We know the players in this discussion, but let’s start with a brief breakdown of the two culprits in question…
Fred Phelps, the man behind the beliefs and actions of the Westboro Baptist Church, is one of the most hated men in America. Perhaps it’s because hate begets hate and Phelps is full of hate, God’s hate to be exact. His website is called God Hates Fags and over the past few years his agenda has grown to boycotting and picketing basically anything, as long as he can claim it as part of God’s wrath.
Pat Robertson, the face of the 700 Club, is less of a blatant asshole. He doesn’t picket funerals and he doesn’t use terms like “fag”. However, he does have aforementioned TV show, where he and his friends have spent a good deal of their time blaming the world’s downfall on homosexuals, Muslims, and other morally depraved folks. Most people I know have at least one family member who watches Robertson’s show.
So… the question is which is more dangerous for America… for the world. Is blatant hate more dangerous or is suit-and-tie cloaked talking head hate more dangerous? Is it easier to write Phelps off as a nut than to dismiss an evangelical that your grandparents watched religiously since the 70s?
There are several reasons that I find Pat Robertson much more dangerous, despite being less deplorable as a human being. There are quite a few folks in this country that still listen to and admire Pat Robertson. This is dangerous, as his words of hate slip into people’s minds and fester there until they let it come out as some ridiculously illogical argument about how gay marriage will ruin the sanctity of their marriage… somehow… but they don’t know how…
Outside of complete psychos and assholes, Phelps is easy to write off. And, Robertson is easy to write off for me and many like me… but not everyone can write him off.
Thoughts? Does Westboro hurt people more or does the cleaned up version of hate that Robertson, et al. peddle hurt people more?