Our favorite anti-gay, homophobic pseudo-Christian hate group is at it again, picketing same-sex marriage. This time their
wrath petulant hissy fit is aimed at Rhode Island, which begins recognizing same-sex marriages on the first of August. The WBC is ready to march around with their hateful signs and shout about Hell a lot. They really mean it, too – just look at that flyer! Why, there are CAPITAL LETTERS and bold script and everything… hang on a second. Do you see what I see?
“Is the United States population illerate? Can’t you read? The Lord Jesus Christ said marriage Is between 1 man and 1 woman for life.”
Why, yes I can read, since you ask. But apparently the WBC can’t proofread. Tsk tsk. But you can’t really blame them too much. After all, illiteracy is a big problem in America, with 14 percent of the population – about 32 million of us – who cannot read. Since an ignorant electorate is one of the goals of conservatives, the government isn’t doing much to help lower that number. What with our own Congress being almost as illiterate as the people they purport to represent, and with the GOP’s antipathy towards public education – some to the point of wishing to abolish it completely – we are looking at a group of perpetually ignorant Americans. Even those of us who want to learn are being stymied by insane student loan rates.
The Republican hatred for education has been an undercurrent of their ideology for the past 30 years. Their campaign to undercut public education has been devastating, leading to budget cuts and over-crowded classrooms. The National Education Association, the largest teachers’ union in the U.S., is a frequent target of the right. The GOP has been touting “school choice” – vouchers – as the best way to “fix” the education system for years. And it would… for the wealthy. Because that is really the point of this entire campaign: to have an underclass of ignorant workers who the wealthy can exploit, use up and throw away. If they are ignorant, these workers won’t ask questions about health care coverage, IRAs or workplace safety. After all, how can an injured worker fill out a Labor & Industry form if they can’t read it? They can’t. And that’s just the way corporate America wants it.
They also can’t understand the issues when it comes time to vote. Knowing this, the Republican Party plies their base with platitudes about “God and Guns” and feeds into their tribal mentality by marginalizing and attacking anyone who isn’t like them. This has worked well for them, so why change things? States with the lowest ranking of education vote overwhelmingly for conservative candidates. Romney won 11 of the 12 lowest-ranking states in the last election. That is not a coincidence.
So, it’s not surprising that the members of the Westboro church are not exactly proficient in working with words: it’s the result of many years of scoffing at knowledge. Even among Christians, there is some despair over the biblical illiteracy shown by evangelicals (which is also on display in this flyer – Jesus never said anything of the kind). When you put these two things together, you get the ignorance which this flyer so eloquently demonstrates. Add in the bigotry and the idea that Fred Phelps is infallible and you get the cult that we all love to laugh at. Bless their hearts.