Sunday, October 12, 2008

The God of Love

Ten years ago today, a young man named Matthew Shepard died in Colorado.

Ten years ago last Monday, Matthew was offered a ride home by two men in Laramie, Wyoming.

They beat him.

They pistol whipped him.

They dragged him up to a fence on a hill.

And there, they crucified him.

He was found about 18 hours later. The cyclist who first saw Matthew thought he was a scarecrow. When a police officer arrived, she saw that his head was caked in blood. His face was covered in blood, except for two lines stretching down from his eyes, where the blood had been washed away by tears.

Matthew never regained consciousness. He died in hospital six days later - ten years ago today - in Fort Collins, Colorado.

At his funeral, members of the Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kansas protested with signs that said things like "God Hates Fags," and "Matthew Shepard is Burning in Hell."

You see, Matthew was murdered because he was gay.

The whole story is disturbing.

That men could go out of their way to trick someone into going with them.

That they could beat someone to the point of death.

That they could crucify someone on a fence.

But, perhaps oddly, the thing that disturbs me most is that people who call themselves Christian could say that he had it coming, that he deserved to die, that "God Hates Fags."

No true Christian can say that, for God does not hate any of his children.

Oh, he may well hate things that we do. He certainly hates that people would beat someone and crucify them on a fence. He certainly hates that people would harass a grieving family.

But God - the Christian God, the One True God - does not hate his children.

This song is about how much God loves us.

3 comments:

Gérald said...

I’ve received many comments about my call to progressive voters, and have posted a response.
We are in the final stretch of the election and I am reaching out to beat Stephen Harper. Again, please feel free to share your opinions.
Cheers!
Here is my post:
http://nostevie.blogspot.com/2008/10/to-my-dear-progressive-friends-part-2.html

Doorman-Priest said...

Those Topeka Baptists!

Aren't there laws? If not, why not?

Christians eh? Don't you just love 'em?

Brian R said...

I do not claim to 'know' much for sure but I know members of Westboro Baptist Church are not Christian. They have no understanding of the Love of Christ. I am not physically violent person but would fear what I would do if they tried this sort of stunt at a funeral I attended.
I love this hymn (although perhaps not this version :-))