3.07.2006

Fred the Fucker

Fred the Fucker

This is one of those "I-read-the-news-today-oh-boy" posts. I had the distinct displeasure of checking the news online this morning and finding a story about my nominee for America's Most Revolting Human Being, Rev. Fred Phelps. For those not familiar with Reverend Phelps, he is the hate-mongering douche bag force behind God Hates Fags, the information vehicle of the Westboro Baptist Church. Phelps is also the organizer of the Church-sponsored ultra-compassionate caravan of homophobes who have spent 15+ years protesting the funerals of AIDS victims, hate-crime victims such as Matthew Shepard, and now those of soldiers who have been killed in combat fighting under the flag of out "fag-enabler" nation. In sum, GHF's is "dedicated to preaching the Gospel truth about the soul-damning, nation-destroying notion that 'It is OK to be gay.'" Time well spent I'm sure. Furthermore, regarding the catchy name, Phelps writes "'GOD HATES FAGS' -- though elliptical -- is a profound theological statement, which the world needs to hear more than it needs oxygen, water and bread." (Emphasis and effete tinting provided by me to highlight Rev. Phelps' world-class, restaurant-quality lunacy.) In addition to his nomination for America's Most Revolting Human Being, Mr. Phelps is nominated in the category of Best Adaptation of a Profound Theological Statement for a Redneck Bumper Sticker.

I will admit that I did find one part of his website interesting. Not surprisingly it's in the etymology section. Tucked neatly between his jibber and his jabber, he proffers a theory about the origins of "faggot" to refer to homosexuals. To the shock of all readers God, always ready with a bon mot, came up with it:

"I have overthrown some of you, as God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah, and ye were as a firebrand plucked out of the burning: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the Lord." Amos 4:11. The word translated "firebrand" is the Hebrew word "uwd," which comes from a Hebrew verb meaning "to rake together" (or, "to gather together"). In short, the Hebrew word "uwd" is talking about burning sticks of wood that are gathered together. That is what the English word "faggot" means. Amos 4:11 could just as easily be translated "...ye were as a faggot plucked out of the burning..."

Not a bad guess. Way to go Phelpsy! Of course, as soon as you click over to "Fag Facts" you get winners like:
  • Fags...19 times more likely to die in a traffic accident
  • Depending on the city, 39-59% of fags are infected with intestinal parasites like worms, flukes and amoebae, which is common in filthy third world countries
  • The median age of death of dykes is 45 (only 24% live past age 65). The median age of death of a married heterosexual woman is 79.
But does this really earn him my nomination for America's Most Revolting Human Being? There are plenty of bigots out there. He's not even a credible threat to people's rights on a large scale. After all, his church is composed of relatives and he's never going to lead the Christian Right in America spending his weekends protesting "the Old Dying Heretic Billy Graham." Plus, no one should be surprised anymore by the irony of using religion to promote hate. Hell, Phelps doesn't even pretend to be doing all this in the name of Christ's Love so it's not even that ironic. He comes right out and says that no one can be Christian while ignoring the hate of God in the Bible. Too bad "Christ is Love" is not up this year in that bumper sticker category. It would have made for quite a showdown.

No, I abhor this guy because, against my better judgment, I would love the opportunity to try to reason through his arguments with him. This would go poorly, of course, because I tend to be short with the stupid and illogical classes of our society. I would just get really angry and probably call him a decrepit retard who, while not actually a homosexual, is certainly vaguely titillated by the dark, godless world he imagines gays inhabiting, one where a firebrand may plucked out of the burning and inserted gently up his ass.

5 Comments:

At 12:23 PM, Anonymous Rev Transit said...

Don't you think it's hilarious that Phelps is also against Starbucks?

Evan, I griped about your article at http://alwaysintransit.typepad.com/always_in_transit/2006/03/rednecks_in_cyb.html

 
At 1:12 PM, Blogger evandebacle said...

I think that the Good Rev. Transit is fair to take me to task on my use of the word "Redneck" in the process of excoriating the Bad Rev. Phelps for his badness. Like my dear friend Sarah "Sara" Silverman, I happily pepper my writing/speaking/telepathic communications with ironically bigoted speech for the sake of a joke. To paraphrase George Carlin, I have always believed that it is not the word, but the racist asshole using it that we have to be worried about. That being said, upon reflection, it was unnecessary in this instance. Zealot, Bigot, Fear-monger, or Doodie-head would have all worked fine. In fact, after I amended the posting to include the line "Too bad "Christ is Love" is not up this year in that bumper sticker category. It would have made for quite a showdown." I immediately regretted not removing the earlier redneck reference. And so this heeb offers his mea culpa.

Though, to tagentialize a bit, I am disturbed by one other thing (and this is generally disturbing, but also represented by Rev. Phelps). Is it ever OK to fight epithet-with-epithet considering that we live in a world where prejudicial smearing still works? (Take that Age of Reason!) The Right made "liberal" an epithet. Turned out super for them. Little good could come from an anti-Redneck movement that was fought with such blanketedly bigoted words or perhaps even the occasional loaded symbol spray-painted on the side of a John Deere dealership. But I do have my moments when I wonder, when it comes to promoting political/social agendas, if hate speech might be out, but firm "dislike speech" might be of necessity.

(Also posted on Always In Transit
http://alwaysintransit.typepad.com)

 
At 2:18 PM, Anonymous Rev Transit said...

There are some practical considerations before embarking on epithet sprees. First of all, are your labels more likely to win the war or is it more likely that your enemies will band together now that they have a label to be proud of when fighting you?

The second thing is that it leads to bad personal habits IMO. One of my favorite Buddhists teachings is non-dualism, which says that we shouldn't try to separate the world into us-and-them groups. Seems like it's just way too easy to pin a label on a group of people and dismiss them instead of trying to understand them.

You're right that demeaning the term "liberal" has been a winner for right-wingers, but I've seen a couple reports lately that the gap between self-described liberals and conservatives has been narrowing. More importantly IMO, liberals started losing when they stopped standing up for the people they'd been identifying with since the time of FDR, specifically working-class people of all races. Liberals need to win rednecks to their causes by appealing to their interests instead of belittling them. It would help if people once again said they were proud to be liberals, proud to be for universal health care, better public schools and strong workplace rights.

By the way, I have no trouble using the term "redneck" as a label as long as it's not used as a knee-jerk derogative the way some younger people use "gay" to describe anything they don't like. I don't have a problem with vivid speech. Frankly, I usually prefer to know where I stand with people.

 
At 9:49 PM, Blogger NicoleW said...

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At 2:44 AM, Blogger your said...

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