We're moving...

Posted by Capn Coconuts On Tuesday, February 14, 2012 0 comments
... for real this time.

Blogger is nice and all, but I'd like to have more control over the software I use to blog, and to free myself from being just another blogspot blog.

So, I have moved to http://westborowatch.hostzi.com/ , powered by Wordpress. It'll take a while to move everything from here to there, but it is being done. There will be no more updates on this blog. If you wish to get updates, go to the brand new Wordpress blog.
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Do the Phelpses have the right to picket?

Posted by Capn Coconuts On Wednesday, February 8, 2012 1 comments
I apologize to anyone expecting me to cover the latest picket schedule announcements, but I was just unable to handle the high number of announced pickets this week.

Anyway, about the topic at hand.

In a word, yes. To outright forbid them to picket is unconstitutional and un-American. Here is the first amendment in the United States Bill of Rights:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
From this amendment, there are three categories of things congress cannot do: 1) to make a law respecting the establishment of religion, 2) to prohibit free exercise of religion, and 3) to abridge the freedom of speech or the press, the right of people to peaceably assemble, and the rights of people to petition the government.

Like it or not, keeping Westboro Baptist Church away from funerals is abridging the freedom of speech. Heck, even telling them to get farther away from funerals probably counts as abridging the freedom of speech and the right to assemble.

Also, although their speech counts as hate speech and their picketing is annoying, they also tend to be rather peaceful when assembling (if you can consider hate speech and provocation peaceful). Therefore, to censor them limits free speech.

Alyzza S. Martin has made an entire website devoted to their right to picket. He (she?) covers this material in a bit more detail than I could by myself, so visit http://www.therighttobewrong.net/ if you need more information concerning WBC's freedom of speech.
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The Westboro Picket Schedule: Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, IN

Posted by Capn Coconuts On Saturday, February 4, 2012 0 comments
On February 5, 2012 (tomorrow for the third time as of this post), Westboro Baptist Church will picket the Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, IN. They appear to hate football almost as much as they hate homosexuals...
WBC to picket the Superbowl!
America has made an idol out of football. You care more about who wins than you do about your souls! If you spent even a fraction of the time you give to football on finding out what the Lord God of Eternity requires of you, this counry [sic] wouldn't be in the mess it's in.
I think we all could do with less entertainment, honestly.
We come to warn this foolish generation that the return of the Lord Jesus Christ is at hand:
Re 14:7 Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.
God has blinded your eyes and stopped up your ears so you do not even see or hear your destruction coming upon you! You have no money, jobs, homes, or hope - but you have your football!
Your only hope is to repent and obey today before it's too late!
Wait, how are they even going to repent and obey if they can't even see imminent destruction happening? Seems pointless to warn them if God decided upon his arbitrary elect long before the world ever began.

... Well, this post is short.
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The Westboro Picket Schedule: Carmel Lutheran Church in Indianapolis, IN

Posted by Capn Coconuts On 0 comments
Yet another target of WBC this coming Sunday. One wonders why they aren't going to be in church themselves. It's not like Indianapolis is a short drive from Topeka.

On February 5, 2012 (again tomorrow as of this post), Westboro Baptist Church will picket Carmel Lutheran Church in Indianapolis. Here is what they have to say.
Carmel Lutheran Church is a den of iniquity! They pedal the God loves everyone lie. Luther would be appalled to have his name attached to the lies you spread.
That implies that 1) simply being mistaken is equivalent to lying, and 2) that they are wrong and you are right. Both implications are wrong (only Calvinist bias and rationalization can "prove" that God doesn't love sinners, as I have shown and will continue to show in this blog).

