Russell Brand Surprises Westboro Baptist Church With Gay Men on His FX Show (Video)
The English comedian debated two members of the homophobic far-right group, while his audience shouted admonishments at their anti-gay rhetoric.
Russell Brand did the seemingly impossible: He brought together the Westboro Baptist Church and gay men on the same stage. Of course, it took a little bit of deception to do it.
The WBC, run by Fred Phelps and known for protesting military funerals with signs splashed with anti-gay slogans, sent two members to Brand X, Brand's new show on FX. As the audience booed the men and their condemnation of homosexuality, Brand called for respect for the church members for their willingness to come to hostile territory.
The host engaged the two men, who cited scripture as justification for their hatred of the LGBT community, in a sharp yet civilized debate.
"Have you considered that the Bible, like all religious doctrine, may be allegorical and symbolic, to direct us toward one holy entity of love, as opposed to a simplistic, litiginous text to direct the behavior of human beings?" Brand asked rhetorically. "The Bible wasn't written by a cosmic entity."
The two men fired back, insisting that the Bible was written by a Holy Spirit, and Brand moved quickly to a game called "Heaven or Hell," asking the two whether certain celebrities are going above or below once they die. Spoiler alert: Madonna and Gandhi are headed south.
After that, Brand brought a few of his gay friends to the stage, which was a surprise to the WBC members. They weren't all that excited about it.
Sundance: On the Scene