It’s quite possible there’s no organization – religious or secular – more controversial in America right now than the Topeka, Kansas-based Westboro Baptist Church. The group is perhaps known for their protests at the funerals of U.S. soldiers, the deaths of whom they consider punishment by God for America’s sinfulness, but they attracted new levels of scorn in December when they pledged to protest the funerals of the children that died in the Sandy Hook massacre for the same reason.
But drowned out in all that controversy is a recent and surprising defection from the church, the Rev. Fred Phelps’ own granddaughter Megan. Megan and her sister Grace officially severed all ties with WBC and their Topeka-based congregation last November after Megan, admittedly, began having doubts over the beliefs and dogma expressed by the church and her grandfather.
Megan has largely been quiet since parting ways with her old life. This is unusual because Megan was very much a force in the WBC, spearheading its social media outreach and often acting as a spokesperson for the church. Many even thought that she might even be a leader in the church someday. But her surprising departure is not so surprising once you hear her reasons why. In fact, an article found here by Jeff Chu, author of Does Jesus Really Love Me?: A Gay Christian’s Pilgrimage in Search of God in America, spells them out pretty good. The reason this comes to the attention of Nerd Bastards today is this quote here:
“There’s no fresh start in today’s world. Any twelve-year-old with a cell phone could find out what you did. Everything we do is collated and quantified. Everything sticks.”
The line was said by Selina Kyle (Anne Hathaway) in The Dark Knight Rises, her justification for continuing to make a career as a thief rather than try to get out of the business. Megan opens a blog post quoting the line in an online comment posted today. In it, Megan talks about her and her sister’s difficulty in making a clean break from the only life they’ve ever known, and their anticipation looking forward at the unknowable road ahead.
“Up until now, our names have been synonymous with ‘God Hates Fags,'” she writes. “Any twelve-year-old with a cell phone could find out what we did. We hope Ms. Kyle was right about the other part, too, though – that everything sticks – and that the changes we make in our lives will speak for themselves.”
I wish I had a “Clean Slate” to give Megan, but I think she’s going to turn out fine. In the meantime, this is the latest round of bad news for WBC, which recently had to cancel their planned “Obama is Antichrist” Inauguration protest and has suffered repeated cyber attacks by Anonymous. I’m sure Westboro and Phelps have a conspiracy theory about all this, but maybe God just hates them.
As you might have heard Kevin Smith is distributing his latest film, Red State, himself and to do so he needs 2.5 million dollars. To earn the needed dough Smith is touring the country, film in tow, before the official release date of October 19th. The tour includes a screening of the film and a Q&A with the Smith. If you’ve ever seen Smith live before you’ll be familiar with the Q&A section(hint, it’s hilarious, vulgar and extremely long-winded).
How is the Westboro Baptist Church, most recently in the news for winning the Supreme Court case protecting their protests of fallen soldiers funerals under the right of free speech, involved in all this? Well, you might not be aware of the plot for Red State,
Set in Middle America, a group of teens receive an online invitation for sex, though they soon encounter fundamentalists with a much more sinister agenda. (via IMDB)
Those fundamentalist are every so slightly, no, more like blatantly modeled after the Westboro Baptist Church. Being the super cool dude Kevin Smith is he invited Westboro’s most famous family, the Phelps, to a screening of Red State. The whole event was billed like this,
For one night only! SEE the fun-filled-freak-show of a real-life Phelps Family protest as you enter! SEE Red State WITH actual members of those religious rock stars, The Family Phelps!
Hear Megan Phelps’ review of the movie afterwards! And lay eyes on not just one, but TWO hottie haters – as cousin, Jael joins in! The Phelps Family Bible Bunnies will be in full effect, trying to convert, and I’ll be in full effect, trying to pervert. Let the fire-and-brimstonerific laugh riot begin! Remember: if they’re on my stage, that’s one less bereaved family they’re harassing for a few hours.
But even better? This is gonna be like watching STAR WARS with Darth Vader right there in the audience! Expect epic crowd interaction of SOLELY the hand-clapping/cheering variety!
I really have no idea why the Phelps family thought this would be a good idea but I guess they didn’t want to back away from a challenge. But, they may have also never seen a Kevin Smith film before because while I haven’t seen Red State yet I can safely assume it includes Smith’s penchant for vulgarity in it’s witty exchanges. Something the Phelps might not find easy to stomach.
Turns out they didn’t like it (surprise!) and left the screening after the first 20 minutes. Meaning we were denied what I’m sure would have been a glowing review from Megan Phelps (snicker). During the Q&A section it was revealed that not all members of Phelp’s family had left, still in attendance were Josh and Libby Phelps, two members who have left the Westboro Baptist Church. They were invited on stage, received a standing ovation and went on to discuss how frighteningly accurate was Red State‘s depiction of the fundamentalist organization. Spooky.
Red State is promoted as a horror movie I just don’t think anyone is prepared for how scary it might be. To see if the Red State tour is coming to a city near you, or to request a screening in your town visit www.coopersdell.com. To be updated on the tour’s progress keep checking in at www.theredstatements.com. And finally, if you’re not already following Kevin Smith on Twitter do so, @ThatKevinSmith, to see what new battles he and Megan Phelps will get into after this tussle. Their twitter relationship is fiery and as Smith states,
Over the last year, Megan and I have been carrying on a rather one-sided, torrid little Tw’affair. There were Moonlighting-like levels of sexual tension and lots of speculation about “Will They/Won’t They?”
Who doesn’t want to follow that!?
source: The Daily Blam