Maroons Vs Morons

Here’s a story to warm my heart: The odious members of the equally odious Westboro Baptist Church went to the University of Chicago (my alma mater), apparently to protest the existence of Barack Obama, and found themselves pwned by 100+ students, who among other things created signs that both mocked WBC’s own hateful screedings, and were naturally far more clever. Good on ya, Maroons. Good on ya.

(more pictures here)

123 thoughts on “Maroons Vs Morons

  1. When they appeared, the brothers stripped off their robes and began dancing to Diana Ross & The Supremes’ “I’m Coming Out,” Elton John’s “Tiny Dancer,” and the Weather Girls’ “It’s Raining Men.”

    Yes, but did they do jazz hands? Goddamn you for leaving out those all-important details, MSM!

  2. The Kansas Twitterverse will be much amused. Thanks for sharing.

    One acquaintance from Topeka (who oddly shares both my given name and birthday) encountered these jerks outside his synagogue at his bar mitzvah. “Apparently they couldn’t think of anything better to do that day.”

    One wonders when media sources are going to put a moratorium on stories about these twits; so-called religion may be their fuel, and mental illness their heat, but attention is their oxygen.

  3. Those Westboro people again?

    And I use the word people very kindly. I am still not sure that their actions qualify them as human.

    I suppose that sounds harsh but who in their right mind conducts themselves the way they have behaved the last few years?

  4. Oh God, that’s awesome. While the inner geek in me loves the Chutulu one, there’s something about the Jesus Hates Figs tracks that just warms my little Born Again heart.

  5. I keep thinking that a Westboro protest would be an excellent location for a flashmob event, preferably one using something like shaving cream or confetti.

  6. John Scalzi #3; Oh, don’t get me wrong, I love seeing pompous yahoos get their comeuppance as much as anyone (and, truth be told, more than most, since I work with more than a few). It’d just be nice if, just once in a while, someone in the yahoo camp being skewered would stop, look around and say “What the HECK am I doing here with the rest of these bozos?”

    One can always hope.

  7. @ John Scalzi 6:

    I’ve been hanging around here enough to recall. I don’t mean to single out any one pub; I’m reminded instead of the old George Carlin monologue in which he asks:

    “What if we took all of those old Westerns we used to watch as kids and replace the word ‘kill’ with the word ‘f***?’

    [in villain voice] “‘We’re gonna f*** ya, Sherriff, and we’re gonna f*** ya real slooowww.’”

    So, say, every time some editor gets the great idea to run coverage of another Phelps protest, he could instead run a story about puppies, or professional success against overwhelming odds, or someone who’s brilliantly functional in the face of a long-lived HIV infection (my personal favorite). Done well and consistently, it could even become a kind of code.

    Hell, send the press to those things anyway. Get their hopes up, then let ’em down. Teehee.

  8. Hilarious! It’s about time someone told those guys off. As a Christian Baptist, it completely shames me that I’m lumped in the same category as the WBC. Go Maroons!

  9. The party also raised over $500 for the Broadway Youth Center, which provides health services for the LGBTQ community.

    That’s just too funny. The WBC bigots being the cause of a $500 infusion into the LGBTQ community I mean. Spider Robinson is right, God is an Iron.

  10. Lovely, thanks for the pointer. While viewing the photos & laughing, my daughter asked me what was so funny, so then I had to explain it… It’s impossible to explain WBC in any rational terms; eventually it all just comes down to “Because they’re hateful assholes.” & though I discourage swearing in the young’uns, I told her that she could use that word when talking about these yahoos.

    Sferrari17@16: Don’t worry, anyone paying the slightest attention knows that WBC has about as much to do with real Baptists as my ferret has to do with quantum physics.

  11. Wait, they actually have a sign saying “GOD HATES YOU”?!
    That’s not very good marketing. Fools.

    This is the equivalent of an anti-war protest saying “How’d you like to die brutally in Iraq, motherfucker? HUH? HUH?”

  12. Excellent for them to mock those idiots from Kansas. Fundamentalistic authoritarians have a difficult time being the subject of humor and mocking.
    It is an effective weapon against such ideologies.

  13. Is someone going to photoshop up a picture of a protester in there, alongside “God Hates…” and “Cthulu Hates,” holding a sign that says “Internets Hate Scalzi”?

