Thursday, February 21, 2013

Hating "in good conscience"

Today in 507, we brushed over a topic that struck me: a person's conscience. Dr. Corsini gave the definition of conscience as being something that "prods towards what you've already been taught." We then discussed examples of how a conscience can and does influence in good and bad ways. An individual can do something wretched in "good conscience" because it's something they have been taught to do their entire lives. When that type of situation got brought up, I immediately thought about the Westboro Baptist Church members. The family that runs that church teaches the members and their children to hate homosexuals and soldiers and that every time something bad happens in America, it is God revealing His wrath and judging the nation. They teach their children that God hates America and they even teach them songs with lyrics that preach their ever so popular "God hates fags" message. The members of this church have been taught from a very early age that God indeed hates homosexuals, America, soldiers, and anyone who ignores the Old Testament "warnings" against impure living.
These people believe with everything in them that they are right and are some of the few people that are going to Heaven. Excuse the rabbit trail for a second, but my question when researching these people and searching through their website (, is how can they, IN GOOD CONSCIENCE, sleep at night and believe they are accurately representing God? Is the conscience truly that powerful? In an article that you can read here, the power of the conscience in these people is evident. Steven Drain is quoted on his opinion about how Christians are to blame for "fag marriage" and states that "mainline Christianity is chiefly to blame for legitimizing that filthy sin and elevating it to its status of acceptability in society."

How does this apply to counseling?
Our jobs as future counselors and especially as future Christian counselors is to help those achieve some level of healthiness. Recognizing the power of the conscience and how it can drastically differ from person to person will greatly enhance our practices as it will allow for us to have more of an understanding of just how fallen an individual can be. It is not our job to judge them, it is not our job to hate what they believe in or be appalled by their actions. It is our job to recognize the fact that each person sins differently, each person has a story behind the presenting issue that brought them in, and each person has hope in the eyes of The Lord.

My personal Response:
Reading about the Westboro Baptist people and watching videos of their protests reminded me of just how powerful the conscience can be and actually instilled a new sense of determination to be the type of counselor who truly tries to see each person the way that God sees them; to look past their beliefs and their faults and love them right where they are. It also encouraged me to be a better representation of Christ and prove the stereotypes wrong. On another brief rabbit trail, my heart truly broke for the members of this church. I honestly wish I could somehow have an opportunity to talk to any of them and figure out what exactly happened in their life to make them so hateful. My heart also breaks for the children of that church who are being raised and taught to hate. I see pictures of them picketing at military funerals and gay pride parades and it's truly devastating.

The power of the conscience is not something that should be underestimated.


  1. This is truly sad. As I read this I learned new information. I remember the news talking about people standing outside of fallen military soldiers funerals and protesting against them. I never knew it was a particular church who preached such a hateful message. The conscience is a powerful tool that can be manipulated. That is what seems to be going on at this church. There is so much hate in the world and Christians are the ones who are suppose to love on each other, not add to the hate. Thank you for informing me of what is going on. I will make it a point to pray for those at that church

  2. Your blog post was a great read and I agree with you in that it is horrible that children are being taught this evil. It made me think about how future generations upon generations might be impacted because of this church's false teachings.

    The consciences' of this church's next generation will be even more embedded into the belief that God hates a certain group of people. My ultimate fear is that the next generation of people being taught this message of hate will take their message to the next level with violence.

    I know that this group is very small but it seems like they are always on the news preaching their message of hate. As Christian counselors, we must take a stand against this church or any groups like them.

  3. Wow, this was eye opening for me. I knew churches out there were way off but to actually visit their website was breath-taking. This reminded me of the stoning discussion we had in class and how we discussed why it is we do not stone people today. Their website used a ton of verses from the Old Testament civil law in Leviticus to justify their stance on homosexuality. It is a sad thing to see the name of Christ represented in such a way. It is so important for us as counselors to be involved in advocacy, law and politics to represent the name of Christ well. Still though, his name remains the name above all names!


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.