“Who am I to judge?” replied the wildly popular new Pope Francis when queried recently about homosexuality. I believe that’s exactly what his associates say about kid fucking. Yet it’s the Westboro Baptist Church that is universally, unanimously reviled in this country. The Right Reverend Fred Phelps couldn’t have been a more unifying figure if he had been the love child of Snooki and Hitler. It seems fewer Americans agree about the necessity of pooping than about hating him and his followers.
On the other hand, by letting slip an f-bomb and intimating some vaguely progressive views, Pope Francis managed to tamp down all the media attention garnered in recent years by his associates’ complicity in pederasty. Seems nobody thought to ask why such a swell padrino stayed with an employer so mired in horror. Instead, they gave him the covers of Rolling Stone and Time. As far as anybody knows, Fred Phelps never raped anyone, never involved himself with an organization that enables child rape and never subordinated himself to so-called leaders responsible for covering rape up. Where’s his favorable coverage on MSNBC?
You’ll recall that the Westboroans are infamous for picketing fallen soldiers’ funerals with banners reading “God Hates Fags”, “Fags Doom Nations”, etc., out of their conviction that battlefield casualties represent God’s judgement of America as a debauched, latter-day Sodom. Well, isn’t it? It sure doesn’t take a believer, much less a Westboro Baptist, to see that America is indeed a gangrenous civilization awash in usury, graft and poor sexual hygiene (well, poor hygiene, period). Of course, picketing funerals of fallen soldiers is kind of bizarre, but compared to the perversity all around them the Westboroans’ behavior barely merits a mention.
As far as entertainment goes, though, their antics are first-rate. Think about it: a funeral where the guest of honor did the Monster Mash, or was beamed up by a flying saucer, couldn’t be much farther-out than one that got picketed by the Westboro Baptist Church. They’re more than a hate group—they’re a DIY agitprop street performance troupe with senile dementia, and a good deal less of that than much of the wider society.