Phelps to Protest Toronto Summerworks Show
Released: Tuesday August 5, 2008 (Toronto)
FRED PHELPS'S NOTORIOUS WESTBORO BAPTIST CHURCH OF GODHATESFAGS.COM NOTORIETY COMING TO TORONTO THURS. AUG. 7TH TO PROTEST SUMMERWORKS SHOW "The Pastor Phelps Project"
Known for their outlandish signs, intense protests, media exposure and pickets of funerals from American soldiers to Matthew Sheppard, one of the most infamous hate groups in the world has announced they are coming to Canada.
This Thursday as posted on the godhatesfags website, Members of Fred Phelps's Westboro Baptist Church will make their way to Toronto to protest Alistair Newton's theatrical cabaret "The Pastor Phelps Project" being held at The Cameron House, 408 Queen St. W.
According to the press release they will picket the show between 7pm-8pm.
>From the WBC press release:
"The Pastor Phelps Project is a tacky bit of filthy
sodomite propaganda, with no literary merit
and zero redeeming social value, masquerading
as legitimate theater. It is of the fags, by the
fags, and for the fags - designed only to mock
the word of God and the servants of God. "He
that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh; the Lord
shall have them in derision." Psa.2:4.
God Hates Canada Land
of the Sodomites."
Also on their website they've blamed the recent Greyhound tragedy in Winnipeg on Canada's stance on queer rights and things like this theatrical production.
Scroll down to the Toronto date for their justification.
This opportunity presents a great opportunity to discuss issues of freedom of speech, hate crime legislation, and fundamentalism in today's society as it relates to homophobia.
Whether or not they are able to make it across the border is yet to be seen but the debate and discussion has finally come to Canada and this is a great time to strike up conversation with artists and community members about the evolving nature of religious fundamentalism and the prevalence of hatred.
Here's the open letter to Phelps inviting him to the production as it appears in print in Fab Magazine Issue #352 on stands Wednesday.
How do you solve a problem like Pastor Phelps?
An open invitation to Pastor Fred Phelps, c/o The Westboro Baptist Church, Topeka Kansas.
I hope this letter finds you well and you are readily able to discharge your judgment on my soul.
Since production began on my show, The Pastor Phelps Project: a fundamentalist cabaret, I’ve become aware that everyone only knows you as the crazy, hateful bigot who pickets the funerals of AIDS victims and Iraq war veterans or as the shrieking, despotic lunatic made infamous in The Laramie Project. While I’d be loath to take any of that away from you by suggesting for a second that it isn’t entirely true, most people aren’t aware of your exemplary work as a civil rights lawyer or your heroic efforts to strike down the Jim Crow Laws. I simply couldn’t deprive the good people of Toronto such a ludicrously delicious irony; it would be unconscionable. You see, it’s not that you’re a soulless evil who hates humanity, mostly you just hate fags and anyone they associate with (Jews, Canadians, Americans, and the King of Sweden notwithstanding)."
I can hear you asking yourself, “Why would a fag like you want to waste his blood, sweat and tears on a production about a guy like Fred Phelps?” To me, you’re the abyss, the fundamentalist chasm representative of all the darkest and most insane parts of religion. But it’s not just your fundamentalist hate-addiction that fascinates me; there’s something more. You’re not the type of conservative who hates fags but hides behind slick rhetoric about the sanctity of marriage and family values. No, you are the real deal: a balls-to-the-wall lunatic; spitting bile with all the conviction and dedication of a man possessed and there’s a part of me that can respect that. You are so utterly loathsome, your ideas so mind-bendingly facile and your tactics so crassly ludicrous that you provide the perfect mirror to reflect the awesome stupidity of religious homophobia.
Our show is just like you: a shameless spectacle. However you might object to the nudity, the burlesque numbers, the unabashed use of musical theatre, the appearance of Tyra Banks, or the fact that nearly everyone of the ten actors on stage are bent in some way. According to your website, you’re going to go to Alberta to picket yet another production of The Laramie Project. Our show could use the extra publicity too, so I hope your travel plans include a stopover in Toronto. If you can drag yourself away from your curious obsession with sodomy cartoons on neon signs, cruising for fag enablers and frothing at the mouth over gay teens for an hour or so, there’s a comp at the door with your name on it.