Ah yes, time for me to have fun with every blogger’s favorite punching bag: Fred Phelps and his extended family–ah, I mean Westboro Baptist Church.
I’m not going to go terribly in depth today. Rather, I’m going to attack their use of the word “fag” to describe anyone and everyone who supports gays, is gay, or simply isn’t a member of their church.
The other day, I was thinking about how the word “fag” (or “faggot”) used to mean a bundle of sticks. It made me chuckle to think that WBC was railing against sticks. I knew I couldn’t have been the first person to think this, so I cautiously ventured on to their website to find out their own reason for using the word.
Their reasoning is…rather strange. Apparently, some Bible verse (in the book of Amos of all places) says, “I have overthrown some of you, as God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah, and ye were as a firebrand plucked out of the burning: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the Lord” (Amos 4:11), and it is this verse upon which they base all of their usage of “fag.”
Now, they claim that the word “firebrand” is translated from the Hebrew word “uwd” which means “to rake together.” Through some convoluted and rather iffy logic, they conclude that God was talking about homosexuals in a metaphorical sense, in that “they fuel God’s wrath, they burn in lust, and they will burn in hell” (straight from their site). In other words, firebrand can be replaced with faggot, which they use primarily to reference homosexuals.
Strangely enough, they say that this verse is talking about Soddom and Gommorrah. However, this is patently not the case. If any of them had graduated from the third grade, they’d realize that the “you” preceding firebrand is actually referring to the Israelites, who God is giving a really hard time and wondering why they aren’t returning to him (read Amos 4 and you’ll see what I mean). Now, the good folks at WBC claim that anyone who turns from God automatically becomes gay (I’d like to know how they back that up theologically), so I suppose the intent of the verse means the same thing to them as if it was talking about Sodomites. Doesn’t make them any more right (or even credible), so I can still make fun of them.
Anyways, now that I know the real reason they use the word fag, I don’t need to pretend they hate sticks. They’re just poor linguists who reference the most obscure Bible verse ever to justify hating everyone. Right.