Thinking Out Loud

October 28, 2014

The Westboro Saga Continues

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — paulthinkingoutloud @ 6:03 am

Religion News Service posted an interesting story and video last week. As many of you know the Westboro Baptist Church property sits just 50 feet away from another home in the suburban neighborhood that mounted a counter-protest by painting the siding in the rainbow colors of gay rights.

I decided to check out the divide first hand on Google Street View and captured this:

Westboro Baptist and its Neighbor - from Google Street View

Two things surprised me. The first was how sedate and suburban the street is. The second was how unimposing the Westboro building is, given their worldwide infamy. (Was the word ‘God’ in the banner blurred out by Google, or was that just a camera thing?)

The video includes a visit to WBC’s protest sign library; they are prepared for all contingencies. This movement is not going away anytime soon, as some thought it might with the passing of Fred Phelps, Sr.

The other interesting moment for me was a quotation from one of their neighbors from the house by a member of the group Planting Peace, “…the perfect opportunity to promote freedom of speech, and also again to show the obvious juxtaposition: Where there’s hate, there’s love.”

Yes. Except the hate adjective here belongs to self-styled “Christians.” In a public relations contest, the gay-rights people would win all the votes of an unbiased audience.

I decided not to embed the video which features drag queen Gabby Godiva, but you can send RNS reporter Sally Morrow some click-love by watching the video and reading the story at source.

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August 8, 2012

Wednesday Link List

…witty introduction…okay we don’t have one…

  • Okay, I don’t get paid to do this and I don’t have endless hours to do the research, but according to one source, The Jesus Deck is a harmless Christian educational product from the ’70s, while according to another it’s tantamount to ‘Christian Tarot cards.’  Since you guys always correct/update me, I’ll leave it to you to comment on this.
  • Are we actually allowed to disagree with John Piper online? I thought there was a law about that. Anyway, Peter Enns did a few weeks back, the full title of his article is: John Piper on Why “It’s Right for God to Slaughter Women and Children Anytime He Pleases” and Why I Have Some Major Problems with That. That’s a long post title. Are we actually allowed to do that, too?
  • CNN reported Thursday that a bill restricting protests and pickets at military funerals is a just steps away from being signed into law by President Obama. This means a certain fringe group and its wacko leader would be in direct contravention of a law should they decide to continue their media-attention-getting ways. Since most of the group is family members, and many of those family members are trained as lawyers, they should understand the consequences of transgression. Or will they?
  • For those of you willing to step outside the comfort zone of the Christian blogosphere, here is a guide to reading the blogs of atheists, agnostics and just plain skeptics.
  • Sikh and ye shall find: If the weekend shooting at a Sikh temple left you wondering where this religion fits in, here’s a link to the Wikipedia page on Sikhism.
  • “So if you’re a wife reading this, ask your husband, point blank, this simple question: ‘When was the last time you viewed pornography?’ If communication is good in your marriage, as it should be, he’ll answer your question directly and honestly. If your marriage needs help, he may hem, haw, stall, look away, get defensive, or act offended.” More by Eric Guel at Thinklings
  • I’ve gotten behind with the Phil Vischer Show podcast; they’re up to episode #11. Phil, Skye and Christian talk about Chick-Fil-A and how our society has come to associate brands with personal identity. They talk about the Olympics and then Skye and Phil answer the twitter question, “If you could add any pavilion to the future world at Epcot, what would it’s theme be?” Guest Scott Olsen, CEO of International Teams, talks about the changing face of world missions and social justice. 
  • Website of the Week: Life After Ministry: Leading Mormons to the Real Jesus Christ. Michelle, Kirk, Kent and Melissa have chronicled over 300 ‘dilemmas’ with LDS theology and teaching.
  • On July 23, 2011, nine-year-old Rachel Beckwith was killed in a tragic car accident on highway I-90 near Seattle, Washington. After her death, thousands of people all around the world started donating to her mycharity: water fundraising page, and over the course of a month, raised over $1.2 million in Rachel’s honor. That money is now helping 60,000 people get access to clean water. It’s been a year since the accident. In honor of the anniversary, Rachel’s mom and her grandparents visit Ethiopia with charity: water and meet some of the people Rachel helped. 
  • Really into Christian book authors? CrossTweet at Christian Book Videos is an index of the Twitter feeds of authors both established and fairly new; fiction and non-fiction.
  • Dan Gouge wrote a short interesting post about similarities between sports institutions and religious institutions, and then, a few days later, came across this 8-minute video about the sports element in custom funerals.
  • The cartoon turned up in a cleanup I’ve been doing; it’s the comic Simple Beasts circa 1989… Have a great week and remember to get link suggestions in by Monday evening.

