Westboro Baptist Churchs Steve Drain told eNCA.com in an exclusive interview that members of the cult organisation were planning on picketing Nelson Mandelas funeral in an effort to reveal that his “philandering” have brought God’s wrath on the country.
JOHANNESBURG – While the world and its leaders paid their deepest respects to late Statesman Nelson Mandela this week, an extremist Christian group in the United States has been planning to picket his funeral.
Speaking in an exclusive Skype interview, the Westboro Baptist Church told eNCA.com that “God hates South Africa” and “Nelson Mandela has “split hell wide open.”
Westboro elder Steve Drain said he and other members of the Kansas-based church want to bring this message over the Atlantic to tell the country this weekend, during Mandela’s official State funeral in Qunu.
Members of the notorious cult church posted videos and pictures of posters reading “Mandela in hell” and “Divorce + remarriage = adultery” on social media sites throughout the week, indicating their intention to fly to South Africa to speak out against Mandela’s “philandering” ways.
“The Lord Jesus Christ preached vehemently against divorce… and somebody who you’re lauding and well nigh on worshipping as a dead man, Nelson Mandela… his wife is Evelyn,” said church elder Steve Drain in an exclusive Skype interview with eNCA.com.
CNN has reported that, over the last year, more than 360,000 Americans signed a petition to the White House to have the Westboro Baptist Church legally declared a “hate group.”
Three other petitions against the organisation have also received hundreds of thousands of signatures.
The Obama administration announced in July it is not designated to assign the label to the group, refusing to comment on it, but agreeing that the practice of protesting at military funerals is “reprehensible.”
“His wife is not Winnie, his wife is not Graca. His wife is Evelyn… and what he did was he tomcatted around on her,” he said.
“He didn’t want to hear that he was an adulterer so he put her away. Threw her to the curb like a piece of garbage.”
The church, which consists mainly of members of the large family of Pastor Fred Phelps, has earned many enemies in the United States picketing against homosexuality and gay rights at the funerals of soldiers and other well-publicised events.
Phelps preaches God’s hatred and intolerance, insisting that the acceptance of gay people and the practices of divorce, adultery and abortion, among others, consistently incur His wrath and lead to deaths and disasters.
“God’s hate is merely one of his perfect attributes, like his love, his mercy,” Drain explained.
He said Mandela had lost two of his children and caused South Africa untold problems because he divorced his first wife and took undue credit for helping bring about an end to apartheid.
“Nelson Mandela is just a figurehead and what he wanted was the praise of men, more than he wanted the praise of God,” Drain said.
“And it’s to his eternal shame now, because it’s game over for Nelson Mandela because he’s in hell.
And we’re going to come preach to you about it,” he said.
These sentiments come at a time when millions around the world have been recognising and remembering Mandela’s achievements and contributions towards peace and reconciliation in South Africa.
Drain said he had contacted law enforcement officials in Johannesburg and was waiting for the go-ahead. He did not specify who the SA officials were.
“We are law abiding citizens,” he said. “We don’t hate anybody and we don’t incite anybody to hate anybody,” he said.
“We’ll be the only ones who truly love by a bible standard, because we’re willing to tell you the truth of the scripture, that you’re sinning against the Lord you’re God and you’re worshipping a sinner.”
Drain said the group had passports and was in the process of booking flights to Johannesburg. Mandela’s funeral will take place in Qunu in the Eastern Cape on Sunday. – eNCA