro Baptist Church, of “God Hates Fags” fame will be picketing Heath Ledger’s funeral. If you missed the news, the actor died yesterday at age 28. According to a press release put out by the church:

God hates the sordid, tacky bucket of sli me seasoned with vomit known as Brokeback Mountain, and he hates all persons having anything whatsoever to do with it… Heath Ledger is now in Hell, and has begun serving his eternal sentence there — beside which, nothing else about Heath Ledger is relevant or consequential.

I must disrepectfully disagree. This seems very consequential to me. I mean, damn!

Heath Ledger in Brokeback Mountain

Not to mention that Ledger had a much more loving and “Christian” outlook than the Westboro Baptist folks, according to this article from the Sydney Morning Herald. Apparently Ledger was distressed that some theaters were boycotting Brokeback Mountain and he had this to say about it:

Who gives a f—? Personally I don’t think the movie is (controversial) but I think maybe the Mormon’s in Utah do. I think it’s hilarious and very immature of a society.

He has a young daughter, too. Very sad.

writerdd

Donna Druchunas is a freelance technical writer and editor and a knitwear designer. When she's not working, she blogs, studies Lithuanian, reads science and sci-fi books, mouths off on atheist forums, and checks her email every three minutes. (She does that when she's working, too.) Although she loves to chat, she can't keep an IM program open or she'd never get anything else done.

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45 Comments

  1. The worst part of this for me is that there are so many young celebrities in the news at the moment who are almost deliberately killing themselves, and then Heath has to die in what looks for all the world like an accident.

    I didn't really need another reminder of how stupid, callous and, dare I say it, un-Christian the WBC is, though.

  2. Yeah, talk about adding insult to injury. I think that is one of the most awful aspects of religion… the tribalism that allows a mentality that completely dehumanizes anyone who doesn't believe as you do. In any case, it is really sad to lose Ledger; he was really maturing into a fantastic actor. It just breaks my heart that he has such a small child too.

  3. He has a 2 year-old daughter. His parents and the mother of his child will be at that funeral. And WBC is picketing why? Because he PLAYED a gay guy in a MOVIE? Are there space aliens where these people live? Does Elvis talk to them? How is what they're doing not considered hate speech? And I was pretty sure that it was up to God to judge people – so who the hell do they think they are? "Cast the first stone"? Ring any bells?

    Way more militant than usual today, but these "people" really piss me off…

    Rant over.

  4. Wow, that is some class right there. I mean for frick's sake! Picketing at someone's funeral? Where the loved ones are in mourning? Over a part he played in a movie,?! People like that need to be put in a lab and studied for their sheer stupidity and lack of…anything remotely human.

    Ugh, that just makes me so angry!

  5. I will admit that there is a part of me that wouldn't mind seeing Phelps beaten into a bloody pulp. In the end though, I can muster nothing but pity for him and his followers. The greatest irony of Westboro Baptist is that their minds are filled with such soul-eating hatred that they have created a Hell for themselves, walked into it, locked the door, and happily thrown the key out of the window.

    What an awful existence to choose.

  6. Well, if society chooses not to treat someone who is mentally ill and deeply annoying, there might come a point where their behaviour does result in some negative outcome, especially if they make a habit of troubling people in sensitive states.

    If someone had an illness that caused them to bang on people's doors in the middle of the night, sooner or later they'd end up getting punched.

    As for the followers, delusions can be contagious, and if they really believe they're doing god's work, rather than just being bigots looking for a divine excuse to act disgracefully, maybe they should be in line for treatment as well.

  7. PH wrote:

    Well, if society chooses not to treat someone who is mentally ill and deeply annoying, there might come a point where their behaviour does result in some negative outcome, especially if they make a habit of troubling people in sensitive states.

    Well, the problem is that when the mental illness is masked (perhaps even replaced?) by fundamentalist christianity, the law is powerless to do anything other than sitting by idly until it's too late, by which time the mentally ill person has ended up either in jail or hospital.

    The problem is not that they can't tell the difference between right or wrong (one of the possible requirements for an insanity plea in court I think), it's that their version of right and wrong match that of a 2000 year old book of fables, not that of modern day civilisation.

    So you get crackpots, like that mom who killed her kids, going to jail instead of getting the mental help she desperately needs on account of a legal detail.

    The church is really doing its members a disservice there.

  8. The greatest irony of Westboro Baptist is that their minds are filled with such soul-eating hatred that they have created a Hell for themselves, walked into it, locked the door, and happily thrown the key out of the window.

    Well put, SteveT. I try not to pay much attention to them anymore, but they keep insisting on stooping to even more reprehensible behavior to grab more publicity.

    Ledger was such a genuinely talented and unassuming actor, and his Brokeback role, even though he downplayed it, was historic in cinema. His loss is so incredibly sad.

