Religious Double Standards

Those kooky creeps at the Westboro Baptist Church are at it again – but they’ve finally found a target that may get them banned.

The Fred Phelps cult is usually known for protesting at funerals in the LGBT community, gleefully announcing to horrified family and guests that their loved one has arrived in Hell. Their behavior is childishly disgusting and absolutely immoral – but local governments have done little to prevent their antics.

Today, Phelpers are planning on protesting at Coretta Scott King’s funeral because she endorsed, “the homosexual agenda.” As despicable as this is, it probably isn’t enough to cause any real action from our government. Personally, I think WBC will not get as strong a reaction as they received when protesting at the funeral of Fred Rogers.

And it’s really no wonder. Even though religious authorities in America have been uneasy with Phelps’ hate speech they have done little about it as long as Phelps focused on protesting at gay funerals. The lack of a political outcry from organizations such as Donald Wildmon’s American Family Association, or James Dobson’s Focus on the Family is understandable because a message against Phelps would obviously be insincere. These organizations clearly agree with Phelps’ sentiments, even as they try to distance themselves from his kookiness.

But now the WBC whackos are protesting at military funerals, and state governments are rushing through legislation to make their antics illegal. I find it interesting that legislators called WBC protests “free speech” at a gay funeral, but are willing to call it a crime when they protest a fallen soldier. Families of both deserve respect during their grief – the difference here isn’t soldier versus gay, it is the number of angry voters demanding action.

Religious double standards seem to be fairly common in America.

When ex-judge (and current candidate for Governor in Alabama) Roy Moore used up his 15 minutes of fame during the 10 Commandments monument incident, Fred Phelps attempted to put his Matthew Sheppard hate monuments alongside 10 Commandment monuments around the nation, saying that since a 10 Commandments monument was legal, the WBC hate monument should also be legal. It was interesting to watch religious legislators tap dance as they tried to write laws that would allow the display of religious 10 Commandments monuments while disallowing the display of the equally religious Westboro Baptist Church monuments. Phelps’ actions clearly demonstrated why a 10 Commandments monument is usually unconstitutional and illegal.

Another more recent example of this religious double standard is Bush earmarking federal AIDS funding for religious organizations. Groups who promote condom use in order to reduce the risk of AIDS are required to include information on abstinence and fidelity in order to qualify for this federal money. Those religious groups who preach abstinence only are not required to give out information on the effectiveness of condoms in order to receive this money.

Westboro Baptist Church should apply for federal funding – they also teach abstinence only.