Also, I would contend that Luther would be more appalled at a you than anyone else... especially after he would have read Addicted to Hate.
You pretend that you follow God's word with your lukewarm stance against fags, abortion, women preachers and pre-marital sex but you sit quietly by and refuse to warn your fellow man their sins are taking them to hell. Shame on you. You'd rather lie to people and tell them God loves them than tell them the truth and risk losing the money coming into that whore house.
Pulling the "everyone that disagrees with me is greedy scum" card again, are you?
Mt 21:12 And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves,
13 And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.
This passage has to do with actively selling merchandise in a holy place. Unless this church is selling merchandise in their church in a place where people would be worshiping, this passage does not apply to them.
Re 22:18 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:
19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.
Is this coming from a pastor that sues at every opportunity, beat his kids when they were young, forced them to sell candy bars when he was too pathetic to get his own job, sends libelous faxes, tolerates sexual immorality from his own flock, and interprets the Bible as he sees fit?

Oh, the irony!
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The Westboro Picket Schedule: St. Christian Church in Indianapolis, IN

Posted by Capn Coconuts On 0 comments
Woo! Three non-local pickets on the same day! This is the first picket.

On February 5, 2012 (which is tomorrow as of this post), Westboro Baptist Church will picket St. Christian Church in Indianapolis. While having women preachers and being tolerant towards adultery are indeed unbliblical, they are hardly marks of a hell-bound infidel.

Of course, Westboro Baptist Church, taking black and white thinking to the extreme, can't tolerate the smallest fault.
East 91st Street Christian Church sounds good on the surface. Included in their beliefs is; "We believe in the church's mission: making disciples of all nations, baptizing them and teaching them to obey all of Jesus commands" Except they're a bunch of liars!
And how, pray tell, do you come to such a strong conclusion?

They don't believe this commandment from God:
Mr 10:11 And he saith unto them, Whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, committeth adultery against her. 12 And if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery.
Ex 20:14 Thou shalt not commit adultery.
It is actually quite funny that they would call them liars when sexual sins have been committed by the Phelpses themselves. Johnathon and Paulette were allowed to return to the congregation in 1988 after having an illegitimate child, and Shirley Phelps-Roper actually had her first child out of wedlock.

But no, the Phelpses can do no wrong, much like the Pharisees of old time.

And they don't follow this commandment since they're full of women preachers:
1Ti 2:12 But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.
At least in the actual church service. This doesn't mean that a woman is terrible at teaching or preaching--just that God made man to be the example for the family and the church.
Mt 7:15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
Okay, now this is just stupid. First off, they aren't acting as prophets; secondly, being a less than suitable candidate for teaching does not make one a false teacher.
And they choose to ignore many, many more of God's commandments.
This is almost definitly an exaggeration.
If you truly preached the word of God from your pulpit and truly told your members that they are required to obey God your pews would be empty. Shame on you.
You believe that you preach the truth and your pews aren't completely empty. You are obviously a false prophet fag-enabling baby-eating liar! Shame on you!
WBC must be there to preach some truth. Your pastor is a liar and does not care for your souls. What he cares about is how much money you put in the collection plate. As long as the money keeps coming in, they'll keep preaching lies because it's what you want to hear.
If St. Christian Church was as "holy" as you, they would seize on the opportunity to sue for libel. Why? Because that's exactly what you're doing right now.
Jer 5:31 The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and my people love to have it so: and what will ye do in the end thereof?
I still fail to see how having women preachers and being tolerant towards adultery automatically makes them depraved liars. I'll probably never see it that way, because I take a lot less liberty towards injecting my dogma into interpreting scripture than you.

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God's Emotion Towards Sinners: Love, or Hate?

Posted by Capn Coconuts On Friday, February 3, 2012 0 comments
Due to the nature of this topic, I highly recommend that you read the entire blog post. You are unlikely to understand the correct answer to the title question if you do not read the entirety of its content.

I trust that many of you know that Westboro Baptist Church believes that God hates almost everybody and especially hates homosexuals. Meanwhile, many Christians would say that God hates the sin but not the sinner.

The definition of hate, according to The Free Dictionary, is as follows:

v. hat·ed, hat·ing, hates
v.tr.
1a. To feel hostility or animosity toward.
b. To detest.
2. To feel dislike or distaste for: hates washing dishes.

v.intr.
To feel hatred.

n.
1. Intense animosity or dislike; hatred.
2. An object of detestation or hatred: My pet hate is tardiness.
In simple terms as far as the transitive verb usage goes, hate is either an expression of hostility or strong dislike of someone or something. For example, there's a difference between planning an assassination attempt on Barack Obama and believing that he's a terrible president. The first form of hate is a danger to society, but the second one is civil, albeit strong and passionate.

