The utterly beneath-contempt Phelps family -who have logged more than their undeserved “15 minutes” from their inconceivable logarithms of hatred - seem to have gotten their comeuppance at last. And yet, with the $10.9 million punitive judgment against them, the appeals and countersuits will, no doubt, buy them a few more years in the spotlight. Or maybe that light is the glow of roaring hellfire – I wouldn’t know, because unlike the “Reverend” Fred or his daughter Shirley, I’m not acquainted with Satan, nor do I buy even understand the concept of shame over natural human sexuality. I can’t imagine how awful and self-loathing their lives must be – to spend your every waking day and night exacerbating the oppression of others.
In simpler times, this curious family, who call themselves the Westboro Baptist Church, chose to be offensive directly to grieving families at funerals of Gay men who’d died of AIDS. Theorizing that the disease was an act of God, this latter day Manson family would target the survivors of the afflicted. Then, they broke new ground by publicly supporting the monsters who brutally beat Matthew Shepherd then left him to bleed out – tied to a fence.
If ever there was a poster family for the potential danger of rampant heterosexuality, it would be the Phelpses, who now number about 80! Eighty hateful bigots!
Moving on to the present day, and in the looniest extrapolation of their ideology – they have spent the last five years protesting the funerals of fallen soldiers, maintaining that the soldiers fell defending a United States that is damned by its support of homosexuality – did you get that? - the US as great supporter of homosexuality? This, during the Bush era, when as of last year, by internal DHHS order (not act of Congress), it became illegal for a healthy Gay man to publicly donate blood or sperm in the United States?
Now the appeal to the judgment against this evil coven (don’t write – the word is meant to offend the church, not you lovely Wiccans) is being appealed by the ACLU. And I applaud the position of the ACLU even here. Because the freaks from Kansas make themselves and their position more repugnant every time they appear. So let them keep it up. And let them try to pay the judgment (the appeal is over flag desecration, not money). But in a sumptuous bit of irony,the ACLU’s attorney representing the Phelps clan is one Bassel El-Kasaby. Imagine Shirley Phelps-Roper’s panic at having to be in the same room as her attorney.
Truman Capote, the Kansas expert who would’ve seen the wit in all this evil gone awry – is interred in L.A.’s toniest resting place. No Phelps will end up in the Westwood Memorial Park. I figure they have reservations on rotisserie spits in Hell (because they believe in it).
Michael Fox is a writer based in Los Angeles.