Thanks to Kansas History for reviewing God Hates: Westboro Baptist Church, American Nationalism, and the Religious Right in its most recent issue. From the review:
The heart of the book is devoted to positioning the WBC on the antigay religious spectrum. Barrett-Fox cites potent antigay quotes from leaders of the Religious Right that are nearly identical to rhetoric from the WBC. She intimates that the church gives voice to what many Americans believe: “Westboro Baptist Church’s linking of homosexuality and military death is consistent with the tradition within the Religious Right that generally links homosexuality and national doom” (p. 143). Barrett-Fox urges her readers to look beyond the bounds of this fringe church to the seemingly more palatable churches of the majority culture of America, where shockingly similar beliefs are held.
I’m especially honored that Kansas History tapped playwright Marcia Cebulska as the reviewer. Cebulska’s work focuses on pivotal moments, transformative characters, and complex places from Kansas’s history–including Greensburg, Kansas (Rooted), a town destroyed by a tornado and rebuilt on a sustainable model, playwright William Inge (Touched: The Last 2,000 Heartbeats of William Inge), and future Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall (Now Let Me Fly).
Cebulska is also the writer of Visions of Right, which tells the story of a photographer targeted by a Fred Phelps-like preacher. The play is a direct response to the picketing “ministry” of Westboro Baptist Church and is informed by Cebulska’s own experience as a target of hateful anti-gay protest. Cebulska’s own experiences are a reminder that “no amount of theological history or positioning can serve as balm” when you have been harmed by hate, as so many Kansans have been.
Above, a trailer for Visions of Right.