Hate is Easy

What, exactly, does God hate? (Photo: Westboro Baptist Church)

Twice in my life I’ve been connected to people in various ways whose funerals were picketed by the people from Westboro Baptist Church. The first was Oral Roberts, the founder of my alma mater, and the second was Garrett Coble, a former professor at ORU who died in the plane crash last weekend that took his life and the lives of two other men I knew as classmates.

I don’t pretend to understand the logic of these people, who claimed that the plane was brought down by God as punishment. For one reason or another, they apparently believe that what they’re doing is important work. While most people look on them as unimaginably hate-filled and bigoted, some sort of twisted perception of the truth has somehow led them to believe that they are about the Father’s business, and, in light of that, I have a challenging word for everyone. Don’t worry if it’s hard to accept; it is for me too.  Continue reading

What a Trendy Video Says (and Doesn’t Say) About Religion

As of 5 p.m. this afternoon, 22 of my Facebook friends had shared this video on their walls–or, I’m pretty sure it’s timelines now, but whatever. It was uploaded to YouTube two days ago and already has almost 2.5 million views. This is unfortunate, because it demonstrates the degree to which the word “religion” has become a pejorative and used to describe what could be most accurately billed as “legalism.” Furthermore, it highlights the ambiguity associated with “religion” when that word is tossed around by Christians (usually non-denominationals) who claim to be up on Jesus but low on “religion.” As the British would say, that’s bollocks, and I’m about to tell you why. Continue reading