FOF #690 – Shirley Phelps: An Unlikely Champion

Jan 24, 2008 · 1985 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, […]


  1. Ross says:

    I think that you finally have achieved your childhood dream of having a talk show, Fausto. The questions that you & Marc asked of both Josh & Shirley were not just topical but delved deep into why they are so involved into what their causes. This is why I am amazed at how FoF keeps evolving into more of a talk show that covers a wide variety of topics.

    I have been getting behind in listening to FoF lately… I wanted to jump for joy when had an article about this interview with Josh Kilmer Purcell & Shirley Phelps. I am going to share this interview with everyone that I know to get them to listen to it for it’s insight into the mind of someone so instrumental to WBC.

    It is shows like these that make me promise you guys that I will try to keep on top of the show & write more in the forums! Good luck gentlemen & thank you for your hard work.

    | Ross |

  2. This was so interesting to listen to, but also extremely uncomfortable in an odd way. I felt almost nauseated by the end because I was struck in the tummy by the parallels of your patience and compassion for this woman, alongside the reality that this woman truly wishes all of us to be imprisoned and executed as a way to satisfy her god.

    I don’t think it’s such a great idea to sugar-coat her behavior with emphasis on her charisma and “kindness.” The kindest and best-spoken of people can be the most abusive, hateful, and deadly.

    Anyway: GREAT show! This was certainly a moving interview in many ways and I commend you guys for your playful professionalism. It’s an amazing balance you create in general.

    By the way, I LOVE listening to Fausto’s interviewing technique! It comes so naturally and he thinks of all the questions I could possibly think to ask! I love that.

    Big hug out to you!

    Troy aka CocteauBoy

  3. SAL-E says:

    I like being told that I am going to HELL…………… least I will be with all MY FRIENDS!
    Love it when they look normal but you know they are nothing but all kinds of Crazy!
    Why do these people Breed? Are you sure this is not some kind of oragnized occult?
    Drink the Juice Sweety…………….Just drink the Juice!
    Ignore all the pretty people and stay ignorant………………try a closset and stay in it till your savior comes and gets you and your mental ways. Does your room have padded walls?
    Either way………..Love ya because someone has to.
    Troy I want your BABIES!

  4. SAL-E says:

    It’s a FACT: I EAT BABIES!
    Because I CAN………………………DARLIN’ B-Cuz I CAN!
    Love ya

  5. Andrew says:

    WOW guys, awesome, awesome show!

    Fortunately for the Phelps-crew there’s a padded-room somewhere with there names on the door!

    I sincerely hope they sleep well at night knowing that they are breaking the one cardinal rule every bible-basher breaks and that’s one of judging others… I don’t judge them for their beliefs, if anything I applaud them for the passion and commitment to the living up to their so called moral high ground! Pity their cause isn’t one that is for the greater good of others, but clearly for there own greater good, they live, preach and perform for themselves!

    I live in a country with a young democracy where a diverse culture is celebrated and freethinking encouraged and it saddens me to see the USA burdened with these people! Good luck guys… Thanks again for an awesome show!!

  6. moonsammy says:

    I was a bit disturbed by this show.. and then I left work, turned on the radio, and the DJ’s had someone named Margie from the Westboro Baptist church. The DJs pretended to be a religious station “Praise 108FM” They let this lady hang herself with her hysteria and then would go to commercial breaks where they would play fake commercials for “Hot Anonymous Gay” (and of course let Margie hear this while she is “on hold” I put the link to the radio shows below… there are a bunch of clips, it is the one that says Praise 108fm.

  7. It wasn’t always that way Andrew! I see change a-coming.

  8. MoocherX says:

    This woman ROCKS!

    And she’s so pleasant about the way she expresses her beliefs, that I can guarantee God will look favourably on her on Judgement Day and reduce her punishment for putting words in His mouth.

    Meanwhile, the rest of us who have lived our lives how we want to, yet are kind, polite and helpful people, will just pass her by on our way “upstairs” while she’s taken to one side for the interrogation.

    Let’s all put in a good word for her – write it on a piece of paper and hold it up to the window so she can see it.