  9. thad said, "I think this will generate very good publicity for WBC… note that 'good' is not necessarily going to be their perspective…"

    Yeah, kindof makes you think of the Nazis with their "Gott mit uns" (God with us) belt buckles, huh? Well, this discussion reminded me of that anyway.

    I think most of the WBC folks are acting out of fear. ph, I think they do probably believe they are really doing God's work. Hitler probably didn't think he was a bad person either. I can imagine people having all kinds of warped ideas about what its good. But I can't really imagine someone wanting to be evil.

    It makes me wonder if people like this have some sort of scrupulocity (religious OCD). Perhaps all fervent religious folks are mentally ill? It sure makes more sense to me than to think that you can become stupid for some portion of your life. I mean, I'm not dumb but I succumbed to fundamentalism for over a decade. So what was going on? Was it just a cop out for me to not have to face the complex world of adult morality (I became a fanatic when I was 14), or was it a form of OCD? (According to my doctor, I do have mild OCD that manifests in other areas.)

  10. w_nightshade commented about picketing funerals, but that's most of what WBC does. For years they've picketed the funerals of Soldiers and Marines who died in this country's service (that would be the USA) because serving a sinful country unto death is a guarantee of Hell in their theology.

    Finally a group of retired military types organized to block WBC people away from the funerals. I've seen video of a civilian crowd at a funeral forming a mob and charging Westboro's contingent, forcing them to flee at high speed in a minivan with broken window.

  11. I can't help thinking it'd be very interesting if there *were* some common organic cause, and someone could come up with an effective pill to treat it.

    Ultimately, I guess these people may just cause temporary distress for the relatives of dead people, but they can easily **** up the lives of their children.

    Presumably it has to get to the point of clear physical abuse before there's any chance of state intervention?

  12. I hate to be *ahem* skeptical but… is this actually real? This info was posted on a couple other sites and a lot of people were suggesting this was a photoshop. We'd all love to hate these guys for this, but… yeah.

  13. I found the image of the press release in a couple of places, but I found quotes and interviews with WBC leaders all over google news headlines. If it is a hoax, I'll certainly post a retraction. Given their history, though, I kindof doubt it.

  14. I grew up in Kansas, and if it isn't evident from everything else they do, they'll do absolutely anything for attention. They protested at pretty much every ballet and opera I went to in high school (because sometimes there are gay people in the cast?), and even protested at my sister's graduation from Kansas University (this one was harder to figure out – maybe because KU has an LGBT program? Who knows?).

    The graduation got interesting when my mom saw one of their signs that was referencing the holocaust. She moved here from Germany about 20 years ago,so this is still a very touchy subject with her. She kind of lost it and started yelling at them. It was awesome.

  15. cognitive dissident asked,

    What is wrong with the members of the WBC that they’re so consumed with hatred?

    It's an infection, chronic and usually terminal, often referred to as religion.

    They're supposed to come here to Jacksonville, NC this Saturday to picket because of Cpl. Lauterbach, the pregnant Marine that was murdered and has been in the news lately. I'm not really sure what that has to do with anything, but it apparently makes sense to them.

    While I really do hope the Marines at the gate are well disciplined enough not to do anything stupid (for the Marines' sake, I couldn't give a rat's ass about Phelps), I really don't recommend pissing off a 19 year old kid with a loaded weapon just for fun on a lazy Saturday afternoon.

  16. Writerdd, I think you're right. Check out this article.

    Feel free to call these A holes to tell them how you feel. Their phone # is 785-273-0325.

    Jonathan referred to the press release as "beautiful", and even had his daughter Jill confirm that Fred, the pastor of Westboro Baptist Church, was indeed the author of the release. Jonathan also informed me of a telling documentary about these people, which Louis Theroux of the BBC conducted. Pay close attention to what the young boy has to say at 4:05.

    So, I just called and she answered the phone "Westboro Baptist Church" and told me to "go to YouTube and watch "Peace in Hell" then hung up. So, I looked for it but couldn't find what she was talking about. Tried calling back several times and no one is answering now or it's busy. I'm sure they're getting lots of calls.

    I'd love to be in one of my particularly cranky moods and meet up with them. It's not like telling me that I'm a "fag-enabler and you're going to Hell" is going to faze me.

    There are so many "detox" programs for every kind of cult and nutty religious groups like this; those children's boot camps, ones that involve sex, etc. This group here discusses the issue of when the state can intervene, and it doesn't require obvious physical abuse alone, but it's tricky because indoctrination isn't illegal and neither is "reasonable" corporal punishment. Two of Phelps's estranged kids said they were severely beaten. Phelps denies that as do the other kids. Filling kids' minds with hate has a long history…it's really sad that these people had children. I can't stand it when people use young kids to hold signs on the street, even when it's war protests or what have you.

