By Bill Maher
Fred Phelps, the founder of Westboro Baptist Church, is dead, and Twitter is alive with people rejoicing. But would they do the same thing to Billy Graham? Well, I might, but most people wouldn’t. Everyone loves Billy Graham. But Billy Graham’s stance on homosexuality is the same as Fred Phelps: they both believe that “God Hates Fags,” it’s just that Billy (and most other fundamentalist preachers) don’t say it quite so bluntly.
Let’s take a quick look at what various denominations believe. Catholics? Homosexuality is a “violation of divine and natural law,” and if you practice it you’re going to hell. Southern Baptists? It’s a sin, and you’re going to hell. Assemblies of God? It’s a sin, and you’re going to hell. Orthodox Jews? Do you even need to ask? The Episcopal Church, which is supposed to be a hipper version of Catholicism, had a schism over gays in 2008 and now there’s a breakaway Anglican sect with branches worldwide that exists solely because they wanted to still hate fags.
In these religions, does God send homosexuals to hell because he loves them? Nope, it’s because he hates them. It’s in the Bible, after all, and not just in the Old Testament.
Which brings us to all these St. Patrick’s Day parades that exclude gays. How are they really different from Fred Phelps? Why does NYC allow its parade to be sponsored by a religious organization (the Ancient Order of Hibernians) that practices discrimination? And finally, now that every beer company has pulled out of the parade, what’s the point?