  14. Darn. If those WBC, um, people were going to come to Albany next week instead of last week, I’d take the morning off work and “borrow” a few of the Maroon kids’ ideas. I’m especially fond of the Cthulhu reference.

    Go Maroons! Makes me proud to be an expat Chicagoan.

  15. Signs like “God Hates The World” make me wonder if the whole thing is just too crazy to be true. Is it possible that WBC is actually the world’s longest-running practical joke? How on earth could you possibly worship a god that literally hates the very ground you walk on?

  16. I love how one of the WBCs described the students – a ‘restless mob of humanity.’ Hee. That should totally be on a t-shirt.

    (Along with ‘Rebellious Jezebels,’ of course.)

  17. ben – that’s a good argument for having a Phelps Response Flashmob list ready to go. Flashmobs can be a lot more fun and column-inch-worthy that a tired old WBC protest.

  18. I remember reading something that MLK, Jr. wrote. I’ll have to paraphrase because I cannot find the direct quote. The gist of it was that hate causes more harm to the hater than to the object of his hate. Whenever I see scene like those depicted in the news story I am reminded of MLK’s warning.

  19. This makes me happy beyond words.

    There’s a documentary about the Phelp’s on youtube that’s worth watching. It’s here.

    At the end of it you just feel sorry for the kids who get brought up in that family. I mean, when a kid is six years old and the matriarch of the family is making him say anti-gay slogans over and over again it’s hard to see how that kid could not turn out to be a bigot.

    Still, those signs make me happy beyond words.

  20. So does that make you an Ultra-maroon, Scalzi old stick?

    I’m kidding. I loves you really – and so does The Flying Spaghetti Monster. His noodly appendage awaits you.

  21. Wow those guys are stupid. Won’t their church run out of new converts if they run around with signs saying “god hates you” ? Mind you, I am hoping this is the result. I can’t decide whether to point and laugh when I see idiots like this, or just ignore them. They strike me as attention whores, which might mean that ignoring them would extinguish the behavior- hopefully.

  22. These wackos were just at UAlbany, near me. I wish someone had I thought to stage such a clever counter protest there.

  23. @ Andrea 29:

    Westboro Baptist Church is less a congregation as we understand such things to be, and more a tax haven for a strict patriarch (Fred Phelps), his family, and those few who have signed onto his hobby.

    The Twinkies these guys eat must have some kind of secret, truly insanity-inducing ingredient.

    In almost five years of living in Lawrence (next large town over, 30ish miles away) I’ve yet to meet anyone with the balls to admit that they have any sympathy for the Phelps people, and I’m known for practicing the whole let-he-without-sin-cast-the-first-stone thing, no less in regard to attitudes I don’t and never would hold myself.

    There must be some Phelps supporters in Kansas, because they passed a Prop-8-like bit of law here in 2004. I doubt, though, that very many people here sincerely condone what Phelps and his followers do — which is blatant abuse of the First Amendment, in point of fact.

    (…And just so we’re clear, if Phelps protests are the price we as a society are forced to pay for the freedom to assemble, I say we’re getting a bargain.)

  24. Phelps & company showed up at the services for the miners at Sago, WV a few years back. He left in a huff after (1) it was explained that he could fall off the mountain and into a rattlesnake nest as many times as needed to shut him up and (2) he realized that he was in the middle of nowhere and everyone, including the local police, were part of a huge family. And nobody was smiling.

    He later claimed WV was a pit of depravity worse than pre-Katrina New Orleans but he has not been back to the state as far as I know.

  25. I’m waiting for WBC to take their slogans to the logical conclusion.

    God hates the world -> God hates his creation -> God feels like a failure.

    Poor emo kid God.

  26. The WBC also does the protest thing at every single graduation at a Kansas college. It means I get to see their smiling faces this summer as my brother graduates with a PhD in genetics. Actually, I won’t have to see them, as KSU has students form a big line with balloons and posters to block them from the view of all the grads and family members. Sadly, I think we here in Kansas are just so used to it, we hardly even notice them anymore.

  27. In the movies, someone would at some point sidle up to the leader of these Yahoos and whisper something to her that would make her blanch, drop her sign and and scurry off to hide in shame forever.

    I wonder what a whisper like that might be.

    I wish this part of life was a movie.

  28. Westboro Baptist Church is less a congregation as we understand such things to be, and more a tax haven for a strict patriarch (Fred Phelps), his family, and those few who have signed onto his hobby.

    I htink you are being generous. They are more like a cult.

  29. Dude, that made my day and gives me hope. That frat dancing on the ledge to “I’m Coming Out” almost made me pee my pants I was laughing so hard. In fact, their response was absolute brilliant. Marginalize their message by having fun with it.

  30. Brilliant University of Chicago, Well done, well done indeed.

    I’m a Veteran and a fierce defender of free speech but these bunions on the toe of creation have kept me at a slow burn for years every time they showed up at military funerals to spew.
    Reading this reaction to them actually has been cathartic for me. I had forgotten that laughing at this kind of behavior heals quite a few open wounds. It healed a few of mine. I’m still giggling.

    Thanks U of C

  31. I totally think this is the way to handle losers like this.

    It’s akin to the way some bitchfests are handled over on some forums in Ravelry. Someone starts pissing and moaning over something stupid. People respond by posting recipes and yummy pictures of men in kilts.

    The wankers may continue to wank, but they’re drowned out by food and good looking men FTW.

  32. @ Steve S 40:

    “I think you are being generous. They are more like a cult.”

    I enthusiastically agree.

    If you read my comments in this thread closely, you’ll hopefully notice that they want for the snarky hotbutton words.

    …That is not an accident, and not because I have any particular wish to be nice to them. Rather, they have the thoughtless hate covered; I fail to see what is gained by heaping on yet more.

    There are two effective answers to a bully: to take an eye for an eye, or to deprive them of the power and/or attention they seek.

    Since stomping on them is more or less illegal…

    My hate, should I choose to nurture it, lends their cause a certain twisted kind of righteousness, certainly in there eyes. Why, then, should I give them any more than the contempt of my disregard?

  33. “My hate, should I choose to nurture it, lends their cause a certain twisted kind of righteousness, certainly in there [sic] eyes. Why, then, should I give them any more than the contempt of my disregard?”

    Thence…

    My point in a nutshell is to light a candle instead of cursing the darkness. Hate of the Other will remain alive and well until long after we are dead, but responding to hate with more of the same changes nothing, ever.

    Puppies and other sources of inspiration, I’m tellin’ ya.

  34. @ 46 fred, if I understand the WBC, the attention is the icing on the cake. The real goal is a violent outburst that they can sue somebody over.

    At least when you have fun with them, you well and truly prevent that outcome.

  35. This world needs a good ol’ alien invasion to bring us Earth dwellers together. Or, if we can’t all work it out, hope that the ship lands on the headquarters of these morons and the visitors turn out to be peaceful? Everybody wins! \o/

  36. Oh, alma mater of mine. How I love you. This puts me in mind of Rule #4 from the 2006 Scav Hunt, regarding “Props” –

    “All props must be mad props.”

    Thusly there are mad props today for you, University of Chicago students. Mad props for satire and wit and the place where God drinks coffee.

    And apparently hates you.

  37. I need a t-shirt that says “God Hates Figs”.

    How about “God Hates F.A.G.S. (Fred’s Annoying Gang of Sycophants)”?

  38. Fred #46: They got the wrong kind of attention, and damn little of it. The smart guys pWn3d them and erased their message. That’s what I’m celebrating.

  39. The original protest makes me incredibly sad (“God hates you.” REALLY?!?!? My Bible says otherwise…), but the counter-protest makes me SOOOO HAPPY!!!

  40. Not that I want to quibble, but I believe they were protesting the Chicago Theological Seminary (my alma mater) which is pro LGBT and is in Hyde Park (the same building as the Seminary Coop Bookstore), but is not a part of U of C. I’d double check, but for some reason the Westboro Baptist Church site is down.

    At any rate, the frat guys were awesome.

  41. We have a similar group in sleepy little Elmira, NY. A group of us got together and made silly signs to mix among them, and it worked. We had people stopping their cars to laugh at the entire group, the head bigot came over easily a dozen times to plead with us to go away, finally they sent a few of their larger members to try to intimidate us. LOL.

    We showed up every night they did, they finally gave up.

    Here is a picture of me holding my sign.

    http://tinyurl.com/bp9rfr

    I still have people come up in the grocery store and ask me “Was it you”? (More to the who farted than anything else though).

    Ridicule works. Don’t know why though as these people are in their own little world.