  9. patrick says:

    jesus h. christ guys, forget the bloggies, go for the pulitzer! they do have them for podcasting yeah? no? well, they should!
    when i found out about the interview, i was soo ready to hate her and soo ready to write a vitriolic letter denouncing her and her ilk. unbelievably though, after listening to the show, i found myself sorta, kinda, not not liking her a bit… it’s amazing how, when cool heads and basic human respect prevail, a sensible, intelligent dialogue is achieved. kudos to my boys marc and fausto and ‘guest interviewer’ jkp for steering the interview away from histrionics (hello, tyra?!) and rhetoric, and to ms. phelps, who’s never sounded more human and more sane. (god, did i just say that?!! now i’m really going to burn in hell!)
    i first started listening to the podcast december of 2005 and the subject of that first show was… mixing gay cocktails! as a non-drinker, i don’t know why i stuck around… but i’m so glad i did! to go from there to here is a testament to the genius and hard work and ongoing evolution of marc and fausto.
    please, please, please, keep up the good work!!!

  10. Hey guys,

    I’m normally just a silent listener, but I had to sign up to your site just to comment on this episode, it was amazing. I’d heard Ms Phelps in interviews before, but never like that. Great job, well done for letting her speak, which was all you needed to do.

    Love your show, and I guess I’m part of your community now, thanks to Shirley! Hee!

  11. Wolfsburg03 stated that it is harder to hate Shirley now. I think the brilliance of the interview is that it illustrates how people with opposing views are not always COMPLETELY crazy. Shirley was funny, charming, and surprisingly lucid. When Fausto and Marc she was coming on the show I thought it was going to be a complete train wreck.

    We are becoming a society of black and white sound bites. You are either for us or against us. You are either good or bad. If I disagree with your stance on a particular issue then it feels better for me when I can disagree with everything you stand for. But that is not the way it works. Don’t get me wrong, I will not be breaking bread with that sister anytime soon. But it is a good experience to come face to face with that fact that this woman spews intolerance while being a charming, intelligent, civil rights fighter. There is a saying that states if you want to know what a person is made of shake them and see what falls out.

    This was a great exercise in practicing what I preach. I’m very “new thought”-secret-law of attraction. I do not agree with Shirley or her church, but I can appreciate what she is creating for herself. I’ll just keep holding a space of real love for her. Imagine how different things would be if she/they operated from a place of appreciation? If they appreciated the pain of losing a loved one, would they protest a funeral?

    This was one of the best interviews because it made me think.

    Thank you.

  12. Faust & Marc,

    This was without a doubt the best show i’ve heard in my 2 years of listening. What an unexpected and fantastic interview! I really do learn a lot from your guests, not just about our gay history, people, places, etc. but about people and humanity in general. Shirley is so radically different when interviewing than her notorious husband because she actually listens. I just want to thank you for bringing her on, we can all learn a lot from each other.


  13. ellis says:

    this is by far the best interview i’ve ever listened to from this show. i was so unprepared for this and it definitely made me re-think my opinions about this woman. sometimes, as much as we are demonized by people like shirley we demonize them in return and forget that they are actual people and not just angry faces behind picket signs. the thing that really hit me about the interview was what a personality shirley was and hearing her talk about her family really hit me that she’s a mother and she has lots of friends and i bet in other aspects of her life she is a very sweet person, she is just very adamant about her beliefs.

    i’ve heard from conservative christians meeting gays for the first time that they are surprised to find that the people they’ve been taught to hate and to fear are generally kind people and have full lives with families and people they love. listening to this interview was like getting thrown into that situation from a different angle.

    i also enjoyed what josh kilmer-purcell had to say. at first i was just thinking he was crazy but then, after i thought about it for a while, it began to make some sense to me.

    great show, guys. you’re incredible.

  14. nurseguy says:

    Hey guys-
    Absolutely great interview. She obviously does believe very strongly in her interpretation of ‘god’s’ word. Reminds me a lot of my family…people like the Phelps think they have the inside road on how the world works and decidedly KNOW they are the ones the god they speak for will recognize and award and everyone else will be punished by whatever means that their religion promotes. In Shirley’s case the smoke of their torment will ascend forever! BTW, Mark maybe someone already pointed this out to you, but she was quoting king james version bible when she said that.
    It was eerily familiar to my ears and brought back memories of childhood church meetings where the fear of hell was indoctrinated into our impressionable young minds. Thanks to fundamentalist beliefs like those of the Phelps clan, I thought when I realized I was attracted sexually to other men that I was the most evil sin ridden creature on the planet and it was reinforced Sunday after Sunday.
    I was finally able to shake off the self torment of religion and realized no one has or ever will have all the answers to the questions religion was created to answer and now proudly identify as a gay atheist and am pleased to find like minds on this site!
    Though this interview was disturbing at times, it was absolutely one of your best shows and you should all be very proud of the tenor of the show- an amazing difference from talk radio or tv which frequently disintegrates into a shouting match. I felt Shirley was disingenious in the way she brushed off the question about the name of her family’s website. Obviously any homophobe knows god hates adulterers or god hates divorce or even god hates shrimp eaters will never have the same draw!
    Again great job-looking forward to other surprises I know you’ll have in future shows!

  15. G says:

    This was a great interview guys…one of the best! Very interesting!

  16. Jace says:

    Josh’s book is amazing!

    also, Fausto is amazing! You go girl! (only because you told me to!)

  17. Very interesting show – at first I was looking at her a bit differently but then her whacko comments came out at the end. I thought Josh’s comments were right on and was glad to hear him again on the show. I was really surprised that she came on the show and stayed on as long as she did.

    I had the honor of talking with him for my show and will be posting it soon.

  18. Why wouldn’t Shirley come on the show? We have a hit show that is listened to by a lot of people. Besides, if you have balls enough to protest at funerals a little phone conversation with some fags isn’t going to intimidate you.

    I think she stayed on as long as she did because we never set to rile her up like most professional journalists do. We listened and responded and got to the meat of what she’s about.

  19. I loved this show! Very shocking and eye opening. Funny thing is that my friend sent me a you tube video of the Phelps family on Tyra just yesterday so I started looking up all the videos about them. At first I thought these people are crazy! I really thought they were hateful…but your show showed me that they honestly and whole heartedly believe in their values and the literal meaning of the Bible. Yes….a lot more good can be done with a love message than a fear message but props to her for sticking to her beliefs…and not being a hypocrite like the rest of middle America.

    Another interesting thing that this episode uncovered was how deliciously campy and humorous she could be.

    The one point that I think is flawed in her belief structure is that parents are the cause for gay childen. Besides giving life to a gay child parents have little else to do to raising a gay child. My father is a United Pentecostal pastor and in no way raised me in any other way that to be a spectacular christian. So I don’t really understand why she often blames the parents and takes out her “warnings” on funerals of gays which just hurts that family even more. The God she serves should be doing enough judgement with out her passing it on to the families that have lost a son or daughter.

    Few last things…

    I do think that the media’s portrayal of her and her family/church will help polarize people on the issue which is better than a stagnant state which American’s have been dulled into.

    Finally, I hope that for her sake and her children that they can see the human side of each story because life is just awful and cold without being able to sympathize and love a person simply because they are a fellow human being and have the same feelings and issues that everyone has….oh well

    P.s. This is a parody of their parody performance of God Hates the World….worth the view anyways…

  20. oh i guess the video link didn’t post…

  21. Xavi says:

    Excellent show.

    I’d never thought I’d say this. We have a lot to learn from Shirley. She has integrity. She truly lives what she believes. DC gay man says it best…she advocates against hypocrisy…

    Now for the rest of her message. I guess it doesn’t bother me. You have to fundamentally believe in hell to be bothered by being told you are going to be burning in hell. As Fausto said, it beats watching American Idol reruns. (Plus, for people who get buried instead of cremated, your bodies will be eaten by worms. Unlike Shirley, I don’t believe we’ll be concious of it).

    Hats off to you three! You treated her with the respect we all deserve, even though she didn’t always do the same for you (insulting faustos’s parents to me was the only thing that was way out of line).

  22. Curtis says:

    Great show. You guys have an amazing ability to remain respectful in the face of anything. There were some moments where she started to go off (out of habit from her usual interviews I would guess) and she realized she hadn’t really been pushed there and came back down to reality (a bizarre bible thumping kill fags version of reality).

    She’s funny and a little charming, and might make a nice lunch date, but at the end of the day she’s our enemy. Hitler had friends who loved eating lunch with him too. I do tend to agree that her bat shit weirdness and the immensely inappropriate funeral picketing helps us at the end of the day, especially since they haven’t used it as a fund raising platform. I do have to wonder though – if they did do fund raising and recruiting how much more seriously dangerous they would be to us? I guess we’re lucky they have such limited aspirations.


