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.
People seriously have too much time on their hands, and this dramatic tift between Smith and the Westboro Baptist Church . Seeing as the world doesn’t have too much to picket about at the moment, the Westboro Baptist Church sets their sights on Kevin Smith’s new film ‘Red State’, calling him “a God-hating clown”.
If you’ve been living under a rock, Kevin Smith’s film ‘Red State’ is centered in Middle America. The film’s plot centers around a group of teens who receive an online invitation for, but soon encounter that the invitation is a sinister plot by fanatical church members whose member kill “sinners”.
Some have said that the film bares a resemblance to the fanatical Westboro Church, and the only comment from the church’s spokesperson is, “God hates fags, God hates fag enablers, therefore God hates Kevin Smith.” Kevin Smith, in a true show of smart-ass awesomness, told TMZ, “”Well Jesus told ME he loved ‘Red State.’ He said it makes up for ‘Cop Out.’ He also said neither He nor His Heavenly Father have any affiliation with the Westboro Baptist Church.”
This isn’t the first time that this church have protested everything on this god-given earth. During this slump of controversial things to be ticked off about, the group has managed to immerse itself into public’s eye once more.
Of course, Kevin Smith uses this controversy to his advantage seeing as the film is set to release a month from now. If you want to check out Kevin Smith’s interview with TMZ on ‘Red State’, and an update on his career ventures ,click here.
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 StateWITH actualmembers 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?”
Once again the WBC (Westboro Baptist Church) is rearing it’s ugly head this time to protest Kevin Smith’s new film Red State at the Sundance Film Festival on January 23rd. Check out the full flyer (click here), but here’s a couple of excerpts:
His newest flick, “Red State,” mocks the servants of God & calls good evil, and evil good.
Smith’s punishment in Hell for his hatred will be administered by the Jesus he blasphemes daily. “…he shall be tormented with fire & brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, & in the presence of the Lamb: & the smoke of their torment ascendeth up forever & ever: & they have no rest day nor night.” (Rev 14:10-11)
Kevin’s response on Twitter (@ThatKevinSmith)
That’s one of the things I like about Kevin Smith. He promotes his stuff anyway he can. Joining the protest . . . that’s great . . . wait a darn minute . . . Kevin’s done it before! Back when Dogma was getting the protester treatment!
I wonder if anyone at the protest even knew what Kevin looked like?
Kevin talks about his decision to protest his own movie here, it’s classically Kevin Smith funny. I hope he does it again and joins the WBC protest. Get a nerdy sign made, protest his movie, and get more free publicity. That would be the “tongue in cheek” kind of humor that most people know him for.
For anyone considering counter-protesting the WBC at this or other WBC protests please keep reading.
Writer John Scalzi had some interesting points about WBC and their tactics. Scalzi linked to a rather interesting article about the why and the way the WBC does the things it does. This is definitely required reading for anyone planning a counter protest.
Lets give Kevin some ideas for the sign he should hold when protesting his own movie . . .
Most know the Pillsbury dough nerd, Kevin Smith for his classic dick and fart films; like Clerks, Mallrats, Chasing Amy, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, etc. Well, unless you’ve been keeping up with the funny fat man he’s been working on something much sinister than his normal fair. Red State, a project years in the making (turned down by every studio) is Smith’s attempt at the horror genre. ‘Red State’ is said to be something unlike anything we’ve seen from him before. A challenge to himself and to his fans to do something completely out of his comfort zone. Something original, something horrific, something political and if I may say, something interesting. From what we hear it’s about a group of kids who encounter a crazed preacher (based on Fred Phelps, founder of the Westboro Baptist Church) and gives a whole new meaning to the term “extreme fundamentalism”.
Well, Red State, after finishing a 25 day production schedule on Wednesday the 27th, had it’s first screening of the completed cut at the film’s wrap party on Saturday the 30th. Yes, Smith has delivered a finished cut of his film, complete with end credits, a mere three days after having finished filming it. Apparently Smith spent every available moment editing the film so that he could show his cast and crew an early cut. On his blog Smith said that what he showed last night was not just a rough cut, but a version that is ” fine-cut, complete with credits and some pre-mixing… 98 mins with a end credit sequence that’s not to be believed.”
When can we expect to see the film? According to slasfilm.com Smith’s goal is to submit the film to the 2011 Sundance Film Festival, which will happen this January in Park City Utah. The plan is to go in without a distributor and “from there, we’ll see the lay of the land.” Sundance’s deadline for entries was September 16th, so it’s a wonder if they will make an exception for him, but knowing his notoriety they are bound to squeeze him in.
I dunno about the rest of you, but I am fascinated with this movie. Besides the basic plot synopsis and back story on trying to find studio funding for the film I really don’t know much about it. I’m so used to his usual run-of-the-mill dick jokes mixed in with some false sense of emotion and personal growth that this type of movie from him is very curious.
Are you excited for ‘Red State’? Do you think this will be the movie that will actually define Smith’s writing and directing talent? What do you think will do for his career? Please, share you thoughts in the comment section below.
Michael Parks (Kill Bill Volume 2) plays the lead character Abin Cooper, a preacher loosely based on Fred Phelps of the Westboro Baptist Church. The film also stars Kyle Gallner, Melissa Leo, Michael Angarano, Stephen Root, John Goodman and Kevin Pollak.
We all know about the protests of the Westboro Babtist Church. So on a lighter note, the above print had been available at Comic Con with the bottom left sign (“Jesus Kills Dumbledore”) actually being blank, so it could be personalized for the buyer. Created by Joel Watson with Hijinks Ensue. Old news, yes, but still something worth mentioning since it is quite brilliant. But now I’m curious…So my question to you is: What would you have the sign say if you were to get one personalized? Discuss.
If ya’ll don’t remember, about a week ago we broke the internet with a story reporting that the douchcanoes from Westboro Baptist Church would be protesting false idol worshipping at San-Diego Comic-Con .
“Comic Con is an excuse for whores to wear skimpy get-ups,” and participants must “put away action figures and get about the business of serving your God.”-WBC website’
Mind you Westboro Baptist are the butt-hole religious wackos that protest at American soldier funerals and also have some rather un-kind things to say towards the gay community. Upon hearing that these twisted sons of bitches would be protesting, the nerd community took a call to arms and promised to fight the nay sayer noodle heads. Not with fists or hate (cause hating leads to the dark side, or so I’m told) , but with their wits. They promised to show up and show up they did. Reports are coming in that an army of 100 plus nerds have surrounded the all of 3 members of the Westboro Baptist Church who came out to protest (3? Haha, pathetic). The nerds are out and mocking the discriminating picketers by holding up signs like “Superman Died For Your Signs” and “God Loves Gay Robin”. It’s a site to behold. It’s a beautiful thing. *sniff* It is times like these that I am so proud of my nerd brethren Suffice to say nerds are sensitive peoples and you don’t fuck with them or the things they love.
[UPDATE:] Comicsalliance.com has nabbed a couple of pics and a video of the horde of nerds in action. Click on after the jump to check em out!