On Tuesday evening, Rebecca Barrett-Fox will be discussing her book God Hates: Westboro Baptist Church, American Nationalism, and the Religious Right at the Kansas City Public Library.
In a discussion of her book, the Arkansas State University sociologist goes inside the church, its ideology and daily operations. She makes a case that the Westboro movement isn’t so distanced from more mainstream segments of today’s religious right, where tragedy is commonly attributed to God’s ability to punish sin.
God Hates traces WBC’s theological beliefs to a brand of hyper-Calvinist thought reaching back to the Puritans—an extreme Calvinism, emphasizing predestination, that has proven as off-putting as Westboro’s actions, even for other Baptists. And yet, in examining Westboro’s role in conservative politics and its contentious relationship with other fundamentalist activist groups, Barrett-Fox reveals how the church’s message of national doom in fact reflects beliefs at the core of much of the Religious Right’s rhetoric.
The program begins at 6:30 in the Central Library (14 West 10th Street
Kansas City, MO 64105).