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Southern Baptist leader condemns anti-gay pastor’s message

Associated Press - March 20, 2014 8:39 pm

A leader of the Southern Baptist Convention says it has no connection whatsoever to the anti-gay Westboro Baptist Church founded by the Rev. Fred Phelps, who died late Wednesday at the age of 84.

The Rev. Russell Moore, president of the SBC’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, calls Westboro’s message that God hates gays an ugly “caricature of Christianity”.

Phelps’ tiny congregation is known for picketing the funerals of soldiers with signs claiming their deaths are God’s punishment for American tolerance of homosexuality.

Moore says the Bible teaches that God does not take pleasure in anyone’s death, but loves people and wants them to repent and be forgiven.

Moore says if he didn’t know better, he’d think the Westboro Baptist Church was performance art staged by secularists to mock Christianity.