  42. @#51 Tal — you make an excellent point. If God hates us so much, why does he keep dropping in to our place to drink coffee?

  43. One wonders when media sources are going to put a moratorium on stories about these twits; so-called religion may be their fuel, and mental illness their heat, but attention is their oxygen.

    Ben@4: You are talking about the people who regarded Britney Spears’ hairless twat as an actual news story of global import.

    Meanwhile, God may very well hate me. But He’s entirely capable of expressing his contempt without the assistance of a pack of inbreeds who should either be in school (I believe the University of Chicago is a decent one, but has those pesky entry standards that exclude illiterate screech-owls who stalk mourners at funerals) or engaged in productive economic activity – aka “real jobs”.

  44. #64 – Craig, the sad thing is, with the Westboro folks, is that most of them are lawyers. Go figure.

    An education does not inoculate one against being dumb.

  45. I did a (very brief) google and didn’t see anything about this in the national, state or city media. This is precisely the sort of media attention that the Phelps gang needs – mockery in student papers, ignored by the regular media.

  46. Here in Salt Lake we have our own small breed of brain-dead jackasses, who aspire to be equal to Phelps & co. They specialize in hating mormons, but they hate everyone else also. Last year when they had there protest at the mormon general conference, A young man was in front of them with a sign that read,

    Hi, my name is Satan. These are my missionaries.

  47. A challenge for you number geeks. Come up with some way of deriving the number 666 from “Fred Phelps” or “Westboro Baptist Church” or both.

  48. Good old Maroons. When someone says something idiotic, we can always be counted on for a response that will take them an extra 20 seconds to parse, at least.

  49. Reminds me of my college days. There was a street preacher who came to the campus every Thursday to tell us all we were going to hell, same sort of signs etc. Was back in the 90′s in Ohio. My senior year I decided to have some fun and recite Whitman competing with him for a few weeks. “Song of Myself” was great fun especially when it gets rolling. Nothing quite gets up these people’s noses like mocking them with their own tone.

  50. This quote comes to mind:
    The human race has only one really effective weapon and that is laughter. – Mark Twain

  51. They remind me of a guy who used to come to our campus in the 70′s (Wright State U). I had a college mate who attended Jesuit HS who would debate the guy on the finer points of the bible. Turns out, the bible thumper (and he *did* thump the bible) was a bit hazy on actual text in the bible. He still came back, tho, to show us ‘godless heathens’ the way to salvation.

    I loved the article, and the rest of the pictures. There was a couple of counter protest signs I really liked – ‘God Shoulda Put A Ring On It’ and ‘God Loves Net Flix’ were amusing, but nothing else pictured was as good as ‘Cthulu Hates Chordates’. That IS classic!

  52. AWESOME. Made my morning. I wish I thought students here would do something like that, but then WBC probably wouldn’t have a reason to come down to Alabama. Maybe if Tuscaloosa gets Sunday liquor sales?

    @Janice in GA – obviously I need to start scanning the forums on Ravelry!

  53. Hot damn I just saw one of my friends in amongst the protesters in the flickr pictures. I’m glad I have such awesome friends.

    My school did something similar when Fred Phelps came to my school (University of Maryland) to protest the Laramie Project being performed. This was when the sniper was still at large so he held up a sign that said “God Sent the Snipe”

    Meenwhile everyone wore buttons that said “Hate is not a UMD value” and we had a counter protest where we invited people to honk if they supported tolerance. Lots of people honked.

  54. Would have been cool if the counter-protesters had signs that read “God Sent Snape”.

    Craig, from their point of view this IS economic activity. They shelter their assets by being a church and they make some kind of living doing these protests. It beats earning a living, apparently.

  55. I loved reading about these students, using humor and creativity to stand against small-minded hate.

  56. Amy @ 79

    And marshmallows. I can’t say exactly why, but the students’ marshmallow roast made me kinda giddy. It’s like they’re saying “Not only are we more charitable, funnier and more creative than you are, we’re also having more fun!” Great job by the counter-protestors.

  57. I wish I could laugh at this, but mostly I just feel sick at the thought that there are people out there who will see Westboro at work and end up believing that this is what Christianity really is.

  58. Nowhere near the standards of the Maroon, but wanted to applaud their response, so threw this together:

    A sign shall be given unto you.

  59. “G-d loves Red Lobster”…man, I’d be standing next to him with a sign that said, “G-d says, “Really, ignore Leviticus. What was I thinking? Go shrimp cocktails!””

