Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Fairly Unbalanced

A discussion about protests by an anti-homosexual church at the funerals of fallen American soldiers turned into an astounding shoutfest on national television this weekend, with Fox News host Julie Banderas calling a fire-and-brimstone Christian preacher "the devil" and apparently condemning her to hell.

"You are the devil!" Banderas exclaimed to Shirley Phelps-Roper. "If you believe in the Bible, miss, you're going to hell!"

Phelps-Roper, who believes America's sinful behavior has resulted in God's cursings rather than blessings, was appearing on "The Big Story" last night to talk about why members of her Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kan., protest at funerals for slain U.S. troops with slogans such as "Thank God for 9-11," "Thank God for IEDs (improvised explosive devices)," and "God Hates Fags."

Banderas engaged in a heated, rapid-fire, name-calling exchange with Phelps-Roper, which included:

Banderas: "The Bible says 'the fear of the Lord is hatred of evil,' [from the Book of] Proverbs. 'Pride and arrogance and the way of evil and perverted speech I hate.' Perverted speech like yours: 'God hates fags.' You are preaching absolute B.-., and you know the final letter."

Phelps-Roper: "If you don't tell them that this nation is full of idolatry, full of adulteries ...

Banderas: "Full of insane people like yourself, ma'am."

Phelps-Roper: "You're proud. You're proud of your sins. You can't do enough sinning. You think 'gay' pride, bimbo. You have sinned away your day of grace."

Banderas: "OK, you are an abomination."

Phelps-Roper: "America is doomed. America is doomed. ... Before your eyes, missy, you're gonna see the destruction of America."

Banderas: "If America is doomed, then why don't you get out? Why are you in this country? Why are you an American? Are you an American?"

Phelps-Roper: "I am exactly where my God put me to tell you plainly, that you are going to hell, and there's nothing you can do about it."

Banderas: "Why don't you take your church to another country, then, ma'am? Thank you so much. You should not be proud to be an American, and thank you. Good-bye."

Now don't get me wrong; I like a good cat fight between two psychotic women as much as the next feller. But this is over the top, sensationalistic nonsense, even by tv standards.

First, let's take the Church of Fag-Haters, or whatever they dub themselves: apparently, idiots exert their own form of powerful gravitational waves and attract each other like project tenants to welfare checks. How else do you explain these folks? Besides their dishonorable and repulsive "demonstrations" at military funerals, their outlook is warped, and they aren't making friends by using these offensive methods. Sure, I may buy that the U.S.A. is experiencing judgement from God, right now, or even deserves such a reckoning in the future; a cogent case might be made for that. But why in the world would one celebrate such a tragedy with such glee as that manifest in their picketing signs? Remember Jeremiah's behavior before, during, and after the Children of Israels' deportation into exile? I don't remember him dancing a jig in the streets and clicking his heels like he'd just found a Golden Ticket from Willy Wonka's chocolate factory in his candy wrapper. Quite to the contrary; one of the books he authored is called Lamentations, and I assure you, it's aptly titled. The demise of America--for its citizens and the world at large--will be one of the most woeful events in human history.

So there's no question in my mind that this "church" is a congregation of counter-productive kooks (say that ten times real fast).

Now on to Fox News: Is this channel anti-Christian, or just shilling for ratings? Given that all of the top news shows are found on its airwaves, the latter defies belief. First we have Julie Banderas screeching that a belief in the Bible=a free, all-expenses-paid one-way trip to Hell; but we have the greater story, itself, for questioning. Why is Fox airing an item about these fringe lunatics? The antics of this group are old news. Without proper context, they give all Christians a bad name. This is exactly what the Left lives and breathes for, though these people are no more representative of true Christian teaching or sentiment than Timothy McVeigh is of those who dislike intrusive big government.

Either Ms. Banderas is off her meds, and is in desperate need of her next dose, or she's a flagrant secularist of the most extreme sort. It's not often that someone publicly claims a sincere acceptance of scripture receives an "'Atta boy!" from Satan.

Or in this case: "You go, girl!"

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