FOF #690 – Shirley Phelps: An Unlikely Champion

Jan 24, 2008 · 202252 views

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Shirley Phelps’ God is angry at you. Why? Because you are gay or you accept gay people. Shirley Phelps is the spokesperson, matriarch and part-time lawyer for the controversial Westboro Baptist Church out of Topeka, […]

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  1. Marc Felion says:

    We asked Shirley our breakdown 2008 questions and the last question was “What happens when we die?” she said that we would we would rot in the ground and the worms would feed on us eternally and they would rise up and go to hell too. Or something like that. I was immediately drawn in by her over the top description of our destiny in the afterlife. I felt like I was channeling Morticia Addams from “The Addams Family” who always delighted in outrageous horrible acts of human depravity or indifference because I really enjoyed it.

    I was so transfixed by he charismatic tone that I almost moaned “Oh Gomez” which is the name of Morticia’s husband and one of my pet names for Fausto. Despite how terrible her prophecy sounded, it was extremely sensuous and thrilling. It was like sex without the sex part. Maybe this is why people are so drawn to things like monsters, vampires, ghosts and perhaps even the Bible because they are so very sensual and what are we if not sensual creatures? We smell, see, taste, hear and feel. It is us at our most base. Charismatic people know how to draw it out of us.

    But to get back to the point, is Westboro Baptist Church so outrageous in their stance that unrepentant gays should be imprisoned and then executed because that’s what the Bible says that they actually expose the soft line homophobes for what they really are as bigots who hide behind the Bible and morality? Will their antics force America to to pick one side that accept gays and gay rights whole heartedly or the other side that will send us to our death? I don’t know.

  2. Dawson says:

    Fantastic interview boys! It’s always interesting to hear different sides of an issue.

  3. “If you are not going to kiss fag ass then you are in a lot of trouble.” now thats hot! Shirley is oddly campy and enjoyable.

  4. RcktMan says:

    Hands-down, one of the greatest accomplishments of this show yet. I read Josh’s editorial in “Out” and initially thought he was off his rocker for writing in support of Phelps… but as I read it, I realized how much sense he made. We really do want Westboro out there, showing the world just how ludicrous and asinine such hateful behavior looks.

    But Shirley’s participation was, indeed, as surreal as Josh mentioned. She was absolutely NOTHING like I expected. She was actually quite sane and calm throughout, and she made her points clearly and effectively. I still think she’s off her rocker for preaching such hateful messages and thinking they are actually true; but I respect her a lot more. Just the fact that she agreed to come on this show and have a civil discussion with THREE GAY MEN shows me she is a much smarter woman than we ever realized. She knows her way around a debate, and she knows how to treat others if she is treated with respect.

    And Fausto, Marc and Josh… you should ALL be commended for treating her with the utmost respect– just as you always do. I will say this over and over again until I’m blue in the face– this is why your interviews are a thousand times better than most. It’s all about respect. The respect you show to your guests — no matter how much you may agree or disagree with them — shows to me how much you respect your audience. And as a friend and as a member of your audience, I say THANK YOU for that!!!!

  5. Stephen says:

    Mark,

    I love when you write! Your stream of consciousness-style carries with it a warm intimacy that feels as if you were sitting here with me. I loved hearing your voice and opinion get stronger and beautifully composed.

    LTL,
    Stephen

  6. Marc Felion says:

    Dawson, “Kissing Fag Ass” was almost the title of this show, but it would have gotten censored too much. I’ve been muttering that exact same phrase “If you are not going to kiss fag ass then you are in a lot of trouble.” since we taped the show. My butcher seemed a little concerned about me.

    Stephen-thanks for the props.

  7. Zara says:

    This is going to be a very interesting show to listen to!

  8. i’ve been so eager to listen to this interview. strange, but i forgot almost completely all of it after we spoke. it was sort of like a first date for me. i was nervous to meet shirley…i enjoy our email exchanges, but was worried that she would be different once we began speaking. RcktMan, you’re absolutely correct…almost everyone, if treated with respect, will treat others with respect. if we write people off as kooks, then they’ll react like we’re kooks.

    shirley honestly believes that we’re going to hell, and i think this interview shows that she’s actually kind hearted enough to not want that to happen. she believes what she says, and says what she believes. and doesn’t profit from any of it.

    that’s a lot more than you can for almost all other fundamentalists.

    thanks Marc & Fausto for making this happen. i don’t know who else could have done it as well.

