Russell Brand Interviews Two Members of the Westboro Baptist Church

I’m not an overly huge fan of Russell Brand, so I must say I was pleasantly surprised by this fairly well-handled interview with Steve Drain and Timothy Phelps of the Westboro Baptist Church:

Despite the fact that Brand’s first move was to prevent his audience from booing the two men on sight, the WBC guys came out swinging:

Brand:… I’m English, of course, so being a “fag pimp” just means “Cigarette?”… But in the world of vitriolic hate-speak, fag means…?

Phelps: It means that you’re an advocate for sin, is what it means, and a very loud one at that.

[*Audience cheers*]

Brand: [To audience] Thank you, and I appreciate your vocal respect, but these people are here to explain something to me and it does take courage and bravery to come in front of a room full of people you think, almost certainly, aren’t going to agree with you so let’s hear what they’ve got to say because I’m actually very interested. “Fag Pimp Brand.” Okay, we’re keeping this.

Drain: You make your living making a mockery of sin.

Phelps: In fact, since you promote sin, you hate all these kind people in your heart.

Brand: Aw! I don’t, I love them!

Phelps: That’s why he applauds your sin. Because he hates you all.

Brand: I don’t applaud any sins what’s hurting people or yourselves.

Phelps: You encourage them, and then they burn in hell for eternity, and that’s not very loving.

Drain: When the lord Jesus Christ said to love your neighbor as yourself, you love your neighbor as yourself by warning them when their sin is taking them to hell. And as a matter of fact, if you fail to warn your neighbor, you hate your neighbor in your heart. So, by a Bible standard, we love you all. And I know that you can’t believe that from your goofy Hallmark-standard, but from a Bible standard, we love you. And he [Brand] doesn’t.

Phelps: From a Bible standard, he [Brand] hates you.

Drain: We’re not talking about a base human passion like you and I might feel… it’s simply God’s fixed determination to punish the wicked in Hell for their sins. Because he can. Because he’s God. Because he’s sovereign.

Brand: “Because he can.” That’s very good. Okay… so it’s simply God condemning what is objectively and indefatigably wrong. That’s what it is.

Phelps: Well put. Other than the accent, very well put.

Drain: And we just preach the Bible.  We’re not making this stuff up.

Brand: That’s their catch phrase. I like it. “Westboro Baptist Church: We’re Not Making This Stuff Up!”  [Holds up sign]  This is to also be found in Corinthians!

Brand: You’re good on the scripture and verse, but I’ve got to say this to you: Have you considered that the Bible, like all religious doctrine, may be allegorical and symbolic to direct us towards one holy entity of love as opposed to a specific… text to direct the behavior of human beings. The Bible wasn’t specifically written by a cosmic entity! It was written by people!

Drain: It was written by the Holy Spirit!

Brand: The Holy Spirit ain’t got a pen!

Some takeaways from this interview:

Members of the WBC have little-to-no sense of humor.

(Via BuzzFeed)

About Jessica Bluemke

Jessica Bluemke grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and graduated from Ball State University in 2008 with a BA in Literature. She currently works as a writer and resides on the North side of Chicago.

  • Alexander Ryan

    They may not have much of a sense of humor, but they manage to elicit a fair amount considering how much of a joke they are.

  • SeekerLancer

    “Well put, other than the accent, well put.” 

    Because apparently the very act of BEING ENGLISH is sinful.

  • Katie

    The video has been blocked =(

  • Pseudonym


    Or something.

  • m6wg4bxw

    “This video contains content from FOX, who has blocked it on copyright grounds.”

  • Hemant Mehta

    I swapped out the video… try again!

  • m6wg4bxw

    Thank you, sir.

  • m6wg4bxw

    I assume this was a mistake. @ 5:17 “You don’t have any power. If god doesn’t move in you to do a thing, you don’t do it.”

  • m6wg4bxw

    Return! We have a new video source!

  • Sarah

    Russell Brand makes a surprisingly good talk show host.