  60. I await the day when someone makes a musical about Westboro Baptist, a la “Springtime for Hitler.” Featuring the Alpha Delta Phi dancers, of course.

  61. Sounds like the perfect anti-protest. They bring hate and intolerance and malice and narrowmindedness – so the students bring unity, love, music, dancing, and fun.

    No violence, nobody all wrought with despair overthe proceedings, and $500 for charity.

    Niiiiiice.

  62. @58, well it’s true isn’t it? Their version of God apparently hates all of creation outside of the Phelps family, so the way I see it, their version of God probably sees Himself as an abject failure. His creation is all nasty, how could He not blame Himself? Their God must be very depressed.

  63. If the entire Phelps lot showed up dead somewhere one morning in some bizare and obviously ritualistic fashion, with signs of “God Hates Even Us” – do you think there would even be an investigation?

    Not that I’m suggesting anything…

  64. I think my favorite of the signs was “Thank God for 7-11.” Totally in keeping with the college spirit, and complete mockery of the Westboro Wankjobs.

    Good on you guys. You made my morning.

  65. What I giggling to my self about is first Scalzi takes down LiveJournal with his awesome rage, now he apparently took down the WBC site with his mirth. I am about ready to bow down to the new Scalzi-Internets-Overlord…

  66. A few WBC-members protested at the memorial service for the victims of the plane crash outside of Buffalo last month. I don’t know how they organized so fast, but 150 counter-demonstrators were ready and dressed all in white, complete with giant (kinda batlike) white plastic wings. They surrounded the WBC every minute they were in public, and the WBC were not seen at all, had impact on no one, and witnessed nothing themselves. Irony? Naaaailed-it. Thank you counter-demonstrators…just…thank you.

  67. These people actually protest funerals?

    Methinks we need a tweak to the “justifiable homicide” laws. With all the Phelps lawyers, perhaps they;d get the idea to leave mourners alone. The rest of us can fend for ourseles against your abuses of free speech, thank you very much. But we really should be able to beat anyone who shows up at a funeral to mock the greiving.

  68. Yeah, but the problem is, Cthulhu Loves Chordates. Preferably with salsa roja and a bit of lime.

  69. Great response.

    The WBC were just in my little suburb of Chicago last weekend, protesting the local college production of “The Laramie Project.” For me the most depressing thing was the 8-year-old kid they had marching with them. Here’s hoping for one hell of an adolescent rebellion there.

  70. I teach high school theatre in Kansas, and did quite a bit of research into Fred an his gang when we performed “The Laramie Project”. Matthew Sheppard’s funeral was where they first gained national attention. I deplore his politics and his tactics, but I did learn a couple of interesting things about him. The group is honest in its beliefs. I think they twist the Bible, but they believe their interpretation wholeheartedly. They see the protests as ways to create conversation to get their message out. They’re definitely attention whores, thogh they would not define it as such. Fred is an interesting guy. During the Civil Rights movement, he attended law school for the specific purpose of defending African Americans in court because other lawyers would not take their cases. Despite his rampant bigotry, he believes deeply in the equality of races.
    One of the most effective methods that I heard of to counter protest the Phelp’s is to create a pledge drive. Get people to sign up to donate money for each minute that the protest lasts, then donate it in his name to a local aids charity. Big cardboard check with his name on it, pictures in the paper, the whole deal. It has cut the length of his protests in many places.
    Anyway, they aren’t just random crazies. They have a plan for what they’re doing and why they’re doing it. Somehow that makes it worse, for me.
    Sorry for the long post.
    thanks,
    Stu

  71. My favorite way of handling the Wesboro bigots was what the Roanoke and Salem police departments did when they threatened to come to the funeral of a gay man killed by a bigot. “We can’t protect you.”

    Westboro got the hint and stayed home, even thought the Roanoke gay community had told the cops they weren’t going to do anything.

    The cops and the family, on the other hand….

  72. Scalzi @ 96. Exactly. Laughter, ridicule, and mockery also fall under Freedom of Speech. While the First Amendment protects the right of old Fred and his followers to spew their venom, it also protects *our* right to point at them, let fly with a Nelson Muntz-style “HA-HA!”, and ruin their fun.