  9. DC_gay_man says:

    Shirley Phelps is a lawyer and a mother placing a bet on the afterlife. I found it easy to understand the human side and the belief that living a life of conviction is the way to go. Even if Josh believes that she is damaged goods from a rough childhood ( which I don’t believe ), you have to give credit to her for her own soul-searching and finding self-acceptance.

    While I commend all for making the interview occur, the ultimate interview would be Shirley Phelps and Alexyss K Taylor. They both advocate against hypocrisy and both want people to live with conviction. And, there is a lot of contrast that would make for an interesting discussion.

  10. Jamie says:

    Wow!

    That was the best interview of Shirley Phelps I have ever heard. I have to compliment you guys on maintaining open communication throughout.

    It’s easy to write the Phelps family off as insane and inhuman, but ultimately, seeing them as rounded individuals, with family, friends, a sense of humor, and even learning their favorite color, they become even more terrifying.

    Exceptional job boys!

  11. Joey Sanchez says:

    I couldn’t download this show fast enough.

    Even with her cartoonish beliefs- or perhaps because of them- Mrs. Phelps is rather campy. It’s like biblical John Waters… almost.

    I know Fausto was biting his tongue when she made that “jack-ass” comment about the people that raised you. Cooler heads always prevail.

    Effin’ GREAT interview! Fausto and Marc for president!

  12. Gary T says:

    Yea, WOW!

    This is one of your best shows ever!!!

    Thank you Shirley! I didn’t want to like you, but I do.

    Thank you Josh! Keep up the good work. Shine that light on them.

    And thank you Fausto & Marc! I never really knew much about the Phelps family, except the shots of them protesting on TV. It was nice to actually see another side of them, and to understand their concrete black & white beliefs. Fausto, I can’t believe you asked her what her Vagina would say. I was waiting all show to hear what Shirley’s vagina had to say. You did a great job holding back a lot of things you wanted to say, and just let Shirley give her point of view. I wanted to hear what Shirley thinks about “Project Runway”. I agree with Josh. They are one of the best things for the gay rights movement.

  13. epilonious says:

    I can fully understand why the Phelps feel they do. I don’t think they suffer from any sort of syndrome or anything… I think they hold the fundamental beliefs that sodomy and homosexual behavior are wrong… and I also feel that they are being loving in warning homosexuals about the path they feel they have. I guess it’s fascinating because they do not hate fags, the just believe God does.

    That being said… I do not agree with them or their viewpoint at all. But that wouldn’t stop me from chit-chatting with them about any ‘ol thing at a restaurant. They seem like lovely people… and I appreciate their efforts.

  14. unrealrella says:

    When you demonize the desires of the body, those desires become your demons.

    I agree with other commenters. I really respect that you guys did this interview and the respect that you offer to those who come on to your show.

  15. groggy says:

    Funny, how some people know exactly, what the God loves and what he hates. ‘God loves our website’, ‘God hates lukewarm’, … Where does this certainty come from?

    Even more hilarious is when someone says, that he is a fighter for civil rights and a couple of sentences later states that homosexuality (or just homosexual acts?) should be punished by death.

    First of all, the Bible says many ridiculous things. Look for example here: http://biblebabble.curbjaw.com/laws.htm
    There is much more! But don’t waste time searching, it’s not worth it.

    The statement that one persons god is the only right god with the only good rules didn’t ever bring anything but pain, suffering and injustice. Tolerance, ability to live/have relationships with people who have different beliefs than our own is the greatest value of our time. Everyone is different and even in the small society of Shirley Phelps it may soon become obvious that life is a bit more complex than the Bible describes it, and trying to fit the reality into this small frame of an ancient codex of laws will bring a big disappointment, if not a tragedy.

    If the God is so hateful as Shirley describes it, if he really made all these strange and stupid laws for no obvious reason, than I just hope Satan is a bit more reasonable and this is why he rebelled against God. Let the fire of love burn us.

  16. Mad Aria says:

    Incredible Interview Boys ! ! ! ! !

    For as much as I have despised and denounced this church, Shirley and the rest of her family I came into this podcast fully expecting to be filled with rage and malcontent. I will never say that I agree with her, agree with their tactics, or even sympathize for her. but I will say that she showed a human side today. I will also agree with Josh and Shirley that there are far too many ppl that live with mediocrity and have no convictions in their lives.

  17. Cliff Dix says:

    I was really apprehensive about listening to this show but I think it was one of your best shows. I was expecting Shirley to be this screeching weirdo. I was surprised to find how sincere she really is. Even though I do not agree with her I wish everyone could be as forthright and sincere as that. I also agree with Josh. The more the Phelps are in the public the more people will have to really think and choose a side. I think more people will be on our side in the long run.

