Brainwashed by the Westboro Baptist Church Part 1/2

I want to talk about a particular family who joined the Westbaro Baptist Church. It is the Drain family. One week ago, I wrote a post on a woman who left that cult after seven years and her name was Lauren Drain. Yes, this is in fact, about the story of her family and how they came to WBC in Topeka.

It all started when Steve Drain went to Topeka to create a documentary that he called, “Hatemongers”. His intention was rational, a reason that most people who support and rally for. He wanted to make a documentary on WBC that would expose them for what they were.-Snake oil sales men.

fox-and-cat

To go from his original intentions, to where he is now and what he’s doing now, is a scary thing and it makes me think twice about entering WBC. By the way, the only reason why I would enter that church would be to write a documentary on the hate mongers. Although, I don’t think they need a book made about them.

WBC is a primitive church meaning it follows the way of what the christian church was like in the old days. This is ‘old days’ as in when the LGBT could not marry and homosexuals were thrown in jail or even put to death.

 

I’m going to say it again-

WBC breaks apart families, not just their own but other families that comes in their cult.

This is one reason why I’m speaking out against WBC and all of their man-made views on everyone. I don’t know how a civil rights lawyer could start a hate cult this big and influential.

A bit of context:

Fred Phelps used to be a good guy once upon a time

He was a civil rights lawyer who fought for African-Americans who claims discrimination in the school or anywhere else. No white lawyer would defend them, so that’s what Fred Phelps did. This is one example of it being okay to go against the grain or the norm, and fight for what you believe.

Then Fred committed perjury and lost his licence. What a shocker that he carries anger towards everyone. But despite the good that he had done in the past, it isn’t enough to condone his present acts now.

And going against the grain this time, will not work in his favour. I was going to write a post on part two of Vice’s documentary, but I’ve decided you can search for the video yourself on youtube. Because I think I’ve said enough.-at least for now. But this isn’t over because as long as there are people like Fred Phelps, who do and say things in the name of the God whom I worship and believe in, I will keep speaking up and I will keep writing about it so that the world may know that this is not okay and I will not sweep this under the rug.

 

 

 

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Questioning my faith

Earlier this year, I was devasted and rocked when I found myself reading Genesis (the bible) and writing in another book, questions upon questions. Many of these included homosexuality, dinosaurs and what “the expanse of heavens” actually mean.

I found myself questioning my faith and watching Atheist youtubers didn’t help either. It didn’t matter if they targeted catholics, mormons, or people with different ideals than mine. I became cynical and rational.

“God couldn’t be real. Surely not. It’s impossible.”

Plus, he didn’t answer any of my dinosaur-related questions.

I knew christians weren’t stupid people. So this stands to reason that we can ask questions. This is only to get a clearer understanding and picture of what we say we believe. If we don’t understand, we can’t explain this to others.

Still, I found that the more questions I asked, the more answers I didn’t have, the more cynical I became.

But then something happened that changed how I felt about what I was doing. I had just come back from Hong Kong and I met my christian friends at an event (more on this in a later post). As I had fellowship with these peeople and worshiped God with people who were secured in their faith, and had an aura of confidence in God, I realised something. I wasn’t asking questions to prove that God wasn’t real. I wasn’t doing it to rennounce my faith and step away from it.

I’m not asking questions to rennounce my faith and step away from it. But I’m asking questions in order to re-build the foundation blocks stronger and steadier and according to what I actually believe.

This is what this short blog post is about. Although it’s short, it was a happy revelation so I hope sharing this might also brighten someone’s day too.

I have to keep looking for answers and keep asking questions because I don’t have a full revelation or a complete big picture yet, but as I search, I’m confident I’ll find what I’m looking for.

Questions to think about:

  1. What do you believe?
  2. Why do you believe this?
  3. Does what you believe actually make sense and feel right to you?

 

 

Why did God make LGBT+ women?

I feel like I’m going to get backlash for this. Look, I don’t have any final or definite answers for you. But I’m bringing this question up because I realised that in my series “Why did God make women?” where I respond to a blog post with the exact same title from “Biblical Gender Roles” website, I was focusing on heterosexual women in marriage.

