The Westboro Baptist Church: How to Stop Them

The Westboro Baptist Church

Shaharyar Ahmad

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The Westboro Baptist Church is at the least, infamous. Well known for its anti-gay point of view, they are known to regularly threaten to (and actually conduct) picket at funerals, such as American soldiers who are killed overseas and buried back home, as well as highly publicized figures who pass away or are part of a major event (Sandy Hook elementary shooting, etc.) Recently, the group decided that they wanted to picket the death of Star Wars actor Leonard Nimoy (http://www.theguardian.com/culture/2015/mar/03/leonard-nimoy-funeral-westboro-baptist-church). The news article explains how the group was unable to picket the funeral of the deceased actor, further summarizes the actions and beliefs of the Westboro Baptist Church, and also discusses the cause of death for actor Leonard Nimoy.

The author only briefly describes the actions undertaken by the Westboro Baptist Church, and the reasons their beliefs exist. It, for example, does not tell us why the Westboro Baptist Church decided to picket the funeral of Leonard Nimroy. Leonard Nimroy was an extremely high profile actor, and along with this, was extremely close with friends and co-workers such as George Takei (an openly gay high profile person). (http://www.inquisitr.com/1881975/westboro-baptist-church-announces-intent-to-picket-leonard-nimoys-funeral). These unclear points of the article do not satisfy the reader to a full extent, however the author does wholly describe the level of desecration the Westboro Baptist Church commits, and the extent to which this may affect the families of those whom it attacks. The actions of the Westboro Baptist Church are condemned by millions in the United States and Canada, and personally, rightly so. The church was started initially as a branch of the East Side Baptist Church, established in 1931. However, in 1955, this branch broke off with Fred Phelps as its leader, and established itself as the Westboro Baptist Church. In 1991 the church started to become well known for its actions against gay people, holding anti gay protests at military funerals, picketing celebrity funerals and major public events, showing hate against Jews and Catholics, and even to some extent showing its members trampling the American flags. Its website, godhatesfags.com, explicitly displays the reasoning behind this wretched mindset, such as “God hates fags, God hates fag-enablers. Therefore, God hates America and this doomed world”. The Westboro Baptist Church is, in my opinion, a group of hate crime inducing, religious imposters, who are a source of shame to religious groups and Baptist organizations around the world. Understanding their reasoning behind their actions, their history, and tracking their current members is the only way to further predict their actions, and stop them from doing so. Anything, which harms society, is wrongful, no matter what religious shield you may hide behind.

SA

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