GodSmacks: Delivering God’s Hate in Love

I’m lucky to be in San Antonio for the American Academy of Religion this week. I’ll be presenting “GodSmacks: Delivering God’s Hate in Love” on Saturday at 4. The presentation focuses on Westboro Baptist Church’s interpretation of personal and national suffering as a sign of God’s anger–“GodSmacks” [warning, this link takes you to a website maintained by WBC]–and their self-understanding as people engaged in loving rebukes of their neighbor.

We’ll also consider the larger question of how religion can confound our ideas about love and hate and examine some other cases of fundamentalist groups that see the hand of God in tragedy


AA weather chart showing the advancement of Hurricane Katrina? Or a sign of God’s anger at abortion? Various anti-abortion groups saw the fetus-like image (the orange circle in the upper center)  as evidence that God was using the hurricane to collectively punish us for abortion.

If you are at AAR, I’d love to see you!

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