Both men and women were made to procreate, look after the earth and keep each other company. I’m going to talk about these three points and link them to LGBT+ women (particuarly homosexuals as to talk about the whole spectrum would require a lot more than one post).

We were made to procreate and fill the earth

A lot of christians believe that because God told Adam and Eve to have children, it means that this is the duty of everyone on earth. But this is not right. First on a practicle scale, there’s over 7 billion people in the world so I’d say we’re close to over filling the earth.

Second, not everyone can get pregnant and not everyone want children. Then there are the women who don’t identify as hetero at all. Surely if these women were in an intimate relationship, it would look a lot differently than in a hetero relationship. (Well, not that differently. I mean, the main reason to be with anyone for the rest of your life is to do with love, not making babies).

So while there are many of us who are excited to go down that life path of starting a family, some prefer no children, some will adopt and some will not get married. I mean, we’re so diverse, we can’t possibly say that this is the purpose of every women on the planet.

On another note, the fact that women can bring life into the world is a crazy, scary and amazing gift. So thanks to all you mothers out there who chose to bring life and/or raise a child.

We were made to look after the earth

I insist that yes, this reason still stands. More than ever before, we have reason to look after our earth. This is the only home we have and if we lose it, there’s no second earth to fall back on.

Let’s look after one another. Let’s look after our animals, our sea, our trees and overall, our planet.

We were made to keep men company

As soon as God created Eve, Adam and Eve married. Because of this, many christians believe that men and women need to keep each other company through and by marriage. But for you LGBT folks, this is most likely not the case. Or then again, maybe it is for some of you.

Let’s not be romantic for a second. We are lonely because there isn’t another species or race whom we can converse with like we do with each other. Parrots don’t count.

So yeah, how about we keep each other company? Again, not in a romantic way or through marriage, but just through being friends, being nice to each other. In this way, this really link back to the second reason, how we are to look after the earth.

In a romantic or “marriage” sense”, this is not always true and since the GMB have passed in many countries, it is even more not always true. So no, we weren’t made to marry men or keep them company. We can now be with whoever we want which is great.

But let’s keep each other company because if we don’t, then this earth won’t be big enough for everyone.

It is a compliment that God made us, the counter part to men, who are equals in everyway and side by side, we can join forces to make the world a better place for the next generation of humans.

 

 

My life post-cult: Back to normality

Lauren Drain belonged to one of the few families who came into WBC instead of being born into it. I can’t say much except reiterate what Lauren says in this video on “Chicago ideas week”.

Here are a few issues that she touches on and that I want to talk about.

It’s okay to ask questions

This is something I had to slowly learn and experience myself as a christian and it is why this year’s blog theme is on spirituality. It’s because I’m not afraid anymore to ask questions. I can ask big, small or ridiculous questions. God doesn’t mind. God doesn’t get intimated by them being asked, so I’m not going to be scared by being the one to ask these questions. A lot of churches don’t like people asking questions that they can’t answer but in WBC, this is brought to the extreme.

If we don’t ask questions, then we lose the chance to become critical thinkers and to change the world in a good way.

WBC tears families apart

I’ve covered this a little bit though I didn’t address it like I am doing now. WBC tears apart their own family (Phelps) and other families who are brought into this lie, this deluded fantasy.

I’ve watched enough WBC videos to know that time and time again, WBC breaks up families. They don’t want any communication with their own family members who have been cast out of the church.

No wonder it’s difficult to leave! It’s not that they believe the signs they’re holding up or feel comfortable with praying for people to die.  But they’re there to stay with their family. Those people who were forced to leave, must miss their parents and siblings and friends.

But at the same time, it’s better to take your chances with the outside world than to remain in a really bad life with so much judgement and limitations.

It’s worse on the inside than it is on the outside

Lauren gave a brief insight into what life is like inside the church and it seems that they’re more judgemental to each other than they are to the funerals they picket at and generally the people they annoy, argue and then sue.