  23. Henry says:

    Wow, this is one of them shows where after being so entralled by its discussion, i was upset that time had run out. I wish it were a longer show. You definitely went above and beyond!
    Before Shirley was brought into the show, and you’ll cut away with music playing – my heart was pounding and I was nervous!! I had one hand on my mouth and the other on the steering wheel, shocked! I sat listening, waiting for something heated to occur, yet you maintained your poise and that alone speaks volumes.
    I still am not able to wrap my mind around the idea that God hates anything. Isn’t God the creator of all things? If that’s the case, somewhere up in the Keebler Elf tree went astray and gay people be popping out…
    I just finished watching “Jesus Camp”, and from this, children are aimmed at to be the next impactful generation – scary world.
    Once again, great show, i can’t wait to see what more you have come into my ears…

  24. F and M, not sure where to post this…I pm’ed Fausto the e-mail address of one of the head producers of For the Bible Tells Me So film. Just wanted to make sure you got it. PM me if you didn’t.

  25. Great show guys!

    As for Shirley – she may be educated, but she’s still ignorant as all get-out. She’s just another one of those whackos who thinks that their God is our God – and we should follow their God’s rules. Please – can’t the hard core Baptists just hunker down on a commune somewhere and leave the rest of us alone? Maybe we could annex Texas to them. Who’d miss it?

  26. Her God is the God of the Bible, which one is yours?

  27. corey says:

    I’m from Kansas and lived in Lawrence, KS for over 10 years and had the pleasure of seeing the Phelps protest just about any kind of event at the University of Kansas. The first time I saw them was when they were protesting around the time of Princess Diana’s death.

    I have pretty much always thought the same way as Josh, that the group actually does more harm then good. However, nothing makes me more sick to my stomach then seeing their children amongst the protesters holding up signs of hate.

    I enjoyed how the interview did showcase Shirley’s humanity, and I do have to give her props for sticking to her beliefs regardless of how popular they might be perceived.

  28. corey says:

    I mean more good than harm. Whoops.

  29. Daniel says:

    I just listened to the show… and I have to say that I agree with a poster at the top “Like Rob Zombie made me feel sorry for Michael Myers, you guys made me agree with Shirley Phelps.”

    A lot of the things she said were agreeable, and she was amazingly well spoken and intelligent. It was also nice to see the human side of her when you could hear her talking to the kids that were near her.

    However, it was truly disturbing and frightening that she said she would want us all dead for being who we are. I could not have been any more terrified or scared by anything else than that. I would, though, much rather find someone like her who was honest about her stance on the issue, instead of pussyfooting around the subject like most “hypocritical” neo-fundamentalists do. She sticks with her beliefs no matter what the consequence, which although I disagree with it, it commendable.

    My boyfriend is currently in a little bit of shock, and in the “I have a few questions for her” phase… but who wasn’t, really?

    I’m probably never going to forget this interview. Much like the Bill O’reilly interview of Marylin Manson, this is an interview for the ages.

  30. Do you have a link to that interview? I’d love to see it. Marilyn Manson is a really well spoken and intelligent guy.

  31. Dave says:

    This show just stepped into a higher level of being (yes, I consider the show itself a character!). What an interview!!!
    Hands down to Marc and Fausto for keeping their composure with all the remarks made by such a controversial individual. Specially when calling our parents the “jackasses who raised us.” It’s too bad she lost it in that segment. I almost got fooled by her education and background.

    Again, great job guys!

  32. Kaleb says:

    I’d have to agree with Dan here… it’s nice to get someone that actually states their view without the side-stepping. The thing is, it’s thanks to those side-steppers that people like the Phelps or the Fallwells or the Robertsons aren’t in (complete) control of your country.

    Additionally, as I said before, the issue isn’t black and white. Some people just haven’t formed a view about homosexuality nor do they really care or have any reason to. If people aren’t experiencing homosexuals first hand then they won’t have a frame of reference to form any sort of opinion. It’s people like this that are most susceptible to the nonsense preached by the religious right or any other bigoted organization. That’s why exposing the Phelps’ to the spotlight and (apparently) supporting her would be more detrimental than good considering the vast majority of people don’t experience homosexuals first hand.