  18. Christian83 says:

    First of all thanks for the interview, it was interesting to listen to that woman.

    I am sure they hate fags because they would like to see gays imprisoned and sentenced to death. They just avoid it to say it directly. I think that woman and the Baptist church are dangerous because they spreading all those hate messages in the name of god. Of course if you get to know them personally they are or seem to be lovely people and you can get along with them. But so were dictators like Hitler too. She may be an intelligent person, a caring mother but i can only feel disrespect for her because of her believes and her actions.
    During the interview she seemed to stay calm but once when Fausto kept asking what she thinks about what should happen to gays before death, you could see her ugly side quiet clear when she made that jackass comment.

    My conclusion…hmm, it just confirms my beliefs. Here are some of my favourite quotes regarding religion:

    1. ” Religion is poison” (Mao Tse-Tung)

    2. ” Religion is nothing else than the shadow, which the universe let fall on the human intelligence” (Victor Hugo)

    3. “A very uneducated nation throws themselves especially because of its ignorance to a religion full of miracles”

    4. “The ordinary man consider the religion as right, the wise man as false and the politician as useful” (Seneca)

  19. Minoan Jeff says:

    Okay, I was a naysayer. I thought this was going to be a showboat episode encapsulating everything wrong with fundamentalism but it wasn’t. You guys showed a side of her that I have never heard before. She actually is intelligent and has a clear message beyond that of hate. Like Rob Zombie made me feel bad for Michael Meyers, you guys made me agree with Shirley Phelps. How amazing is that? Still, every high functioning sociopath will make you see their side of things if given the chance.

  20. Rob says:

    I went to hear Matt Shepards mom speak at Boston College a few years back and was really moved by her courage and by what she had to say.

    To think that Shirley’s group had waved signs in her face saying that her little boy is burning in hell is disgusting. I don’t care how
    well spoken or educated everyone thinks she is, that is simply unforgivable. Just look above at the photo, she is putting T-Shirts with the word Hate on innocent children. If you have to use such shock tactics to get a point across, the point probably wasn’t worth hearing to begin with.

    She said she would have us all imprisoned and executed. HELLO……….I think we are giving way to much credit hear. A total wolf in sheeps clothing.

    This is all very disturbing. This church is trying to “help” me? Please….let’s call a spade a spade.

  21. sam says:

    I didn’t know what to think when I saw that you guys were having this woman on the show. What was the most frightening was how calm and well-spoken she was. I have only seen her and her family ranting like rabid dogs on TV – this interview was SO chilling because she is obviously very educated and articulate.

    I’m not sure which one of you said it at the end of the show, but you’re right on target; when things get bad, it is people like this who deceive and seduce the weak minded masses… countless millions were murdered by Pol Pot, Mao Tse Tung, Stallin, Edi Amin and Hitler….all politicians. Then there are religous leaders like Khomeini, the Islamic leaders in Somalia’s Dafur and all the people killed in the middle ages accused as werewolves and witches in Germany not to mention the Spanish Inquisition!

    I really like then interview but it leaves me with a very uneasy feeling as I start my day. This was a great show, but quite disturbing.

  22. Marc Felion says:

    Sam, we’ve been wrestling with it all week. It is disturbing and has effected me in ways I really didn’t expect. I don’t want to sound like a pussy but it’s tough when someone says you should be killed for who you are and they use the Bible to back it up. I’m not a believer in the Bible, but it has informed so much of my education and religious training that it is part of who I am and of course, part of our society.

    If the show is disturbing to you, that is normal but if you feel you need to reach out to someone you can always EMAIL us and we can chat.
    Write a comment here to help sort out your feelings about it too.

    Don’t be afraid to seek help from friends, family or therapists because in a lot ways, the church’s message is a personal attack against your psyche. You have to protect your brain and as Dan Rather said, “Courage.”

  23. Gary T says:

    Marc

    I share your concerns about supporting someone who wants us all executed. But Shirley’s point is that a book that professed followers of Christ put together over hundreds of years after his death, is law. Lots of people submitted documents, and a group of men went through all the documents, and picked the ones they believed should be included in this canon, and now people like Shirley believe these selections are law. I like the link groggy put up http://biblebabble.curbjaw.com/laws.htm . If you follow Shirley’s logic, the majority of people on this planet would be put to death. I mean I have a cotton/polyester blend shirt on, with Shirley’s logic I should be put to death just for that. A farmer who has sheep & cows in the same pasture, death. Anyone who has shaved or cut their hair, death. It sure saves all the time and energy of critical thinking. There are so many different branches of Christianity. I’ve heard people call it “Cafeteria Christianity”, picking and choosing what you want to believe, and not choosing what you don’t like. I bet Shirley makes a great casserole.

