Westboro Baptist Church

The diseased minds and continued despicable actions of the members of a small ‘Baptist’ church in Kansas get them into the news again. This time they plan to picket the Amish funerals. How this wicked cult can spout such venomous hate in the name of the Christian gospel is simply beyond me. [HT: Jim West]

About Alastair Roberts

Alastair Roberts (PhD, Durham University) writes in the areas of biblical theology and ethics, but frequently trespasses beyond these bounds. He participates in the weekly Mere Fidelity podcast, blogs at Alastair’s Adversaria, and tweets at @zugzwanged.
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9 Responses to Westboro Baptist Church

  1. Chris Hubbs says:

    Despicable. Deplorable. Horriffic. What other adjectives come to mind? I fear for the folks of that “church” and the judgement that will be due them for their horrible misrepresentation of God and the Gospel.

  2. Sean Brandt says:

    They do nothing but make things more difficult for those of us who are trying to proclaim the good news of the gospel here in Kansas.

  3. Those folk are neither “Baptist” nor “Christian.” They are simply a hate-cult. What they call themselves means nothing.

  4. Karen says:

    Thankfully, they’re no longer picketing, in exchange for an hour’s airtime. You can read about it here:

    “The Westboro Baptist Church planned to protest the funerals of the Amish school children. Shirley Phelps-Roper and Mike have agreed that the church will not protest at the funerals in exchange for an hour of airtime. It happens today on the Mike Gallagher Show.”

  5. Al says:

    You are quite right, Kevin. However, it is harder to dissociate oneself from such people when most American Christians operate in terms of such a weak ecclesiology. Who’s ultimately to say that their interpretation of the Christian faith is less valid than ours?

  6. Anonymous says:

    Its not an interpretation… it’s a misrepresentation.

  7. Al says:


    I agree. However, my point remains. The Church outlines orthodoxy, not the Bible by itself. When a movement like evangelicalism has become as unchurchly as it has, it has little to appeal to but private judgment in declaring whether someone is orthodox or not. Of course, anyone can then respond on the basis of their private judgment and declare that they think that they are orthodox after all.

    I have been declared heretical by a number of such people for holding teachings that are well in the mainstream of the Christian tradition (e.g. the real presence of Christ in the Supper, baptismal regeneration). I am expected to take their word for it. All that they have to go on is their personal reading of the text.

  8. Sean says:

    Sorry for the anonymous post…

    I understand… however, the use of the term “interpretation” has become an excuse (not only in Christianity) to dissect a given text into chunks that seemingly justify hatred.

    There is another example of this type of behavior… When Satan tempted Christ in the wilderness for 40 days. He took bits and pieces of God’s word to fit his need.

    Again, I argue that what they are doing is not interpretation, but rather, bastardizing God’s word to justify their hatred by taking God’s word out of context and using it to communicate a message which is not consistent with the original intended message.

    My apologies if I am being argumentative… or kicking a dead horse.

    – Sean

  9. Al says:


    I don’t think that there is a substantial difference between our positions. We are not using the word interpretation in the same sense. I do not believe that an interpretation needs to be a good one to be an interpretation; bad interpretations do not necessarily cease to be interpretations. I think that WBC are most likely seeking to interpret the Bible, not to misrepresent and distort it. Their interpretation is, however, an evilly distorted one. I am not sure that we have to deny that they are interpreting the Christian faith to say that their teaching is a gross distortion of Christian truth.

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