by Leslie Robinson -
SGN Contributing Writer
Some people argue that the best way to handle the ever-present, ever-protesting members of the Westboro Baptist Church is simply to ignore them.
That sounds sensible. But I just can't do it.
The truth is I find Fred Phelps and his congregation fascinating. I get that they're among the world's biggest media whores - they could even give Donald Trump pointers - and will push any boundary for attention. Yet they still manage to surprise me.
Like just recently, when they journeyed to North Carolina. Since Westboro's creed is 'God Hates Fags,' and since North Carolina passed the anti-Gay Amendment One, a reasonable person might assume the Phelpsians visited the Tar Heel State simply to sniff the heady air of Bigotus Victorious.
But no, that's not the Westboro way. North Carolinians don't want Gays to marry; Westboro members don't want Gays to live.
So they went to North Carolina to do what they always do, stage a protest. Their target was obvious, a man famous for supporting Gay rights, a man who practically bleeds rainbow colors.
The elder statesman of evangelical Christianity a friend of Gays? Right. And Billy's son and heir Franklin is a part-time imam.
While Graham has taken far fewer political stances in his career than, say, Jerry Falwell or Pat Robertson, he jumped headlong into the Amendment One battle.
'At 93, I never thought we would have to debate the definition of marriage,' Graham wrote in an ad that ran in newspapers around North Carolina. 'The Bible is clear - God's definition of marriage is between a man and a woman. I want to urge my fellow North Carolinians to vote FOR the marriage amendment on Tuesday, May 8.'
Yup, he's on our side, all right. Downright ready to head up a PFLAG chapter.
So why, if Westboro and Graham are anti-Gay bedfellows, did the Phelpsians protest Graham? Because the Reverend isn't anti-Gay enough. Westboro, you see, has very high standards.
About a dozen church members picketed the Billy Graham Library in Charlotte and other Graham-centric locations. On Westboro's website, according to WBTV, the church said Graham should use his influence to tell the world, 'It's not okay to be a fag, it's not okay to divorce and remarry, it's not okay to fornicate, it's not okay to kill your babies.'
The man is 93. How can he be expected even to remember all that?
Protester Paulette Phelps told the Asheville Citizen-Times that Graham cares more for money and power than preaching God's truth. 'The true Gospel says if you don't obey, you're going to perish. There are consequences for not obeying. Homosexuality is all bad, all day.'
She makes it sound like a radio format.
Either Paulette or another Phelps - most if not all Westboro church members are related - held a sign reading 'God H8s Billy's Cow.'
I was baffled as to why God would hate dairy products, unless He's lactose-intolerant, but it turned out to refer to a 'talking' cow that tells stories and sings songs to young Graham Library visitors.
All part of Graham's money-grubbing, claimed the Phelpsians, who asked, 'How many children can you lead to Satan through Bessie the talking cow?'
I guess that would depend on the quality of Bessie's stories and songs.
Only after I'd ruminated over Westboro's attack on Billy Graham did I remember that this isn't the first time the cult has targeted a prominent evangelical. In 2007, these folks protested at Jerry Falwell's funeral, in part because of Falwell's warmth toward Gays.
Yeah, Falwell adored us.
How could I forget they protested him? Because their reasoning is so bizarre I can barely wrap my mind around it. But I won't forget again. When Pat Robertson dies, I'll expect the Phelpsians to picket his funeral. Robertson has always overflowed with love for Gay people.
Leslie Robinson wants to meet Bessie the talking cow. Email Leslie at email@example.com, and read more LGBT funnies at www.generalgayety.com.
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