June 2, 2010

Wednesday Link List

Our link list artist this week is David Hayward, better known as Naked Pastor.   He actually gave away the original water color of this  last week, so with blog giveaways like that, you might just want to become a regular reader.

Off to the links we go…

  • Rick Apperson reviews basketball fundraiser Austin Gutwein’s Take Your Best Shot, at the blog Just a Thought, while the whole genre — including some video clips of Austin — is examined at Christian Book Shop Talk.   Like Zach Hunter, Austin, pictured at right, got into the whole international relief thing at a very, very young age.  If I were still in youth ministry, I think I would build a whole evening around the videos describing what Zach and Austin are doing.
  • The whole Charismatic thing got started in the 1970s, right?   Not exactly.   If you’ve got some time to invest, Brazillian-born Leo Di Siqueira links to a lengthy article that blows apart the “cessationist” view that the supernatural gifts of the Holy Spirit died off with the first apostles.  Writer Nigel Scotland documents examples of the “miracle” gifts occurring in the first five centures of the church.   The link is approximately a 15-page .pdf file.
  • Garrison Keillor explains the book publishing industry for all the children in the audience who are too young to remember what a book is on the pages of The New York Times.    (Here’s a related piece I wrote at my book industry blog.)
  • John Freeman at Ligoner Ministries suggests a balanced approach to dealing with the issue of homosexuality specifically and sexual sins in general; meanwhile…
  • …”When Ray Boltz and Azariah Southworth perform in concert at Covenant of the Cross in Nashville on June 17, 2010, they will kick off a national tour as well as an affirmation of their status as openly gay Christian music artists.”   Continue reading that story in Out and About a gay community blog.    But wait, there’s more…
  • …At the blog Monday Morning Insight, Todd Rhoades posts a piece about Boltz’ new album and some sample song lyrics which invite the broader Christian community to embrace greater tolerance.
  • For the time being, Raymond Hosier can wear his rosary beads to school, as reports the Washington Post.  Now the school in question faces a lawsuit.
  • Once-disgraced Colorado Pastor Ted Haggard announced today he is starting a new church and “will be happy if only a few people join.”  Read about St. James Church at NBC’s Denver affiliate.
  • They sold their house and named their RV after the book Crazy Love by Francis Chan.  This is actually an October, 2009 YouTube clip from Good Morning America, but someone sent it to me, and it is inspiring.
  • By their CD collection you shall know them:  Brett McCracken thinks true “hipsters” would be nostalgic for these contemporary Christian music classics.
  • Many a college or university began life with solid Christian roots which they would sooner forget in the secularized 21st Century; but sometimes, as Mark Roberts points out, the architecture of their older buildings betrays this history.  (My own alma matter, once proudly part of the now liberal United Church of Canada, is emblazoned with, “The Truth Shall Set You Free.”)
  • Trevin Wax had two great links last week:  First, when the Westboro gang decide to picket your church, if you’re in the deep south you serve them food!  Second, a link to Head Heart Hand, which suggests that bloggers are usually either Creators or Curators.
  • Relatively new blog:  Faith and the Law chronicles those times where Christians run afoul of the law in both the U.S. and around the world.
  • Our cartoon this week are from Doug Michael (upper) and Dennis Daniel (lower) at Baptist Press (we’re going to have to put these guys on the payroll…)  What’s with all the first-name last-names at BP?



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