  24. It makes me sad that she was brought up in such an environment and she keeps perpetuating the hatred. I’m Catholic, not overly religious anything, just brought up Catholic and I was brought up that God is love. The whole fire & brimstone shit is disturbing to hear from anyone condeming your generic run of the mill sinners but to have it be so specific and focus on gays, makes me sad.

    Great interview and even from the Bay Area I could’ve sworn I could feel Marc’s eyes rolling in disbelief.

  25. unrealrella says:

    I do appreciate hearing a conversation with someone who is willing to simply put their beliefs out in the open instead of hiding behind euphemisms and misdirection. I agree with a lot of what was being said at the end, how their protest goes deeper than just gays, but that gays are symbolic of the huge cultural shifts around sex. This kind of hate and antagonism doesn’t just go away if we pretend it’s not there. I appreciate the attempt to reach out with more love than she’s willing to offer in return.

    I’m having a difficult time with it though. The dreamy idealist in me is wondering whether it’s possible to bring in some kind of reconciliation between the two sides of these poles, and I don’t think there is. I respect that she has integrity, but it’s far too rigid. You can’t argue with words or beliefs because they’re convinced they have all the answers and don’t believe in a world in which Spirit is found in the questions. Maybe reaching out with the heart does something, but for her to be so cheerful and so blithely remark how we should be imprisoned and killed… That’s a challenge. Thanks for doing this, again.

  26. StevenvanL. says:

    Phew. Thank God she is not on MY continent… We only get Muslims beating us up over here in The Netherlands. The Christians don’t care so much.

  27. detnyre says:

    I give Shirley credit for agreeing to be on the show.

    The interview did not go at all like I expected it to… she was so “matter of fact” about her actions and life…

    I think that people with extreme views, like Shirley, does society some good. It makes people stop and think about the issues for themselves….

  28. Ace&Bubba says:

    This show was interesting and thought provoking to a point. For most of your listeners who have gone through that self doubt phase and the coming out process this interview may just bring back some bad memories. But I fear that your younger or more vulnerable listeners may take her “loving message of gods hate” to heart. The FOF for me has been a wonderful safe place to be who I am but listening to the show made me feel like i was 13 sitting in Sunday school being told how horrible I was. I grew up in a very strict religion (Mormon) and i guess when you come from that background you kind of carry that baggage around even when you think you are “over it”. I WANTED Fausto and Mark to fire back a little bit. Didn’t she at one point say to Fausto that ..”who ever brought you into the world was a jackass and obviously didn’t care for your soul?” She just reminded me of to many people.. real people who especially in small towns get away with this shit all the time. I think for some gays Shirley is kind of like a novelty kind of wacky and “crazy” and we can just go back to our gayborhood and not worry about it but for some people that kind of speech and rhetoric is a matter of life and death.

    I loved your …”its better than watching american idol” made me laugh!!!!

  29. michael says:

    Great interview.

    I agree that there is a lot of hypocrisy in how gays are treated by society at large but disagree Shirley Phelps’ absurd fundamentalism. I support the right of the Westboro Baptist Church to do most of what they are doing but also see how dangerous people like that can be under the right conditions.

    I also wanted to see Fausto and Mark fire back a bit but that probably would have just derailed the interview, and Shirley Phelps’ absurdity and intense hatred doesn’t really need to be pointed out.

  30. Christian83 says:

    I agree with you Steven ! Luckily she is not in Europe. She would be arrested in Germany quiet fast anyway due to her comments about the Jews.
    In Germany most Christians don’t care so much either. Many young people just don’t care about religion here. If you go to church you will notice most of them are old people.
    There are also several incidents in Germany where young Muslims attacked gays. They don’t do this only because of their religious belief but also they are often from social weak families and have troubles to be an integrated member of our society. So they pick on other minorities like gays.

    Back to that woman…I wonder how far she would go to convince other people. After protesting at funerals of soldiers what is next ?
    Also I would like to know what she would have answered to the question: ” Do you appreciate when gays are beaten up ? “

  31. travisty says:

    Interesting interview. As the show started I thought, “Oh hell, I’m not going to like this…” But I have to say I was fascinated and almost refreshed by her point of view. I live in the bible belt and have turned away from Christianity due to the hypocrisy I’ve witnessed. She’s definitely extreme, but I respect her for sticking with her views. I also want to say “Bravo!” to Fausto for being respectful interviewers and not censoring her. I think we saw a very soft, human and truly Christian side to the Phelps family.

