… at least that is what Shirley Phelps-Roper of the Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kansas would have us believe (h/t to Danwei). She recently wrote in to China Daily columnist Raymond Zhou after reading his opinion piece on recent comments by Chinese celebrity Sun Haiying (孙海英) who not too long ago ignited a huge debate with his comments that homosexuality was unequivocally “criminal in nature” (“同性恋就是犯罪“):
The very day that Godless China decriminalized the filthy manner of life of the homosexual, they brought wrath upon themselves. God hates China and all her perverse people! You have kicked the standard of God to the curb and you have set about to put your own form of righteousness into place and it is worthless! It is like filthy used tampons!…
…America is doomed!
China is doomed! …
… But you Raymond have a never-dying soul! If you have any interest in it, you will shut your blasphemous mouth and read every word on the www.godhatesfags.com; www.godhatesamerica.com; www.priestsrapeboys.com and watch the excellent videos of three kinds on the www.signmovies.net page and coming soon, www.godhateschina.com! GET A BIBLE RAYMOND, crack and read it every day – OBEY the commandments of your God and beg HIM for forgiveness with a sincere heart, or you are going to hell and there is NOTHING you can do about it!
Have a nice day!
Yes, in an interconnected world, the previously mutually exclusive universes of a crazed Bible-thumping preacher in Topeka, Kansas and a China Daily columnist can come crashing together. The father of Shirley Phelps-Roper is the virulently homophobic Reverend Fred Phelps, the leader of the church that has an official web presence at GodHatesFags.com. They also run other lovely websites such as TheSignsOfTheTimes.net, AmericaIsDoomed.com, GodHatesSweden.com and GodHatesCanada.com. Known for his fire and brimstone preaching under slogans and banners such as “Thank God for 911,” “Thank God for AIDS,” “Thank God for Katrina,” “Thank God for IEDs,” and “Thank God for Dead Soldiers”, Phelps has built his church around a core of anti-homosexual theology. While his church only has 71 confirmed members, 60 of whom are related to Phelps through blood or marriage (or both!), they have succeeded in receiving increasing media coverage through channels and shows such as the BBC, Fox News, The Howard Stern Show, The Adam Carolla Show, The Tyra Banks Show and the Hannity and Colmes Show (see video of her interview on the left with Julie Banderas of Fox News which developed into a full-scale on-air screaming match).
Back to Sun Haiying’s statement that homosexuality is “criminal in nature”, Raymond Zhou quite rightly points out that the Chinese word he used “罪” (zuì) can be both understood as a “crime” or a “sin”. As such it is not quite clear which he was referring to in his statement. What Zhou failed to point out was that Sun himself is a Christian (surprise surprise), and his statement set both Christian and gay websites in mainland China abuzz. Here are Sun’s original comments and reactions by various prominent individuals [Translations by Shanghaiist]:
Sun Haiying (孙海英):
Homosexuality is crime/sin! What’s homosexuality? What’s bisexuality? We’re not just talking about moral decadence and corruption here — this is a crime/sin! This is against humanity and a crime/sin! There is nothing to discuss here. I cannot accept it.
All these things such as homosexuality, bisexuality, one night stands, keeping of mistresses, wife-swopping and swinging are all crimes/sins and I have the evidence!
Renowned sexologist Li Yinhe (李银河):
“孙海英的此番言论无知、残忍、没有教养。简直难以置信，在21世纪竟然还有人能说出这样一番话。他的言论令人想起上个世纪的希特勒——他曾把同性恋者关进集中营。同性恋成因可能有先天因素。他说同性恋是犯罪，就像说左撇子是犯罪、身为犹太人是犯罪一样。”Sun Haiying’s statement shows he is ignorant, cruel and without education. It is totally unbelievable that someone could actually utter such words in the 21st century. His words remind one of Hitler who banished homosexuals to concentration camps in the last century. Homosexuality is very possibly genetic. For him to say that homosexuality is a crime, it is like saying left-handers and Jews are also criminals simply by being what they are.
Director, film scholar, screenwriter and outspoken gay activist Cui Zi’en (崔子恩):
[The impression he gives me] is that of someone who doesn’t read, doesn’t think and doesn’t have a brain. So it doesn’t surprise me that he said what he said. This only goes how little he knows about the world and how ignorant he is. He has already become completely obsolete in this world.
Filmmaker Cheng Qingsong (程青松):
His statement has hurt the feelings of 50 million homosexuals. If we all banded up to reject his movies and television productions, I wonder whose loss it will be at the end of the day?
China Daily: Principle or prejudice? [Raymond Zhou]
Youku: 孙海英称同性恋为犯罪 引发众多争议
Westboro Baptist Church: Official website
Li Yinhe: 把尊重同性恋提高到构建和谐社会的高度
Photo of Shirley Phelps-Roper from her Wikipedia entry.
Photo of Sun Haiying from Sina.com.