Sunday, December 09, 2007
If it weren't for the fact that Fred Phelps and his merry band of lunatic minstrels at the Westboro Baptist Church were causing very real hurt to the families of fallen U.S. soldiers and the victims of assorted other tragedies, I'd be one of their biggest fans.
I say this because there's simply no way that any of what Phelps & Company is doing can be for real.
It's so completely over-the-top, so laugh-out-loud crazy, such a brilliantly ironic indictment of everything the Fundamentalist Christian movement stands for that it can't possibly be anything other than Andy Kaufmanesque performance art at its most sublime.
Watching America's garden variety intolerant dipshits stumble and stammer as if Darryl Revok somehow got inside their brains, trying to find a way to simultaneously shun Phelps's psychopathic hostility without dismissing the belief system behind it -- trying to kill only the messenger, as it were -- is just priceless. (If you're looking for a perfect example of this impossible tap-dance, check out Phelps's entry in Conservapedia.com, in which he's cast as a tool of the Democrats -- as if the Westboro Baptists are so far to the Right that they've gone all the way around and come back on the Left.)
The reality of course -- and I'd love to believe that proving this is secretly their intention -- is that Crazy Fred and his disciples are doing nothing more than what the Bible tells them. In an admittedly very sick sense, they're people of faith such as even the most ardent Sunday morning church goers will never be. In the same way that a suicide bomber is really little more than an absolute dogmatist -- a believer who has truly done as his sacred text demands by abandoning all rationality to his god -- Fred Phelps has just taken what the Bible itself says and ran with it.
If you've got an issue with him and his "church," then maybe it's time to evoke the sage words of that great religious philosopher, Ice-T: Don't hate the playa, hate the game.
Here's Phelps & the WBC (not to be confused with Prince & the NPG) with their latest test of your tolerance of both free speech and idiotic superstition, God Hates the World (sung to the tune of We are the World).
Tell me this isn't some kind of genius joke.
(The images are of course actual posters available for purchase from the Westboro Baptist Church's website. Once again, anything that makes me laugh that hard, this early on a Sunday morning just can't be serious. The website also features three links you can click on which read: "The Picket Schedule?" "Press Releases?" and... "Why You Shall Likewise Perish?" Add to that the fact that the video above is credited as being directed by Alan Smithee -- the official designation doled out by the DGA when a director asks for his or her name to be removed from a project, and a Hollywood inside joke that you wouldn't expect a backward ass, hate-filled church in Topeka to know much less reference -- and I stand by my belief that this whole thing is some kind of elaborate practical joke. Kaufman would be proud. By the way, thanks to Sheriff Bart for reminding me this video was out there.)