OK, I know my regular readers think that I must have jumped off the deep end, but I heard an interesting interview a few nights ago on the Derek and Romaine Show (on OutQ 109 on Sirius Satellite radio) with the person behind the website, PhagsforPhelps.com, Josh Kilmer-Purcell.
The basic argument that Josh makes on his website (and in an op-ed column in Out Magazine) is the same argument that persuaded me back in 2002 to understand that even the more “loving” forms of homphobia, are still hateful. (click here to read a post I wrote back in 2006 about my conversion from gay hating to gay loving)
Here’s one bit that really lays it out very clearly…
. . . I’m not setting up the Phelps Dephense Phund because I pity Fred. I’m doing it because I respect him more than George Bush and other like-minded homophobes in sheep’s clothing.
Why? Because I would much rather have Fred Phelps be the public face of homophobia than “tolerant” homophobes like Mitt Romney, who preaches “respect for diversity” while recently insinuating that dead heterosexual parents would raise children better than live gay men and women.
I would much rather have Fred spewing undiluted hatred on CNN than listen to all of the front-running Democratic presidential candidates tap-dancing around gay marriage like Larry Craig on a layover. Unlike them, the only “middle of the road” position Fred takes is the one blocking the hearse.
I would much rather have Fred’s kooky daughter Shirley raging on Fox News than George Bush and Congress not being enraged by two decades of Phelps’s protests at AIDS victims’ funerals. (Now they decide that protesting funerals is not OK? But only those of America’s fallen military heroes—no gays allowed.)
Yes, I want Fred Phelps free to walk the streets verbally assaulting stick figures having anal sex because Fred Phelps, as crazy as he is, is an honest homophobe.
By not hiding his repugnance under a bushel, Pastor Phelps is one of America’s most effective gay activists. Middle America finally gets to see what homophobia actually looks like when it’s stripped of such polite, compromising words as tolerance, states’ rights, and activist judges. And for that we shouldbe grateful.
I believe that each time Fred Phelps gets a little airtime, a fallen AIDS hero gets his wings.
I think Josh is right. Fred Phelps shows America the ugliness of hate in its most extreme form, and the revulsion that good folks feel when they see that kind of hate, I think has the power to make folks question the less offensive forms of hate.
And unfortunately (or fortunately), Fred Phelps is doing his dead level best to keep himself and his “partridge family of hate” in the news, as he is planning to picket at Heath Legers funeral. (see Godhatesfags.com: ‘Brokeback Mountain’ star – Heath Ledger – is dead. WBC will picket his funeral. (PDF download), also see MSNBC: Baptist church plans to protest Ledger’s funeral — Actor’s role in ‘Brokeback’ calls ‘God a liar,’ radical group claims)
Keep at it Fred! You’re winning more and more converts to the cause of love and tolerance everyday. In fact, I would go so far as to say that maybe God has a hand in this (since God has a crazy sense of humor… reading parts of the Bible or seeing some of the weird looking animals at the zoo convinced me of that). It wouldn’t surprise me at all to find out that this was all part of the divine plan, to have a crazy hateful homophobe winning over people to see that gay people are a-ok.