Thursday, April 25, 2013

Would people picket a Westboro funeral?

Let's pretend someone from the Phelps family that makes up the constituency of the Westboro Baptist Church died tomorrow.  Would someone picket that person's funeral with signs, chants, demonstrations, and bullhorns?

I ask that because the not-so-fine folks from Westboro are picketing the memorial service for the West, Texas firefighters and EMTs who died in the explosion of the fertilizer plant.  That memorial service is happening on the campus of my alma mater, Baylor University.  And rumor has it a line of students will be there to make sure Westboro is neither seen nor a nuisance.  Sic 'em Bears.

But back to my question:  would someone picket a Phelps family funeral?

For their 15 seconds of fame?  (we've gone long past fame lasting 15 minutes)

To make a theological statement of God's wrath upon people who are judgmental?

To see if they can get arrested and then generate some revenue by suing the arresting law enforcement organization?

Or how about a what-goes-around-comes-around moment of fairness?

But Westboro and their ilk are a little bit like the kid brother who is annoying the snot out of you in a desperate plea for attention.  The less attention you pay, the more quickly he goes away.

There's a saying in East Texas, where I grew up.  You don't wrestle a pig because you end up muddy and the pig likes it.

Solomon, being slightly wiser than the homespun sayings of East Texas, put a nuance to it:
Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest you become like him.
Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own eyes. (Prov. 26.4-5)
Discernment is certainly needed.

Make your own application...

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