I’m not an overly huge fan of Russell Brand, so I must say I was pleasantly surprised by this fairly well-handled interview with Steve Drain and Timothy Phelps of the Westboro Baptist Church:
Despite the fact that Brand’s first move was to prevent his audience from booing the two men on sight, the WBC guys came out swinging:
Brand:… I’m English, of course, so being a “fag pimp” just means “Cigarette?”… But in the world of vitriolic hate-speak, fag means…?
Phelps: It means that you’re an advocate for sin, is what it means, and a very loud one at that.
Brand: [To audience] Thank you, and I appreciate your vocal respect, but these people are here to explain something to me and it does take courage and bravery to come in front of a room full of people you think, almost certainly, aren’t going to agree with you so let’s hear what they’ve got to say because I’m actually very interested. “Fag Pimp Brand.” Okay, we’re keeping this.
Drain: You make your living making a mockery of sin.
Phelps: In fact, since you promote sin, you hate all these kind people in your heart.
Brand: Aw! I don’t, I love them!
Phelps: That’s why he applauds your sin. Because he hates you all.
Brand: I don’t applaud any sins what’s hurting people or yourselves.
Phelps: You encourage them, and then they burn in hell for eternity, and that’s not very loving.
Drain: When the lord Jesus Christ said to love your neighbor as yourself, you love your neighbor as yourself by warning them when their sin is taking them to hell. And as a matter of fact, if you fail to warn your neighbor, you hate your neighbor in your heart. So, by a Bible standard, we love you all. And I know that you can’t believe that from your goofy Hallmark-standard, but from a Bible standard, we love you. And he [Brand] doesn’t.
Phelps: From a Bible standard, he [Brand] hates you.
Drain: We’re not talking about a base human passion like you and I might feel… it’s simply God’s fixed determination to punish the wicked in Hell for their sins. Because he can. Because he’s God. Because he’s sovereign.
Brand: “Because he can.” That’s very good. Okay… so it’s simply God condemning what is objectively and indefatigably wrong. That’s what it is.
Phelps: Well put. Other than the accent, very well put.
Drain: And we just preach the Bible. We’re not making this stuff up.
Brand: That’s their catch phrase. I like it. “Westboro Baptist Church: We’re Not Making This Stuff Up!” [Holds up sign] This is to also be found in Corinthians!
Brand: You’re good on the scripture and verse, but I’ve got to say this to you: Have you considered that the Bible, like all religious doctrine, may be allegorical and symbolic to direct us towards one holy entity of love as opposed to a specific… text to direct the behavior of human beings. The Bible wasn’t specifically written by a cosmic entity! It was written by people!
Drain: It was written by the Holy Spirit!
Brand: The Holy Spirit ain’t got a pen!
Some takeaways from this interview:
Members of the WBC have little-to-no sense of humor.