Tolerance Manifesto

Dear Citizens of the Planet,

I am writing this in response to recent controversy over hateful actions on the part of the Westboro Baptist Church (WBC), who, in their theology claim that homosexuals, those in the U.S. Military, and recently, everyone in the United States, are doomed to burn in Hell. I have seen their hateful protests, heard their words of spite and venom, and feel the necessity to hear record my thoughts on this subject. Recently, the Supreme Court has ruled that they have the right to protest, and that taking away this right would be infringing on their freedom of speech/expression. But let us not forget that we, as like-minded citizens of the world, are also free to express our difference of opinion, non-violently, through literature, counter-protests, etc. This is my message to the citizens of the planet, whom this is addressing. If any members of the Westboro Baptist Church are reading this, and have read up to here, please let me address them. Not as a heathen, not as an American, but as a human being, I address you and ask you from the bottom of my heart to stop.

Stop this nonsense, stop hurting these people. Stop hurting the already-hurting family members and friends of the brave men and women in uniform who fought for this country, stop harassing the LGBT demographic, please stop. Please end this needless tirade of hate. You have every reason not to, of course, and have the freedom of religion. But personally, I don’t believe the Westboro Baptist Church is a Church, at least not a church of God, and I don’t think it follows a religion. What religion is founded on hatred against a certain group, against xenophobia? The Ku Klux Klan comes to mind… But I wonder, what religion does the WBC follow? No baptist church in America associates themselves with the WBC. Well, they claim to preach the word of God and Christ, so it seems they believe they are somehow a Christian group. I, for one, find their preaching of the “word of God” rather hypocritical. As the saying goes: practice what you preach. If you had to pick a most important theme from the Bible, it is: “Love your neighbor as you love yourself.” The Bible also says to love your enemies, WBC. They justify their preachings by claiming, “It’s in the Bible.” My question is, which Bible are you reading? Which Bible encourages profanity, words of hatred, ethnic slurs, and outright bigotry? Westboro Baptist Church, I think you’re reading the wrong Bible. Oh, I see, you saw the part of the Bible that condemns homosexuality. Yes, that is quite a popular section for bigots and haters to refer to. Did you read the part that says that figs are evil, too? And the part that says eating shrimp is a sin? And the part that says snakes are the spawns of Satan? A word to the wise: perhaps it may not be the best idea to literally believe and follow every word in the Bible, especially considering the vast majority wasn’t even written by God, or Jesus. Perhaps Paul or Matthew slipped in his own opinion about figs, or shrimp, or, I don’t know, homosexuality. The Bible is a few thousand years old: some ideas in it will be outdated. If that doesn’t convince you, think of the dozens of times the Bible has been orally passed down, how many times it’s been translated. And if, after reading this, you still are unfazed, I don’t know what to say to you. Okay, you may now stop reading this. It’s fine, continue your campaign of hate, it’s your right. In fact, denounce this manifesto. Declare it the work of the devil. Leave a hate comment, dislike, and make Really, it’s fine. You’ve taken up too much of my time already.

Okay, citizens of the world, you may come back. I apologize for the interruption. Now, back to this problem which has already consumed much too much of your and my precious time. It is my sincere belief, and just my opinion of course, that the Westboro Baptist Church is not really a church. They have no ties to any existing baptist church, who have all denied any affiliation with the WBC whatsoever. They claim to worship the same god Christians do, but paradoxically in their preaching of His teachings, do not follow them. I know, it is much to take in. But think about this: what church spends more time protesting and picketing than it does holding Mass? What church ignores the teachings of the Bible it so fervently shouts? What church has about a hundred members at the most, most of which belong to a single family? It seems to me that the church is less anxious to spread their twisted version of the teachings of Christ than to gain publicity. They have been picketing homosexual funerals since 1997, and after a while it got old. Then, they went from being a simple homophobic cult to an all-out war against everything, to spread their vile hateful words everywhere. They went on to protest military funerals, with signs like “Thank God for dead soldiers.” They threatened to picket the funeral of Christina Green, the innocent 9-year-old victim of the horrific Tuscon shootings. They have hated on Michael Jackson, the Pope, and even Barack Obama. Lord, they’ve even called Italians “mobster-breeding perverts.” They have picketed the Holocaust Memorial Museum, have actually faced the deadly and disturbing results of uncontrolled hate and discrimination against an innocent group, and ignorantly waved their despicable signs. They have thanked God for the 2006 Sago mining disaster, the 2008 Sichuan earthquake, the list rolls on and on.They have lost their original “God hates fags” drive, and seem to just be hurling incendiary remarks and hatred towards anyone that people cared about. They seem to thrive off getting a reaction from people. Like elementary school bullies. With the vocabulary of elementary school bullies.

They are a physical manifestation of the so-called “trolls” cropping up all over the Internet today, obsessed with senseless, tactless hate. Perhaps the reason they don’t just quit is because they realize the power of words. They realize how much words can hurt, words can sting. And like young children first seeing fire, they are obsessed with the notion of testing their full potential. Which brings me to the title of this piece, the Tolerance Manifesto. Obviously, I am asking for the tolerance of the LGBT community, so frequently persecuted for no just reason. You don’t have to agree with their way of life, but please don’t hate on them. Religion is a fine thing to have, but please don’t whip it around in public and don’t use it as an excuse for inexcusable actions, like pickets. And beatings. And killings. And genocide. But in addition to this, I also ask citizens of the world not to tolerate the Westboro Baptist Church’s antics, for I certainly do not. By this, I am not referring to a call for violence. Violence is never the answer. Write hate mail to them if you wish, stage peaceful counter-protests. But the method I find most effective to combating their ridiculous and somewhat childish theatrics is simply not to. Ignore them. Like a mouse that roars, their tiny church cult hate group emits so much bigotry and hatred, they seem to be a monstrous mass destined to bring down our country. But truly, they are not. Statistically, they account for 0.000032% of the United States population at most. So if we were to ignore these hundred or so hate-mongering bigots claiming to belong to a legitimate church, maybe they will stop. And if they truly think the United States of America is doomed for allowing homosexuality, perhaps they should move somewhere they find less sinful. Someplace like… Uganda. Where homosexuality is illegal, and may soon be punishable by death. Yes, that is a role model for us, ladies and gentleman. That’s where we should be.

David Nica