Seung-Hui Cho woke up one morning two weeks ago, went to a dorm at Virginia Tech and killed two people.
Then he went home, filmed a series of rants, took pictures of himself, wrote a few notes, and steeled himself for battle.
Minutes later he killed 30 more people and wounded 29 others.
Those left dead in his wake include an exemplary college student from Martinez, a Holocaust survivor and dozens of other folks who each meant the world to someone.
But none of that matters to one group of idiots. Westboro Baptist Church preaches that each victim deserved death as a result of the perverted direction our country is heading. And Cho? Well, he wasn't possessed by the devil. Not at all. He was on a mission from God.
And not one of those cool Blues Brothers missions. This was a seek-and-destroy mission aimed at the people who have turned their backs on the Lord and His commandments.
Just read Westboro's words (taken unedited from their Web site, so I don't "dilute" their message): "We are here to preach to you, America! What business do you have wasting your time, sinning away your day of Grace, and disobeying God? You're (sic) nation is full of perverts, whores and Sodomites, and their enablers, and if you continue to blaspheme God, you will be utterly destroyed and wiped off the face of the Earth, like Sodom and Gomorrah, like Pompaii (sic), among the other world empires. God blessed you, but you've spit in his face. Now you're irreversably cursed. America is Doomed."
Westboro Baptist Church is a small group of protestors from Topeka, Kansas, who specialize in shock tactics to further their extremist views. The group first made headlines for their fight against homosexuality. They've now turned part of their sights to America, protesting at the funerals of soldiers killed in Iraq with signs that say "Thank God for Dead Soldiers" and other quaint phrases.
So WBC's message is this: I'm doomed. No matter what, I'm going to hell.
You know what? That's fine. If their God is in charge of heaven, I don't want to be there anyway.
It's not the causes and tactics of the Westboro bunch that scares me. What scares me is they actually believe the stuff they spew. They have a whole section on their Web site outlining the base of their beliefs.
The WBC's fractured thought process is best presented in a 74-page manifesto, "Letter to the Earthdwellers" - a document that would make the Unabomber wince. It includes such gems as "'God loves everyone' is an urban myth created by Satan" and "Our message to you is this: You've sinned away your last day of grace; there is no remedy for this country and this world; God is your enemy."
The group made local headlines last week when they announced plans to show up in Martinez to protest the memorial service for Lakeside High School graduate Ryan Clark. A day later they backed out, thanks to Mike Gallagher, who offered up three hours on his nationally-syndicated radio show in exchange for the group dropping their protest plans.
So Tuesday morning, the group spewed venom for three hours. Through it all, I got their real message loud and clear: For all their postulating, protesting and preaching, the tenets of what they believe can be bought for three hours of radio time. This group that prides itself on being outrageous and "in your face" chose instead to stay cowardly, holed up in a radio station to sell their souls over the airwaves.
And for a group that prides itself on living, acting and protesting for Scripture and by Scripture, they conveniently ignored this passage: "Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things." (Philippians 4:8)
Jason Smith, publisher of The McDuffie Mirror, is former news editor of The News-Times.
The Columbia County News-Times ©2013. All Rights Reserved.