His Own Personal Jesus

Thought you knew all there was to know, or at least all you cared to know, about Fred Phelps? You know, the guy behind the infamous www.godhatesfags.com? The guy who protested at Matthew Sheppard’s funeral, and who recently started picketing the funerals of soldiers who died in Iraq? Yeah, that Fred Phelps.

Well here’s something you didn’t know about Phelps and his Westboro Baptist Church, which is mostly made up of his extended family. They are not, or at least don’t consider themselves, christian, but another religion altogether.  

In fact, it appears that Westboro has created not just an incredibly vulgar and non-Christlike approach to homosexuality, but that it’s working on a new religion altogether, complete with new scriptures.

Members of WBC generally avoid the name "Christian" when referring to themselves, preferring the mysterious term "Tachmonite." This apparently refers to a servant of King David’s, but I’m not sure of the derivation or the intention.

The Tachmonites believe Phelps is "the last prophet," with the power to determine who will be damned and who will be saved. They themselves, as followers of Phelps, also have the power to condemn souls to hell. Most people are destined for hell, but "Good Samaritans" who help the Tachmonites (for example, police officers who prevent counter-protesters from assaulting them) may be offered an indeterminate "reward" for their good conduct. Apparently "sola fide" is not part of the Tachmonites’ creed.

The new scriptures consist of the group’s own writings, which are divided into two categories: "delectable epics" and "letters to heretics."

The "delectable epics" (the term is the group’s) are based loosely on Acts in the New Testament. The epics detail the Tachmonites’ various protests against gays, President Bush, Elton John concerts, and the military and portray the Tachmonites alternately as invincible "super heroes" and defenseless victims of brutal rage. Some of the epics are in prose, and some in poetry.

"Letters to heretics" are meant to emulate St. Paul’s letters to the Corinthians. They are responses to people who have allegedly written to the web site, although these people are never identified by name, but rather by childish nicknames like "Mr. Goofy Pants" and "Suzy Vulgar." There are also "letters to heretics" addressed to politicians and celebrities like Goldie Hawn and Sam Waterston.

Some of the flavor of the writings can be found in this Wikipedia article:

The writings of the nutbags…er…Tachmonites are a wonder to behold. I cannot do them justice by merely describing them, they must simply be read.  As difficult as it is to believe, these folks have actually managed to find a realm beyond wingnut. I always knew they were crazy, but geez.

Via Dappled Things

About Terrance

Black. Gay. Father. Buddhist. Vegetarian. Liberal.
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3 Responses to His Own Personal Jesus

  1. Ron says:

    I was very interested in noting this week and last that some of the rightwingnut Christians are worrying that Phelps is a “gay plant” to make them (the Christians) “look bad,” etc. I actually think this is a wonderful development, a useful irony. Perhaps, at that rate, Phelps will be helpful in throwing into sharp relief how truly wrong these bigoted, right-wing Christians truly are. Just a thought, partly unformed.

  2. Beverly Jones says:

    To the matter of the tahmonites, they also in their pea-sized brains consider our country evil. Question I have is, if they so hate our country and America then why are they here? Why not pack up and go find some other place to infest. I think maybe the deep recesses of Antartica would be a wonderful spot for them to go. Considering in my opinion Hell is too good a place for this group of parasites.
    Also as far as them desacrating the symbol of freedom (The American Flag), they have no right to justify that in the least. They enjoy freedom is that not so? Then if they so enjoy it then why take that very symbol of freedom and show no respect or feeling for it. Freedom has been fought for, and so many have lost their lives for it. So many have died for the meaning behind that precious flag and will continue to do so.
    In retrospect of this I close this letter with one final thought, Americans should stand tall and proud, these self-righteous individuals are nothing more than terrorists and should be eradicated to say the least.

  3. Richard says:

    The followers of Fred Phelps are right not to call themselves Christians since they haven’t the slightest idea what the Christian gospel is all about.   They embarrass only themselves by their foolish and hurtful antics.

    In any case, I will state this:  I coudn’t find a hand-basket, so I’m going to Hell in my Oldsmobile.

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