Russell Brand and Westboro Baptist Church

Russell Brand does an amazing thing here; he invites people who he disagrees with (extremely) to have a conversation and shows them love and respect. Honouring people whose viewpoints you strongly oppose is an incredibly difficult thing to do.

Westboro Baptist Church is a well-known (unfortunately) church. Mainly for their outspoken views on 'sin' and 'hell' (as they understand them). I think Russell does an excellent job in this clip, even though I don't agree with everything he says, so I don't want to add too much and take away from the clip itself.

The guys from Westboro use their "tricky quiz of hate" (as Russell calls it) to defend the way they treat people and even dare to call it love from a "Bible standard" and a "God standard". They use the terms, "Fag Pimp", "Sodomite", "Disgusting Pervert" and "god hates fags" and dare to say that they love the people in the audience. Using these terms and phrases is not love by any healthy or rational standard.

Even if you do think that sex between two people of the same gender is a 'sin', how is calling people names and telling them that God hates them going to draw anyone to the love of God?

To put it simply and mildly, the understanding these two men have of both God and love is frightening.

I would call out to my religious friends in particular; does the way you think about love more reflect Westboro or Russell? While neither mirrors my own, I would quickly and gladly throw my hat in the Russell ring and say, "That is what love looks like!" Showing people dignity. Honouring them; even when you disagree, even when they call you a "Fag Pimp". Being willing to extend courtesy and respect and even a hug. (Do you see the one guy cringe when Russell wants to hug him? That's not about "god", that's about homophobia.)

There are so many things I could say about how off-base I believe Westboro is in their theology and practice, but again, I don't want this to be about them and their hate. I want it to be about learning to love from a eccentric, loud, recovering addict who sees love in the way that lines up with the True Rebel message; Love, Dignity & Respect for all people. And it's not his ability to love his friends from the LGBTQ community that impresses me, or his addicted friends as he does so dearly. What impresses me is his ability to love the guys from Westboro; guys who belittle his friends, call them and him offensive names and whom he vastly disagrees with. Thanks Russell! I've still got some work to do when it comes to being a True Rebel.

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