27 February 2008
God Hates Australia
It is important to learn something everyday. Today I learned that God hates Australia!
I have written about the Westboro Baptist Church in passing when I wrote my post about the passing of Heath Ledger. This little flyer is something they published at the time when they were jumping up and down claiming that God had already started to visit his wrath on Australia and had started with Heath Ledger. It appears that Ledger's crime against God was to portray a homosexual cowboy in Brokeback Mountain. I guess this means that the Christian God really is a vengeful God!
Generally, I try and be understanding of all, even the far Christian right, but this supposed Church is so far right that I do not think they are in cooee distance. Besides, I just do not see that rational argument is an option here. Look, how do you argue a rational point of view with a Church whose website address is www.godhatesfags.com? Afterall, these are the same religious zealots (I must admit other words came to mind other than zealot) that protest at the funerals of returned service men and women in the US.
Apparently, God is killing America's young men and women in Afghanistan and Iraq as punishment for moving away from the pure teachings of God. It appears that in particular God sends down his wrath against anyone or any country that tolerates homosexuality.
The above just goes to show that there is no one religion that has a monopoly on fundamentalist teachings and interpretations. Even ones that seem to cross the line to vilification and hate speech in some pundits books!
At least Australia can now move on from the "where the bloody hell are ya?" tourism campaign and onto one such as this: "Come and visit the most corrupt and decadent place on the planet" or "hurry to visit the most corrupt and decadent place on earth before the wrath of God takes it all away!" I would imagine that if the Westboro Baptist Church is right then Australia will not have a lot of time to capitalize on this pre-wrath destruction so Tourism Australia better "get the party started", to borrow a line from Pink!
This is a good test for those who clamour to protect free speech and those who seek to limit free speech. The flip side of free speech is the freedom to ridicule, to insult, to belittle, and to mock, among others! The question though is when does this apparent freedom to ridicule and insult cross the "line in the sand" to vilification or other criminal speech?
I am a big believer in free speech but an equally big believer that if one wants to enjoy the freedoms of speech then they must respect that this is not an absolute or unlimited freedom and be responsible for the words they utter!
I am sure that the members of the Westboro Baptist Church believe whole-heartedly what they preach and most, if not all, would be prepared to go to jail for their beliefs. Ahhhh, such is the power of religion and faith in God!
But no matter what the Westboro Baptist Church thinks -- I am proud to be an Australian and will remain proud right to the end whenever that may be! So, Westboro Baptist Church -- you lose!