  32. Lieber47 says:

    This was a fascinating interview! However, I don’t agree that you’re either 100% for us or 100% against us Phelps-style. While I disagree, I do understand why many (mostly religious) people feel there is a problem with a homosexual relationship. I would much rather have people (like my parents) be somewhat accepting than be totally against it and preach that “God hates fags”. I think that most christians, regardless of their view on homosexuality, think that God loves everyone, and this sort of thing goes way too far.

    And because it goes too far and makes even some of the most anti-gay people uncomfortable, it does indeed help us.

    I am not, however, saying that I don’t also think there is a lot of hypocrisy in our society when it comes to gay issues. I disagree with the “love the sinner, hate the sin” mentality. I would much rather have an “ignore the sin/ner – don’t worry about things that don’t directly affect you” type of response. I think it is naïve to expect or want everyone to have one opinion on this or nearly anything.

  33. Jake Snow says:

    I’m so glad you guys posted this and did the interview. It was great. Actually this was the most calm I’ve seen Shirley. I am glad it was much more of a dialog rather than her usual heated shouting match and I applaud Fausto for steering her away from a shouting match when she was starting up.
    Some good ammunition to use against her is bringing up the fact that one of her sons left the WestBoChurch to live in ‘sin’ with his partner and how she has failed in the faith with him.
    Overall I was a bit creeped out more than usual and a chill ran up my spine with her tranquil assertive voice in this interview. I felt like it was a ghost story you tell to children around a campfire. “And then you will rot in the ground with worms….”

  34. So when I first listend to the show it was interesting in a disturbing way, and Shirley seemed calm and peaceful most of the time.

    Being the naturally curious person that I am I decided to investigate further by watching other interveiws that she had done. One in particular though (here) really agitated me and made me feel sick to my stomach.

    It was like she was a different person then who I heard on the podcast today, and I think their veiws are sevirely harmfull and squed.

    You guys did a great job of keeping your cool and asking the right questions, if this interveiw was in the hands of anyone else it would have been a disaster.

  35. that sure was very interesting… i was expecting her to be totally crazy and preachy but she wasn’t. she was very well spoken and straightforward about everything she said…but of course i still think she is a terrible person for what she does and believes in.

    and yeah…although it may seem like a good idea to give these guys as much publicity as possible to show how crazy they are..but i think the majority of America either agrees with them, or thinks what they are doing isn’t wrong…which is bad.

    yet…from the interview she seems like a kind and calm person..but underneath she is a terrible hateful batshit insane lunatic….like Christian83 said, she is kinda like dictators and other bad people in past history who appeared to be charming and normal on the outside, especially when they are with their peers, but on the inside they are full of hate.

    and it seemed like she watched what she said around you guys, and probably didn’t say what she really wanted to say. but then again they do not think they speared hate or think protesting at funerals is wrong so i can’t really be sure…they are so blinded by the bible’s words there is no hope for them.

  36. Annie says:

    Scary lady! Scary church! I will never support the Phelps but I will support the feast of fools 🙂 Thanks again for another great show.

  37. Donnie Dee says:

    wow, this creeped me out and that’s not even a word. As a man born gay and raised in a Pentecostal church where I didn’t dare be myself, this show brought so much negative memories up from my past. What Ms Phelps doesn’t realize or care about is being gay IS just like being born with blue or brown eyes. It’s not a choice or a lifestyle, it’s just the way we are wired. So if “going to hell” is the result of how I was born, then so be it.

    I’m much more interested in focusing on what good I can do for the world while I’m alive and functioning than worrying about some words of hate placed in some old book. Death penalty for being gay???? Is she for real? Didn’t Jesus say those without sin should throw the first stone? In other words, it’s not up to ANYONE here on earth to pass judgment on anyone else.

  38. holim says:

    This bitch has got some crazy congenital religious disease
    zeroing in on gays.. there is so much more to the wonderful bible world, read Deuteronomy…

    Euros speak out more on this issue!!! Many people in the US don’t know about laws in place that cover the Shirley Phelps kind of speech. the hating kind of speech. She mentioned the consequences in passing when she suggested she would get arrested if she went to Ireland.
    Inform the community here if you know it!

    Shirley gave a beautiful monologue that I want to take to the stage and screen and remix with Rome burning and Nero seizing outside the city, plucking out an atonal tuuuuune.

