Religious tolerance?

Note: disturbing content ahead.

I stumbled across an article today entitled “Church under fire for video parody“. According to the article, Topeka, Kan.-based Westboro Baptist Church has been vigorously campaigning against homosexuality and that a recently released video, “God Hates the World“, which is a parody of the 80’s tune “We Are the World”, is the latest salvo in that ongoing campaign.

According to the article, “The church [Westboro Baptist Church] contends that soldiers’ deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan are God’s punishment for a tolerance of homosexuality in the United States.”

The video shows what appears to be a group of church members singing the song “God Hates the World”, along with various video snippets taken from protests and other, assorted activities pertinent to the words of the song. The video furthers the church’s argument that God hates the world due to homosexual behaviour.

The church group is currently being accused by Warner/Chappel Music Inc. of Los Angeles, who feel that the video infringes on its copyright to “We Are the World.” In their defense, the church claims that the song and video are protected under their First Amendment rights of freedom of speech and religious expression. I do believe that freedom of speech and religious expression are important and therefore, I can’t argue that these people be forcefully silenced. However, I am disappointed at the controversial and confrontational method that this church has taken. And, I am disappointed that this group is associated with me through the masthead of Christianity. But, we’re all together through the masthead of “humanity” so I guess we have to take the good with the bad.

The Bible does speak out against certain activities. The Old Testament is full of rules and guidelines that must be adhered to or else. I’m concerned that this church group has missed the message of Jesus though in their zeal to reform society into their ideal of cultural identity. Jesus brought a message of peace, love and non-judgment. To Christ, God loves everyone no matter what. And it was through Jesus’ atonement on the cross that we are allowed to walk in peace, knowing that our destiny is fulfilled. This message is quite different from the fire and brimstone message being presented by the folks in Topeka. I wonder if Westboro Baptist Church subscribes to the Old Testament law of stoning people for transgressions? That would make for an interesting Sunday morning service!

Fear-mongering is nothing new in religion. History is full of religious fundamentalists that attempted reform through fear. Unfortunately, fear only works for so long… reason must weigh in in order to protect the rights of everyone involved. Otherwise, we’d be left with a bunch of fundamentalist groups, all claiming righteous fury. Ultimately, we’d be left with one righteous fundamentalist group, the winner of one heck of a fundamentalist war. hmmm… sounds kinda like current global tensions, doesn’t it?

Who wins in a fundamentalist war game? Does might equal right? If so, why have an opinion at all? If truth is what we’re after, will war and intolerance solve anything? I think not.

Todd Dow

By Todd Dow

Author, Geek, CF fundraiser & Cancer Survivor. My family, baseball, infosec, privacy & devops are a few of my favorite things.

One reply on “Religious tolerance?”

Hey Todd,

I am glad you brought my attention to this video and posting.

I guess I’m not surprised that a monotheistic religious has come out so openly against the homosexual community. The unfortunate part is that this group (and I’m sure there are others looming out there who haven’t gained as much publicity) have lost the true essence of their faith. As you have mentioned Todd, a few of Jesus’ teachings (May God’s Blessings be upon him and all mankind) were to love one another and not be judgemental. Similarly, the Prophet Muhammad’s teachings (may God’s Blessings be upon him and all of mankind) were also to love one another and to never judge one another. Muslims and Christians alike have been taught to NEVER judge anyone. YET, we see it day in day out. A saying of the Prophet Muhammad is as follows, “Never think yourself to be better than someone else – you never know that person might have a quality inside them that will make them enter Paradise and you might have a quality inside you that will take you to Hell”. Gosh if we could all live by this saying!

Mankind at large (myself included) have lost the true purpose of life – to serve God through every part of your life; eating, playing, working, etc. Unfortunately, we only remember God in religious gatherings – Muslims when they go to Mosques, Christians when they go to Churches and Jews when they go to Synagogues.

I’m just glad it wasn’t a Muslim group who sung that song…that would make for an interesting front page newspaper article.

Love and pray for,


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