Honor? Or Worship?

Recently, I watched an interview that Milo Yiannopoulos had with a member of the controversial Westboro Baptist Church. The interview is available on Youtube and it’s over an hour long but I recommend that you watch the first half hour of it and tell me what you think.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ZOdi8t4opA

The interview came to a particularly interesting point at about nineteen minutes in. For context, the church has been known to protest at military funerals while holding up signs that say “Thank God for 9/11.” Milo brought up the attitudes of Christians (such as myself) who find these military protests to be appalling. His question to the lady was if she supports or regrets these protests and what her response is to these Christians. Her first answer was interesting in itself. She said, “If God was blessing America, we wouldn’t need a multi-billion-maybe-trillion dollar standing army/military complex.”

It was the next thing she had to say that really threw me through a loop. She identified military uniforms as one of our biggest “idols,” or items of worship. She accused the patriotic ideology of creating “monsters” and for some reason, she used the Derek Chauvin verdict as an example. Then she accused practically everyone of worshiping soldiers. Here is why I couldn’t disagree more with Margie Phelps.

While I don’t usually make any argumentative posts on this blog, I feel that this is too important a topic to pass up. I didn’t feel that Milo asked any tough questions, nor did I feel he challenged this woman on any of the things she was saying. He seemed to be siding with her instead. I was concerned as well with the number of followers in the comments that shared his sentiments — saying that this interview was enlightening for them, etc. Excuse me, there is nothing wrong, spiritually or otherwise, with honoring, respecting, loving the heroes who died for the future of this great country. I think there’s a fine line between honor and worship that is being ignored. Also, the Bible, if anything, seems to contradict Phelps’ point-of-view.

We are not disrespecting God by saying “Thank you for your service,” by commemorating on national holidays (like Memorial Day), and certainly not by having a service for our dead family members. Has Margie Phelps ever been to a funeral in her life that she didn’t disrespectfully protest? Was she then worshiping that person? Was she then one of the “monsters”? Certainly not. How is it any different with the family members of these fallen “uniforms,” who are trying to pay their last respects in peace? These are the people who the Westboro Baptist Church are antagonizing when they attempt to disrupt a military funeral. How are they the “monsters”? Is it the twenty-one gun salute? The coffin draped with the American flag? Imagine the one person you love more than anybody else in the world. Picture them in your mind. Now, imagine them going off to fight in a war, dying in that war, and then when they bring the body back, you and your family try to hold a funeral service for that person. Only now, there’s a hate group outside of the gate disrupting the ceremony by shouting ugly things like “Thank God For 9/11.” Not only that, later on down the road, one of the members of said hate group are now offering up a garbage heap of an explaination for why that happened instead of apologizing for it.

John 15:13 is a very, very important passage in the Holy Bible. I’m surprised that Milo never brought t up. It states quite clearly:

“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”

If God didn’t want us to pay homage to the servicemen and women in uniform who did just that — laid down their lives — then why would His word encourage it? While we can say that Jesus Christ is the ultimate fallen hero for the entire world, and of most importance, that doesn’t mean that we can’t also note the importance of our mortal sacrifices. Especially if those sacrifices were neccessary for the survival of a free nation. Are we not to appreciate that?

I do appreciate and love Milo for all that he does. It takes a special kind of courage. I also hope that God blesses him on his latest personal journey and I wish him the best.

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