our house

3 Ways Hate Is Making Things Better

I don’t mean to make light of hate and the horrible things that happen because of it, but sometimes the joke is really on the haters. Especially when they accidentally do more good than they meant to.

our house

Our house in the middle of the street, Glendale Presbyterian Church, where I am pastor, is the latest bullseye targeted by America’s premiere hate cult, Westboro Baptist Church. For reals.

You know…the group that joyfully celebrates the demise of the nation, the death of its soldiers, hates all things LGBT, women in the pastorate and takes its ire out on, well, on churches. I’d suggest listening to some of their rhetoric, but if you aren’t familiar with them already, then that would be like suggesting that you read a Pop Tart box to learn about nutrition; or licking an ash tray to learn about smoking.

It’s nasty stuff. Like week old vomit in a Texaco bath room kind of nasty. It’s tempting to think that when you hear that they’re going to picket you, you better run and hide, change your worship time, give people stupid-proof vests, but when it’s you, something else happens.

You get pumped.

“It’s an honor to be picketed because you just don’t hate enough!”

It’s not high praise, but we’ll take it as such, source considered. What’s really astounding is what is happening as a result of the craftily publicized visit. Man, do they know how to use twitter!

Unintentional Unity

Nothing brings people together like crisis…good old fashioned opposition. Since hearing about it, my church has bonded in a whole new and profound way. We are ready to stand up with one another. We won’t engage the picketers, that would be like the frog telling the scorpion to wait until they arrive safely on the other side to sting him. We don’t have to engage them. We are engaging one another. Last Sunday as I gave them instructions on what to do, what not to do, we were one: David against Goliath. Who would have thought that hate would inspire such love!

Accidental Connection

I’m not the only church being picketed. There are four of us: “The Four Whorehouse Churches Of Glendale.” We have the dubious privilege of being the “Doghouse” because the PC(USA) has chosen to ordain women. 1950 called. They want their lingo back. At any rate, this thing has brought the clergy of these four churches, as well as the Lutherans Concerned/Los Angeles, together to take a prayerful, collegial stand against hate. It’s brilliant. Once again, hate brought us together and there’s a greater sense of community as a result.

Spontaneous Exposure

It goes without saying that the WBC are publicity hounds. The thing is, no one cares anymore. What is more interesting are the organizations they choose to harass. We are the ones, or at least I’ve fielded a few calls and emails, who are being asked to address some media outlet. As long as no one “assaults” them or infringes on their first amendment rights, they will leave bereft of the lawsuits they live on – leaving churches with more influence, greater connection and deeper community in their wake.

Genius I tell you! Genius. Reminds me of the wisdom Corrie Ten Boom’s father raised her with, “Corrie, do you know what hurts so much? It’s love. Love is the strongest force in the world, and when it is blocked that means pain…”

The fun begins Sunday, January 12th, 8am in the community, 10am for us. Shoot me a tweet @prophets below, leave a comment or laugh out loud.

“As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good”

  • sue kilpatrick

    So true… Bring them on !

  • prophetsandpopstars

    Bring US on, is more like it! :)

  • sue kilpatrick

    This is good…oh, so good. Sounds like Seuss! Thinking it will be the perfect springboard for future church dialog on other key issues that may/will arise. See you Sunday, with a “smile on my face for the whole human-race”.

  • Dr Aletta

    Excellent article, Chris! I wish could be there to stand with you today. Please believe that I am in spirit!

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