Imagine that you’re attending a funeral for a beloved family member when, in the corner of your eye, you see people protesting with signs saying “God Hates Your Tears” and “You’re Going to Hell.” Now imagine the loved one was a soldier fighting for our country and you read signs such as “Thank God for 9/11” and “Thank God for Dead Soldiers.” The Westboro Baptist Church morphs these unfathomable acts into reality with their protests of non-Baptists, homosexuals and American soldiers. They travel from funeral to funeral like a sort of circus act.
This outlandish congregation is thankful for every soldier that dies overseas; they view these deaths as punishment for America’s tolerance of homosexuality. This group recently caught my attention when they planned to protest at the funeral for Christina Green, the 9-year-old girl killed in the Tucson shootings. The protest was later averted through the state’s legislature.
I hope I don’t have to delve into how wrong this is on so many levels. Instead, I want to focus on why organizations like this church make me realize how it’s becoming terrifyingly common for us to aggressively thrust our religious beliefs upon others.
Despite Arizona’s legislature banning protests at Christina’s funeral, demonstrations like these are protected by the First Amendment; however, that doesn’t make them moral. Every time I see people protesting gay marriage or holding hate signs outside of Planned Parenthood facilities, I ask myself if these people could be more productive with their time — like trying to break the high score in “Call of Duty: Black Ops,” for instance.
I have a serious problem with the insane anger directed at what I think is a pretty cut-and-dry issue. On gay marriage — allow me to me put this in layman’s terms — who gives a shit? As a country, we’re busy fighting multiple wars overseas and in the midst of one of the worst recessions in memory, but we viciously battle over something as simple as two members of the same sex getting married. Someone please tell me how these marriages are affecting us on an individual or societal level. What exactly are we fearing here?
If someone can come to me and present scientific evidence that God came down and told our ancestors that he hates rainbows and HGTV, I’ll personally write an apology letter. I have no problem with people openly expressing their religion; I enjoy looking at Christmas lights and I appreciate all the electricity they waste. But when people force their beliefs on myself and others, that’s when I have a problem.
Surprisingly, Lil Wayne had a very pertinent line about this issue when responding to the outcry over his cough syrup addiction: “I think people need to mind their own business. I don’t care if it was heroin in my cup, it’s in MY cup. Fuck you.” Putting aside the off chance that he’s driving while high and runs over an innocent newborn baby and his/her family, he’s completely right.
Don’t concern yourself with others, just embrace your own beliefs. Except for the Westboro Baptist Church, they’re probably just crazy.