I recently learned that the Westboro Baptist Church plans to protest at the funeral of an Orthodox woman, who was shot at point-blank range last week by a gunman who was escaping from a coffee shop in Seattle, where he had already killed several people. The church members are planning the protest because they believe her death was punishment for the same-sex marriage law passed in Washington.
Let me take a cue from SNL… REALLY?!
God does not punish innocent people for the sins of society. I did not know the woman who was shot, but I'm guessing as an Orthodox Christian, she was not a proponent of same-sex marriage. Regardless of her stance on the issue, I would like to repeat that God does not punish individuals for the sins of society, and He hasn't since he sent the flood in the days of Noah. The day will come when He will judge each of us, but that day is not here yet. The horrible crimes committed in the world are committed by fallen humans with free will. Why was this woman murdered last week? A combination of chance, timing, and someone's free will choice to commit murder caused her death. NOT God. Despite how we may sometimes feel, God is not punishing us in this world. And it is not our place to pass judgment on others and add to the misery of the world. Our place is to work to understand each other, perhaps correcting each other in love, and to support each other in our struggle to reach salvation.
The members of the Westboro Baptist Church and all of those who wish to point a finger of judgment need to step back and examine what is in their own hearts causing such a desire to add so much pain to an already pained world. Is God really the one urging their protests? As much as God may hate our sins, He still loves us sinners.
If you would like to show support to the family, you can find contact information for sending cards and well wishes at The Sounding.