The Westboro Baptist Church (WBC) is a hateful organization that often pickets at and protests at things such as LGBT events and funerals. It is an unaffiliated Baptist church that is most known for its hate speech, primarily directed at gay people, that has been spewing odious and ridiculous ideologies since the 1990s.
Recently, after Irish YouTube personality Riyadh Khalaf received hateful comments on one of his videos from Shirley Phelps of the WBC, he decided to try and contact her. What ensued is a humorous, albeit frustrating exchange between the two.
The first call to Westboro doesn’t go too well with Phelps immediately lashing out and telling Riyadh K, ‘You are heading straight to hell, God hates fags. God hates you.’
But then the vlogger calls back and leaves a voicemail for Phelps asking questions such as ‘If I burn all of my Lady Gaga CDs, will that get me into heaven?’ and ‘If I promise not to have any gay sexual relations on a Sunday, can I get into heaven?’
Riyadh’s attitude towards Phelps is one that maintains a lightheartedness and results in a hilarious video that was inspired by something incredibly disheartening. He knows that she – and anyone else at the WBC for that matter – can’t actually hurt him, but still, it is deeply troubling to hear such hateful things directed towards a person based on who their sexual orientation. At One Equal World, we appreciate the candidness and humor Riyadh applies to what could be a tremendously disempowering situation.
Although very few people take the WBC seriously, and its pickets have become something of a punch line in and of themselves, it is still important to support those courageous enough to tell their stories and fight back against discrimination like Riyadh did in this video.
Be sure to check out more of Riyadh K’s video on his YouTube channel!