  17. writerdd wrote:

    Perhaps all fervent religious folks are mentally ill? It sure makes more sense to me than to think that you can become stupid for some portion of your life. I mean, I’m not dumb but I succumbed to fundamentalism for over a decade. So what was going on?

    No, it's really simple actually. God created the brain. Evolution then improved that brain to make it much better. But if you're a fundie, you're only allowed to use the 10% of your brain which god gave you, making you little more than a talking monkey with clothes. I call this hypothesis "the bridge between creation and evolution".

  18. Well, the good news is that Heath Ledger's funeral will be held in Perth.

    Australia does not have a constitutional right to freedom of speech. (Political speech, yes. General speech, no.) Even if it did, they are not Australian citizens, and it would not apply.

    If they try to enter Australia, assuming they can afford the airfares and can get visas in time, the Relevant Authorities(tm) know that they would be entering the country with the express intention to harass people and generally create a public nuisance. People have been refused entry to Australia for less.

    In other words, it's all bluster and no substance.

  19. WBC is a bunch of sick bastards. Aren't the the same people who protested the rescues and then funerals of those who didn't survive that bridge collapse last year because they're area was lenient on "fags?"

    Tell me now, how I'm supposed to respect and support your decision to believe in a higher power when you are the most hate-filled people in the country? How dare they picket the funeral whose death was unfortunate and will be mourned by their families! I'm outraged whenever I hear of their next POS scheme to seem righteous.

    (I wikied this): The anti-gay Westboro Baptist Church of Kansas, led by Fred Phelps, picketed Shepard's funeral as well as the trial of his assailants, displaying signs with slogans such as "Matt Shepard rots in Hell", "AIDS Kills Fags Dead" and "God Hates Fags". When the Wyoming Supreme Court ruled that it was legal to display any sort of religious message on city property if it was legal for Casper's Ten Commandments display to remain, Phelps made attempts to gain city permits in Cheyenne and Casper to build a monument "of marble or granite 5 or 6 feet in height on which will be a bronze plaque bearing Shepard's picture and the words: "MATTHEW SHEPARD, Entered Hell October 12, 1998, in Defiance of God's Warning: 'Thou shalt not lie with mankind as with womankind; it is abomination.' Leviticus 18:22."

    Pardon my french… SICK FUCKS.

  20. "writerdd said,

    January 24, 2008 at 8:20 am

    thad said, “I think this will generate very good publicity for WBC… note that ‘good’ is not necessarily going to be their perspective…”

    Yeah, kindof makes you think of the Nazis with their “Gott mit uns” (God with us) belt buckles, huh? Well, this discussion reminded me of that anyway.

    I think most of the WBC folks are acting out of fear. ph, I think they do probably believe they are really doing God’s work. Hitler probably didn’t think he was a bad person either. I can imagine people having all kinds of warped ideas about what its good. But I can’t really imagine someone wanting to be evil.

    It makes me wonder if people like this have some sort of scrupulocity (religious OCD). Perhaps all fervent religious folks are mentally ill? It sure makes more sense to me than to think that you can become stupid for some portion of your life. I mean, I’m not dumb but I succumbed to fundamentalism for over a decade. So what was going on? Was it just a cop out for me to not have to face the complex world of adult morality (I became a fanatic when I was 14), or was it a form of OCD? (According to my doctor, I do have mild OCD that manifests in other areas.)"

    DD- I came across this in one of my VirtualTravels across the tubes: http://www.livescience.com/health/080124-lonely-s

    The thesis posited is that lonliness tends to drive people to a belief in the supernatural. An interesting idea.

  21. Did you see that they have a website called godhatesfags.com? As if this issue is the most important one in the world.

    Why picket funerals? Why not (in this case) the movie, the man's house, etc. The funeral is the most tastless event possible to picket (that I can think of), and his funeral/death has nothing to do with his allegedly sinful actions.

  22. Well, These people wanna generate publicity… They do it by doing the most outrageous (and thus "newsworthy") stuff they can that even vaguely gets their point across.

    They are most certainly described by the adjective rhyming with Banker. Although I suspect that it does not describe the completeness of their Arsiness

    I don't know that such a word exists, but I'm certain that if it does, it should not be mentioned in any sort of company.

  23. They probably think publicity will help their cause. I guess maybe they don't realize that they are the butt of the joke. And it's not just atheist who hold their noses. Most Christians don't like these folks either.

  24. If Phelps tries to come to Australia to boycott the funeral, it will be interesting to see if his visa gets denied on character grounds- as has happened for some of the more extreme hip hop artists who have tried to tour here.

  25. whitebird, I think you're onto something. Mr. Writerdd has a theory that all of these homophobe preachers are closted gays. I think they must be bi since there so insistent that sexuality is a choice. I personally have never been attracted to another women. But bisexual folks are attracted to both men and women, so my guess all these homophobe preachers who claim it's a choice are really bi.

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