Matthew Shepard | Teen Ink

Matthew Shepard

October 13, 2009
By maia11 SILVER, Urbandale, Iowa
maia11 SILVER, Urbandale, Iowa
7 articles 0 photos 2 comments

A feeling of utter repulsion washed over me as I read about a remarkable young man who was raped, terrorized, brutally beaten, and murdered all because of his sexual orientation. Matthew Shepard was a newly independent college student with a bright life in front of him, before it was viciously stolen from him. On October 11th, 1998, Matthew Shepard was beaten, while two despicable assailants ignored his pleas for his life. After having beaten him into a coma, the two soulless maggots left him helpless tied to a fence post. After being found, he died on Oct. 12th 1998, but never woke up to say goodbye to his family.

As I read more about Matthew Shepard‘s story, I found myself feeling nauseous. There is an anti-gay Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka who took it upon themselves to not only slander homosexuals, at Matthew Shepard’s funeral, but also at the trial of his killers. These signs were not preaching that sins could be repented, they were filled with hatred. The signs read "God Hates F***," "Matt in Hell," "F*** Die [sic] God Laughs" and "USA= F** Nation." Those were just a few of the utterly hateful and repulsive propaganda that was polluting the funeral of Matthew Shepard. I was speechless, and mortified at this point upon reading this. I decided to research into this church. From the websites I visited, I thought they had to be hoaxes. I thought they were jokes, parodies, mockeries of the people who do not support gay marriage. I then came to find horrible images, as well as writings from people like this who made me want to vomit at the mere thought of saying I was the same species as these haters. For what reason do these unintelligent parasites, think that they have the divine ability to cast judgment upon people? What I then came to unfold made me so utterly livid I barely was able to sit.

I find it hard to fathom that the Westboro Church now has a way to speak to God and find his true intentions with these acts. I find it pitiful that they are making a ventriloquist act of God. Using his image to spout of their despicable sayings and lies. These people scrounge on the lowest of filth for their hateful propaganda. They use their Bibles as shields in their pathetic quest for divine power against us mere mortals. The Westboro Baptist Church (WBC) uses such appalling statements that make you wonder what twisted mind could formulate these unfathomable lines that bash and slander the helpless.

If desecrating Matthew Shepard’s funeral was not enough, then a monument MUST be erected. In some twisted way, he should be slandered for the rest of the monuments existence. The monument they hoped to erect was to say, “MATTHEW SHEPARD, Entered Hell October 12, 1998, in Defiance of God's Warning: 'Thou shalt not lie with mankind as with womankind; it is abomination.' Leviticus 18:22." If not for the lack of city permits, the law would allow this monument to stand “proud” in this boy’s town. Since when did smearing the name of the dead, become ok?

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This article has 33 comments.

on Feb. 13 2012 at 6:11 pm
greenbean_94 SILVER, Somerville, Tennessee
7 articles 0 photos 23 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Life's not about waiting for the storm to pass, it's about learning to dance in the rain."

While I agree that what they did was VERY wrong, (It made me sick) I am a Christian and I want to say that not ALL of us are like that! Yes, I believe homosexuality is a sin, but I do not hate homosexuals one bit! In fact, I have friends that are homosexual. I have made it clear that I do not agree with their choices, but I love them still. After all, you can love someone and not agree with their EVERY choice, right? Christians are called to love the sinner and hate the sin, not hate both! So, that Baptist church shouldn't have done what they did. However, if anyone asks me what I believe, I will tell the truth. And if they ask if I am pro-gay, I will tell the truth. It's as simple as that. We are allowed to differ in opinions, right? I just want people to know that although I am not pro-gay, I DO NOT hate them.

on Nov. 17 2011 at 6:58 pm
bookthief PLATINUM, Concord, Massachusetts
20 articles 0 photos 58 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Life is the art of drawing without an eraser." -- John W. Gardener

Bahena, this comment makes me feel really happy that people like you are out there -- I personally do support gay marriage, but I respect people like you very much. Thank you.

native_baby said...
on May. 3 2011 at 11:50 pm
native_baby, St.paul, Minnesota
0 articles 0 photos 2 comments

Favorite Quote:
nothing is impossible

wow this is so sad , i feel really bad for matt he had his whole life to him and that was takin away by ignorant and stupid people who does not know that we are equal and it does not matter who we like and what race we are...we are alll people i think the world could accept people in to their lifes or not ...if not they can move on instead of bullying them god i hate people like that ! but myself i accept people for who they are and not what they look like !!

on Feb. 4 2011 at 2:17 pm
Fabuquinn BRONZE, Woodway, Texas
4 articles 2 photos 2 comments
This article makes me so sad:( It is dispicable what those jerks did to Matthew, and equally dispicable what the people from WBC did to him after his death. How dare they do something like that in the name of God. That is not what God wants! I can promise you that. 

T.R. Trevino said...
on Jan. 11 2011 at 9:07 pm

I am rendered speechless. Not something that happens very often.

What the WBC did was hateful. BUT-this does inspire me to further stand up to such hate.

