Westboro church founder Fred Phelps dies (finally)

Isn’t it funny that Fred Phelps from the Westboro Baptist Church died so close to the International Day of Happiness? I know I’m super happy now!

Good fucking riddance to this guy! What a hateful monster! Look at the all of the poisonous family members he created that now spew out his intolerance and hate. I hope they all die a pitiful death like he did.  Even though he was excommunicated from his own church, he is to blame for all this evil they brought in the world!

This one is for you dickbag:

 

This is from CNN:

(CNN) — Fred Phelps — the founding pastor of a Kansas church known for its virulently anti-gay protests at public events, including military funerals — has died, the church said Thursday.

The 84-year-old died of natural causes at 11:15 p.m. Wednesday, according to church spokesman Steve Drain.

Phelps founded Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kansas, in 1955 and molded it in his fire-and-brimstone image. Many members of the small congregation are related to Phelps through blood or marriage.

In a statement Thursday, the church chided the “world-wide media” for “gleefully anticipating the death.”

Photos: Pastor Fred PhelpsPhotos: Pastor Fred Phelps

“God forbid, if every little soul at the Westboro Baptist Church were to die at this instant, or to turn from serving the true and living God, it would not change one thing about the judgments of God that await this deeply corrupted nation and world.”

According to Westboro, the church has picketed more than 53,000 events, ranging from Lady Gaga concerts to funerals for slain U.S. soldiers. Typically, a dozen or so church members — including small children — will brandish signs that say “God Hates Fags” and “Thank God for Dead Soldiers.”

Phelps was often called “the most hated man in America,” a label he seemed to relish.

“If I had nobody mad at me,” he told the Wichita Eagle in 2006, “what right would I have to claim that I was preaching the Gospel?”

Under Phelps’ leadership, Westboro members have preached that every calamity, from natural disasters to the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, is God’s punishment for the country’s acceptance of homosexuality. Phelps had advocated for gays and lesbians to be put to death.

“Fred Phelps will not be missed by the LGBT community, people with HIV/AIDS and the millions of decent people across the world who found what he and his followers do deeply hurtful and offensive,” the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force said in a statement.

Phelps began his anti-gay protests in Wichita in 1991 after complaining that the city refused to stop gay activities in a public park. He rose to national notoriety in 1998, when Westboro members picketed at the funeral of Matthew Shepard, a Wyoming man who was tortured and murdered because he was gay. Phelps and his church carried signs that said Shepard was rotting in hell.

The Southern Poverty Law Center calls Westboro Baptist Church “arguably the most obnoxious and rabid hate group in America.”

In 2011, the Supreme Court upheld Westboro’s right to picket military funerals on free speech grounds. Congress and several states, though, have passed laws aimed at keeping church members at a distance from funerals.

In 2013, more than 367,000 petitioners called on the White House to legally recognize Westboro Baptist Church as a hate group. The White House called Westboro’s protests “reprehensible” but said that “as a matter of practice, the federal government doesn’t maintain a list of hate groups.”

Anti-gay preacher once fought for civil rights

Born in Meridian, Mississippi, on November 29, 1929, Phelps had his sights set on West Point before he attended a Methodist revival. He said the sermon inspired him to enter the ministry.

“I felt the call, as they say, and it was powerful,” Phelps told the Topeka Capital-Journal in 1994. “The God of glory appeared.” Later, Phelps was ordained by a Southern Baptist church in Utah.

He bounced around several Christian colleges as his preaching and his theology took a hard right turn.

A Time magazine article from 1951 describes Phelps as a “craggy-faced engineering student” who harangued fellow students about the dangers of promiscuity and profanity.

Tim Miller, a professor of religious history at the University of Kansas who has studied Westboro Baptist Church, said Phelps liked to consider himself a “primitive Baptist preacher who held to the old ways.”

Despite its “Baptist” name, Westboro is not affiliated with any larger church denomination. Most Christians criticize the congregation’s harsh anti-gay rhetoric and penchant for pursuing the limelight at inappropriate moments.

Phelps married his wife, Marge, who survives him, in 1952. The couple moved to Topeka on May 4, 1954, the day the Supreme Court handed down its landmark decision Brown v. Board of Education, which desegregated public schools.

Phelps interpreted that as a sign and soon began a law career that centered on civil rights, winning awards for his work and praise from local leaders.

“Most blacks — that’s who they went to,” the Rev. Ben Scott, president of the NAACP’s Topeka branch, told CNN in 2010. “I don’t know if he was cheaper or if he had that stick-to-it-ness, but Fred didn’t lose many back then.”

