Sunday, August 21, 2005

Fred Phelps, Tom Cruise and me: Readings

This is a sermon preached at the UU in Plattsburgh NY on July 10. It's long and therefore unblog-like. oh well. I've added some links to external sites for fun, but please remember to come back here afterwards.

Fred Phelps, Tom Cruise and Me :
Respecting the inherent worth and dignity of every individual on a free and responsible search for truth and meaning


These excerpts are provided for educational purposes, and are re-printed here under fair use.


The Free Church, James Luther Adams

I call that church free which enters into covenant with the ultimate source of existence, that sustaining and transforming power not made with human hands. … I call that church free which brings individuals into a caring, trusting fellowship that protects and nourishes their integrity and spiritual freedom; that yearns to belong to the church universal; It is open to insight and conscience from every source; it bursts through rigid tradition, giving rise to new and living language, to new and broader fellowship.

… It aims to find unity in diversity under the promptings of the spirit “that bloweth where it listeth and maketh all things new.”


Answer to a Nit-picking Freak Who Pretends Not To Understand Why We Call Fags Fags

Rev. Fred Phelps

Get a grip, you presumptuous toad.

….We could [hold signs] that say "God hates dogs," but this generation of blind men has no clue about the Bible and grasps at straws on the best of days. They wouldn't have any idea what we were talking about, and we would have failed at our mission – to publish a pure, unambiguous Gospel to this world ("Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine." 2 Tim. 4:2); to get in their face and make it crystal clear what the Lord God of Eternity requires of them and what their sin is ("Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins." Isaiah 58:1).

What I'm trying to say here is that we don't give a rat's tutu what you think about our words; we've told you plain and straight the reasons why we use these wonderfully elegant metaphors. Here is what Jesus Christ has to say about you: "Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!." Matthew 23:23

…Once again, I must say: GET A GRIP! GET A CLUE! These are filthy beasts, no matter what you call them! Those three letters don't change the fact that the Lord will shortly return to execute judgment on this evil, froward world – and you will have to give an accounting for your rebellion against the Lord your God (and your attempt at distracting the saints).

God hates fags. You are going to hell. Have a lovely day.


The following is an excerpt from the Scientology Operating Thetan level three.

“The head of the Galactic Federation (76 planets around larger stars visible from here) (founded 5,000,000 years ago, very space opera) solved overpopulation (250 billion or so per planet, 178 billion on average) by mass implanting. He caused people to be brought to Teegeeack (Earth) and put an H-Bomb on the principal volcanos (Incident II) and then the Pacific area ones were taken in boxes to Hawaii and the Atlantic area ones to Las Palmas and there "packaged".

His name was Xenu. He used renegades. Various misleading data by means of circuits etc. was placed in the implants.

When through with his crime loyal officers (to the people) captured him after six years of battle and put him in an electronic mountain trap where he still is. "They" are gone. The place (Confederation) has since been a desert. The length and brutality of it all was such that this Confederation never recovered. The implant is calculated to kill (by pneumonia etc) anyone who attempts to solve it. This liability has been dispensed with by my tech development.

One's body is a mass of individual thetans stuck to oneself or to the body.

One has to clean them off by running incident II and Incident I. It is a long job, requiring care, patience and good auditing. You are running beings. They respond like any preclear. Some large, some small.

Thetans believed they were one. This is the primary error. Good luck.”

Cited in Margery Wakefield, The Road to Xenu, p. 76-77.

The Free Mind, Ellery Channing

I call that mind free which masters the senses, and which recognizes its own reality and greatness:

Which passes life, not in asking what it shall eat or drink, but in hungering, thirsting, and seeking after righteousness.

I call that mind free which jealously guards its intellectual rights and powers, which does not content itself with a passive or hereditary faith:

Which opens itself to light whencesoever it may come; which receives new truth as an angel from heaven.

I call that mind free which is not passively framed by outward circumstances, and is not the creature of accidental impulse:

Which discovers everywhere the radiant signatures of the infinite spirit, and in them finds help to its own spiritual enlargement.

I call that mind free which protects itself against the usurpations of society, and which does not cower to human opinion:

Which refuses to be the slave or tool of the many or of the few, and guards its empire over itself as nobler than the empire of the world.


I call that mind free which sets no bounds to its love, which, wherever they are seen, delights in virtue and sympathizes with suffering:

Which recognizes in all human beings the image of God and the rights of God's children, and offers itself up a willing sacrifice to the cause of humankind.

I call that mind free which has cast off all fear but that of wrongdoing, and which no menace or peril can enthrall:

Which is calm in the midst of tumults, and possesses itself, though all else be lost.

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