I just came to see what hate looked like ...

These words were what Country Music star Vince Gill spoke to a group of protesters last Sunday right here in Kansas City. The group were from the infamous Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kansas and they were there to protest because the Gill married Amy Grant in 1998 after their first marriages came to an end. Here is the reported dialog:

“Vince Gill, what in the world are you doing out here?” a woman on the line asked.

“I just came to see what hate looked like,” he said.

“Well, more importantly,” the woman said, “what are you doing with another man’s wife?”

“I came out to see what hatred really looked like in the face.”

“Don’t you know that divorce plus remarriage equals adultery?” the woman asked. “Jesus Christ said that.”

“Did he?” Gill responded. “You know what else he said? He said a lot of stuff about forgiveness, about grace. You guys don’t have any of that.”

Sad that when folks hear the name Fred Phelps or the name of his church people think about hate. I long for a day when churches, and the people who attend them, are more equated with loving people than hating the things that people outside of their buildings do. And yes, in the words of John Lennon, "You may say I'm a dreamer. But I'm not the only one. I hope someday you'll join us. And the world will be as one." Or maybe just a small part of it?


  1. It really puts a sick feeling in the pit of my gut, Bob...and I really do wonder, in the end, how the Lord will judge these folks?? I also wonder what sorts of sins are going on in their own hearts and minds?? Besides the obvious here...thanks for sharing this!

  2. A terrible thing indeed. Makes me long for the Lord's return but I have to keep working as well.

  3. I remember being sad when Amy Grants marriage broke up because she was a role model, but divorce among evangelicals is as high or higher than the national average, and I am very happy for the Gills and hope good things to their x's as well. Westboro Baptist reminds us of how off message we can become when pride and hatred enters our hearts. Thanks for pointingw this out.

  4. You can't reason or argue with people like that.

  5. It is really sad that Christians have become associated with the letter of the law and hatred rather than with grace. It reminds me of the Pharisees & Sadducees of Jesus' day. Lord help us!

  6. Thanks all for the responses. Encounters like this one in KC remind me that today is a good day to change folks' impressions of believers. Today is a great day to spread a little love around!


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