Phelps was disbarred from practicing law in state courts, however, after being accused of badgering a witness and making false claims in court affidavits. The Kansas Supreme Court said that Phelps “has little regard for the ethics of his profession.”

Phelps surrendered his license to practice law in federal courts in 1989, according to the Topeka Capital-Journal, after nine U.S. District Court judges filed disciplinary complaints against him.

Most of the members of Phelps’ Westboro Baptist Church are members of his large family. Phelps has 13 children; 11 are attorneys. One son, Nathan, is estranged from his father and from organized religion. He is an atheist.

Nathan Phelps posted a Facebook message March 15 saying that his father had been excommunicated from the church. Later, though, Nathan Phelps said it was “unclear” whether his father had been expelled from Westboro.

A church statement issued on March 16 said that “membership issues are private” and that eight unnamed elders lead the congregation.

On Thursday, the church added, “Listen carefully; there are no power struggles in the Westboro Baptist Church, and there is no human intercessor — we serve no man, and no hierarchy, only the Lord Jesus Christ.”

For years, Phelps joked about the possibility that his own funeral would draw protests. During a sermon in 2006, he said a CNN reporter once asked how he would feel if that occurred.

“I’d love it. I’d invite them,” Phelps told the reporter, according to the Wichita Eagle. “I said: ‘I’ll put in my will to pay your way. But not first class.’ ”

But Shirley Phelps-Roper, Phelps’ daughter, said Westboro will not hold a funeral.

“We do not worship the dead,” Phelps-Roper told CNN.

CNN’s John Blake and Katherine Wojtecki contributed to this report.

Bill Nye Debates Ken Ham

I still haven’t had a chance to watch this debate due to being on a work trip. I am going to watch it tonight but I would love to hear your thoughts on it! I am team Nye btw.

The Ever Creative #Creationism

As this point, most of you internet savvy users have come across this first verified picture:

This second page is another part of the test.

If you have not seen this, and are very confused, let me explain. You are looking at the “science” quiz in a private religious school. This student answered the questions according to the theory of creationism. Creationists believe that the entire world was created by God out of nothing and is 6,000 years old.

This shit seriously blows my mind. I cannot even fathom how this garbage is even taught in any school! This is not science. This is telling stories to children and telling them to ignore facts and evidence.

Rather than rip on a child who doesn’t know better, I decided to find the root of this garbage. As I was trying to research this whole lunatic theory, it didn’t take me very long to find the perpetrator of this bullshit. Ken Ham.  If you watch the videos, you will see that every question on the above quiz is directly out of the material in the videos.

Here are his videos teaching creationism to students. I promise, if you are of a logical mind, you will be livid by the time you are done watching this shit.

So Ken Ham opens up with how he does not believe in evolution. He does not believe we came from apes or that the Earth is millions of years old. Why? Because the Bible says so. Apparently the Bible is the “History Book Of The Universe.” Are you kidding me?

Ken Ham has a hard time believing in evolution. Apparently it is just ludicrous and beyond reason for him to believe that living organisms adapt to change and evolve. For example, wombats in his native Australia have backward facing pouches. Mr. Ham claims that it was God who built in the backward pouch so that they wouldn’t fill it with dirt when digging. I guess the idea of a deity in Heaven designing some marsupial is more believable than the wombat’s ancestors started digging as a survival thousands/millions of years ago and their bodies evolved to aid in that survival.

Speaking of millions of years ago, according to that Bible, the dated age of the Earth is 6,000 years old. It doesn’t matter what science says. In fact, Ken Ham offers no proof that science is wrong. I did not once hear any explanation or counter argument against science aging the planet millions of years. It is probably because science has the proof to back their claim up. The Bible is not proof of anything. It is the claim. The burden of proof falls on the Creationists, and so far they have proved nothing.

For instance, according to Creationism, God created the land animals on the sixth day. Land animals include humans and dinosaurs. Yes that is correct, creationists believe that the dinosaurs and humans lived together at the same time. That time was 6,000 years ago. That is despite the fact that we have proven through carbon dating the age of Earth is much older than 6,000 years, and that there are no human remains from the time period of the dinosaurs millions of years ago. Also, the dinosaurs would have wiped us out. Speaking of wiped out, when the dinosaurs were wiped out by the meteor, and humans were around then, how did the humans survive?

Ken Ham teaches these brainwashed children that the next time, when speaking about the dinosaurs, an Evolutionist says “millions of years ago..” to politely ask them “Excuse me, were you there?” When the Evolutionist replies back with “You weren’t there either” they are reply back with “No I wasn’t there, but I know someone who was and I have his word and I have the History Book Of The Universe which tells us all about the dinosaurs, are you interested?”

