News & Politics

Westboro Baptist Church Says Pokémon Go ... And Sin No More

The new Pokémon Go app is revolutionizing the way we stalk, capture, and fight with ditigal Japanese monsters, and one notorious church’s hateful message is keeping up with the times. One gym in the game intended to mock the Westboro Baptist Church, and the church struck back in a fitting and hilarious way.

In Pokémon Go, you can travel to gyms to test your Pokémon against strong contenders. One gym named itself the Westboro Baptist Church, and a Clefairy named “Loveislove” (echoing the pro-LGBT slogan) became the strongest Pokémon at the gym, effectively “seizing control” of it.

At first, Westboro Baptist Church responded with an angry message:

Then the church decided to update its message, sending a Jigglypuff to answer the Clefairy. In its typical ever-so-sweet voice, this Jigglypuff sings a less-than-snuggly message, “Repent or Perish.”

Next Page: Westboro enlists Pikachu — no, really. How should most Christians respond to the church’s message?

Then the church added a Pikachu with a choir singing, “God hates f*gs” in the background. For such an angry message, the choir sounds disturbingly happy.

While it is true that God calls us to repent of our sins, and that God hates sin, many Christians dispute the hateful message for which Westboro Baptist Church is most known. While traditional Christianity teaches that homosexual sex is a sin, it also teaches that every single person is sinful — Christians are unique only in knowing themselves to be sinful. We all need God’s grace, and He loves us while we are yet sinners.

While it is very disturbing to see Westboro’s message paired with Pokémon, it is also hilarious, in a sad sort of way. Then again, if a gym is going to mock the church, it is understandable for Westboro Baptist to respond in kind.