But let’s be cautious to celebrate or slow to smile at this because, well, at the end of the day, we’re all human, we all (or most of us) come from flawed and dysfunctional families. This is just like any dysfunctional family, it’s just ten times worse. That’s all.

So while they’ve evoked many emotions in me over the weeks that I’ve learned and written about them, I must say, my biggest emotion I feel towards them is pity. I feel sorry for them and this family, who hate everyone including themselves.

I’m going to take a break from writing about WBC so expect something new next week and then I’ll continue for maybe one or two more weeks. I don’t want to give them more publicity after all.

What do you think about WBC or about Lauren so far? Would you ever join a cult? If you liked this blog post, please hit the like and follow button. If you have any questions or comments, please leave them too. I’d love to hear from you.

 

 

Westboro Baptist church Ep 3.

This is my last blog post on Westboro, at least for now. If you haven’t watched the above video, I suggest you watch it now. Russel brand schools these two men with class, humour and dignity.

My conclusion for this church is that, I’ll try not to hate them or the people. Most of them were raised in that church and so were indoctrinated/brainwashed since a young age. It’s hard to get out of something like that no matter how destructive it can be.

I’m once again surprised, just blown away, by how smart Russel really is and I really must write a transcript of this video one day. He’s not a christian but he’s on point.

I think there isn’t really much to say or maybe there’s so many things that are wrong with this church/cult, that it makes me tired. I can’t be bothered to argue against nonsense. I’ll leave you with this: the command to love God with all your heart, mind and body, is impossible to obey. Just like with all the commandments in the bible, they’re all to show us what God can do that humans can’t. It’s all meant to point us to Jesus, the only one who can do all these things. So, don’t use the bible as an instructions manual on how to live your life. Use it as a book that can draw you closer to a relationship with God.

 

 

Westboro baptist church Ep 2.

If you are a christian or religious person, what are some beliefs/principles that you grew up with? Can you still believe them? If you’re not a christian or religious person, do you have any principles that have now since changed? Let me know in the comments below. Please remember to hit the like button if you liked this post and the follow button if you want my newest posts to be in your news feed.

 

There are so many stories on Youtube of people leaving Westboro cult and starting a new and better life. It’s so heartening that this is possible. My concern is that when these people leave this cult, that they’ll completely forget about God and turn away from finding out about their spirituality. Because there is a God-a real and living God, just not the one that they were bought up to believe.

But it must be hard to be raised up in this kind of dangerous and harmful church, and then find another church. I think it makes sense if people coming from there wouldn’t want to step foot in a church or talk about God ever again. I would feel the same way. Even so, I hope that these people will want to know who God really is, and not what their church have made Him to be.

I don’t have much else to say on Westboro church despite this not being the last blog post on this. I was quite angry and fired up in my last post but this time, I feel utter sadness. I feel sad for Libby and I feel sad for the people who are still trapped in that cult.

In saying this, I’m not perfect either. I wasn’t raised in a cult, but I also need to take a good hard look at the doctrines/dogmas and everything that I believed growing up, and discern whether or not they are true or if I still believe in these things.

This video is short but I am getting a lot of content out of it. First of all, WBC believes that the Sandy hook elementery school’s destruction was brought by God’s judgement.

They are so scared of God’s wrath that it’s no wonder they believe and teach their kids to believe that the world is full of evil people and that there’s no hope.

I’ve lately been contemplating what my life would be like if I didn’t have God and I thought life would suck a lot and there’s be no hope for me or anyone. I believe this because death may be seen as ‘normal’ to most people, but I can’t accept it.

Death can’t be normal. I want there to be more than just this life and there’s no hope that there could be something else, then what kind of life would that look like?

But, even though I personally am dependent on the existence of God, I am starting to see with my own eyes that there’s still hope for evereyone including non-christians and even though we are mortals. It’s a contradiction, I know, but what Libby saw when she left her family, is true.-The world isn’t full of evil people. As much as there’s heartache, pain, sadness and hatred, there’s also joy, laughter, love and peace.