LunaLives GOLD said...
on Oct. 17 2010 at 8:23 pm
LunaLives GOLD, South Bend, Indiana
17 articles 0 photos 237 comments

Favorite Quote:
Because I can!-Me "Life is a choice and death is a decision"-Lil Wayne

I want to cry...

on Oct. 17 2010 at 12:21 am
Rainbowmadhatter, Reno, Nevada
0 articles 0 photos 81 comments
when they say that God only likes certian people thats a HUGE lie... God love everybody no matter how you look what color your skin is or even what your sexual perspectives are... if your gay or lesbo or evne bi thats just how people are... i really wish that people would understand a respect that about pepole but some people just dont understand

Melloves92 said...
on Oct. 15 2010 at 1:55 pm
What happened to Matthew Shepard was truly a tragesty in the world.  I'm so disgusted that people could do that to other people simply because of who they love.  God loves all, he doesn't discriminate and neither should we.

on Sep. 5 2010 at 8:15 pm
sweetly_broken GOLD, Garner, North Carolina
15 articles 0 photos 157 comments

Favorite Quote:
We never know how big we are until we are asked to rise.

thanks for posting this! i myself am i chri.stian, but i think it is horrible when people say that G.od hates them just because they aren't perfect. nobody's perfect, and He loves us all- some people just get wayyy to extreme because if they were true believers they wouldn't be beating up the poor guy, they'd be trying to help them.

on Sep. 3 2010 at 5:28 pm
Great article! I added it to my favorites!

on May. 18 2010 at 8:21 pm
faypirate23 DIAMOND, Fayetteville, West Virginia
61 articles 0 photos 103 comments

Favorite Quote:
Take the road less traveled by.

yes these ppl are absolutley horrible ppl gos has a place for THEM dont worry.they tried to come to my state and protest the dead coal miners at there funerals i knew some of those ppl thats horrible they wud do that they hate america they hate gays they just love to hate everything

on May. 16 2010 at 3:42 pm
Karma_Chameleon SILVER, English, Indiana
8 articles 0 photos 236 comments

Favorite Quote:
To be able to say "I love you" one must first be able to say "I" - Ayn Rand

Bahena, how can you have the audacity to say something like that? How dare you try to condemn others for something they have no control over, and how dare you try to use your personal opinions as justification for bigotry. Grow up, and next time you make such a pathetic attempt at expressing your opinion, at least attempt to do so with some degree of sophistication and intellect. Otherwise, you merely sound lake every other narrow-minded discriminator out there.

on Apr. 18 2010 at 9:56 am
Mehreen Rahman BRONZE, Brooklyn, New York
2 articles 0 photos 1 comment
wbc strikes again at military funeral protests. look into phelps v. snyder. wbc's pastor fred phelps sued for invasion of privacy. case will be taken to the supreme court regarding wbc's first amendments rights in funeral situations

on Apr. 2 2010 at 11:31 am
poetryizlife101, Sherman, Texas
0 articles 0 photos 3 comments

Favorite Quote:
if i culd be nething i wuld be your teardrop. born in your eyes. live on your cheeks, and die on your lips. idk who its by but it hit me at home.

hi ivery mucha appreciate this article for the small fact that my best guy frend is gay and in my skool he was teased so much by other students that i attempted suicide and has now been put in an asylum by his own parents who call him crazy because of loving the wrong ppl i believe god loves us regardless of who we love 

on Mar. 11 2010 at 10:22 am
MarinaOreo GOLD, King Of Prussia, Pennsylvania
12 articles 0 photos 148 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Your soul is the whole world" -Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse

Make I ask how that went?

on Feb. 18 2010 at 1:07 pm
more_weight PLATINUM, Danville, Virginia
39 articles 0 photos 13 comments

Favorite Quote:
Tread softly, for you thread on my dreams.

This sickens me. These people are not only committing heinous acts against humanity in this terrible assault of words but they are also placing a terrible image upon everyone who believes in God. I, myself, am a Atheist but I realize that not all religious people are like this. Do these people realize what their doing? They using God to further exempt their fear and hatred because they can't stand the fact that someone is different from them!

on Jan. 24 2010 at 11:06 pm
prccgeek SILVER, Park Ridge, Illinois
5 articles 4 photos 15 comments
Really well written article. It takes guts to stand up for a subject that sadly still makes many people very uncomfortable. I can't believe people would actually hold up a sign that says god laugh when another person dies. It makes me really sick too. Any God worth believing in should not laugh at anyones death. No human should laugh at someone elses death.

cbienaime said...
on Jan. 10 2010 at 1:26 pm
Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka came to my Highschool

Cambridge Ma......

Great article

on Dec. 27 2009 at 4:39 pm
Everyone sins. It is human nature to sin, and to judge other people is a sin. Isn't the author even trying to say that you shouldn't tell people who is going to hell . We can't play God.

on Dec. 21 2009 at 2:38 pm
Hi, maia11! You had a really good article and I fully agree with you that this church was quite evil. However, I fear that this article could be used as a propaganda tool against Christians. This is perhaps the most miniscule minority in Christianity. Their views are in direct opposition to the Word of God. The Bible only says to expel them from the congregation. You confront them several times and if they keep to their sin, you expel them. No hate or anything. The whole goal is to lovingly edify them. This church went nuts in a way that is completely unBiblical.