    Anyone else think she sounds like a cultist on the verge of isolation? The t.v. that your kids watch is all that’s keeping you in touch. She sounds like a

  39. My whole goal in interviewing someone like Shirley Phelps is that I wanted to better understand who she is as a person and identify her motivations, goals and rationale for her outlandish and seemingly antisocial behavior. And she’s a big “anti-gay” personality and it was exciting to engage her on our territory. And I didn’t want to be a jerk to her just because she might be a jerk to others.

    On the other hand, she did pull a “yo mama” comment on all of us, and it completely went over my head. Anyone who knows my mother (and father) know them as extraordinary, loving people who are respected by their communities. So calling them a jackass makes as much sense as her making fun of my mom for being Chinese. Shirley is a little more than crazy. I didn’t want to get into a shouting match or a battle with her where I’m trying to dismantle her arguments. She does that fine on her own. My hope in the interview is to get at the comedic truth about a person’s life.

    I saw this as an opportunity to let the person come out, a side of the wild fundamentalist woman we usually see on TV. I sensed the understandable nervousness in Josh Kilmer-Purcell, Marc Felion and myself and noticed how it froze up the conversation.

    I didn’t want to let her get me upset, because we’ve all known all along that her eccentric protests make people rethink their negative stance on gay rights. I felt like Capt. Janeway making a deal with the borg! Shirley Phelps is in many ways like the borg queen on the Star Trek Voyager TV show, and I felt like Janeway making a “deal with the borg” to get my people home.

    In the end, I still would like to see Shirley Phelps have a change of heart, if not for her sake, but for her children. You just know that some of those kids are probably gay.

  40. TrickyToro says:

    Josh should really see the Sundance film For the Bible Tells Me So. They address the common practice of bible literalism and present some very savvy learned scholars who place the bible passages purporting to prohibit homosexuality in the context they were written. Turns out many of the passages have nothing to do with homosexuality at all. Fascinating stuff really. I got the feeling that they looked down on bible literalists as slightly ignorant and uninformed.

  41. Anyone know if there’s legal clips of the movie posted online?

  42. hi tricky…i haven’t seen that movie but i have read several books that explain different ways to interpret homosexuality as it appears in the bible. people like the phelps have read those too. in my research of the phelps, i’ve come across many written and live debates between them and liberal theologians. and no one ever wins. the phelps have researched translations and biblical translations as much as any theologian. it really is almost all fred does anymore.

    i’m episcopalian. (as shirley says: “a gay episcopalian? that’s redundant.”) our belief… simplistically …is that religion is like a three legged stool, supported equally by scripture, tradition, and reason. no one overrules the other, but they can cancel each other out, and still support my faith. ie: scripture might sometimes point to homosexuality being sorta bad, but reason shows me that it’s not so. thus, i’m on my own with God to reach my own conclusion – equally valid to anyone else’s.

    i just wanted to present that other side of faith for those people who were raised in more doctrinal churches who’ve posted above that shirley makes them uncomfortable.

    i told another interviewer the other day that given all the translation and transcription involved over the milennia, i believe the the bible represents the word of god as inspired by man. i myself have been inspired by shakespeare. but anyone who’s read my books knows that i’m not anywhere near close.

  43. Cliff Dix says:

    Here is the trailer of For The Bible Tells Me So

  44. Lieber47 says:

    Yeah Fausto, with that many family members, you know at least a couple of them are gay and in that family, suffering terribly.

    And Josh, I fully agree with you. I am pretty religious myself (not practising, but spiritual), and I don’t feel that the Bible in any way equivocally speaks against homosexuality. In fact, most of the scriptures are found in the Old Testament are in Law of Moses type commandments, which most Christians believe were fulfilled and done away with by Christ. And as for the Pauline scriptures about homosexuality, well he also taught that women had to cover their hair and weren’t allowed to speak in Church – and I’m reasonably sure that Shirley doesn’t follow those particular scriptures…

    In any event, I’ve done some reading/research about the supposedly anti-homosexuality scriptures in the Bible. Interestingly enough, many scholars believe that the “sins of Sodom” had nothing at all to do with homosexuality or anal sex. If one reads the passages about Sodom and Lot’s family, the people (men) of Sodom were wanting to have sex with everything that moved, angels, men, women, and animals, not just other men. The thought is that their “sin” was promiscuity and pride, NOT homosexuality.

    So put that in your pipe and smoke it, Shirley!

  45. TrickyToro says:

    I met the film makers at a free screening and we were in talks with them to show it on my college campus. They seemed totally open and recepting to working with our campus GSA in any way they could which leads me to believe they would be receptive if you contacted them via their website.

  46. This is the only interview I have seen of this wombat that shows her in anything resembling a positive light. By killing her with kindness, you let her spew her venom in a sweet, sugary manner, which made it all the more ludicrous!

