[Note: This was originally written after the airing in Britain of Louis Theroux' documentary The Most Hated Family In America. It was on my original (now deleted) blog, but I decided to give it a re-airing here.]
There was a programme on this week in Britain about Fred Phelps' infamous cult, the Westboro Baptist Church. I, of course, watched this programme. In it, Louis Theroux spent three weeks with them in order to attempt to find out why they would do the things that they are infamous for.
The Rev. Fred himself was rude, nasty and insulting, surprisingly enough, as well as appearing to have the "don't-question-me" cult attitude. He seemed to be in the background but in control, sitting in his room(stroking a white cat--that's a given) letting everyone else get their hands dirty holding his hateful little protest signs. While he thinks about anal sex. Because seriously, there isn't a gay man who's ever lived that thinks about anal sex as much as these people.
Not to mention his batshit insane conspiracy theories. Because I'm sure that a so-called loving God goes around letting terrorists fly planes into stuff. And yes, I'm sure 9/11 was punishment to a nation that allows homosexuals--we'll just ignore the fact that there were sodomy laws in 14 states at the time, shall we? And I'm also dead sure that only Phelps himself has the right interpretation---as they all seem to believe--and the other thousands of churches are all just plain wrong. Because they say so.
I personally don't understand why we are supposed to worship this petty sex obsessed God, maybe it's just me but I don't see the appeal in it.
Shirley Phelps was the one who was actually doing the protesting malarkey. And she was absolutely crazy. Batshit insane. She and her little cult following--mostly children--stood at the side of the road with their signs. To a certain extent, they just look sad and pathetic. I mean, only three or so adults protesting?
Of course the fact that they want to go around protesting people's funerals is pretty sick, offensive, and disrespectful.
The main problem I have with their little church is what they are doing to their children, though. I mean, children that could have been no older than ten holding hate signs that they don't even understand what they mean: to me that is wrong. These poor children are going to grow up with a very skewed perception of reality: they are going to feel like everybody hates them. And because the outside world is so hostile, the only place they are going to belong is the Westboro cult. Which will only mean that the world hates them more...and the cycle goes on.
You could see the result of this in their teenage daughters and the woman in her early 20's: in general they seemed like nice people, but the force of this hateful religious indoctrination was so strong that they couldn't see that maybe they were wrong...I think they struggled aswell to see the true hatefulness of many of the things that their church preaches. Their minds have been severly damaged by this, and I personally think it is a very sad thing. I hope that there is some way that the other children can escape before they end up like this.