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God Doesn’t Care About Your Penis

Lesbian and gay students kissing in front of protesters from Westboro Baptist Church at Oberlin College

Lesbian and gay students kissing in front of protesters from Westboro Baptist Church at Oberlin College

Today I went out in the rain, carrying a sign that read “YOUR GOD IS A LITTLE GOD”, to counter-protest the Westboro “Baptist” Church, who apparently drove here from Kansas because a local high school is doing a play they don’t like. The more I read about these people, the more convinced I am that it has to be an elaborate hoax, but apparently they’re for real. Or at least they mean what they say; I shouldn’t assume any of them spend much time in or around “reality”. So there we were, the six WBC members (including a kid of about ten I couldn’t stop referring to as Damien) across the street, the two hundred or so of us in front of the school, the cops in the middle. I’m probably on the news.

On the one hand, you have to kind of admire their perverse doggedness (they apparently do this thousands of times a year, and always outnumbered); on the other hand, you can’t deny they give religion as a whole a bad name. Just think what a legitimate church could do with $250,000 a year. But can we be so sure religion doesn’t deserve it? After all, among the scores of counter-protesters in tie-dyed t-shirts and jeans and suits, there was no priest in cassock and collar, no minister waving a bible, no signs saying “I DON’T LIKE HOMOSEXUALITY EITHER, BUT I’M NOT A DICK ABOUT IT” – no religious response at all, in fact. Every single one of my fellow counter-protesters, so far as I could tell, was there to take a principled, secular stand in favor of gay rights.

It’s the same thing that happens when jihadists blow up a bus, or a doctor who performed abortions gets shot, or a high school kid gets dragged to death behind a pickup truck. There are memorials and wakes and tears and soul-searching, and condemnations of damn near everything, but somehow no one ever quite says it: religion itself is at fault. If the bible contradicts itself, and you choose to follow one passage while these asshats choose to follow another, how can you really say their interpretation is any less valid? Stop taking fairy tales seriously and I promise you’ll see a lot less of this crap.

Atheism: We may not have all the answers, but at least we don’t kill each other.

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