God hates Radiohead

I am a pretty big Radiohead fan. I am thrilled to be going to see them in Brisbane at the end of this year. But I can understand the substance of Westboro Baptist’s assessment, which they put forward when justifying a protest at one of their shows this week.

“freak monkeys with mediocre tunes”

This is actually a pretty culturally engaged assessment. For many years Radiohead have used this little critter as their emblem. Unfortunately for Westboro it’s a bear, not a monkey.

 

Image Credit: Wikimedia
 
Anyway.

Here’s some more that is wrong with Radiohead. Or at least, more that Radiohead’s continued success in their post-melodic era.

“Meanwhile, God is undoing this nation and effecting all of your lives, with the moth that quietly eats the very fabric of your national garment. Radiohead is just such an event.”

And so, here is the Phelps family, with hangers on, outside Radiohead’s show in Kansas (via Pitchfork).


 

Westboro v Mars Hill Church

Interesting times. Our favourite loopies (Westboro Baptist) have announced their intentions to picket Mark Driscoll’s Mars Hill Church. How would you respond to such a threat? The sad thing is the media like to run stories on Westboro. I think this is especially likely because this appears to be two sheep fighting, rather than a sheep and a wooly wolf. So choosing a response is important, and an opportunity to articulate the differences and how different approaches to Christian belief are a matter of articulating a consistent message with the Bible, rather than a matter of choosing your own particular interpretation.

Here’s what the Westboro Baptists have said is their reason for targeting Mars Hill.

“WBC says the reason they’ll be at Mars Hill Church is, “To picket the false prophet and blind lemmings at Mars Hill Whore House where they teach the lies that God love [sic] everyone and Jesus died for the sins of all of mankind. You have caused the people to trust in lies to their destruction, and to your damnation. Shame on you for calling yourself the Mars Hill Church! False advertising doesn’t come close! Paul would turn over in his grave at your God-hating, Christ-rejecting lies! You have a form of godliness, but you deny the power thereof…WBC will speak the truth to you in love—as God defines ‘love’. We will tell you that, in fact, there is a standard God has set in this earth that He commands you obey. Your disobedient sin is taking you to hell, and you must repent and mourn for your sins. God does not love everyone—in fact, He hates the majority of mankind, and has purposed to send them to hell when they die. You would know these things if you would pick up a Bible and actually READ THE WORDS!””

Team Driscoll* is responding by offering Team Phelps some donuts.

Which is a brilliant display of grace and a stunning contrast between the two. Despite my reservations about some of what Driscoll does, the man is a smart engager

*”I’m on Team Driscoll” t-shirts would be an interesting product to produce, because the modern angry young contempervant church planter/fanboy is the Christian equivalent of a twi-hard. That’s a market. Right there. 10% my way please…

Inside Westboro Baptist Church

This is a fascinating photo essay. A photographer was granted what I believe is unprecedented access to the Westboro Baptist mob. He almost humanises them. Almost.

From Life.com

Listen up nerds. Westboro Baptist says God hates you

Everybody’s least favourite protest church is getting contempervant. First up, they’re targeting a comic convention. Because God apparently hates nerds, and super heroes are idols.


Picture credit: Kotaku’s coverage

“It is time to put away the silly vanities and turn to God like you mean it. The destruction of this nation is imminent – so start calling on Batman and Superman now, see if they can pull you from the mess that you have created with all your silly idolatry.”

The proof text on that sign, Romans 9:13, is a little bit odd. Apparently Esau was a nerd.

“Just as it is written: “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.”

This just shows a bizarre disregard for any description of Jacob (a mummy’s boy) and Esau from the Bible (Genesis 25).

Here’s a description of the two from Genesis:

“27 The boys grew up, and Esau became a skillful hunter, a man of the open country, while Jacob was a quiet man, staying among the tents. 28 Isaac, who had a taste for wild game, loved Esau, but Rebekah loved Jacob.”

Esau is an anti-nerd. It seems more likely that God loves nerds who stay at home quietly with their mothers. I’d go a step further and suggest that the Westboro Baptist crew, in their militant and confrontational approach to spreading the gospel, have embrace an Esau like approach to life. And thus they are damned by their own proof text.

I sent Westboro a letter to let them know. I’d hate for them to fall foul of accusations that they don’t know their Bibles very well…

“Hi guys,

I noticed your protest of the Comic Convention featured a sign “God Hates Nerds” citing Romans 9:13 as a text.

Romans 9:13 “Jacob I loved, Esau I hated” doesn’t really work when applied to nerds.

Esau was the least nerdy of the pair – in fact, Genesis’ description of the brothers (25:27-28) suggests that it was, in fact, Jacob who was the nerd. Jacob stays at home with mum (typical nerd behaviour) while Esau goes outside and hunts like a man.

“27 And the boys grew: and Esau was a cunning hunter, a man of the field; and Jacob was a plain man, dwelling in tents.

28 And Isaac loved Esau, because he did eat of his venison: but Rebekah loved Jacob.”

If you’re going to use scripture to back up your arguments at least do it properly.

Regards,

Nathan Campbell”

Other events that Westboro Baptist will be protesting in the near future include a Baseball game (God hates sport), and a Lady Gaga concert (God hates gender ambiguous costumed pop stars).

There schedule comes complete with this little parody of Hallelujah, perhaps Westboro’s attempt at contextualisation:

“Your God has seen what you have done. There’s nothing new beneath the sun. He’s sent a lying spirit down to fool you. We’ve seen your flags on your crumbling arch. Your filth is not a victory march. God hates your feasts and faithless Hallelujahs.”

On Gaga…

“Now what type of wicked hypocrites would we be if we did not warn this little false prophetess and all of her over-indulged sycophants that they are each one, individually heading straight to hell in a gender-confused, self-loathing, tone-deaf hand basket and that a gift from the God they hate?”

Thanks to my friend Mika for the tip.