Friday, February 24, 2006

Fred Phelps: A Major-League Dickweed

Let’s not mince words: Fred Phelps is America’s most pathetic negative-attention media whore. There is nothing he and his brood of lumpy, functionally-retarded Kansans will not do to get on television. Now they’ve taken to picketing the funerals of dead soldiers to garner airtime for their rarified brand of Jesus freakery. According to their wacky cultist “logic”, our soldiers are dying in Iraq because God is angry with us. And why is God angry with us? Naturally, it’s because we’ve got too many gay people and because we fail to persecute them with the appropriate Pentecostal fervor. It makes perfect sense if you’ve got a gummy mass of badger shit for brains.

Of course, the Reverend Phelps occupies a space on the fringe of the fringiest fringe of the gay-demonizing scene. I doubt he has a single follower who isn’t a) related to him; b) severely emotionally-unstable; or c) both. They’re a total joke–if wearing bras on their heads and doing the mambo would get decent people screaming at them and news-crews interviewing them, they’d do that and screech all the while about how wee-baby-Jesus-in-the-manger inspired them to. It’s terrible that they’ve tried to ruin people’s funerals, but–let’s face it–they’re just a bunch of dumb hicks with an exotic, loathesome hobby. They’re a distraction. The real enemies of gay rights are the haters who at least pretend to be sane and the politicians willing to scapegoat and pander so that they can cadge votes from gullible people.

I’ve seen the Phelps crew in action before–in Greenwich Village, around the anniversary of the Stonewall Riots–and it was illuminating. They waddled around, waving their “GOD HATES FAGS” signs as a big crowd of people–gay and straight, of all races and ages–pointed at them and made mean wisecracks about how unattractive they were. At one point, a four-hundred pound woman starting dancing as she sang a hymn and we all busted out laughing. There was no hatred on our side and very little anger. What there was in abundance was curiosity, cutting wit, and cheap shot after cheap shot. Clearly, the Reverend Freddy would not get his sordid needs met this way. To satisfy his raging Christ-complex, he needed to up the ante. He must have figured he pissed a lot of people off with his Matthew Shepard funeral antics and–voila!–a scheme is born.

Once picking on dead homosexuals lost its novelty and newsworthiness, he had to find a more novel way to disgrace our species. I shudder to think of the frantic prayer sessions and speaking-in-tongues eruptions that must have preceded his decision to start bothering a new batch of grieving families. “Dear blessed JESUS!” I can see him twanging out, sweat spilling down his goofy troglodyte face, “Give me a SIGN! Shall I bring my OBNOXIOUS CLOWN BRIGADE to heap FURTHER MISERY upon the people who ACTUALLY CONTRIBUTE TO SOCIETY? Will it get me A NEWSPAPER HEADLINE, darling JESUS? That’s all I need to bring your KINGDOM down to EARTH, just my PICTURE in ONE MORE PAPER, my dear JESUS! AMEN!”

People like that–crazies, cretins and hucksters–have always been with us and, unfortunately, they won’t be going away anytime soon.