Are you serious? What kind of idiotic response is that? “I know someone who was there” Who? God? No you don’t, so shut the fuck up. They have never met or known a single person or entity who was “there.” They only know what they have been told to believe. Also, the Bible was written by men who were also not at the beginning when the Earth was created from “nothing.” God didn’t log his creation of the Earth. In fact, “He” didn’t log a damn thing at any point. He took the seventh day off and didn’t do a damn thing. If I were creating the world/universe, I would probably jot a few notes down. It’s kind of a big deal. The Bible proves absolutely nothing.

If “God” created the languages first, according to the first video, then how come “He” did not create the name dinosaur for the dinosaurs when “He” created them AFTER? There was a name for everything else. Ken Ham “believes” that what we call dragons in the Bible were really dinosaurs. That is what he believes, but he did not provide any real proof.

Also, if God was real, that means He created carbon dating. Why would “He” create the proof that Evolutionists use to dismantle the Creationist’s claim? Wouldn’t that just be counter productive?

Why would God create the universe on the first day, which is infinite, and concentrate on making only one whole planet which is really a speck of dust in this universe? Why did He create all those pointless planets, stars, galaxies out there if He had no plans for them? What if other life is discovered in galaxies far away? If God created us in his image and made us his focus on Creation Week, then how would Creationists explain other life forms? Would they do what the religious people have been known to do against something different than them? Spill blood.

As you can see by the last two paragraphs, creationism does nothing but create more questions than answers. All they have done is make claims for which they provide no proof. Just because they believe something to be true does not make it true. When scientists believe something, they test it through experiments and find answers. They do not sit there and just believe. They prove it. For every claim made by the Bible, science proves it wrong.

Teaching creationism in school is a form of child abuse. I believe children are specifically targeted for this because they will just blindly believe it since they are told the other option is incorrect. This seriously needs to stop. It starts with the parents. If you look at the below picture, you can see what happens to those who are blind. Do they really want the reasonable minded people in the world to laugh at the adult who still believes in Santa? Don’t be this parent:

One day religion will die and all of this will just be a dark part of human history. I won’t be around to see it, but I know it will happen. We are slowly letting go of religion and these false beliefs.

Mommy Dearest

One of the most important people in my life is my mother. I love her to no end and think the world of her. I think she is a strong woman who did a lot for us kids when our father passed away. She was a single mother of 4 teenagers. We were not an easy group of teens, but she survived us and we her.

During those teenage years is when I came out (well, I was forced out) of the closet to my mother that I am gay. As a Catholic Albanian woman, that was not easy to hear for her. She was very angry with me, and that first year of being out she didn’t want me anywhere near her family. Although, my cousins already knew I was gay long before I came out. They didn’t really care since it wasn’t news to them. My mom’s brothers however, not as cool about it at first. To be totally honest though, they have never really mattered to me, so their opinions of me matter even less. They seem to be much cooler about it now. Either way, I couldn’t care less.

What I do care about is my mother and what she thinks. Regardless of how tough I am and don’t care what anyone thinks about me,  as a son I still seek the approval of my mother. On some level we are all guilty of that. It’s part of the parent/child relationship. I think that sometimes parents forget what it was like to be someone’s child and how deep a mother can cut you.

For a few years my relationship with mother was tumultuous to say the least. It wasn’t until I got older that we started to have a strong relationship. The only problem with that is I think it may have been established on a false foundation. We do not talk about me being gay. Occasionally she will say to me to marry a nice woman. But that’s really it. However, that doesn’t mean she doesn’t bring it up to my other siblings. She once told me sister that she didn’t know what she did in her life to have a gay son. That was such a heartbreaking thing to hear. I didn’t want to fight her so I just sucked it up and quietly forgave her for it. She was raised a certain way and is not one for change.

My mother was born in Kline, Kosovo and grew up in Belgrade, Serbia (former Yugoslavia). She comes from a Catholic background as well. Both do not agree with homosexuality at all. So that way of thinking is all she knew and it’s become her way of thinking.

My mother’s sister also has a gay son. She is much more accepting of homosexuality though. My aunt even attended my cousin’s wedding to his husband. My mother has openly voiced her disgust at my aunt’s support of my cousin being gay. She also told me to wait until she dies if I am going to marry a man. When my mother goes off about my cousin, I feel like she is really projecting her anger at me being gay to him since he is not her son.

When I hear her say the things that she does, it really upsets me. I try to not let it get to me because I know she is who she is. I will never be able to change her. I just have to accept her for who she is. I don’t like dancing around the issue with her, but it’s just not something we will ever be able to sit down and discuss.

