Like vultures and jackals around a corpse, the mad pack calling themselves Westboro Baptist declared that they would be protesting at the funerals of several Amish schoolgirls murdered in Pennsylvania. How anyone could be so craven and evil as to play such an event for publicity is beyond even my normally active imagination, but the bottom line is that Mike Gallagher stepped in and made a deal – if the group would promise – in writing – not to picket the funerals of these innocent girls, he would turn over an hour of his nationally-broadcast radio show to the group. The group accepted, and so far appear to have honored their word, such as it is.
I heard some of that hour this morning, and have no intention of spreading the hate and bile which the Phelps klan was pushing this morning. But I did want to thank Mister Gallagher for his action to save the families grief and anger from these monsters. I also found it interesting to see how these “Christians” have walled off everything in the Bible and the life example of Jesus Christ, except what they could spin to fit their opinion. God in a box, if you will.
The Westboro Baptist bunch basically are Old Testament types – if by that I eliminate everything in the Old Testament except threats and punishment. Not a very joyful lot, they seem. One theme which the lead spokeswoman tossed out – all I will say about her, and all you need to know to catch her base of experience is that she is a daughter of Fred Phelps, well known for condemnation of anyone not just like himself – was the separation between Jacob and Esau. She could play that, because not too many people these days have read the Bible, especially the OId Testament. They might remember something about God saying He loved Jacob and hated Esau. But the woman was wrong.
Jacob was not, to be blunt, a very nice man. He coerced his brother into selling him his birthright by refusing to let him have food until he gave over the right to the family name, even though he knew his brother was starving. Then later when it was time to claim the birthright, Jacob confirmed his dishonesty by posing as his brother in order to deceive his blind father. After getting what he wanted, Jacob ran away. Real class, eh? By the way, this is all in Genesis Chapters 25 through 27. So put away this idea that Jacob was a righteous man.
What happened, in short, was that Jacob’s crime made Esau angry and he turned from God, exemplified by marrying a woman he knew his father would dislike, a daughter of Ishmael (Genesis 28:9). Jacob, on the other hand finally turned to God – ever wonder what that wrestling in Chapter 32 was about? – and returned to face Esau and the consequences of his sin.
But contrary to what many might think, God also touched Esau, for when he met Jacob again, Esau neither attacked him nor condemned him, but ran and hugged his brother Jacob (Genesis 33:4). Through the grace of God, sin was forgiven and the brothers restored. That verse about God hating? That’s from Romans 9:13, where God warned “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated”. Loved and hated as in past-tense, the whole book of Romans is about forgiveness and living in hope and love. Sad to think these “Christians” are ignoring amazing examples of Christ-like behavior in those very Amish they thought to torment, but it is an important lesson for the rest of us to observe.