Friday, May 04, 2007

Phelps Phamily Values

Ah, the Phelps family. You know you're scraping the bottom of a barrel most foul when you come across a group of fundies that Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck find extreme and distasteful.

Steven Hart over at The Opinion Mill linked a documentary about the universally loathed members of the Westboro Baptist Church. The Most Hated Family in America is at once profoundly disturbing and very sad. The filmmaker, an Englishman named Louis Theroux, manages to excavate a kernel of humanity from some of these hateful, wretched people. What is wrong with them? one asks in vain. How did Gramps Phelps pervert them all with his moronic dogma?

The film works like one of those train-wreck family reality TV shows, along the lines of The Osbournes or that Flava Flave abomination. Humor and compassion are sometimes the best weapons against hatred, and Theroux displays both, wielding his weapons with remarkable patience. The unbelieving filmmaker displays a deeper comprehension of Christ's message than his subjects.


ellen cherry said...

how completely sad and disturbing that Gramps, when given the opportunity by Theroux, to really explain their belief system and dogma, couldn't answer. not because he's stupid or dumb, but because he's delusional and rather than approach the question theologically (which might have given him some credibility)...he deflected it by calling Theroux silly and dumb. it is the reaction of the truly insecure. all their double speak does is reveal how utterly bewildered and scared they are of the world and how afraid they are to be truly in it. the unforutnate side effect of their actions, which i'm amazed that THEY CAN'T EVEN UNDERSTAND, is that they are putting such pure hate out in the world and then are confused when they are hated. it's a simple lesson that sounds Biblical (or so i thought): you reap what you sow. the whole thing is truly sad.

MarcH said...

I've always felt the Phelps family were actually the only real "Christians," because they actually READ the Bible and follow it to the letter of the law. Isnt everyone else just cherry-picking through scripture, clinging to the greeting-card love thy neighbor, turn the other cheek sorta stuff? I mean, thats only about 10% of what is in there. I havent seen the documentary, but I have read the Bible (as dogma in Catholic school and as literature in college), and it DOES say that I need to die if I lay with another man, and that I'm damned. And God DOES show hate and rage and vengeance and lack of forgiveness. Who said you're allowed to CHOOSE what to take literally from the Bible? Thats ridiculous. You're either onboard or you arent. After visiting, I concur that Fred is unhinged, but his approach to the Bible as a field guide to intolerance seems pretty spot-on.

geoff said...

Well, being an atheist raised in the worst sort of Protestant buffoonery, and moderately versed in the tradition, I'd disagree. Christ threw out the Old Testament and formed a new covenant based on love and tolerance and forgiveness. He says that pretty explicitly. The dietary laws and all that other old testament foolishness about killing infidels and gays and witches was supposed to be thrown out the window in favor of being meek and washing feet and turning cheeks and what not.

Also, I don't recall Christ ever saying "worship me." He wanted folks to be like him, not pray to him.

Nick said...

Man, when Michael Phelps threw out the OLD BOOK, he is such the mann!! I love his family--did you know Taran had the same first grade teache that he did? Outtasite.