  73. @92 BlackRockBrat: I’ve heard of them before. There used to be instructions on line for how to build the wings (pvc pipe). I’m glad they’re still doing it.

  74. Fuck me! I couldn’t go to one of those counter-protests. I fucking hate WBC. I’d wanna get medieval on their asses (y’know, torches, pitchforks, stoning, perhaps catapulting cows at them.)

  75. Phelps and Co. are almost universally loathed in the Army due to protests at military funerals. Any time you have the local biker gangs riding protection against you at military burials, this is a sign that you have probably fucked up in a semi-gigantic way. Really, is there any group or organization in the country that Phelps and Co. have not enraged with their intrusive, unwelcome, self-agrandizing antics?

  76. Wow, WBC is horrible. I’m appalled, and I’m a Christian (who voted for Obama.) This is not the message of love we need to be spreading. How can these idiots misinterpret things so much? It’s people like this that give true believers a bad name. I’m glad the whole thing turned out well as far as the counter-protesters go.

  77. They are more like a cult.

    “Cult” is a buzzword. But then, early Christianity was “more like a cult” — a tight-knit, universally despised sect that despised its critics and told them they were going to hell. According to the gospels, Jesus was a faith-healer, an exorcist, an end-is-near preacher who demanded total submission and obedience to his orders — which included selling all you have and giving to the poor (i.e., Jesus), hate your family unless they join the cult (see Mark 3 for example), total sexual repression (if your eye leads you to sin pluck it out, and become a eunuch for the kingdom of heaven), and so on.

    As for 110′s “the message of love we need to be spreading”, read the gospels sometime. What’s loving about threatening to send people to hell? I don’t think that the WBC are misinterpreting the teachings of Jesus much, except that for PR reasons they should talk about love in the most vacuous sense — the sense in which eternal torture can be interpreted as “love.”

    Not that I have any sympathy for WBC, and I love this counterprotest. I just don’t have any sympathy for the ‘mainstream’ Christians who get upset about Phelps’s hatefulness.

  78. Sub Odeon @ 109

    The bikers don’t ride protection for the WBC, they are there to provide a visual and audio barrier between the protestors and the grieving family to protect the family. Also, they aren’t a gang. It’s called the Patriot Gaurd, and it started at a VFW post. They’re almost all vets. the Patriot Gaurd also started in Kansas, by the way. So sometimes good stuff happens here, too.

  79. doggo @ 108: don’t let ‘em get to ya, dude. As soon as you start to hate, they start to win a little.

    Duncan @ 112: While I have no intention of derailing this thread into a chapter-and-verse discussion of theology, I find your interpretation … unfortunate. In my (admittedly somewhat limited) experience, many–perhaps even most–people who read the gospels find Jesus’ preaching on universal compassion and understanding far more pervasive and unambiguous than his occasional and usually very specific (to the individual and the circumstance) condemnation.

    I can’t stop you from painting all of Christianity with Fred Phelps’ brush, but I ask you to at least consider that the “mainstream” condemnation of WBC may be sincere.

    –SMQ

  80. grahammie,

    Because the wording of my post could be taken one of two ways, I see where the confusion occurred.

    I know the bikers are not riding to protect Phelps, they ride to protect military funeral processions against Phelps.

    Thanks for reminding me of their official designation. I first read about them at BlackFive.net

  81. @112: I can cherry-pick too. Here, look what I found in Matt 5 that strongly implies that Phelps & co shouldn’t be slinging hate:

    But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you

  82. alpinmack@110:

    “I’m appalled, and I’m a Christian (who voted for Obama.) This is not the message of love we need to be spreading. How can these idiots misinterpret things so much? It’s people like this that give true believers a bad name. I’m glad the whole thing turned out well as far as the counter-protesters go.”

    I thing there are few relevant points here: 1.) The Westboro folks are a fringe group, and not representative of midwestern churchgoers. Much Christians have never even heard of them.

    2.) When portraying the anti-Obama factions out there, the proprietor of this site is forever in search of the extremist straw man. This reinforces the notion that anyone who does not march in lockstep with the fiscally irresponsible Obama agenda is either a.) a religious maniac and/or b.) a white supremacist. (Both would be preferable.)

    You will probably never find John featuring a reasonable critic of Obama’s policies (like Ron Paul), as this would not support the party line, i.e., that Obama’s opponents are all derranged. This would also make the Great One look bad, which would also be an unwelcome outcome for our host and much of his readership.

