Of all the marvellous things the internet’s given us – and this site about the town of Haywards Heath is a personal favourite – I’m sure you’ll agree that there aren’t nearly enough painful and undignified shouting matches. Women in particular find these highly impressive, as you may know, but aren’t such keen participants, so I’m grateful to st-rev for alerting me to this interview between Fox News presenter Julie Banderas and Shirley Phelps-Roper of the Westboro Baptist Church.
The church – whose response to the July 7 bombings was to say “Oh I am so thankful that happened. My only regret is that they didn’t kill about million of them. England deserves that kind of punishment, as does this country” – published a flyer in October last year saying “Praise the Lord for 2,010 Dead Soldiers in Iraq”, and “We humbly pray to God to please kill many more”. In addition to releasing statements like these – containing a split infinitve, I note – they’ve since been picketing the funerals of soldiers killed in Iraq, and it’s fair to say that this has offended Fox News’s robust sense of patriotism.
Highlights of the clip include Phelps-Roper’s unusual choice of hairstyle, apparently modelled on an early Brian Eno look, and the following exchange:
Banderas: You are the devil. If you believe in the Bible, miss, you’re going to hell
Phelps-Roper: They’re being cut off by the same raging mad God that’s cuttin’ off the children of America…This nation is full of idolatry, full of adultery, sodomy, fornication
Banderas: Full of insane people like yourself, ma’am.
Phelps-Roper: You’re proud! You’re proud of your sins! You can’t do enough sinning!”
Banderas: Ok, ok. You are an abomination…If America’s doomed then why don’t you get out?
Other statements by the Church include “Mohammed was a demon-possessed whoremonger and pedophile who contrived a 300-page work of Satanic fiction”, and “Catholics are the meanest, most violent people on Earth, and their churches are filled with filthy fag priests”. An article about them in Front Page Magazine earlier this year was titled “The ‘God Hates Fags’ Left“. I don’t think so, do you?