I believe that years of just trying to disregard her beliefs has finally surfaced. I was at her house last week and she flipped out about my hair. It wasn’t that she just doesn’t like it, but she went on a tangent. I know that I am a reactive person too. I get it from her. But she went so over the top with it that I just grabbed my keys and left. I haven’t spoken to her since. At first, I was just upset because she had to be so judgmental over my hair. That anger opened up the can of worms to everything else that has upset me with her.

I think that I am a great kid for a parent to have. I am 30 years old. I live on my own, work two jobs, put myself through college, visit as often as I can, take my mom shopping or just hang out with her. I don’t do drugs, I rarely go out or drink. I also face the same life challenges as everyone else.  So I happen to be sexually attracted to men. Does that really negate everything else about me?

That doesn’t mean I view myself in a different way. I love the person that I am. I think I am kind, funny, a great friend, and a positive person. I am out and proud to be gay. I have become the person that I was meant to be.

I do not believe that my mother loves me any less. That is not even an issue. I know how much she loves me. I just wish that she could accept me for the person I was born to be. In a world where I don’t care about anyone else’s opinion, my mom is still my mommy and her opinion does count.

It is an aspect of my life that I unfortunately will have to deal with. Maybe one day she will change her mind.

What is your story? Anything you want to share? Any advice?

The Mythology of Religion

All religions contain a degree of mythology in them. Thousands of years ago many of the world’s people believed in a Hellenistic type of religion. Polytheism was the common type of religion with many different cultures believing in multiple gods and goddesses. The Greeks and Romans because of their proximity and influence on each other believed in similar gods but with different names. The Egyptians and the Scandinavians had a belief system of multiple gods and goddesses as well.  These beliefs remained a strong and integral part of each civilization’s foundation for hundreds of years.

Along the way new beliefs and religions were found and implemented. Judaism, Christianity, and Islam all rose as world religions. These religions were, and still are, a monotheistic religion. It was Dionysius the Areopagite, whose name is ironically derived from Dionysus, the Greek God of Wine (Powell, 243-280), who said that “The only positive attributions that are legitimately ascribed to God are the characteristics derived from the language of Scripture” (Neusner, 253). The three branches of religion adopted a model built from that belief. So the god worshipped is the same God, but each with a different name. This god is known as Allah to the Islam faith, Jehovah or God in the Christian faith, and Yahweh in the Jewish faith. Since each holy book is written with different values and concepts, each variation of God is then viewed differently. Mercenaries were helping convert new believers into one of the respective faiths which had become more inclusive than the previous beliefs (Vollbach, slide 4). The Hellenistic faiths were written off as mythology and stories of fantasy as more and more people abandoned the faiths or were born into Christianity, Judaism, or Islam.

The changeover from one popular belief system to another and the transformation of entire religions into mythology is proof that eventually all religions will become a mythology. So far it looks like the three main religions are following the same direction as the Greek, Roman, Egyptian, and North mythology. At some point, most likely in the far future, new beliefs will be introduced and the current religions will also be shelved under mythology.

There are so many similarities between religion today and the Hellenistic religion of the Old World. The big three of religions currently each have a holy book of scriptures. The Quran for Islam, the Torah for Judaism, and The Bible for Christianity. These three holy books tell the story of their God and his prophets.  They also tell stories of heroic battles and supernatural events that occurred. The Bible tells of story that God flooded the earth for 40 days and 40 nights. (Deffinbough) It even has a story of God’s son Jesus’ death and resurrection. Believers take this information as fact and follow it. The word of the Bible is absolute to many believers. However, the Greeks also had their own version of a holy book called The Iliad. This book also told the stories of the each of the gods and goddesses. It also told the stories of the mortals who came into contact with this deities. There is a story that the Titan Prometheus brought fire to the humans and was punished (Powell, 110-119). This book too, at the time, was irrefutable proof that the gods existed. Both books teach principles from each story. As time went on though the Iliad was disregarded as a collection of mythological stories. When the Bible is compared to the Iliad it is easy to see just how similar they are. They both were written by man, not God(s), and they each tell stories that teach principles to the believer. Much like fables and legend, which also fall under myth, these stories of supernatural behavior and extraordinary people are just a way of teaching a morals and values to its followers (Powell pgs 2-4). The holy books of today are just as absolute as the Iliad once was by its believers. There will be a time when these holy books will be disregarded just like the Iliad to make room for a new religion.

