By Sunnivie Brydum
Originally published on Advocate.com November 21 2012 11:47 AM ET
Comedian Russell Brand hosted two members of the notoriously antigay Westboro Baptist Church on his late-night talk show, Brand X With Russell Brand, engaging in a surprisingly civil debate with the hatemongers, who brought him a souvenir sign in their signature style, reading "Fag Pimp Brand."
After commending Steve Drain and Timothy Phelps for their willingness to appear in hostile territory, Brand made an earnest effort to engage the wingnuts in a serious theological debate about the religious basis for WBC's unabashed hatred of LGBT people, Jewish people, and anyone who doesn't abide by the group's fire-and-brimstone dogma.
"Have you considered that the Bible, like all religious doctrine, may be allegorical and symbolic, to direct us toward one holy entity of love," Brand asked, "as opposed to a simplistic, litigious text to direct the behavior of human beings? The Bible wasn't written by a cosmic entity."
Drain and Phelps shot back with quotes from scripture which they say directs them to "love" those around them by warning them of their sin and their eternal damnation.
After a quick game of "Who's Going to Heaven" — spoiler alert: Madonna and Gandhi are both doomed — Brand brought on stage a trio of his friends who happen to be gay. You can almost see the repulsion boiling over on Drain's face and especially Phelps's when they're "ambushed" by these civil, well-dressed men.
Brand X With Russell Brand airs Thursdays at 11 p.m. on FX.