Q: What is up with the Baptist Church in Kansas? Why do they protest military funerals and say this is God paying us back?
A: Great question!
The short answer: sheesh!
The longer answer: Freedom of speech and religion are bedrock rights in this country. This is an incredibly rare gift, but the shadow side of this gift is that anybody can claim to do anything in the name of Jesus.
Westboro Baptist Church and its protesters do not represent Jesus in any way. I do not know enough of their history to know if they began orthodox and then lost their way, or if they were heretical from the beginning. They believe that God is calling them to pronounce condemnation on USA because of laws and behaviors in USA. They believe the most effective way to do this is through picketing and protests that show vulgar and heretical signs, pronouncing judgement upon certain populations.
They are, in the words of Bill Shakespeare, “hoisted by their own petard.”
The simple fact is you cannot represent Jesus while being known for hate. They seem sincere in their belief and cause, but fail to reflect Jesus’ ethic of love and sacrifice in any visible way. They do tremendous damage to the witness of the church. The only elements they have in common with real followers of Jesus are the words, “baptist” and “church.” I sincerely wish they would go away as quickly as possible, or be intellectually honest and remove the words “baptist” and “church” from their name. They are not followers of Jesus, they are deceived and we should pray for the people trapped in their cult.