Fred Waldron Phelps Sr. is the head of the Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kansas, which is infamous for the controversial picketing of military funerals to warn of the consequences of a sinful society. He is at the center of a cultural paradigm shift as America grows increasingly progressive with matters of sexuality. He arrives two hours late, with a cowboy hat and enormous wraparound sunglasses. It is dark in the room, but he does not remove the glasses.
PI: Thank you for joining us, Mr. Phelps. We understand that you rarely agree to interviews and we appreciate that you have made an exception for our esteemed publication. To begin, I must know how you came to the realization that you were being called to Church.Despite repeated attempts to reach Fred Phelps for additional comments we received no response. Popular Irony does not endorse the views of Fred Phelps or the Westboro Baptist Church, although we do find them to be hilarious.
FP: Well, this may surprise you, but I wasn't always drawn to the lord. My first love was for art, and at twenty years old I had my dream job of illustrating childrens books for the Louisiana branch of the Ku Klux Klan. It was mostly fun stories that ended with forcible sodomy perpetrated by various minorities. But the Klan don't pay well, and I had to pursue law to make ends meet.
PI: That's fascinating, Susan. Do you think your views on homosexuality were at all molded by your early sodomy-themed artwork?
FP: I admit that I was frequently aroused when I was... Did you just call me Susan? I'm pretty sure you called me Susan.
PI: I'm sorry? I assure you I did no such thing. Please continue.
FP: Yes, where was I... You see, when I was young there was no mention of queerdom in public. It is only natural that a developing boy become intrigued by the taboo, dabble in it, become filled with self loathing, then deny the humanity of anyone else who reminds him of his own shame.
PI: Are you saying what I think you are saying? Did you participate in homosexual activity in your youth?
FP: Heavens no, you pervert. I would never consider joining the sinners in the practice of any faggotry whatsoever! You have offended me, sir.
*Mr. Phelps rises to leave, but after an offering of ribbon candy is convinced to continue*
PI: My apologies for the unpleasantness, Mr. Phelps. You were explaining how your delicious body came to such a passionate position on homosexuality.
FP: After much experimentation I decided that anal sex was not only icky, but also terribly dangerous. I was recovering from a self-inflicted perforated colon when I nearly went septic. There were a few scary nights in the hospital before I turned over my body to the church. It turns out that clergymen have an amazing familiarity with my type of injury, and they were able to nurse me back to health. In repayment I turned my life over to God.
PI: I would be negligent as an interviewer if I didn't point out that a self-inflicted colon injury sounds like homosexual experimentation. Susan, how do you reconcile your aggressive rhetoric about gay culture when you participated in it?
FP: You called me Susan again. You keep trying to portray my youthful indiscretions as queer play, and I will have none of it! Everywhere I look I see the sin of gays! God has cursed me with a total fixation on all things gay, particularly images of aroused male genitailia, in the hopes that I could spread the message of the lord! Heed my words, sinner, lest you be condemed to eternal damnation!
PI: You know, I had friend once that was fixated on all things gay. It turns out he just likes the taste of wieners. I could introduce you two, you know...
FP: You bait me to come here on false pretenses, just so you can do the devil's work? I will suffer no indignity to a wretch such as yourself! You will burn in Hell amongst the mass of queers, all nude and sweating! A throbbing cluster of male ecstacy interwoven, man into man, endlessly fornicating in a commitment-free orgy of anonymous lust! You will drink deep of the male essence, and you will stink of a hard-earned perfume of mixed human excretions!
PI: Wow. That is the gayest thing I have ever heard, and I have attended the Tony Awards twice.
*Pastor Phelps gets up with much assistance from his muscular Italian companion and quickly exited, unashamed of his sizable erection.*