The following post is from Keith Herron, pastor of Holmeswood Baptist Church in Kansas City, Mo., and the current moderator of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship.
Living in Kansas, I’ve had many opportunities to personally witness the hateful activities of the Topeka-based group that calls itself a church. They are profane in their public protests by desecrating the memory of the dead whose funeral processions they despoil. They are provocateurs of hatred for every hopeful human value most people hold dear.
To call themselves a church is to suggest an unfathomable identity of God and faith that is sickening and vile. To suggest they speak for God is beyond comprehension.
Yet they have made a living out of wagging fluorescent placards of hatred in places where people are at their most vulnerable as they are gathered to grieve their dead. They have made a public spectacle of protesting at the funeral processions of soldiers who have died in battle. And now they threaten the community of Newtown where the slaughter of the innocents has occurred.
Let us be clear: Westboro is the wolf in sheep’s skin desecrating the idea of faith, human sorrow and community pain.
The Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, of which I am the national moderator, stands with the families of the victims murdered in Newtown, Connecticut. We also stand in solidarity with the communities across America that share the grief of Newtown and vow to uphold our love of God and love of neighbor. We emphatically denounce the Westboro group, and while recognizing their constitutional freedom of speech, take this opportunity to cry with those who are crying and to resolve to stand with them in their grief.