    Of course, John is not obligated to present “all sides”…and he is quite free to cherry-pick his examples. Bloggers have a right to engage in advocacy journalism. (So yes, I agree that This-is-John’s-site-and-he-can-talk-about-whatever-he-wants.) It is the Democrats who arguing for the imposition of the Fairness Doctrine…..Not me.

    However, the dismayed alpinmack should not be surprised to find many more lurid stories of “Right Wing Crazies who Oppose Obama” on this site in the coming months….and relatively few discussions of the long-term effects of Obama’s spending plan.

  83. Edward Trimnell:

    Actually, the reason I noted the protest (and the defeating thereof) is that it happened at the U of C, which is my alma mater. I would have happily posted about UofCers pwning the shitbags of the WBC regardless of why the shitbags were there.

    So: You’re really totally wrong in every possible respect, regarding why I posted about this.

  84. Duncan @112. I have read the gospels. But I read them to better know my God not just with a cynical eye to pick apart arguments I can use against people. Most of Jesus’ ministry was based on Love. That whole “Love thy neighbor as thyself” thing.
    There have been many horrible things done in his name, true. But His message was Love. For them to say “God hates the world” and “God hates Fags” is totally against scripture. God hates the sin, but loves the sinner.
    To your point about threatening to send people to hell: It was out of Love God sacrificed his son for us. Humanity was always doomed. Human nature tends more towards the bad than the good. Ever read “Lord of the Flies?” God wants to prevent us from eternal torture, not condemn us to it. That is why he offers us the free gift of his son. All we need to do is accept it.
    Anyway, that’s my reply. I hope your mind is opened just a tiny bit more because of it.

    Ed at 117, I don’t think John has a hidden agenda. He has several posts in which he critiques Obama before, and after the election.

    Thanks for giving us this forum John. By the way, I love your post about “My Jesus.” It seems that philosophy would apply well to this situation.

  85. alpinpack, “Humanity was always doomed. .. Ever read ‘Lord of the Flies’? God wants to prevent us from eternal torture, not condemn us to it.”

    Yeah, I’ve read ‘Lord of the Flies.’ Have you ever read the Satanic Bible? (Me neither. But it has no more relevance to this question than Lord of the Flies, which is a work of fiction with a particular agenda about human nature, and proves nothing.)

    The God of Christianity created eternal torture. Hell didn’t just happen — Yahweh created it. If humanity was always doomed, it was because he created us that way. If human nature tends more towards the bad than towards the good, the fault lies with the manufacturer, not with the product. Before the free gift of Jesus on the cross, there was the free gift of eternity in unquenchable fire.

    Why do you think you have an open mind? First look at the beam in your own eye, before you point out the speck in your brothers’.

  86. Oh, and SMQ: I’m not cherry-picking the gospels. I’m pointing out a major theme that was recognized as such by mainstream, orthodox Christianity for centuries. Indeed, I’m pointing to larger, overarching elements of the gospels that the kinds of Christians you’re invoking tend to do their best to ignore. Yes, the WBC are selective in their reading of the gospels; so are the Christians who focus on one or two verses (like “Love your enemies”, which as far as I can tell is no more practiced by Phelps’s critics than it is by him) and ignore all the rest of Jesus’ teachings.

    As an atheist, it is happily not my burden to try to make sense of the New Testament. If you want to ignore Jesus’ teachings about hell (and the gospels’ depiction of him as an apocalyptic faith-healing exorcist who ordered his followers to abandon and reject their families — see, for instance, “Leave the dead to bury their dead”), that’s fine with me, but you’re in no position to accuse others of cherry-picking. You can’t just brush that material aside — you have to explain why you ignore it. You have to account for it. I don’t deny that Jesus also taught love; so do most fundamentalists. (Rick Warren, for one.) What you have to do is explain how his harping on hell is an expression of love. Again, it’s not my problem, it’s yours.

  87. Duncan – “Yahweh” is not the god of Christianity. They don’t use that name. Actually, I think only a few modern Christian sects might use that name; Jews (who don’t actually believe in an ‘unquenchable fire’ kind of afterlife, to the extent when we believe in one at all) don’t pronounce YHWH for various reasons and use the term “Adonai” instead.

    I have no problem with atheists, militant or other, but they’re not much brighter than Phelps if they get all their details wrong.

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