THE WESTBORO BAPTIST STRAW MAN: HOW THE MEDIA AIDED CHRISTIANS’ SELF LOATHING
Since the rise of Westboro Baptist into the global media spotlight, many Christians have been shamed into silence over the new sexual revolution. Even Baptists blush at the mention of the dreaded church. “We don’t want to be known as some Westboro Baptist ….” is a phrase often repeated by Christian leaders when speaking to the issues of marriage and sexual norms.
What could prove liberating for many evangelicals, especially Baptists, is to know that Westboro’s famed pastor Fred W. Phelps was a rather far left civil rights attorney who fought the infamous Jim Crow laws and whose filings once made up 1/3 of the federal docket for civil rights cases in Kansas. Phelps once sued President Ronald Reagan for appointing an ambassador to the Vatican on a charge of violating church /state separation. Phelps won awards from his regional NAACP office and was eventually disbarred from practicing law.
Playing The Evangelical Villain?
Westboro Baptist has been a powerful tool in the hands of a liberal media to constantly accuse all things Baptist and all conservative Christians, as marriage, sexuality and gender are redefined. The fact is that Pastor Fred – the perfect “evangelical villain” – has a longer history as a defender of the oppressed and at times as an outspoken operative for the extreme left. His rhetoric of the past is more fitted to today’s Soros-funded “Black Lives Matter” than the homophobic Baptist pastor role he appears to have played in his later years.
Phelps continued a long yet failed effort at a political career in Kansas including 3 bids for governor, U S Senate and mayor of Topeka – all running as a Democrat. He supported Al Gore for President in 1988. Westboro’s hateful preacher may be little more than a Saul Alinsky “Straw Man” and, if so, Christians have been powerfully and successfully shamed out of standing for God’s word in the public forum by a media myth.
Evangelicals need to get up to speed on how progressives work, what the goals and tactics of their slow boil revolution are, AND how close our culture and the world is the tipping point of an irreversible descent into its long sought after “new world.” That world has no place for the testimony of Christ and zero tolerance for the Christianity parodied by Fred Phelps as hateful and unreasonable, uneducated and out of step-out or date-out of touch with the new reality world view. According to the new world view, those types of Christians “DESERVE to be deprived of religious freedom and freedom of speech and routed from the lofty havens and refuge of outdated constitutional rights.”
Pastor Fred may have served his old clients as well as the LGBTQ community in helping mischaracterize Christian faith more than anyone in the recent media circus. Christians and evangelical leaders have more often hidden their faces and hit the mute button as religious freedoms and constitutional protections have begun to evaporate rapidly, while comforting themselves with the strange consolation that we are in a ”post Christian America.”