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October 08, 2003

Fred Phelps is going to hell, but not immediately

Everyone's favorite anti-gay preacher/hatemonger wants to put up a monument in Matthew Shepard's hometown of Caspar, Wyoming that reads "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."

In an attempt to avoid my knee-jerk reaction, which includes screaming obscenities and grinding my teeth until bits of dentition come loose, let me make the measured observation that the preacher's grasp of basic Christian theology is severely lacking. Much as we might like them to, bad people (Republicans included) don't go "straight to hell" any more than good people (or all dogs) go "straight to heaven." There is the small matter of the Final Judgment, which any good fundamentalist will know can't have happened yet, because Jesus has not yet rocketed back down to Earth orbit in a blaze of glory. The Bible is not entirely clear as to where the dead are-- sleeping? in a bus station in Alpha Centauri?-- but they have not yet met their maker, or their final judgment.

Sure, pop culture shows the recently dead sprouting haloes or horns and spiriting off. But pop culture also shows gay men and lesbians forming stable relationships and raising happy families (and even helping schlumps look better), and that apparently upsets Phelps. If he wants to be a fire-and-brimstone freak, he should be held to a higher standard than feel-good religionists. Personally, I think he's going to burn in Hell not only for his hatefulness, but for his lack of faithfulness as a preacher to Christian doctrine. If you are going to split hairs, get a sharp razor.

Also, there is the matter of Phelps' syntax. People go to Hell "in defiance" of God's demands? Clearly, this man is not a genius, but can not one of his posse structure a simple declarative sentence?

As for Matthew Shepard, may he rest in peace.

Posted by jay at October 8, 2003 03:36 PM | TrackBack
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Comments

Two comments, filth-boy. First, it's only because you don't really know Christianity or the Bible that you pretend not to know what happens to God-hating fools when they die. Read in Luke 16 about the rich man and Lazarus. Unless you're just dead set on being ignorant, you will have your answer. Second, there is absolutely nothing grammatically incorrect about saying "in defiance of God's warning". God's commandment quoted here is also a warning of the consequences. Much like a statute making an act a crime is a clear and undeniable warning that to engage in the act will result in punishment under law. Try not to impose your lack of grammatical prowess ... in addition to your lack of scriptural understanding ... on everybody!

Posted by: Timothy Phelps on October 14, 2003 03:25 AM

Hey everybody-- start calling me "filth-boy." I really like that one. And Timothy, I'm shocked to hear you quoting the New Testament, since your god clearly predates and misinterprets the gospel of grace and love in Christ. My understanding of that gospel is not impressed by your wrongheaded proof-texting. The devil can quote scripture for his purposes, so I'm hardly impressed that you can, too.

Finally, I didn't say it was grammatically wrong, but syntactically (and therefore logically) flawed--I think Fred was trying to say "because he defied God's law," but failed to be that clear. The proposed statement makes it sound like going to Hell is against God's law--tellingly, the opposite of his intended hateful meaning.

Posted by: jay on October 14, 2003 08:04 AM

Fred Phelps is a hateful man. The Bible can be used to justify many things we know to be indefensible- slavery is one, killing another man because he has different religious beliefs than you is another. It also condones giving one's virgin daughters to satisfy the sexual demands of the mob. I truly hope Fred Phelps gets sent to jail for promoting hate while visting a country, such as my home country of Canada, where we do not allow hatred to be publicly promoted.

Posted by: Gerry Kennedy on October 21, 2003 08:14 AM

Any peon can take the Bible and misquote it in order to justify his/her own prejudice. Some men have used the Bible's quotes to justify abusing or cheating on their women. Others use it to justify racism, slavery, murder, incest, and so on (as Gerry Kennedy did mention). The thing with these religious psychos is that they're just very good at raping Bible passages to suit their hateful agenda. If Phelps thinks he's going to heaven after all the hateful things he's done, and all the misery he has caused to innocent people, then he's not right in the head. The Bible says "do not judge another" and "love your neighbor". Jesus was friends with SOCIAL OUTCASTS -- prostitutes, lepers, and the most evil tax collectors. ;) He said, "Let them all come to me" not "Let them come to me UNLESS THEY'RE GAY, EW!"

Posted by: Krysia on November 14, 2003 03:55 PM
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