I belong to a Facebook Group called United Against Westboro Baptist Church. Westboro is a Topeka KS congregation led by Pastor Fred Phelps that has made a dubious reputation by picketing at the funerals of fallen soldiers to pronounce God’s judgment against the military for the presence of homosexuals in their ranks. They have made infamous the protest sign “God Hates Fags” and at the same time made Christians look like ugly, hateful people because the population in general thinks one aberrant group of people are indicative a group of people who have made “love thy neighbor” their motto for 2000 years.

I personally believe, as do many Christians whose values are rooted in Christ and the Bible, that the homosexual lifestyle is contrary to our Creator’s design and like all other things that God sees as inconsistent with His holiness – it is a sin. But then drunkenness, child abuse, injustice, human slavery are also contrary to God’s will for us. They, too, are sin.

But the Bible is very clear. While God hates sin and its utter destructiveness of His world and its people, God does not hate the sinners themselves. We are all (for we are all sinners) people who God loved unconditionally and for whom Christ died that we might once again have a relationship with a holy God. I believe God has a special judgment reserved for those who choose hate as a lifestyle and who victimize any of His children by their hatred.

I also, however, would disagree with this little sign. God does not love one of us more than another. He loves all of us equally. God hates the hatred expressed by bigots. He hates the hurt inflicted on bigotry’s victims. But he loves the victim and victimizer both–because both are persons whose sin has separated them from God. Both are people for whom Christ has died.

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