  33. Daniel says:

    Here’s the link to the Manson interview, Fausto:

  34. Hehe – the Pope’s in Hell and God loves her site. Funny lady. Crazy, but funny. Anyone believing a prophet or a book contains the literal dictation of God that should be followed to the letter is NUTS. Historical documents, people… Maybe I am too much of a cynical scholar but even if you think these books contain a faint echo of what some GOD actually meant to impart on his creation, it has to be seen as channeled through some poor schmuck with values of the age he lived in. Everyone laughing at Scientology: pretty much the same principle as the older religions only the oldness of the others makes them seem more authentic. It blows my mind how Churches have been splitting up and millions have been killed over differences in interpretation. Humanity really proves itself worthy of being wiped out by a comet sometimes.
    Anycase – interesting interview, even though it got my blood pressure up. I missed a discussion about how she felt about the feelings of those grieving while she picketed those funerals, though I think Fausto was trying to steer the discussion there. I’d also be interested in her views on other religions, although I guess pretty much ANYONE with the slightest difference in opinion will be burning away merrily for eternity.

  35. great show, but I still have big issues with this family. Even if she made some good points

  36. Corey says:

    This was a great show. Although disturbing. Shirley is absolutely crazy! I am glad she is not president. Could you imagine the trouble the country would be in?

  37. nst101 says:

    Great show guys! I just listened to it today. I was going to listen right after it came out, but I was afraid it would just upset me. I’ve seen stuff with these people before and I always ended up mad as hell. I was wrong about this interview! It was refreshing to see the other side of the issue and actually find some common ground. I just wish that both sides could see commonalities in each other.

    While I don’t think that either side is going to sway the other, it is great to see an open and civil conversation. They demonize us, say we have a disease, etc, but before this, how many of us in the gay community hold the same feelings for them? I think once people can see that the ones they hate are also people, the hatred will subside.

    One thing I noticed about this, though, is that compared with other interviews I’ve seen of her, she seemed to have toned down the rhetoric… I was expecting a very hostile interview with the only thing out of her is that we’re going to hell and we need to repent and that God hates us. I was very pleasantly surprised with the interview, but have a nagging suspicion that she played to the audience. Of course, again, this might be because I have the mindset that they’re hateful…

    Anyway, thanks again for the great show guys. I think you guys (including Josh) should be nominated for a Nobel peace prize for bringing the Phelps’ and the gays together (:

  38. Kaleb says:

    There’s another point I’d like to make in regards to Shirley Phelps. Being a person who believes the bible to be the literal word of God, this applies to her. I am disappointed to say, this was not my creation, but that does not make it any less appropriate.

    A Letter to Dr. Laura: Why Can’t I Own a Canadian?

    The point being made here is that God says a lot of things… but unless you’re going to follow them all, you have no right to cast judgement upon others.

  39. lis says:

    Good job posting that letter Kaleb, it’s a classic and a great rebuke to people who want to take the Bible that literally.
    Fantastic interview guys! You were respectful and kept your cool and gave everyone who might listen to this a huge lesson in communication and respect. You have once more impressed me with your work. Congratulations!

  40. shane says:

    I Love Fausto and Mark! As you chatted with Josh in the beginning, I was a little nervous that this was going to turn into a huge shouting match like the Jerry Springer show. You guys kept it cool! And I can see why Shirley would be on such good terms with Josh, he’s quite captivating.

  41. I’m halfway through this episode, and I have to say this is a stunningly brilliant and courageous interview on your part.

    It has been so easy for me to dismiss this family as mentally-ill or perhaps a more educated version of the Klan. Allowing this woman to share the back story of how they transitioned from a zealously conservative congregation to a group that felt that extremism was their only hope, reminds us that nothing is as simple as we think it is. (Alas for Shirley, it is quite a simple issue.)

    Years ago I remember seeing Michelangelo Signorile on The Ricky Lake show… he was “our” representative against a conservative Christian woman who looked and carried herself like she lived in Mayberry. Mr. Signorile on the other hand was angry, venomous, and spoke so rabidly that spittle hit the woman’s face.

