Reverend Harold Camping predicted the world would end on May 21, 2011. Oops. Oh, a math mistake. Reverend Camping predicted the world would end October 16, 2011. Oops again. Is it fair to ask why these folks are so eager to have their End Times?
The Westboro Baptist Church – which seems to be mostly members of Fred Phelps’ extended family – in its desperate attempts to gain public exposure, continues to act out hate speech at funerals for slain service members, celebrity events and any other occasion where they can show their hate. The U.S. Supreme Court conlcuded in 2011 that their activities were protected speech. Hateful speech, but protected.
Over 250,000 good Christians signed a petition to boycott “Homo Depot” stores. Of course, Home Depot wasn’t exactly singled out. The same group had pledged to boycott 7-Eleven, Abercrombie & Fitch, American Airlines, American Girl, Blockbuster Video, Burger King, Calvin Klein, Carl’s Jr., Clorox, Comcast, Crest, Ford, Hallmark Cards, Kmart, Kraft Foods, S. C. Johnson & Son, Movie Gallery, Microsoft, MTV, Mary Kay, NutriSystem, Old Navy, IKEA, Pampers, Procter & Gamble, Target, Tide, Walt Disney Company and PepsiCo.
A Gallup Poll conducted May 5-8, 2011 revealed that 30% of Americans interpret the Bible literally, saying it is the actual word of God. The good news (note the lower case) is that the numbers are actually down from the last decade. The bad news is that leaves nearly a third of Americans denying evolution, physics, geology and astronomy.
Muslims killed Christians. Christians killed Muslims. Muslims killed Hindus. Hindus killed Muslims. Catholics killed Protestants. Protestants killed Catholics. It’s a special kind of ecumenicalism, WC supposes. Oddly, all of these religions forbid killing.
WC is making his slow way through the first volume of Mark Twain’s autobiography – it’s not as much fun as you might expect – but came across this quote, which will serve as a coda for this post:
So much blood has been shed by the Church because of an omission from the Gospel: “Ye shall be indifferent as to what your neighbor’s religion is.” Not merely tolerant of it, but indifferent to it. Divinity is claimed for many religions; but no religion is great enough or divine enough to add that new law to its code.