True Blood fans out there know well “Fellowship of the Sun,” the vampire-hating cult that revels in its own self-righteous hypocrisy. Claiming to be a Christian church, they picket vampire-owned establishments, go on TV to preach unmitigated hate, and send the occasional suicide bomber out on a holy jihad. Strangely enough, there seems to be no gospel and a lot of hate that comes from the group. Despite the ongoing infidelity, duplicity, greed, and corruption of its leaders, the church seems to think they are the only “light” in a sea of darkness. They even run “The Light of Day Institute,” a boot camp for hand-picked righteous souls called to be leaders in their movement. At its climax in the True Blood narrative we are left seeing the fellowship as the myopic hate group that it is.
Of course, we all know that this is just a fictional group. Or is it?
Recently I cam across a video from a charismatic, if not homely-looking preacher named Damon Thompson. “Pastor” Damon preaches at The Ramp, a self-proclaimed “place of awakening in Hamilton, Alabama.” Just as the original (fictional)Fellowship of the Sun was obsessed in its hatred of gays. So this group seems to with homosexuals. Boy howdy, these guys don’t like them gays. And why should they? You can’t have a TV show nowadays with some “queer” as the funniest, smartest person on the show.
We also learn from that clip that gay teens to not commit suicide because of preachers like this, but because they are gay.
Here’s the good shepherd offering to exorcize the gay out of you…
He also wants you to know that Westboro Baptist Church is right, God sent AIDS to kill them “queers.”
Of course every prophet needs his prophetess, so Damon works intimately with Karen Wheaton of TBN (sort-of) fame. Do you want to be among their elect? They have a group of young spiritual elites to help them in their god-given mission called “The Elect” and like the Fellowship of the Sun, you can’t just sign up, from The Ramp’s website the process for becoming one of the Elect…
My trusty sidekick, Sammy Sarcasm, would like to point out that there is nothing suspicious or creepy about that process at all.
So there you have it, the Fellowship of the Sun is alive and well in Hamilton, Alabama, it just has new monsters to fight.
On a serious note, I don’t know much else about them other than what is on their website and the preaching clips making the rounds online, but it doesn’t matter. The systematic use of slurs and hatred during the teaching drowns out anything else they have to say. There are plenty more clips, I just didn’t see the need to post them all. This is a hate group pure and simple. It seems to be somewhat popular, but there is a good reason for that. Anytime a church preaches woe to the outside world, everyone within the group feels better about themselves. By focusing on a classic scapegoat, the members are allowed to believe that they are in a superior standing with God. They do not have to look inward at their own defects. Even if a defect becomes apparent, they know that they are still better than those being preached against. They are filled with a self-righteousness that can only come from putting down others. They reject grace because they restrict grace. Hate and bile cannot flow from the same outlet as mercy and love. This group is a cult in the classical Christian sense. They do not conform to the clear teaching of Scripture because they reject grace for those outside while refusing to walk humbly and show mercy themselves.
The Supreme Court of the United States just upheld the right of Westboro Baptist Church to picket funerals. Although they have been around for a long time protesting anything related to the gay community, they have recently gained notoriety nationwide for protesting the funerals of fallen American soldiers. Their rational for such actions is that the troops died defending a country that promotes what in their eyes amounts to the worst of abominations.
Few mainstream Christian groups would call Westboro a true church. Most will admit that they are simply a hate group. Their small congregation is made up almost entirely by the Phelps family itself. This family lives and breaths hate. If you have ever heard their spokesperson, daughter Shirley, or the patriarch Fred, you know how mad they are with pure hate. I first encountered the group in 2000, when they picketed AIDS Walk Los Angeles, in which I was participating. Their hate was so vehement it enraged me instantly. I have heard several interviews on TV and radio of Shirley, and almost every time she has insulted her way through it, frequently calling the host “dumbass” and belittling anyone who questions the group’s beliefs. Her insanity is quite easy to dismiss for what it is, pure lunacy of a deranged cult. However, please don’t dismiss it so easily.
Christians update their facebook statuses about Oprah’s latest slight perceived against their beliefs and how the secular world belittles their religion. Never have I seen anyone within the church publicly speak out against Westboro. When I have asked why there is silence, I am often told that Westboro is just a crazy cult and everyone knows that. Speaking to many people outside the church, I can tell you that many have their doubts that “Bible” Christians are opposed at all Westboro’s hate. People tell me that they believe the church tolerates Westboro because deep down they feel the same way. I don’t believe most Christians agree with Westboro, but I don’t have the proof.
Please, if you are in the church, if you consider yourself and evangelical, conservative, Bible-believer, Christ disciple, whatever, please stand up and stand against this hate group. There is a serious danger of the whole church being relegated to history because of the perception that it loves to hate. Please speak up, please speak out. Don’t confirm the suspicions of the world with your silence. It’s time to stand.