Louis Theroux: America’s Most Hated Family In Crisis

3 04 2011

America’s Most Hated Family In Crisis is a follow-up to his acclaimed 2007 documentary The Most Hated Family In America, and sees Theroux return to Topeka, Kansas for a second visit to the Westboro Baptist Church.

A fire-and-brimstone Christian group, made up of 80 members of the Phelps family, has garnered worldwide notoriety thanks to their funeral picketing of soldiers killed in action.

Believing they were killed as God’s punishment for America’s toleration of homosexuality, the family wield anti-gay placards while singing their own disturbing lyrics to Lady Gaga tunes.

In the four years since Theroux’s first documentary, a series of defections of family members has shaken up the church. They’ve also been at the centre of a landmark supreme court case (the court ruled that vicious anti-gay rhetoric was constitutionally protected) and their beliefs have become increasingly bizarre.

For Theroux the story has moved on, which is partly why he wanted to return. That and the fact he admits he’s “fascinated” by the Phelps family.

“It sounds really odd to say this but there are aspects of them that are quite nice, given how hateful they and the pickets are,” he says, adding he found his attitude towards them “modulated”.

“When you’re on the pickets you find yourself shocked and sometimes upset by what they’re doing, and then at other times you see them as normal people. The challenge is to try and manage your reaction,” he explains.

“I mean we’re human beings, they’re human beings, in some way you have to guard against demonising them too much, and against becoming desensitised by being around them.”

The documentary is being broadcast tonight at 9pm on BBC2 – make sure you tune in.





Just another little reminder…

21 04 2010

A little bit of a change from the norm today; I wanted to give some publicity to a man by the name of Nate Phelps.

Nate is the son of Pastor Fred Phelps of the Westboro Baptist Church; some of you might be familiar with their message and the work that they do, some of you might not.

For those of you who don’t know about the WBC here is a quick taster if you will of some of their activities:

This is taken from the BBC documentary ” The Most Hated Family in America” by Louis Theroux.

The WBC openly publicise their hateful views and are often found picketing across the US, a particular target being the funerals of soldiers, which no matter your view on war most people would deem to be a distasteful act.

However what a lot of people aren’t aware of is the abuse that has been meted out on the family of Fred Phelps as a result of his heinous beliefs.

Nate Phelps put up with terrible physical and emotional abuse until the age of 18 when he left the family and made his own life, you can read Nate’s blog here.

For me one of the most shocking things about Nate’s story and the Westboro Baptist Church is that Fred Phelps is still to this day walking around as a free man,  despite terrible acts of abuse.

Hailing as I do from a country that has for years been embroiled in acts of abuse by people in positions of religious authority I feel very strongly on the subject and would call on all right thinking people to join me in supporting people like Nate Phelps who are making a stand and bringing subjects such as these kicking and screaming into the light of day.

As such I would like to draw your attention to the forthcoming event:

Nate is the estranged son of “God Hates Fags” Pastor Fred Phelps, and he is now returning to his hometown, which he hasn’t been to in many years. Nate will tell his story of growing up in the family that founded the infamous Westboro Baptist Church, which he left at midnight on his 18th birthday.

The Richard Dawkins Foundation will be filming the event as part of an upcoming documentary about Nate’s story of religious abuse, how he survived, and his mission to fix the laws that protect the perpetrators.

The event is FREE TO THE PUBLIC, so we encourage everyone in the area to attend if possible. This is also the first time one of the Phelps children has spoken out publicly against the church in their hometown.

The advertisement can be found in it’s original form on http://richarddawkins.net/articles/5332





A not so subtle reminder

9 04 2010

Nate is the estranged son of “God Hates Fags” Pastor Fred Phelps, and he is now returning to his hometown, which he hasn’t been to in many years. Nate will tell his story of growing up in the family that founded the infamous Westboro Baptist Church, which he left at midnight on his 18th birthday.

The Richard Dawkins Foundation will be filming the event as part of an upcoming documentary about Nate’s story of religious abuse, how he survived, and his mission to fix the laws that protect the perpetrators.

The event is FREE TO THE PUBLIC, so we encourage everyone in the area to attend if possible. This is also the first time one of the Phelps children has spoken out publicly against the church in their hometown.

The advertisement can be found in it’s original form on http://richarddawkins.net/articles/5332





Nate Phelps Returns to Topeka

31 03 2010

A little bit of a change from the norm today; I wanted to give some publicity to a man by the name of Nate Phelps.

Nate is the son of Pastor Fred Phelps of the Westboro Baptist Church; some of you might be familiar with their message and the work that they do, some of you might not.

For those of you who don’t know about the WBC here is a quick taster if you will of some of their activities:

This is taken from the BBC documentary ” The Most Hated Family in America” by Louis Theroux.

The WBC openly publicise their hateful views and are often found picketing across the US, a particular target being the funerals of soldiers, which no matter your view on war most people would deem to be a distasteful act.

However what a lot of people aren’t aware of is the abuse that has been meted out on the family of Fred Phelps as a result of his heinous beliefs.

Nate Phelps put up with terrible physical and emotional abuse until the age of 18 when he left the family and made his own life, you can read Nate’s blog here.

For me one of the most shocking things about Nate’s story and the Westboro Baptist Church is that Fred Phelps is still to this day walking around as a free man,  despite terrible acts of abuse.

Hailing as I do from a country that has for years been embroiled in acts of abuse by people in positions of religious authority I feel very strongly on the subject and would call on all right thinking people to join me in supporting people like Nate Phelps who are making a stand and bringing subjects such as these kicking and screaming into the light of day.

As such I would like to draw your attention to the forthcoming event:

Nate is the estranged son of “God Hates Fags” Pastor Fred Phelps, and he is now returning to his hometown, which he hasn’t been to in many years. Nate will tell his story of growing up in the family that founded the infamous Westboro Baptist Church, which he left at midnight on his 18th birthday.

The Richard Dawkins Foundation will be filming the event as part of an upcoming documentary about Nate’s story of religious abuse, how he survived, and his mission to fix the laws that protect the perpetrators.

The event is FREE TO THE PUBLIC, so we encourage everyone in the area to attend if possible. This is also the first time one of the Phelps children has spoken out publicly against the church in their hometown.

The advertisement can be found in it’s original form on http://richarddawkins.net/articles/5332








%d bloggers like this: