I've just finished watching an hour-long BBC documentary - in six segments on YouTube, here's the link to part 1 - about the Westboro Baptist Church. This is the small religious community in Kansas headed by Fred Phelps and made up mostly of his family.
I tell you, I've never see a horror movie that scared me more. Just the idea that there are people out there (over 70 of them!) who honestly believe what they believe is terrifying. It completely astounds me that someone can say, in all seriousness, that the sky-god made 9-11 happen because America tolerates homosexuality. They say they rejoice whenever anything bad happens to anyone because it's sky-god's work in action, wreaking his judgment. The younger generation doesn't even consider the option of marriage and children. What's the use, they say...the end-time is coming very soon and all of "this" will be destroyed. They firmly believe that the 70 of them there in Topeka, Kansas are the only people in the world who are going to heaven because everyone else loves gays and worships the dead so we're all going to burn in hell for all eternity. And they say it while laughing at you.
But the thing that has brought all the attention on them, that has made them "the most hated family in America," is the fact that they picket outside the funerals of fallen soldiers, waving flags and singing songs about how "god hates fags" and "America is doomed."
I just can't get my head around the fact that people can really, honestly believe that stuff. It's almost as impossible for me to conceive of as a sky-god is...the only difference being that I have the evidence of the Phelps family right in front of my eyes. Truth really is stranger than fiction.
There were scenes in the documentary showing people passing by in cars, giving them the finger, screaming obscenities at them, and you could just feel how strong their anger was against these monsters who are being so disrespectful of the dead and their families. I kept wondering what I would do if I drove by one of those picket lines. I wish I could think of something so scathing, so undeniably true, so cutting, that they would pack up their evil signs and go home and drink poisoned Kool-aid in remorse.
I wish I could fix it so these hateful, deluded psychotics would have just a moment's awareness after they die to see that there's nothing there. Nothing. Just blankness. No glory, no sky-god waiting with open arms to lead them through the pearly gates. No eternal comfort in the knowledge that everyone else down there on earth was burning in hell. Wouldn't it be the perfect punishment? Even going to hell, for them, would be preferable to that, because they'd figure the sky-god had some reason for it, they must have done something to deserve it. To find out that even hell doesn't exist would be the worst punishment imaginable.
Oh, I wish I could make that happen.