The belief in the similar God also harks back to the Greek and Roman gods and goddesses. The Greeks and Romans believed in the same gods. However each culture gave them different names. The Roman’s gave them Latin names. The Greeks used Greek names. In the current religions Allah, Yahweh, and Jehovah are all the same god but with a different name. Each religion today is also intertwined with one another. All three religions tell the story of Abraham and his descendents along with being a descendent of Mohammad, the prophet of Islam. So even though there are three separate religions, they are more a spin off of one main belief. Islam is actually a religion based of old Greek Hellenistic philosophy or inspired by the Greeks (Neusner, pg 130).  If a new religion is inspired by an old one, even loosely, and that religion is interconnected to two other main religions that leaves room for a change in beliefs in the future. A new belief could be introduced to humanity that maybe God, by all his names, is not real, and the holy books are just false. It would even be feasible to say that evolution and science could become the future’s religion. Perhaps polytheism will become all the rage.

The old and current belief systems also had places of worship for their respective gods. Shrines were built to different mythological gods so that followers could make sacrifices and leave gifts. Churches, synagogues, and mosques today are also used for that very same purpose. Believers go there to show respect and worship to their god.

The only differences between the Hellenistic and religious beliefs today are how inclusive the latter religions are. Anyone can become Christian, Jewish, or Muslim. The staying power of the Judaism, Christianity, and Islam faiths has been so strong due to the inclusiveness that they offer. They will be around for a considerable amount of time before any big changes happen.

History tends to repeat itself. It seems that it is happening again. Since human beings adapt and evolve over time, the way things are done change. Thoughts, beliefs, rituals all become extinct and transform into something new. If humanity did not evolve their thought patterns and way of life then undoubtedly the world would still believe in Zues, Thor, Saturn, or Ra. Evolution is never ending. Just as humans physically adapt and change, thinking patterns and beliefs also evolve or change.

 

Bibliography

Deffinbough, Bob. The Flood (Genesis 6:9-8:22) http://bible.org/seriespage/flood-genesis-69-822 Internet.

Powell, Barry B. Classical Myth: Second Edition. New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 1998. Print

 

Neusner, Jacob. Religious Foundations of Western Civilization. NashvilleTennessee. Abingdon Press, 2006, Print

 

Vollbach, Michael, Rise of World Religions Powerpoint, Pearson Education Inc, 2010, Powerpoint Presentation

 

God, Religion, and Spirituality

>This is a blog that I honestly have no idea what direction to go in. It may just sound like I am rambling or just talking to myself. I am taking a history class where we tend to discuss religion a lot. It has made me start questioning. I guess its time that I finally figure out a few things.

I have always been anti-religion and anti-God. Neurotic religious people have really killed it for me. They all pass judgement on people when they shouldn’t and try to make people feel inferior to them. There has been so much hate and blood spilled in God’s name that I have a hard time believing in a God that allowed that to happen. Even though I respect any reasonable person’s belief system, I’ve always argued against God and religion and the total mind fuck that it causes.
However, with that being said, I think a small part of me has always wanted to believe in something more. My history teacher made a good point recently. He said he feels bad for his friends because they don’t believe in anything. I think to not have any belief may not be a good thing.
Most people were born into a religion. You are what your parents are. There is also cultural religion. My family was a little different. My father’s side is Muslim and my mother’s side is Catholic. So religion was not something we really learned about growing up. In fact we saw some conflict between the two. When my father passed away was a prime example of Muslim vs Catholic. Even though my father was not a practicing Muslim, he was still Muslim. Part of the burial process includes being wrapped in a white sheet and being placed into the ground with no casket. My dad did tell my mom he never wanted to be buried that way. My mom being Catholic, that wasn’t going to happen anyway. My uncle’s (dad’s brother) father-in-law tried to get him wrapped in the white sheet and do the whole Islamic process. My mom was going to call the cops on him if he went near my father’s body. PS I totally love my mom! She is the best! She is a warrior!
So its easy to see how I how I do not have a belief system. But I think deep down inside I do believe in something. I don’t understand why because it doesn’t make logical sense. I know that the world was created naturally through the Big Bang and all that jazz. I also believe that we are here today thanks to evolution. I do not believe that “God” put us here. I don’t believe in the hocus pocus of the contradicting Bible either. There is no heaven or hell to me. I will be buried in the ground and rot away when I pass away.
So why do I still have this belief that something is out there when I know that it isn’t really possible. I am not even sure what it is I believe in. I don’t believe in God or Jesus (coming back from the dead…really?). Maybe I just want to believe because faith is proven to be good for you? I am not even sure what it is that I believe in. I do know that I don’t believe in the Biblical God or any variation of the religions attached to “Him.” So what do I believe in? An entity? An energy? A higher power?
I guess my problem is fighting all these conflicting beliefs in my head. I will just have to let it come to me rather than for me to just over-think things.