    Here in DC there’s a park by the Pentagon where the police have caught people of all persuasions getting their freak on. Yes, a big chunk of em are the gays. However, even though George Michael says “this is my culture,” I just don’t see a Constitutional right for American’s to fuck in public spaces. Yes it can be sexy and hot and furtive. But civic spaces designed for everyone, should not be the number one place you go to every time you need to pop a load. (BTW – I just met a guy at a party who said to me, “Larry Craig gave me the best blow jobs I have ever had.”

    Anyhow, so… I can only imagine the shock felt by a gaggle of ineloquent Baptists when their attempt at blunt civic-mindedness was countered with Act Up’s version of “blunt.” Gay men were dying, and Gay men were angry. So while the gay movement has since tempered, I think its too late for this family. And that’s the key stone of true conviction and faith; you can’t reason someone away from it.

    I would recommend Josh (and anyone else who is interested) read “What the Bible Really Says about Homosexuality” by Daniel Helminiak (relax, it’s pretty short). As someone who was raised as a good Methodist boy, I had a hard time reconciling ME with what I’d heard in church. I’ve learned it’s okay to take the Bible literally. So I vow never to work in the Temple as a male prostitute, and if Angels ever come to my city (even if they look like mortal men), I vow never to attempt to gang rape them.

  42. BASboy says:

    I just ended up having a weird respect for her. True I don’t want to be imprisoned and killed (unless this is a 3rd date kind of fantasy). But I respected her for keeping to her high moral ground. That she can like someone gay and still be sending the message of God hating us gay folk.

    Just goes to show if you the old adage. Don’t focus on our differences, focus on our similarities since there are so many more of those.

  43. Chrispy says:

    wow, what an interesting interview. my first comment has to be how thankful i am that all three of you conducted this interview with utmost integrity. there is nothing i dislike more than the idiots gays and lesbians that are put on the daytime shows. i hate the fact that that’s what america sees and thinks that we are all like them. i’m happy that you guys & your guests portray the educated and intelligent gays of america. i’m just so happy that you didn’t allow her to bait you into acting like those idiots and shouting stupid shit. i know that was difficult, i bite my lip a couple of times too.

    i myself am also in shock at how much i agree with her on so many things (except of course the burning in hell & the imprisonment and then being put to death parts). i know that there are some out there who didn’t like this interview but i really enjoyed it. it was interesting that i found her to be so NON hypocritical as i find most of these so call fanatical “Christians” who are actually so un-Christian like. usually my response to these people is that while they are damning me for my sin they are also sinning by judging me/us. funny, i don’t believe she ever said SHE hated gays or that she really put her opinion in other than her interpretation of the bible. in fact, she seemed very nice and that almost disturbs me. just the fact that Josh Kilmer-Purcell and she write back and forth and share these stories with one another (i loved that part about BOTH your husbands have the same first name) and have developed a friendship shows such a bizarre twist. that is the part that I found so surreal.

    keep this kind of work up gentlemen and you will really make names for yourself. your podcast is already great but you just took a leap forward with that interview. i’m hoping this interview will get you a bunch of sponsors; it was truly a work of art.

  44. Wow.. what a powerful show.. you did a fantastic job or restraint!!! The Bizarre thing about this interview is that some parts of it she seemed to sound reasonable and then she would go wacko fire and brimstone.. I was so impressed with your handling of the interview.. it was a moment that stopped me dead in my tracks when she calmly said the only solution is to lock us all up and execute us.. she may seem like a harmless nut job but there is a very sinsiter side to that sick woman and her family of hate..

    Paul (in Ireland)

  45. I totally commend you guys for putting her on here. I remember when I was in high school and still in the closet, I went to the National Episcopal convention as a youth delegate and saw them picketing outside. I was so stunned and felt so terrible about myself until I went inside and saw the reaction of the other delegates and members. It was amazing how much love and hope was created and shared because of this small group\’s hatred. I just can\’t imagine how terrible it must feel to be such ugly people on the inside and just filled with such anger. I hope God forgives them in the end.

    You guys did a great job of keeping everything on the up and up and not giving in to their need for silly dispute. She did a great job of preaching about not preaching all on her own. Cheers to you and the best podcast out there!

  46. Still catching up, and just got round to this show.

    In the UK we know of the Phelps. Louis Theroux did a show on them about a year or so ago. Interestingly, your show did a better job of putting them across than that show ever did.

