Was the Orlando shooter doing God's work?

I spoke with someone from the Westboro Baptist Church recently about their beliefs, and what I found was rather unsettling. If you’re not familiar with the Westboro Baptist Church, they’re a bunch of Christians who hate gay people (like really, really despise them) and try to justify their homophobia using the Bible. They like to crash the funerals of soldiers and AIDS victims, and their website is called godhatesfags.com. In addition to the LGBT community, they also target their hate at Jews, Muslims, Catholic and Orthodox Christians, soldiers, and politicians.

Reading about this group and the horrifying things they’ve done, especially the fact that they reject their label as a hate group and consider themselves merely a religious sect with views different from yours, fascinated me. I had so many questions, so I got an email address from the Westboro Baptist Church website (the one with the nice name that I mentioned above) and sent them a message. Their policy said that they would ignore emails that attacked their beliefs (a little hypocritical since their entire church is based on attacking other people’s beliefs), so I had to pretend I was a lost soul interested in joining their faith.

'God hates all workers of iniquity'

I told him I had a few quick questions as “I’m ill-informed and need to be enlightened.” I was worried he’d see through the sarcasm, but luckily the narrow-minded Westboro Baptist Church bigot was too blinded by his faith to pick up on it.

I asked him three simple questions: Where in the Bible does it say that God hates homosexuals? Why should I believe what the Bible says? If you believe an omniscient deity can create the entire universe in less than a week, is it really that far-fetched that two people of the same sex can love each other?

He only really answered the first one (where the Bible condemns homosexuality), because the way he saw it, if he answered that one satisfactorily, the others would be moot.

I think the Westboro Baptist Church guy thought his answer to the first question was so logical and irrefutable, it would open my eyes to the wonders of their faith. His answer to the first question was that “God hates all workers of iniquity.” But that doesn’t quite prove anything, unless you’re already homophobic going in.

Iniquity means immoral behaviour. I’m sorry, but as a person who is relatively sound of mind and open to people who aren’t exactly the same as me, I fail to see how loving someone of the same sex goes against any morals.

What the Westboro Baptist Church guy said next kind of shook me to my core because it’s such a horrifying thought. He said, “God sent the shooter to Orlando.” Why would God do that? And even if he did, he wouldn’t kill straight people as well, unless he also condemns people who hang around with gay people these days. The all-loving God from the Bible would not be responsible for the worst terrorist attack on America since 9/11. Extreme homophobia would, though.

The Westboro Baptist Church guy also quoted some scripture to back up his idiotic theory that the shooter was doing God’s work: “Shall a trumpet be blown in the city, and the people not be afraid?

Shall there be evil in a city, and the Lord hath not done it?” But a trumpet and a semi-automatic rifle aren’t quite the same thing.

I never heard from him again

I really started to hate this guy, and I really wanted to show him how wrong he and his church’s beliefs are, so I tried to follow up with the Westboro Baptist Church guy, who I refer to as such because he didn’t bother to leave his name, but he never replied. I guess he feels he’s made his point and doesn’t want to waste his time with me anymore. He’s too busy spreading homophobia and crashing funerals and hating everyone who doesn’t see things exactly his way to talk to someone like me. I hope Hell isn’t just a place to punish gay people simply for being gay, because guys like this deserve eternal hellfire so much more.