    As for the jackass remark, I feel that gives me the right to repeat here what I have said about her in other situations. It is obvious that this cult practices bestiality, because one way or the other, there HAD to be a horse present at her conception!!!

  47. Kaleb says:

    To say the least, that was an interesting show and I enjoyed listening to it. That being said I have some things I would like to say about both of the guests.

    First, I’ll tackle Shirley. She seems like a nice person, I do agree that she is doing this out of the “goodness” of her heart, but that doesn’t excuse her beliefs. My case for the non-existence of a god has been made elsewhere on this site, but we’re going to disregard that for a second. Let’s assume her god exists. What does he care about human sexuality? Regardless, he does and he makes it explicitly clear in his bible along with a number of other sins and things he just doesn’t want you to do. The consequences of performing these sins typically involve eternity in hell and Earthly punishments not enacted by him, but by humans stoning others to death.

    But from the perspective of the religious moderate or secularist, there is simply a black hole where the bible stipulates some sins. No parent in America today will stone his child to death for disobeying them (Deuteronomy 21:18-21) and likewise no similar American will sentence a gay to imprisonment and death. These sins just don’t exist for the religious moderates of today. So, what is it about some sins that allow people to be picky about whether it is a sin or not? -God, after all, has prescribed the sin. Modernity, morality and the sensibilities of people who know better than to believe the bible is the literal word of God and that it should be practiced as such. America is a secular country, so it should be no surprise that the bible is not prescribed as a guide to morality in your constitution. I find it amazing, then, that Phelps “cut her teeth” with the civil rights movement and fails to see the hypocrisy she commits with her “church.”

    I will go as far as to say that the civil rights movement was nothing in comparison to the struggle fags face. I’m sure many would disagree but the fact of it is, being black isn’t a sin. Being black isn’t something a person can change. Black people are born that way. Black people were at least understood during the civil rights movement. For gays, it’s believed that we can “change,” that we can somehow not be gay. The idea is ridiculous and it’s the reason we will forever be held back in the face of religion. However, I would not say that it is the worst view on the matter. In the thread I spoke of earlier, the belief that homosexuality is a trial placed upon us by God was expressed. Presumably, to pass this trial we must remain celibate, essentially cutting off a large part of what makes us human. I feel that this view of the matter is far worse than the idea that it is a choice; at least with a choice I still have my free will.

    I can probably continue on with what is wrong with what Shirley and her “church” profess, but I could really care less. So let’s move on to Josh. I mean no offense to you personally when I say this but, you are perhaps worse than the Phelps’ family. Like the Phelps’ you assume that morality is black and white, but it’s not. Have you heard of the trolley problem?

    A trolley is running out of control down a track. In its path are 5 people who have been tied to the track by a mad philosopher. Fortunately, you can flip a switch which will lead the trolley down a different track to safety. Unfortunately, there is a single person tied to that track. Should you flip the switch?

    Is it permissible to murder one person to save five? There is no black and white, Josh. People aren’t going to see the Phelps’ “cartoonish evil” and become polarized, or at least not more polarized than they already are. It’s not a matter of being either with fags or with the Phelps’. It is completely possible to “love the sinner, hate the sin,” and many Americans exemplify this, so why should someone perceived as a lunatic be the catalyst to change? You observed yourself that they are written off as kooks, so why should having them placed in the public eye make anyone more critical of their message? The message of the Phelps’ is cartoonish to many people, but the messages of the Falwells and Ratzingers of the world aren’t. Are not these religious leaders just as “cartoonishly evil” as the Phelps? You may change some people’s minds on the issue, but I doubt it will go very far. Also, what sort of hypocrisy, since you dislike hypocrisy so much, is it that you attend an Episcopalian church and I assume defend your religious beliefs and by extension those of the very people you hope will polarize others on the gay rights? More than half of Americans believe the bible is the literal word of God and at least one third of Americans are evangelical. I think your country is pretty much polarized already and I think most people have made up their minds. Would you rather live in a country where people ‘love the sin and hate the sinner’ (religious moderates) or a country where the biblical literalists and evangelicals have their way? It seems you’re already living the better of the options presented to you.

    One last thing, Fausto asked Shirley if she thought homosexuality would be the touchstone of our generation. If you think the religious people of the world hate you for being gay, try being an atheist or *gasp* a gay atheist.

  48. Wolfsburg03 says:

    I thought the interview was very well done. I’m hating the fact that I’ve been shown the human side of Shirley Phelps. I can’t help but to be on the defensive when I see her picture or hear her voice…

    It was much easier for me to hate her before the interview. Don’t worry, I still do, it’s just harder now.

