Reverend Fred Phelps, pastor of the Primitive Baptist Church in Topeka Kansas has taken it upon himself to place a monument in Casper Wyoming to commemorate that fact that Matthew Shephard went to hell for being gay. Wow. I found several references to this on Google News at the Casper newspaper, but their webserver seems to be down so I linked to the story in a Taipei paper. [Update: the Casper Star Tribune returns to action] It appears that the Shephard family and the foundation are taking the high road and not responding to this hateful fuckwit. The story is worth reading just to get a feeling for how scary this guy is. I almost shudder to write this post and talk about this, because it leaves me with the feeling that I’ve been played. Perhaps the best reaction is for everyone to collectively swallow our umbrage, ignore this prick, and let his message of hate ring out in empty rooms and unread pamphlets. May that soon come to pass.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Protestants who are making moral arguments entirely on Levitical law are doing it because they have an agenda and they are desperate for whatever biblical support they can find. This horrible knucklehead is railing at a dead boy who was crucified for being gay and basing it entirely on a passage from Leviticus. That says that on the issue of homosexuality, Jesus said nothing, the Apostle Paul said nothing, the authors of the gospels said nothing. He is not arguing that we should follow all Levitical law, just the random passages that fit his worldview. That says it all.
Can I possibly be the only person to notice that all this Levitical law that Fallwell and other small-minded Christian bigots are so intent on ramming down our throats as moral truth is in fact survival rules for a small nomadic population wandering in the desert? That’s why the prohibition on non-procreative releases (Onan too), stoning disobedient children, not eating foods that have high parasitic loads, etc. I refuse to believe that this is the highest form of conduct possible in the modern world, living the way Jehovah instructed the children of Israel to comport themselves in their wanderings. It was things like this that turned me from the young enthusiatic born-again Christian I was in my youth into the apostate atheist I am today. Now I try to live by moral rules that are related to doing the right thing because it is right and not because a magic book tells me to. I don’t do anything to avoid spending eternity in hell. I think doing the right thing because it is right is a higher moral plane than doing it because you fear punishment from your god. I think preachers who feel that tormenting the families of dead boys is the work of the Lord cannot possibly be representing any deity that I would worship. I don’t believe in God or god or any god, but sometimes I have a moment of fantasy that there is one. In this, I will gladly spend eternity in miserable torment if I can only see Fred Phelps suffering next to me.