She lives a much happier, independent and freer life but I’m also glad that she’s remorseful, that it still sucks nonetheless to leave her family. I’m not glad of her suffering, but I’m glad because no matter what other people say or think, WBC is made up of one family and if for no one else, they do love each other. They did love her and she loves them. So I guess, I’m glad that there’s still love there even though it somes with pain and maybe a bit of home sickness.

There’s one last thing I’d like to discuss which is on why Libby left WBC. She left due to a close and personal reason which is often how these things work.-why people leave their religion or faith, not just people from WBC. This is once against, love winning out. Her family picketed at her friend’s husband’s funeral (he was in the military). And they also started praying for people to die.

What can counter this?

Love.

Libby left her family and everything she had ever known because of the love she had for her friend and the love she had inside of her. Love helped her to see the flaws, the cracks in the perfect persona of her family and church. Love made her see things differently and because of this, she had no choice but to leave. The people at WBC is smart and sneaky but there’s no law against love and ultimately, that is how we’re going to win.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Westboro baptist church Ep 1.

Nothing makes me sick, cringe and want to bang my head against the wall, like this church called Westboro Baptist. They’re infamous for their picket signs and offensive slogans. They make children, who can’t read these signs, hold them. They brainwash, indoctrinate and bully their congregation and tries to do the same with everyone else around them. In my opinion, they’re not a part of the Church and much like  Mormons, they’re a whole ‘nother religion from Christianity. At least I hope so.

Westboro church is an issue I needed to address because I, as a christian and a human being, cannot condone what they’re doing. As a way to not condone, I must speak up and voice out their horrific acts that they do “in the name of God”. Unfortunately, in the name of my God. That’s what makes me ticked off- is that these people think that they’re doing nothing wrong but are in fact doing God’s work. That couldn’t be further from the truth.

I admit that I’m still learning about who God is because his character isn’t straight forward. He’s not as loving or kind as what my Sunday school teacher made him out to be. But even so, I believe (because this is a huge part of the gospel), that God doesn’t condone (sweep things under the rug), or condemns (judges us with much contempt and little empathy). God loves all of his creation and his prized possession that he had created was us. He loves each and every one of us and it doesn’t matter who or what we are. He loves us because of who He is, not because of anything we could do to deserve it.

That’s the gospel-or at least, the core of it. But West Baro baptist church have got it all wrong.

They’re so caught up with “One man, one woman”, to bother practicing love, kindness and empathy. They’re so concerned with who goes to hell and who goes to heaven, that they judge everyone to hell except for their own group of people. That’s wrong, disgusting and sick.

I feel sorry for the children who are growing up in this culture, who believe this with all their might because, “this is all I’ve ever known”. At the same time, I have to remember that this small church is made up of a family or relatives. And because of what they believe, because they’re so sure they’re right and will not be swayed, anyone in their family who doesn’t agree, cannot stay with them. And so, as much as I hate what they’re doing, my heart goes out to them and all those times when they lost their family member. There will be more in the future as well.

This ‘church’/’family’ does emotional and phsychological abuse because if you didn’t believe with them, then you could no longer be a part of the family. That means, you’re going out into the world alone, with no prospects or money.

It can be scary to go against the norm but you have to if the ‘norm’ hurts others and causes riots.

As a christian, here are some ‘norms’ that I have to go against:

-That the bible teaches us how to live and specifically tells us what to do and think on certain issues.

-That everyone who isn’t straight suffers from same sex attraction which can be cured

-That the solution to everything is knowing Jesus (I believe this is true but only in the big picture. In the finer details of life, we need a bit of practicality).

-That women should not be allowed to have an abortion

-That our purpose in this life as human beings lies in the purpose of  the creation of Adam and Eve.

And there are probably a few others.

But I can’t beat the people from West Barro. Those people who have left are brave and lucky. They’ve left a lot of destructive ‘norms’ and have entered a world full of light, laughter and love-the kind of world that they had never heard of when they were kids. Good on them! And I myself, will pray for the destruction of this ‘church’/cult.