The group -- infamous for using pickets with vitriolic phrases like "God hates fags" and "Thank God for dead soldiers" -- regularly stages anti-gay protests across the country. Members often picket funerals for American servicemen and, sometimes, those for children.
So, when British comedian Russell Brand invited two members from the Kansas-based church onto his FX show, "Brand X," more than a few eyebrows were raised.
LGBT website Queerty describes the recent meeting:
Steve Drain (the one wearing the charming PriestsRapeBoys.com T-shirt) and Timothy Phelps (most likely of the notorious Phelps klan) gifted Brand with a large placard bearing [the words "Fag Pimp"] and then the three got to talking about the Church’s favorite topic: gay sex.
After claiming that Madonna, Mahatma Gandhi and “definitely” Tom Hanks are going to hell, Drain and Phelps were introduced to three of Russell’s gay pals. It’s like you can see the clenching of Phelps and Drain’s rectums just from their faces. Then when Brand tries to cozy up to them, well…there were less awkward embraces between gay 90s sitcom characters.
Calling the comedian "an advocate for Satan" and his friends “filthy perverts," the Westboro duo were undoubtedly not on the show to make new pals.
Still, despite the unconcealed hostility, Gawker notes that Brand was able to take his guests' "trolling in stride and soldiered on, ultimately managing to engage the hatemongers in a surprisingly civil discussion of faith and interpretation."
Did Brand go too far by inviting the Westboro members onto his show? Or did you find the interview or the concept of it interesting or funny? Tell us in the comments below.