The Supreme Court ruled that Westboro Baptist Church had the constitutional right to protest at military funerals. This protest was done in the minds of most, including my own, in the most vile and hateful way. Signs and chants protested that the soldier's death was a punishment from God for America being godless. "God Hates Fags." "God Hates America." "God Blew Up The Shuttle." "Thank God for 9/11" And so on.
I am not a constitutional lawyer, so I am not the one to ask about free speech issues. Evidently, this is protected free speech. I am a Christian, however, and I take my vocation seriously. I do believe that these folks are misguided and do not represent my God nor the God of Jesus Christ. What do I do, if anything?
First, I exercise my free speech. I write this and it will be posted many places. I do not believe the God of Love chooses arbitrarily to take the life of a random person as an object lesson for the rest of us. Justice would demand a fairer system of punishment. God will judge but I do not believe it will be random or arbitrary.
Christ died for our sins. God could have skipped that and fried us a long time ago. Evidently, that was not in God's plans. God wants it all back. Voluntarily.
I believe God is a God of both Mercy and Justice. I cannot help but think that God would not call us to burden bereaving families further with such painful protests.
We are all sinners. The Bible says so. Westboro members as well. They show no humility. The fruit the Spirit of God leaves behind embraces humility. Leave room for God.
I am aware that America and I, Jim, are both imperfect. We do, in fact, need to clean up our act and pursue justice in the way Jesus urged. That same Jesus Christ gave a second chance for those of us who are a mixture of noble and ignoble to help life bloom despite our faults. God does want us to pursue justice.
Second, since the protests will continue, I hope we will turn out in greater numbers to support grieving families. We have free speech as well. Use our tongues and presence for good. This includes not berating the protestors, even if we may argue with them.
What do you think? What's your understanding of God have to say about this? Is there any call to action for you? We are the ambassadors of Christ.