    I can understand where she is coming from in some areas, notably the sitting on the fence, it should be all or nothing thing.

    Before I came out, I wrestled with the whole “gay Christian” thing, and came to the conclusion it was impossible. The logic side of my brain kicked in, Richard Dawkins prevailed, and I decided it was impossible to ‘pick and choose’ which parts of Christianity won, and choose a branch of christianity that twisted the bible to fit in with my lifestyle. Logically that made no sense at all. Once logic kicks in…

    Yes, I’d much rather laws be totally gay friendly rather than Gay Rights Light, but given a choice of that or no rights at all, I have to choose the compromise.

  47. Well I’m a little behind on listening to the shows but I just had to comment on this one. I was just listening to this at work and I was so angry I literally started shaking and had to have all my coworkers listen to the hatred this woman spews (so PS I got 3 straight chicks to listen to you guys!).

    I agree with all the other listeners in that it is good to put this woman on your show and let her speak her views, rather than attacking her and disrespecting her. She did come across as someone that truly wants to save people but the fact that she is so grossly misinterpreting the Bible, and using her religion to spread a message of hate just fills me with such deep fury, I hardly have the words. This show is a little personal for me because my entire family is Jehovah’s Witnesses and although they definitely don’t picket people and they generally don’t harrass me about being different, a lot of their messages are the same.

    I will never forget after my cousin died of AIDS, all my mom said was, “Well you know he was a sinner and did bad things.” It’s just this ignorance and willingness to interpret God in whatever hateful way you want that has caused great tragedies in the world. And it pisses me off that they use this idea of hell to scare everyone into living a “pure” lifestyle and Fausto, come on, you know one of them kids is going to turn out gay or be into drugs or be a whore or something.

    No one is perfect and didn’t God create us as imperfect creatures? And FYI to you Ms Phelps, the word “hell” that you keep using is FIGURATIVE!!!! In the Old Testament, they refer to “gehena” as the place were wicked souls go.

    The literal translation of “gehena” is Valley of Himnon which was where trash and dead animals were burned. It’s a metaphor!!!! Ugh well leave to the kick-ass hosts of FOF to bring us such a challenging, thought-provoking interview. The only thing I wished was that Fausto yelled “JESUS WAS FUCKING GAY!”. That would’ve made my day.

    I love you guys and please keep up the great work.

  48. Oscar T says:

    I completly loved this show because it showed the other side. not the gay loving straight people but the ones that believe that we should all die. i loved seeing the other side of the argument. it definetly made me see why they are soooo messed up.

    I loved this show and i think you guys should interview more conservative right wingers.

  49. There are plenty of places in this world where religious fundamentalists get the spotlight of the media. We’re here for the exploration of people who’ve lived extraordinary and unusual lives.

    Shirley Phelps is a good guest because she defies the idea of what a religious fundamentalist is. Her church seems bizarrely against the entire world and yet in some odd way, like Josh Kilmer Purcell says, she becomes an accidental champion of gay rights.

  50. Charity says:

    I only began listening to FOF about a year ago, so I had missed this. I heard you mention it when you read out a listener’s review from iTunes, in which he said you had interviewed Shirley Phelps and I just had to hear it.

    Aside from all the religious / spiritual / ethical debate, I just want to say that I’m really impressed with you for interviewing her the way you did, and for interviewing her AT ALL. Had I been in your shoes (i.e. prolific LGBT activists) I would have been fearful that she would have just constantly attacked me. As it was, that wasn’t the case and she even spoke to you decently MOST of the time. Which shows that perhaps it is not her who is hateful, but the God she thinks exists. If anything, she is loving in her efforts to save us from the fate she thinks exists for us. It’s bizarre to me that her God has so much less love in his heart for us than she does. If humans are made in God’s image, then God would be a loving and forgiving being, as the vast majority of humans are.

    Anyway, so I think you are brave for interviewing her. And also, the way you interviewed her was really intelligent and effective. I watched a YouTube video someone posted in the thread, where she was interviewed on FOX news and the whole thing just disintegrated into a slanging match where you didn’t hear what either person had to say! What’s the point of that? You let her speak, which made for an entertaining and interesting show. It would have been so easy to get riled up.

    I definitely learned alot about how to interview someone with whom you are at odds with from this show, which may come in handy in my own life, so thank you guys.

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