Topeka, Kansas - The Reverend Fred Phelps in a recent televised exchange on Fox News' The O'Rilley Factor put himself in an awkward position of self-anathematazation.
Phelps, who is most well-known for his church's pickets of the funerals of fallen soldiers and his websites, godhatesfags.com, godhatesamerica.com, godhatessweeden.com and other like them, has often made statements in the past invoking God's wrath upon whole groups of people and/or nations. The current Phelps "Irreversibly Damned" list includes,
-All of congress
-All of the United States Military
...just to name a few.
While blanket statements of anathematization are not new to Phelps and his group of followers, he has often been careful to make an exception for himself and his congregation. But during the interview with host Bill O'Rilley Phelps became visibly annoyed when asked about his home state of Kansas and apparently spoke too hastily. The transcript is as follows.
[O'Rilley] "What about your home state of Kansas, I know your group has protested funerals there, what do the locals think of you?"
[Phelps] "Kansas is the seat of Satan! The entire state and all its citizens are under the wrath of God and are irreversibly damned."
[O'Rilley] "But you're a citizen of Kansas Mr. Phelps, so that includes you too, right?"
At this point in the interview Phelps looked shocked, and did not respond for several seconds. When questioned again by O'Rilley Phelps simply responded, "This interview is over!"
The statement by Phelps presents an interesting dilemma for the pastor. Phelps, a self-proclaimed "prophet like Elijah" has often professed to be the sole voice of truth in the entire world today. Thus, he believes his statements of anathema to be almost infallible, and irrefutable. Ero an admission of error by Phelps in such a statement would bring into question all of the other previous statements of anathema that he has made.
If indeed Phelps has truly anathematized himself it also presents an interesting paradox. The question arises that if the anathematizer is himself anathema then does that negate his previous anathematizations? Many fear an answer to the question could unravel the space-time continuum.
TBNN tried to reach Phelps for comment at his home in Topeka, Kansas, but a woman who answered the phone said that He was "unavailable" and to "call back later."