I think most Americans agree that the actions of the group who call themselves ‘Westboro Baptist Church’ are far from Christ like. Their behavior hurts the families involved and seem to have no redemptive value of any kind. I find it impossible to understand how or why they are doing what they do.
The Westboro people carry signs that presume to speak for God yet the signs never actually have any scripture from the Word of God. If they looked carefully into the what Christ teaches they would find that it teaches us to:
Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: Hebrews 12:14
But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience…by longsuffering, by kindness…by love unfeigned. 2 Corinthians 6:4&6
Become complete. Be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you. 2 Corinthians 13:11
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith…Galatians 5:22
And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace. James 3:18
He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God? Micah 6:8
Due to the pain these signs have inflicted upon families who are grieving, they have been asked to cease and desist. When they refused to do so, the families were taken to court. Courts have ruled that under the first amendment they do have a right to carry the signs. The fight has gone all the way to our highest court.
The Supreme Court of the United States has rendered an eight to one decision in favor of freedom of speech pertaining to “broad issues of interest to society at large, rather than matters of “purely private concern.”
The Supreme Court’s verdict read in part:
Speech is powerful. It can stir people to action, move them to tears of both joy and sorrow, and–as it did here–inflict great pain. On the facts before us, we cannot react to that pain by punishing the speaker. As a Nation we have chosen a different course–to protect even hurtful speech on public issues to ensure that we do not stifle public debate. That choice requires that we shield Westboro from tort liability for its picketing in this case.
I am very pleased that our court was willing to stand for freedom of speech even in this most trying of circumstances. The problem with the Westboro people is not a problem that can be resolved in a court. It is a heart problem.
Jesus did not behave as the people of Westboro behave. We can only speculate as to why they feel compelled to do so and why they use the name of Christ while doing so.