Hate's synonyms tend to lean towards its second definition. Detest means "to dislike intensely; abhor", abhor means "to regard with horror or loathing; detest", and loathe means "to dislike (someone or something) intensely; abhor". "Abomination", which has its own lesser-used verb form "abominate", means "something that is a cause of abhorrence or disgust". None of these words imply ill will towards the object that is being hated.

On the flipside, we have love, which has even more different meanings. The classical Greeks, in fact, had a few words for the one word we use in English. I don't remember seeing all of them in the Greek New Testament, but here are they are:

STORGE: This is fondness through familiarity. Family members display this kind of love.
PHILEO: This is a strong bond shared between friends, generally sharing common interests or activities. However, this word has been perverted in the English language; now it serves as a suffix to sexual fetishes and  deviance (e.g. pedophilia). This word is somewhat common in the New Testament.
EROS: This is a more romantic kind of love. As the word suggests, this can be
AGAPE: Sometimes translated "Charity" to connotate giving to those in need, this is love given regardless of circumstance, and is self-sacrificial in nature. The apostle Paul defines this as follows:
Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
--1 Corinthians 13:4-7
By Paul's definition, we see that agape is completely unconditional and self-sacrificial.

Now that you know the definitions of both, you are ready for my answer to the title question.

Many Christians believe that God loves all of mankind and hates their sins, not the sinner.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
--John 3:16
Westboro Baptist Church believes about as opposite as you can get: that God hates all of mankind except those that are saved and has no pity for them.
The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of iniquity.
--Psalms 5:5
Given these two verses, you could make at least three different rationalizations:
  • WBC is right; God hates almost everyone! (Christ's atonement is limited)
  • It's just David's words; God doesn't actually hate people. (God's word wasn't written by verbal, plenary inspiration)
  • The Bible is a book of fairy tales, taken seriously only by obtuse crackpots. (Okay, maybe not THAT strong of an opinion...)
It would seem that a case for God loving all of mankind cannot be airtight. So then, I must ask: has anyone heard of something called a love-hate relationship?

Image made by Teigiser on DeviantART

According to Wikipedia,
A love–hate relationship is an interpersonal relationship involving simultaneous or alternating emotions of love and hate. This relationship does not have to be of a romantic nature, and may be instead of a sibling one. It may occur when people have completely lost the intimacy within a loving relationship, yet still retain some passion for, or perhaps some commitment to, each other.
The correct answer to the title question is "That question is loaded and forces a false dichotomy! God has a love-hate relationship with sinners!"

Perhaps, in saying that God's great disgust is directed at only the sins, Christians have unwittingly understated the corruption sin causes. Sin skews human reason and weakens any willpower that could resist it. Sin stains and taints the soul to the point where abhorrence at sin and abhorrence at the sinner are one and the same. Pigs that wallow in filth are disgusting because the filth makes the pigs disgusting. Sinners are disgusted in the eyes of God because sin makes them disgusting.

It is no marvel why David wrote "the foolish shall not stand in thy SIGHT." God can't even look on it. The prophet Habakkuk, when confused about the coming Babylonian captivity, said to God that he knew He couldn't look on iniquity (Habakkuk 1:13). However, there's more to God than Him being disgusted by sinners.

The quote from Wikipedia says that love-hate relationships may occur when people have completely lost intimacy within a relationship. Sin, before a holy and perfect God, separates man and God. The intimacy is lost. And yet, unconditional love endures all things.

In Genesis 3, the sin that cursed the whole world is documented. Eve was deceived by a talking serpent (Satan is called "that old serpent" in the book of Revelation, so it was Satan in the form of a serpent) to do the one thing God said not to do, and Adam didn't even need to be deceived to follow the path of darkness Eve had already started walking on. They died virtually that same day, having lost the intimacy with an all-holy and perfect God.