  • Coyotenose

     *ponders that a moment*

    *busts out laughing*

  • Coyotenose

    I disagree that they’re brave. These people have been raised to act like this, and only the aggressive ones would be out in the first place. Bravery for them would be an entirely different set of behaviors.

  • Kelsi

    Steve Drain wasn’t born into it. He went to see them to do a documentary and pretty much ended up getting converted.

  • DougI

    The Phelps guy is wearing a leather jacket.  So it’s not a sin to adorn yourself with the flesh of swine despite it being an unclean animal.  Hmmm, typical fundy hypocrisy (also he cuts his hair).

  • Coyotenose

     Hmm, let me rephrase that. They aren’t brave, they’re just displaying behavior inculcated by their cult. They get almost nonstop positive reinforcement and social approval from said cult to encourage them to act that way. They aren’t any braver than a screaming brainless football fan, probably less so (not to say football fans are brainless, but you know the type.)

  • Adam Thorn

    I saw “the only way is essex” once, I agree with god.

  • Lagerbaer

    ” The Holy Spirit ain’t got a pen!”

  • Marco Conti

    I have a dream that somehow a group of atheist actors can put together a plan to create a poe whereas they manage to be even more fundamentalist than the Phelps and condemn them to the everlasting fire for being too liberal and accepting of people.
    Not easy, but maybe possible.

  • Dave Michael

    Here is a video I made of an encounter with the WBC when they picketed Lisa Lampanelli in Kansas City.The young man in the pink tutu said the only people out here that look sillier than me are the Westboro People.

  • Nadia Williams

    A lot of people dislike Russell Brand. Watch the man a bit. Read some of his writing. He’s hugely intelligent, equally troubled, and for all that he can be annoying and tends to be either love him or hate him, what I recommend is that before you decide in which camp you are, read his books.

  • David Starner

     I’m not sure more fundamentalist is the right term here. They’re not really that much more fundamentalist then many other organizations or that much less accepting; they’re just jackasses about it.

     The easiest target seems to be their lack of overt racism; they denounce it, and at a quick glance, with the exception of anti-Semitism, they don’t seem to be racist. There’s a lot of groups that would condemn them there, including some religious ones.

  • Ben C

    Brand’s comment about them being brave was clearly tongue in cheek.

  • Sindigo

    Isn’t leather typically made from cow?

    Though I agree with you. He’s almost certain got a cotton-poly blend shirt or two in his wardrobe too.

  • DougI

     It can be made from cattle as well, he just looked really pigly in it.

  • Thumper1990

    “It was written by the Holy Spirit!””The Holy Spirit ain’t got a pen!”

    Love that line :)

  • Gordon Duffy

     and he disowned his lovely daughter.

  • Thumper1990

    Drain seems like a nicer person than Phelps (note: I said nicer. Not nice.). I mean, the guys came out and Phelps’ first words were “You’re a filthy pervert”. What a prick.

  • Tim

    before you decide to love him, real this report of a rather nasty bit of sexual harrassment by Mr Brand:


  • Tim
  • NotTHATguest

    Read the bit on Jezebel, and having worked on a set, it sounds kinda weird. If an actor refuses to come out of the trailer, the PA can call her supervisor to have a chat. I’ve had actors refuse to come out, if it went on for more than 10 minutes it was obviously beyond my sphere of influence.

  • Sindigo

    That’s true. I think it’s his beady little eyes.

  • Kari Lynn

    Jezebel’s source is The Sun. It’s not exactly a reliable source as it’s a tabloid owned by Rupert Murdoch, who, as we all know, owns Fox News. I’m not saying that you’re wrong, I”m just saying that a more reliable source would be great. Thanks.

  • Coyotenose

     Humor blind? Moi? NEVER!

    It must have been his accent that threw me. It was well put, otherwise.

    *rewatches* Nope, that part was sincerely spoken. He may or not believe it, but the tone was sincerely.

  • Matt Bowyer

    I’ll never understand how people with this much hate inside can even breathe or function. 

  • 4m32kn0w

    Ignore these people. They want the attention. Counter-protest is fine, but don’t give them a signal boost. Everyone thinks they’re crazy, even people in the Tea Party movement. If people can ignore them long enough, maybe they’ll be desperate finally break some laws so that they can be shut down for good. These people are not Christians. They are religious parasites that have latched on to Christianity and are now infecting their host.

