Members of the controversial Westboro Baptist Church clashed with anti-Republican protesters at the GOP convention in Tampa on Tuesday, with police stepping in to keep the peace. The Christian Post reached out to the group, known for protesting the funerals of soldiers and proclaiming that "God hates fags," to find out why it believes the U.S. is an "evil nation" headed for destruction.
Westboro members apparently encountered the anti-Republican group during a march toward the official protest zone created by the city. Police confirmed that the two groups were separated for safety reasons, and Westboro members had to be escorted from the scene, but no one was arrested.
As for Westboro's reasoning for protesting the GOP convention, Steve Drain, a member of the church, shared in a phone interview with The Christian Post that he sees no difference between Republican candidate Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama, and that both will doom the nation even further.
"This election cycle this November, this evil nation is going to have a choice between a lying false-Christian Muslim Obama, and a lying false-Christian Mormon Romney, which is perfectly appropriate for this evil nation, that is awash in sin from sea to shining sea," Drain began.
"This nation has cast aside all of the standards of God and they have done so desiring the leadership of men who cast aside every standard of God."
As an example of the wrongdoings of America, Drain emphaszied that the Bible says it is an "abomination" for people to have homosexual relations. "Shorthand – no fags. That's Leviticus 18:22, in Romans 1, 1 Corinthians 9, 2 Peter 2 – it is all over the place," he said.
"This nation says it is okay to be gay. Not only is it okay, but they legislate for, enable, condone that sin that the Lord God in the Bible calls worthy of death," the Westboro Baptist Church member said of American society.
"God says thou shall not kill. What we do in this nation is that we rip the babies from these fool American women, who get pregnant on that fornication with these fool American men, and then those few babies that are born, we break their moral compasses by failing to raise them in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, and then when they grow up, we hand them an M-16 rifle and tell them 'Go on and fight this bloody war in Afghanistan or Iraq', that we have no business fighting that we can never win," Drain added.
The Westboro spokesman warned that divorce is also a grave sin that largely goes unrecognized in America, with even many Church leaders who profess to be strong Christians opting for divorce and remarrying.
Drain noted: "Bottom line is, this Christian nation deserves what it is going to get by either electing a phony-Christian Muslim Obama, or phone false-Christian Mormon Romney, and it really makes not a lick of difference which one gets elected. Neither one of them has any interest at all in humbling themselves before the interests of God, and they are leading this nation further down the road to her final destruction."
The Wesboro member affirmed that the church will also be protesting the Democratic National Convention, which takes place in Charlotte, N.C., from Sept. 4-6.
"Yeah, we'll be there. We'll be there to picket phony false-Christian Muslim Obama's a**."
Drain raised the issue that in 2008, Obama made a comment in which he said that if one of his daughters were to make a mistake and get pregnant, that he would not want her "punished with a baby."
"In other words, he's in favor of taking a butcher's knife and carving out his own grand-baby. His own grand-child he calls a 'punishment,'" Drake remarked, and concluded: "We're not gonna sit here silently as a tomb, we're gonna lift up our voices."
Westboro, led by Pastor Fred Phelps and predominantly known for picketing the funerals of soldiers and celebrities, are "Baptist" in name only, and their actions stand in strong contrast to many mainline and evangelical Christian views.