The Hate Gospel
In the middle of September on the campus of the University of Cincinnati, a man calling himself Brother Micah showed up near McMicken Hall near the until recently challenged Free Speech Zone.
In August, a district court judge ruled that public university’s could not “quarantine” free speech. So the free speech rights at UC are a bit of flux at the moment.
When I ran across this scene, the students were in an uproar. They were shouting Brother Micah down while he accused them of being sinners, and often, more specifically, whores or homosexuals. His warnings of hell seemed to fall on deaf ears.
Brother Micah’s wife, who called herself Sister Elizabeth, was also in attendance speaking with a smaller group of students at a more reasonable volume. I like this picture for a few reasons, one those being her sequined shirt pocket.
She gave me their first names and told me that they attend churches in Florida and Kentucky, but she wouldn’t tell me if they were connected to any specific organization or church.
By what was being said, I knew a lot about them without researching their church. Brother Micah was preaching what has been deemed the “hate gospel.”
The Westboro Baptist Church is probably the most notable promoters of this line of thought, but it’s not a new idea. Wars have been justified by this thought.
The idea is that God says in the Bible that certain thing are bad, so people need to hate those things. Even though New Testament verses exist in complete contradiction to this reason.
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that?” Matthew 5:43-47
In the research I did, I could find no other organizations promoting the hate gospel. But Brother Micah may well be considered an institution himself. He has been traveling to college campuses around the Midwest since 2004, and even has his own Wikipedia page.
An interesting point about fundamentalist Christianity is that it is mainly isolated to the United States. The hate gospel is obviously not a view held by all fundamentalists, but I think all those who believe in the hate gospel would classify themselves as fundamentalists.
If you’re interested in getting a scholarly viewpoint on Christianity itself, check out Bibledex on Youtube. The scholars’ discussion about fundamentalism are especially interesting since the channel is produced in Europe.
Back to UC. I found the student population especially interesting. Several students went head to head with the preacher. Every time he brought up sex or masturbation, the students cheered, and two students did a rap about God to demonstrate that Brother Micah was not representative of Christianity.