Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Review- The Phelps Family Documentary

The Phelps Family- BBC Documentary (50 min)

Rating: 4 out of 5

This is an interesting, and intimate look at the Phelps family and how they tick. In case you didn't know, the Phelps family is the primary constituents of the Westboro Baptist Church, who are most famous for traveling around the country and preaching (protesting) at dead soldiers' funerals. They hold up signs like, "God Hates America," "Thank God for IEDs," "Thank God for Dead Soldiers," and the famous, "God Hates Fags." These people are bizarre in the extreme, and there are few groups to whom the label of 'Cult' fits better than them.

There were a few things that I found interesting about this documentary. I found it strange how much delight they took, even the younger kids, in relaying the messages of hate. They truly believe that God hates us for our wicked ways, and since he is by definition all-knowing and all-good and the source for morality (according to most Christians), then why shouldn't they rejoice in this message? If God is the pinnacle of morality, should we not be gleeful in His vengeance? For as much as most Christians hate the message these people put out there, it's hard to argue with their dogma. They seem to be well backed by the Bible on their rants. God does seem to hate gays, as he condemns them in both the old and New Testament. He also had no problem wiping out entire nations for little more than worshiping the wrong god. What then must He think of America, where our very right to worship as many or as few gods as we want is protected by the very charter of our nation? The Phelps clan may be on to something....

I was saddened to see the toll that this nonsense was taking on the kids who were being indoctrinated into this nonsense. They are truly the innocent victims here. They are having their brains so thoroughly warped by the adults around them that they may never lead a normal life. They have condemned themselves to a life where the whole world despises them, they have no friends outside the family, and they have such hatred cultivated into their psyches. That may be fine for the adults to choose, it is their right. However, they are dragging their poor children into this lifestyle. I think this can be called nothing other than a form of child abuse. These kids will never know most of the joys of childhood that the rest of us remember: going over to friends' houses, sleep-overs, dating, and just living a care-free childhood apart from regular street-corner protests and getting spit on.

I also found it interesting that so many of the members of the family were quite intelligent. Many of the women supported the family by practicing law as attorneys. This surprised me that not only were they able to use their brains, but that there were people willing to pay them for their services in a competitive market. It always amazes me that there are intelligent people who will believe such strange things when it comes to religion. You can take a very intelligent person in almost all respects, and if you indoctrinate them to believe that your religion is right, and they have to take it on 'faith' without any evidence to back it up, you can make them believe almost anything. And why not? Is not every other religion equally strange when you boil it right down? If you were handed any holy book and were told to read it at face value only and make the determination of whether it was fact or fiction, any rational person would have to determine that there is no more reason to believe the book is fact any more than we believe Harry Potter is fact. All of the stories in them are so absurd and contradict themselves, history and science so frequently, that one has to have the preconceived notion that it is the word of God in order to take any of it seriously. Once you believe that, than you can discount anything that contradicts that belief as a poor translation, faulty science, human error, or satanic deception.

Finally, I found this program well worth the time as it was a very interesting look inside a twisted and hateful cult. I think most believers and nonbelievers alike could find value in watching it as well.

About the Holy Bible - Robert G. Ingersoll's - Read by Rhonda9 (19 min)

The Gods - Robert G Ingersoll- Read by Nick Gisburne (102 min)

Nick Gisburne Videos (Many)