    Major props to Marc and Fausto on how well you handled the interview! I would have done a terrible job. I get stuck in this weird frozen position because half of me wants to gouge her eyeballs out and the other half doesn’t want to sink to her level or respond in a way that she is expecting me to (being extremely offensive or defensive). So, I sit and do nothing.

    Emotions galore!

  49. Kaleb says:

    To say the least, that was an interesting show and I enjoyed listening to it. That being said I have some things I would like to say about both of the guests.

    First, I’ll tackle Shirley. She seems like a nice person, I do agree that she is doing this out of the “goodness” of her heart, but that doesn’t excuse her beliefs. My case for the non-existence of a god has been made elsewhere on this site, but we’re going to disregard that for a second. Let’s assume her god exists. What does he care about human sexuality? Regardless, he does and he makes it explicitly clear in his bible along with a number of other sins and things he just doesn’t want you to do. The consequences of performing these sins typically involve eternity in hell and Earthly punishments not enacted by him, but by humans stoning others to death.

    But from the perspective of the religious moderate or secularist, there is simply a black hole where the bible stipulates some sins. No parent in America today will stone his child to death for disobeying them (Deuteronomy 21:18-21) and likewise no similar American will sentence a gay to imprisonment and death. These sins just don’t exist for the religious moderates of today. So, what is it about some sins that allow people to be picky about whether it is a sin or not? -God, after all, has prescribed the sin. Modernity, morality and the sensibilities of people who know better than to believe the bible is the literal word of God and that it should be practiced as such. America is a secular country, so it should be no surprise that the bible is not prescribed as a guide to morality in your constitution. I find it amazing, then, that Phelps “cut her teeth” with the civil rights movement and fails to see the hypocrisy she commits with her “church.”

    I will go as far as to say that the civil rights movement was nothing in comparison to the struggle fags face. I’m sure many would disagree but the fact of it is, being black isn’t a sin. Being black isn’t something a person can change. Black people are born that way. Black people were at least understood during the civil rights movement. For gays, it’s believed that we can “change,” that we can somehow not be gay. The idea is ridiculous and it’s the reason we will forever be held back in the face of religion. However, I would not say that it is the worst view on the matter. In the thread I spoke of earlier, the belief that homosexuality is a trial placed upon us by God was expressed. Presumably, to pass this trial we must remain celibate, essentially cutting off a large part of what makes us human. I feel that this view of the matter is far worse than the idea that it is a choice; at least with a choice I still have my free will.

    to be continued…

  50. Kaleb says:

    continued …

    I can probably continue on with what is wrong with what Shirley and her “church” profess, but I could really care less. So let’s move on to Josh. I mean no offense to you personally when I say this but, you are perhaps worse than the Phelps’ family. Like the Phelps’ you assume that morality is black and white, but it’s not. Have you heard of the trolley problem?

    A trolley is running out of control down a track. In its path are 5 people who have been tied to the track by a mad philosopher. Fortunately, you can flip a switch which will lead the trolley down a different track to safety. Unfortunately, there is a single person tied to that track. Should you flip the switch?

    Is it permissible to murder one person to save five? There is no black and white, Josh. People aren’t going to see the Phelps’ “cartoonish evil” and become polarized, or at least not more polarized than they already are. It’s not a matter of being either with fags or with the Phelps’. It is completely possible to “love the sinner, hate the sin,” and many Americans exemplify this, so why should someone perceived as a lunatic be the catalyst to change? You observed yourself that they are written off as kooks, so why should having them placed in the public eye make anyone more critical of their message? The message of the Phelps’ is cartoonish to many people, but the messages of the Falwells and Ratzingers of the world aren’t. Are not these religious leaders just as “cartoonishly evil” as the Phelps? You may change some people’s minds on the issue, but I doubt it will go very far. Also, what sort of hypocrisy, since you dislike hypocrisy so much, is it that you attend an Episcopalian church and I assume defend your religious beliefs and by extension those of the very people you hope will polarize others on the gay rights? More than half of Americans believe the bible is the literal word of God and at least one third of Americans are evangelical. I think your country is pretty much polarized already and I think most people have made up their minds. Would you rather live in a country where people ‘love the sin and hate the sinner’ (religious moderates) or a country where the biblical literalists and evangelicals have their way? It seems you’re already living the better of the options presented to you.

    One last thing, Fausto asked Shirley if she thought homosexuality would be the touchstone of our generation. If you think the religious people of the world hate you for being gay, try being an atheist or *gasp* a gay atheist.

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