God's crown of creation had become sinners, but they were still His creation. The intimacy was lost, but the commitment was still there. God was still committed to His creation, and acted to restore that intimacy that was lost between Him and man.

He could only do it by offering someone as holy as Himself to pay man's price. Sacrifice of innocent animals served only to cover sins for a year and to remind the Israelites how terrible their sin was. Sin needed a permanent solution. Once for all. And only one Person could do it.

That Person is Jesus Christ.

The four words "for God so loved"  in John 3:16 are much deeper than you can possibly imagine. The word "agape" is used in this verse. But it is modified by the word "so". Why?

Because God's love supersedes his aversion to the sheer horrendous stain of sin. God's hate does not cause contradiction with statements of His love; it lets us realize that God's love is greater. God was disgusted at sinners, but he loved them so much that God the Father went so far as to let God the Son suffer on the cross at the hands of wicked men, that he might redeem them from the price of sin!

GOD IS LOVE!

Not only did the Father send Jesus Christ to die for our sins, but He came of His own will--Jesus allowed Himself to be executed by the most terrible method ever known to mankind. And not only that--He took upon Himself, the all-holy God, the sins of the whole world!
For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
--2 Corinthians 5:21
Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. (See Isaiah 53:5)
--1 Peter 2:24
He loved us so much that He bore the very thing that he hated, for people who disgusted him because they were plagued by the very thing he hated.

He did this to remove what he hated about us. When a person repents of his sins and puts his faith on Jesus Christ, the man who died to save our souls and rose again to prove He had power over death, the intimacy is restored. The hate-love relationship becomes a love-love relationship, because the holy demand of God is satisfied.

Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.
--Isaiah 53:10-11

Note that, for this entire post so far, I have only used the "dislike" definition of hatred. As I have shown, it allows for loving the same object at the same time in a love-hate relationship.

However, Westboro Baptist Church seems to believe in the first definition--that God is actually hostile and has animosity towards almost everyone. Unfortunately, this post has gotten too long. In a later blog post, I will evaluate the hostile God idea that spawned from the similarly hostile old man's mind.
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Westboro Watch Postbag: The Story Behind Addicted to Hate...?

Posted by Capn Coconuts On Wednesday, February 1, 2012 1 comments
Someone claiming to be close to Jon Michael Bell sent me (and perhaps to Alyzza Martin as well) an e-mail of the story behind the production of Addicted to Hate. Is it for real? Well, I haven't verified anything yet, but it's interesting nonetheless. Here ye goes, audience!
Hello, Cap'n Coconuts and Alyzza!

I was perusing your site and was surprised and pleased that someone has finally done a clean edit of the manuscript. I was close to the author and therefore I am in a position to provide some details on how the story was sprung loose. It has been a presence on the internet for 18 years.

Thank you, Alyzza, for taking the time to polish this work.

Few people realize the digital version of "Addicted to Hate" is not the original manuscript authored by Bell. As you have obviously spent a significant amount of time on the edit, perhaps you will enjoy this background information.

I have long ago lost track of Bell, but I do recall some of the things he told me about the case. It's one I'm sure he still recounts, as he was very amused by the actors and the play.

He was hired personally by the editor to find the goods on Phelps and "cut him off at the knees" in a full length book. This followed some insults Phelps had directed toward the editor and his family that were taken much to heart.

Taschler and Fry were staff writers who had initially been assigned the job, but they had failed to turn up enough dirt to satisfy the enraged editor. At this point, Bell was found and brought to Topeka.

In August of 1993, Bell was able to convince Fred Phelps that, even though he was a journalist, he was vulnerable to a Westboro conversion--something that would have caused the paper no end of embarrassment. As a result, Bell was allowed to spend two weeks living inside the cult's compound and even established a strong romantic rapport with one of Fred's daughters during that time.

You simply can't make this stuff up.

Bell followed his tenure at the Westboro compound with a five-month investigation, concluded in February of 1994, that turned up leads going back decades, including the possibility Phelps had once been addicted to drugs provided illicitly by a local pharmacist. Bell's work also pointed to intriguing links between the Westboro Baptist Church, the Christian Identity Movement, and as yet unidentified military elements in the area around Fort Riley and Junction City. Following the Oklahoma City bombing a year later, the Kansas Attorney General's Office asked to review hundreds of pages of research notes that Bell had amassed.

