Fred Phelps is a very strange and hateful personage. He is quite simply a loon and an arsehole. He is also very difficult to take seriously. He is pastor of Westboro “Baptist Church”. Well I guess it’s his church and he can call it what he likes but the sane US Baptists (i.e. all the rest of them) aren’t happy about it.
I first stumbled across GodHatesFags.com a few years back. I thought it was a spoof. I so thought it a spoof that I emailed a sub-editor of a Topeka newspaper who replied saying that Fred Phelps was “regrettably real”. Phelps is nuts. Now it’s imaginable to buy part of his thesis. He doesn’t like gay people. OK, fine, not uncommon but what really distinguishes him from the average homophobic nut-job is where he goes next with it… He is on record as calling George W Bush a “fag-enabler”. Yes that George W Bush. You know the guy who considered changing the constitution to ban gay marriage. I assume “fag-enabler” meant that Bush wasn’t mobilizing the National Guard to burn San Fran’s Castro district to the ground. Oh, and Dick Cheney’s daughter is a lesbian. The Phelpsites (and they are not large in number) also have the websites “GodHatesAmerica.com” and indeed “GodHatesTheWorld.com”. They are big on “hate”. They might be insane nutters but hate is something they do very well. They do hate in spades. Mr Phelps’ previous big hits include picketing funerals and memorial services for AIDS victims and also US soldiers and Marines killed in Iraq and the ’stan. Not that those soldiers were gay or anything (some will have been no doubt) but in Phelp’s utterly warped mind every IED that goes off is set by God to punish America for “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”.
The funeral pickets are so utterly despicable that it is a wonder Phelps hasn’t been filled in. That he hasn’t is a testimony to the America that Phelps so rabidly hates. Perhaps he was ignored because picketing the funeral of a soldier because of the USA’s tolerance of homosexuality is quixotic in it’s bizarreness. picketing a bar full of men with moustaches and wearing chaps and not much else and holding hands would make some sort of sense but an Army funeral?
Anyway Mr Phelps has been elected a member of the “Wilders’ Club” by our own dear and ever so liberal Home Secretary. Just one note to KansasCity.com - the county is “Hampshire” not “Hamshire” but I quite like the latter in the context - which was Phelps planning on raising Cain over a play being put on by a college. Jeezus doesn’t Phelps have anything better to do than fly 4000 miles (and some of those flight attendants are rather fruity) to, in the words of his daughter, “…picket a second-rate play, put on by a third-, fourth-rate college. What the heck?” Yes, what the heck indeed. What the hecking heck.
But should he be denied entry for this strange activity? And it is strange. If Wichita Friends University (it does exist) put on a play I didn’t care for I suspect I wouldn’t go. I find it very easy to avoid going to Kansas, living in England and all. It is remarkable how often I actually don’t go to Kansas and see things I find objectionable, such as a sermon from Mr Phelps.
Of course not. Not only does his right to shout spite trump Jacqui Smith’s right to spout shite but are we really scared of such a pathetic and risible figure as Mr Phelps? A gay friend of mine who is also physically disabled wouldn’t find Mr Phelps threatening. Mr Phelps is Roger Irrelevant. He is completely hat-stand. He’s a git but he’s a completely hat-stand git. He once called Santa Claus a kiddie-fiddler. Are we now actually frightened of such utter loons? I’m much more frightened of Jacqui Smith roaming the corridors of Whitehall like some Happy Shopper Boadicea “protecting us” from “nasty men” than of a frankly deranged septuagenarian Septic or a Dutch fella with very odd hair saying stuff that I (largely) agree with.
Anyway. This is what ought to happen (this was how a previous Phelpsian extravaganza ended)…
They recently protested outside Shawnee Mission East High School in Prairie Village over the school’s selection of a gay homecoming king last year. Hundreds of students staged a counter protest and raised money for AIDS research.
That’s how free people ought to respond to nutters, mentalists and archgittery. It is that simple and we don’t need Nanny Smith to do it for us either.
Because, make no mistake, if we hand-over that right to authoritarian pigs in knickers like Jacqui we are no longer free.
Just for you Fred, I present this video…
Yes, commies, the military, the Pet Shop Boys and The Gay Men’s Choir of New York. That video is what I assume Fred Phelp’s nightmares are like.