  • Chris B

    “You don’t have any power. If god doesn’t move in you to do a thing, you don’t do it.”

    So God is making people gay and then condemning them to hell? Once again, he seems like a real dick…

    More seriously, I absolutely despise this assertion. One of the main drivers for me dropping religion was the biblical support for such statements. When you do something “good”, it’s because you are acting “as a vehicle for God”. When you do something “bad”, it is because Satan is working in you. Either way, you are just a fancy ventriloquist’s dummy.  Christianity absolves you of all responsibility for your life. I can’t accept that. I refuse to believe that I am weak. I am in control of my life. I am able, and I am strong.  I am not a puppet and do not require a master.

  • Bradze

    Theyre afraid, their fear has manifested itself as anger. This is a common trait in most criminals and id guess these guys arnt far from that title.

  • Sharon Hypatiia

     To which the response should be “Considering t he source, that is high praise, indeed!”

  • guest

    Priests rape boys dot com ??? fag pimp brand ??? this is the Westboro Church showing Gods love ? sigghhhhh …. somehow I cant believe that if Jesus returned, this is how he would bring Gods love to the people.  He favoured the good samaritan, over the law abiding priest.  He favoured the publican who proclaimed his unworthiness than the rich man who was self satisified in his adherence to religious laws and statutes.   love one another as I have loved you – love your neighbour as yourself.   I know they mean well, but they make a mockery of the message of Christ.

  • Guiui

    There is no exception to love and acceptance

  • ds

    I love Russell Brand. I think he’s so genius and funny. Humor is a great way to make people think. 

  • Daniel Freestone

    England isn’t Gods country, America is.

  • Bri Artstew

    “If God doesn’t move in you to do a thing, you don’t do it.” Then explain those “fags” you claim God hates. If God hated them so much, why would he move in them to do something he didn’t approve of? You are contradicting yourself, Westboro…

  • Love each other

    I used to be a religious fundamentalist, but I wasn’t fearful at all. But there are so many inconsistencies in Christianity (especially if you consider the bible an infallible text written by God) that you have to answer each impossible question with a ridiculous answer. Eventually, you end up weaving a web of insane (and sometimes hateful) things just to make your religion make sense. 

    I left Christianity four years ago and have never looked back. 

  • Thisismysparemailbox

    Being gay was around long before Christianity was the popular dogma in the west and it’ll be around long after.  I think these hardcore fundamentalists are just trying to hold on to anything they can. It’d be sad if it weren’t so disturbing. 

  • Brant Martin

     Not, I dunno, Jerusalem, or Egypt, or Israel, or any of the places where the story of the bible actually takes place?

    No, OBVIOUSLY the TRUE home of Christianity is on the other side of the planet that people didn’t know was round, on a continent that people had never heard of, and so far away that it may as well have been on the moon.

  • jetlifan

    Yes, other than the accent. For the Holy book says

  • ooops.

     Ooops. It cut me off. Yes, other than the accent. For the good book says, “Thou shalt be American!” It is the 11th commandment.

  • Whatwhat

    i like how phelps is trying to accuse and condemn others, yet uses the lords name in vain…. hypocrite.

  • R Holtslander

    That was remarkably restrained. I was impressed.

  • Jackie Burleson Cunningham

    I absolutely whole heartedly agree with your last paragraph. This is my own experience as well and reasoning for dropping religion, you summed it up perfectly.

  • Trishy

    How can they profess to love everyone when all they spew is hate?

  • A man

    1 Corinthians 13:4-8

    Love is patient, love is kind. It
    does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it
    is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of
    wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It
    always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love
    never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where
    there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it
    will pasts away.

    The Westboro baptist church OPENLY goes and defy almost every word. They are not people of god they are people of sin ,they do not speak the truth they speak only lies , they do not spread the word of god they only spread the word of HATE.

    My 2 cents worth

    A Man

  • A Man

    Best Reply EVER