But when Stauffer Communications, the media corporation that owned the Capital-Journal, was suddenly put on the block, the corporate office lost all taste for a book about Phelps. This is because when a company is sold, all pending lawsuits apparently must be resolved. As it was thought Phelps would sue at first publication--a challenge Stauffer had at first relished-- these new circumstances would have forced a quick and expensive settlement on the publisher.

Perhaps you can understand then why the paper took the steps that it did:

First, it quietly collected all existing copies of the work, then, without warning, it suddenly fired both Bell and the editor who had commissioned the book. It was 1994, and Bell preferred to work on an Olivetti-Lettera 32, a sleek little manual typewriter, thus his product existed only in hardcopy. The publisher knew this and was thorough enough to search Bell's desk and seize a second security copy.

All to little avail.

For the paper, the problem did not go away. Rumors quickly spread around Topeka that the Capital-Journal had been frightened into killing the investigation and firing the principals behind it. In response, the newspaper claimed it would soon print the original, much shorter, and less damning piece written by Taschler and Fry.

Sympathetic employees inside the paper kept Bell informed on the projected publication date, and only days before the Taschler-Fry article was to appear, Bell filed suit to determine ownership of the intellectual property. He also submitted as evidence the entire manuscript, a third copy of which he had secretly kept. Since court testimony is exempt from litigation, the manuscript could now be leaked without fear of a lawsuit from either the publisher or Phelps.

Bell then left more copies on file at the Kinko's in Topeka, Lawrence, and Kansas City. None of this was his own idea, but that of a prominent trial lawyer, Jerry Palmer, who called it "libel laundering" and claimed it was his own invention. It may well have been. Palmer was a former president of the American Trial Lawyers Association.

The next day, The Pitch, a weekly alternative paper in Kansas City, hit the stands with the headline: "Scared Stiff in Topeka: What the Capital-Journal Is Afraid to Tell You about Fred Phelps." This was accomplished by prior arrangement with its editor, CJ Janovy.

Stauffer Communications was left flat-footed. Its ham-handed response was to send attorneys to local radio and television stations, forbidding them to quote from the text. This astonished the national media to the point the Washington Post ran a long article in its Sunday edition concerning how strange it was that a paper would attempt to suppress a story it had commissioned itself.

A few days later, the manuscript was ordered sealed by the court. The master copies of the manuscript left at the Kinko's were seized by Stauffer's attorneys, but not before several dozen were purchased and circulated. The Capital-Journal then ran its own vanilla version of the Phelps' story to general public mockery.

The following weekend, without Bell's knowledge, friendly elements in Topeka held a two-day bash, a rather wild party where the celebrants took turns digitalizing the entire text. While this allowed the book to go immediately up on the net, the manuscript was seriously flawed as a result. It was riddled with words misspelled, replaced, or deleted, while sentences and entire paragraphs were left out or recast in tangled prose.

In addition, and as you guessed, Alyzza, the version submitted to the editor was only the working draft. Bell had thrown in a great deal of information, but had no expectation it would all remain in the final text.

It was the one thing Bell regretted about the adventure. However, he was loathe to remedy it since he was forbidden by the court from further dissemination of his work.

This then was the version that would go viral on the internet and remain there for 18 years until you saw fit to correct it, Alyzza. I know my old buddy is thanking you, wherever he might be.

If I can, I would add that Bell loved closers. At the end,

"fierce white toothed beasts come to trip the flesh of our indolence."

was originally written as:

" fierce white-toothed beasts come to rip the flesh of our indolence."

That, and Yates was William Butler Yeats, the Irish poet. Again, wherever my old drinking and writing buddy is, he's smiling on your gracious deed...

And it's difficult to believe that, in part due to the greed and cowardice of corporate journalism, we're still stuck with Fred today.

So, Cap'n Coconuts, if you wanted to get THAT story out, you'd be an angel indeed...
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