Would you care to attend Fred Phelps’ Westboro Baptist Church for a morning? Philip Bloom has a short documentary in which he used a hidden camera in the Phelps compound. It’s as you might expect: raging howls of a sermon, condemnations and hatred, people hoping that millions of others die and go to hell. Phelps has 13 children (11 of whom are lawyers!) and 54 grandchildren, and looking around the pews there can’t be many more attendees than that.
The end is particularly disturbing when two of Phelps’ teenaged granddaughters come up to regurgitate the very same hate speech at the reporter. It’s also kind of creepy because they look so alike, and like Shirley Phelps Roper, and Fred Phelps … just how inbred are these people?
I’m afraid, though, that there’s a little interlude in the middle with a liberal minister in Topeka, and she’s saying with such certainty the usual platitudes about how god is love and he wouldn’t countenance Phelps’ activities, etc., and I found that just as offensive as Phelps’ screeching about god’s nature and desires. They’re both ignorant, and they’re both saying what they think their congregation wants to hear.