Really, folks, I have no idea how many people who read this blathering I put out who agree with me or don't. And if you hadn't noticed, I am a pretty contentious bastard.
However, I do believe that even in the nasty political debate in which we are currently engaged, even with the country so sharply and hotly divided, there are a few things on which we can all definitely agree.
Chief among these is that decidedly un-delightful picnic basket of loons who call themselves the Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kansas. If you haven't heard of them or wonder just how looney they are, a visit to their website at www.godhatesfags.com will prove to be a real eye-opener.
The WBC is mainly the family of patriarch Fred Phelps. Some years ago his then-16-year-old grandson was riding his bike through a city park and stopped to use a public restroom. There he was propositioned by a homosexual male, age and description unknown. The lad ran off and dutifully reported the incident to his father and the police.
So far, so good.
But when the Topeka police did not devote the resources of the entire department to the extent of re-assigning the homicide squad to toilet surveillance, the good Reverend went nuts-o.
Old Reverend Fred set up a table with religious tracts in front of the public potty and loudly warned everyone that thar's queers in them thar stalls. When even the conservative residents of Topeka started circling their temples with their forefingers as they walked past, Fred decided that he would show them who was nuts.
He and his family, who form almost 100 percent of WBC's congregation, have been doing that very effectively for at least fifteen years now.
Among other things, they sent spies into other Christian churches in Topeka, and if the sermon preached did not include a specific condemnation of homosexuality; then that church would be picketed by WBC representatives holding the now-famous "GOD HATES FAGS" signs.
When the City of Topeka did not conform to their every ridiculous demand, they decided to warn away the Burlington and Northern Railroad, which had been making arrangements to make Topeka their headquarters. WBC sent out a letter to B&N RR saying that Topeka was "the gay capital of America" (TOPEKA, KANSAS???) and that they should think about the safety of their employees and their employees' kids.
Burlington and Northern cancelled the move, no doubt because they divined that Topeka must be brimming over with nutballs. Of course, Phelps and his "church" took it as a victory.
Next came the infamous picketing of the funerals of gay males who had died of AIDS. After a while, though, even this became sort of yawn-inducing: "Oh, those nuts again? Change the channel, dear."
Fortunately for the WBC, another group of similarly misguided religious nuts crashed four fully loaded jetliners into the World Trade Center in New York, the Pentagon in Arlington VA, and a field in Shanksville, PA on September 11 2001; sparking our current conflict.
The Westboro Baptist "church" was quick indeed to see a new avenue for attention. Yep, our fallen soldiers are now viewed by the WBC as punishment from Almighty God for America's sin of not mandating death by stoning for even thinking about having same-sex carnal relations.
(I want to be fair here. Their website does say that any sex outside of the marriage bed is abominable sin. But I'd bet the rent that there's lots more sex between unmarried heterosexuals, plus adulterous relationships between people who are married to other people than there are instances of some dude plowing another dude's back forty. Why they jump up and down about homos and America's tolerance of them; when heterosexual hookups, cohabitation, and adultery are and have been time out of mind considered almost normal in American society; is an unanswered question.)
The latest of WBC's hi-jinx was to have been the funeral of a soldier in Afghanistan who was killed by friendly fire. Preparations were made for a peaceful counter-protest.
But the Westboro Baptist Church never showed.
So. Can all you goddamn communists who support "president' Obama and all of us Conservative Patriots at least agree on the WBC?
The WBC DOES have a mission from God. It is to provide something for us all to find common ground on.
What a bunch of schlemiels.