This is probably going to be the single most personal entry you'll ever read on my blog. Bear with me.
So, It's 9:34pm on a Sunday night, I've spent the day watching the British Touring Car Championship and for the last 34 minutes, I've been staring at the TV with my jaw hitting the floor, because frankly I can't believe that such sheer hatred and belligerent disgust can come out of the mouths of such self righteous people.
I am, of course, watching Louis Theroux's follow up to his 2007 documentary "The Most hated family in America."
Now, I'm going to say this straight up: I am a Catholic. I am a Christian, and I believe that Jesus Christ died for my sins to save me from hell. And the members of the Westboro Baptist Church make me feel thoroughly ashamed to believe.
I grew up believing that God loves everyone. I grew up believing that every single person on this planet, be they of different race, creed, gender and sexuality is beloved by god.
A couple of years ago I was sat in a car with one of my best friends, who is an Atheist. He asked me if I believed that he was going to hell.
This is the image people have of Christians thanks to people like the Westboro Baptist Church. They have this image that if we find out they're gay, or an Atheist, or a Muslim, that we'll tell them they're going to hell.
I told my friend no. I told him that he will still go to heaven.
Because that little event 2011 years ago? That's what that was all about. The fact that god loves everyone, regardless of race, creed or faith.
But what the Westboro Baptist Church says goes completely against that. Like many other Christian sects of that mold, their policy is that the only way to Heaven is if you do it their way. Unless you adhere to the strict guidance that they declare is the word of god, then you are doomed to burn in hell.
Yes, they believe that the people who picket the funerals of dead soldiers with signs proclaiming that "God Hates Fags" and "Soldiers Burn In Hell."
They try to justify this by saying it's gods love that compels them to do this. To Me though, all this is is hate. God said Love thy neighbour, not judge him and tell him that he will burn in hell. I certainly don't remember God saying that it was cool to tell the Jews that they deserved the holocaust because they crucified Christ, and I certainly don't remember the part of the bible when it said that it was okay to tell a Muslim man his wife died because he told the members of the church to eave him alone.
These people don't preach the word of God. They twist it into something that is simple and easy to understand: Hatred.
And I'm sick of being looked at like I'm one of them.
I am not like them. And I think it's about time that all peoples of all faiths stood up and said "I am not like them. I am not like Osama Bin Laden. I am not like Fred Phelps. I am not an extremist. I am willing to listen to you. I am willing to speak to you like another human being. And I want to be heard."
My name is Ben Myatt. I am a Christian. But I don't hate you if you aren't - because we're all human.
How about you?