Monday, February 18, 2013

Westboro Baptist Church

So, last night we watched "The Most Hated Family in America" and, no surprise, I was appalled.

Now, I don't think that I was expecting any profound insights from a church with the slogan "God Hates Fags" as its main message. I was just surprised at what an uncharismatic, hollow, empty shell of nothingness that the cult's patriarch, Fred Phelps was.

In the whole show, Louis Theroux gets to speak with Fred Phelps twice. The first time, it's just after Theroux introduces us to a member of the cult who had, like Theroux, come as a documentary filmmaker to observe the Phelps family. This guy says that he'd been an atheist libertarian who had believed he was a genius who knew everything, but who came under Fred Phelps' sway due to his powerful mastery of scripture.

So, we see Fred Phelps make a crappy internet sermon where he calls that other Christian huckster, mega-preacher whatsisface, Billy Graham as a false preacher and a fag enabler. Then Theroux gets to talk to Phelps and asks him how many children he has. Theroux wanted to see if Phelps would give the number of his biological children or the number of children who are still in the church and excluding those who had left. Phelps calls his question stupid as does the ex-libertarian and the both berate Theroux for failing to take the opportunity to ask him about important theological stuff.

The second time, Phelps comes into his family's wacky chapel and delivers a shitty sermon about how God tricked bush II into starting the Iraq War so that the USA could get its ass kicked for being a fag-loving nation. Afterwards, Phelps grudgingly gives Theroux five minutes of his time, only to again call Theroux's innocuous opening questions "stupid" and then bluster his way out of answering anything else.

It was clear to me that this is a guy who is truly uncomfortable with having to think on his feet. A stupid, shallow man. Somehow, this white, Christian male found a stupid certainty in Christian dogma and set himself up as an authority to the only people who would ever listen to him: the children who he could brainwash at his leisure. Now he's the master of his own little kingdom and as long as he doesn't stray from its cozy confines, he'll continue to be the boss. He probably couldn't think his way through a night-shift as a security guard in the real world.


Ananta Androscoggin said...

Remember, the guy was once a lawyer, that is until he got himself disbarred forevermore.

thwap said...


Yikes. I went to read up on Freddy's legal career. Weirder than I would have thought.