Do you like the title of this blog post? I am sure that most of my readers don't. If that is all I said, you would probably fill my comment section, Facebook page, and Twitter feed (_brad_Gilbert_), berating me otherwise and trying to "set me straight." Before you skip the rest of this post to do so, understand this: I don't think all Baptist are like Westboro Baptist. They are a very, very poor representation of what a church is supposed to be, and what we as Baptist believe. Truth be told, I don't even like using the word Baptist or Church when talking about them.
So then, why would I say it? My goal is that some who read this may open their eyes and see that blanket statements made about other religions and people groups can be just as hurtful. As the situation in Boston unfolds further, it did not take long for the anti-Muslim posts, tweets, pictures, etc. to make their way around. Which is interesting, because as of now (4/19/13 11am EST) no specific detail as to what, if any, group they belonged to, and motive, has been revealed. Now, it may come out that there is some connection to a Muslim extremist group, but it hasn't yet - but those facts don't stand in the way of what many post, share, or promote.
It is easy to sit behind a computer, or smart phone, and make a bold proclamation about an entire people group without ever thinking through what you are saying. Just as we would agree all Baptist are not like Westboro Baptist, not all Muslims are here to take away your freedoms and kill you. As my wife could attest (she volunteers with a missionary family to work at a local Arab American Friendship Center teaching Muslim women English), many who come to America do so to escape the violence and live the American dream - just like our ancestors did not so long ago.
When I read these blanket statements that are filled with such smugness and vitriol, whether the issue is homosexuality, Muslims, etc., it reveals to me that the person saying it and posting it has never actually tried to reach out with the Gospel to that person. Truth is, most people who make these types of statements live their life in a vacuum with people who believe, live, and act just as they do. As someone who comes in contact with people of the Middle East all the time, and someone who has personally spoke with and counseled with those who are caught up in the homosexual lifestyle, I know that these kinds of statements do not help. In actuality, they often reveal that we are more like those who attend Westboro Baptist Church, whether we want to admit that or not.
So, all I ask is that you think before you post, share, say, etc. Think about who may read it. And think about how that may harden their heart for the next person who actually wants to share with them the love of God and sacrificial death of His Son Jesus for their sins.