Wednesday, June 15, 2011

If the Westboro Baptist Church did not exist, it would be necessary to create them

The Westboro Baptist Church is a tiny hate-filled church led by Fred Phelps from Topeka, Kansas. Although they boast a mere 71 members, they are probably one of the most well-known Christian churches in the United States or the world. They are known for protesting the funerals of fallen soldiers and desecrating the American flag. They also display placards declaring that "God hates fags".

But how did this minuscule group become so prevalent? Many people would say it is because they are so hateful and they just caught the media's attention. My controversial belief, however, is that some people are glad the Westboro Baptist Church exists. No, I'm not talking about other hateful people. I'm talking about certain atheists.

To atheists, the Westboro Baptist Church (WBC) is a perfect example of the dangers of religion. The WBC is how atheists like Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens want to portray all believers. The WBC unwittingly makes their point for them.

There are many hate groups out there, from the KKK and other white supremacist groups, so-called black power groups which are basically black supremacist groups, and everything in between. Yet, these groups are rarely portrayed in the media nowadays. On the other hand, the WBC gets plenty of airtime.

Atheists and religion-haters need this group. It's essential. All an atheist has to do to outline the dangers of religion is to say "westboro baptist church", and their point is made. There is no ambiguity. No one would say "yeah, but they also do a lot of good!" In a world of soundbites, the Westboro Baptist Church is very effective. It's something like the unenviable status achieve by McDonald's for anti-globalization advocates. To point out the dangers of globalization, all a group has to do is talk about how an evil profit-hungry organization like McDonald's is destroying the culture of many countries by putting their restaurants there.

The main benefactors of the hateful speech of the Westboro Baptist Church are groups that want to eradicate religion. The church is so tiny, it's not worth even mentioning in a national dialogue, yet they command an incredible presence. This 71-member group has such a strong identity that simply typing "west" in Google will show "Westboro Baptist Church" as the third suggestion. Also, typing "fred" will show the church's founder "Fred Phelps" as the seventh suggestion.

The hope among atheists is to simply associate groups like the Westboro Baptist Church with all religious conservatives. This group, say the atheists, are just one more group among many that are exactly like this. As an example of this, Michael Cobb from the University of Toronto (whose religion is unknown to me) wrote a book called "God Hates Fags: The Rhetorics of Religious Violence (Sexual Cultures)". Cobb is using a line from the WBC and using it as the title of his book about "religious violence". He is using the specific case of the WBC to incriminate all religious people.

Using only a small amount of logic will show the falseness of these assertions. If the beliefs of the WBC are so common, why would everyone focus on that tiny group? Why not choose a group that has a million members, not a microscopic 71.

Perhaps the Westboro Baptist Church is so pleased with its fame that it never bothers to ask where it came from and who it serves.


  1. wow talk about hate! you should be teaching tolerance and compassion for your fellow man. not bashing them. your post dose not help you cause.

  2. I am an Atheist. I dont understand what you are saying here. I dont 'need' this group, I dont want this group to exist either. I, myself have protested against the WBC with my rainbow flags.

  3. This post is really bad you have no idea what you are talking about. To start off yes some athiests do want to get rid of religions but most don't, they just want peace about it. Not to be judged, told they are wrong, going to hell, have no morals, heathens, or have it shoved in the face of themselves or children. We also use many more examples of extremism besides just WBC. They are just a good example for here because of the large following of the bible here. That is the reason we talk a lot about christianity. It is the religion that effects us the most as in the western world.
    Most think religion is fine really but through stupid acts like telling a 17 year old girl getting threats for getting a school to follow the law.
    There should be no religion in our government is a big problem we have. There is much more to be said but I will end it there.

  4. Does the Catholic church believe in Gay Marriage NO does it believe in Abortion NO does it believe in Devorce NO Should you tell people their sins to save them from hell Yes Do they lie when quoting scripture NO I never seen any act of violence from that group...??? Are you a devorced catholic who believe in pro choice and gay marriage do you own a bible ?I see Love of God and his word ... shouting repent AS john the baptist did and they hated him to ...

  5. to say that Richard Dawkins wants groups like WBC to exist is putting words in his mouth, he is respectful of people who choose to believe though he disagrees, In no way does he ever imply that he wants to portray all religious groups to be like them. Sounds like the author of this article has more against Dawkins than Dawkins has against religion.

  6. Oh please!,don't sit here and tell me that 'All an Atheist has to do now is mention West Boro Church in order to prove a point'.The simple fact of the matter is we've simply had enough of you religious groups shoving your belief's down our throat that we have exhausted all other attempts of hoping you will stop your righteous tirades.You dismiss our scientific theories and insult us when we try to explain them and constantly degrade us with your condescending tone. We only use West Boro church as an example,because that's the ONLY thing that we can FINALLY use to SHUT YOU UP! and now you're making a pity party out of it?This entire time the majority of you members of [insert organized religion here] are disrespectful,stuck up snots that keep the doors closed on any REAL solution to move humanity forward by leaving everything up to 'god'.

  7. It is not the athiest to which you refer it is the marxist communist to which you refer. After all they invented the term politically correct that somehow got transferred into our vernacular and it became hippy and then hip and then cool and then ...