BREAKING: Fred Phelps Is Dead

Fred_Phelps_10-29-2002Reverend Fred Phelps, founder of the notoriously antigay Westboro Baptist Church, has died at 84 of unspecified causes in a Topeka, Kansas hospice.

Phelps’ long-estranged son Nathan, who split from the church in 1976 and eventually became an LGBT and child abuse advocate in Canada, first alerted media to the impending death of his father with a message posted to his Facebook page last weekend. Nathan also revealed that his father was excommunicated from the church last August for reasons that remain unclear.

Shirley Phelps-Roper confirmed news of her father’s death to the Topeka-Capital Journal, but when asked if family members had been present when Fred died and whether a funeral service would be conducted for her father, she told the reporter it was “none of your business.”

The Topeka-based Church was mostly comprised mostly of Phelps family members, who were infamous for protesting funerals of soldiers with signs containing messages such as “God killed your sons” and “Thank God for 9/11,” claiming the deaths are God’s punishment for America’s immorality and tolerance of abortion.

Yet Westboro’s chief mission seemed to be a war on the LGBT communities. Protests featuring members of the church holding signs that proclaimed “God hates fags” became a constant presence at pride festivals and concerts of pop stars.

To his eternal chagrin, Phelps’ “ministry” did more to rally Americans to support LGBT equality than he’ll ever know. The death of Phelps is not expected to have an impact on the future of Westboro.

Update: In an interview with CBC, Nathan Phelps said he was informed his father suffered from Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

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  • Charlie in Charge

    Good Riddance to Bad Rubbish.

  • TheNewEnergyDude

    Woot Woot!

  • Stevenw

    I will wish nothing but positive sympathetic energies upon Phelps family as they cope with this loss, as I know that that will drive them SPARE.

  • Kieran

    Fred Phelps leaves the world a monstrous legacy of intolerance and hate. He deserves pity more than anything for his horribly twisted and deformed soul. He was the furthest thing imaginable to a follower of Christ.

  • DistingueTraces

    Cast out from his people at the end – and yet still controlled by them, denied a reunion with the only son who had escaped the family system he created.

    What a sad life. What a sad death.

  • Dawson

    There will be those who will say that it is wrong to be happy when someone dies. That we should just take the high road. Well, that is not me. Were people happy when Hitler died? Phelps family believes that we should all be put to death. These are the same people who picket military funerals and we are to turn the other cheek?

    I feel nothing for his family as they have been supporting this hate on our community for years and years. Soon maybe Billy Gramham and Pat Robertson will join him.

    When these people start talking about love maybe I will listen. As to this jerk this is a day I have long been waiting for. Sorry but I hope he suffered!

  • BigWoody

    Shirley’s next…

  • msteve

    I guess we should lower our Rainbow Flags to half mast.Looks like Billy Grahams son will be taking over this fake church of hate.

  • CleJoke

    Time for a pink mass?

  • jayj150

    Ding dong the bitch is dead!!!. Rot in hell Fred. ROT.IN.HELL.

  • mike1988

    Hate is not the answer. Rest in peace Fred, I forgive you.

  • Caleb in SC

    He obviously had mental issues. Forgive and forget. Let it go.

  • jesaves

    @Dawson: amen

  • TampaBayTed

    “undisclosed causes?” I can offer one. His vileness finally overwhelmed his immune system. Should we picket his funeral/memorial services? Probably a lot of Republicans and T-baggers will show.

  • hotshot70

    How fitting. The first day of spring, a day of rebirth, and the evil bastard dies! Everyone get your “GOD HATES PHELPS” signs ready for his funeral!

  • Mdterp01


    I completely understand and support feelings like this. Not everyone can be so forgiving and theres nothing wrong with that. He was a very hateful man but I hope his God is more forgiving than he was.

  • Bad Ass Biker

    @Dawson: F&F, and I agree 100%. In as much as he looks like Dracula’s grandfather, maybe we should see that he is buried with a stake in his heart – or maybe one up his ass.

  • hotshot70

    the Westboro group once photoshopped my face pic from twitter and used it on their page. I sent MANY reports on them, had many Twitter pals also get the pic removed, and tormented them. So, I wish I could be in the area to prtest his funeral, spit on his grave, and be the first to tell him “Welcome to hell!”

  • anubis0614

    Hell is a lot hotter than Topeka, KS. I’m sure that dead Fred will get quite the sunburn.

  • SteveDenver

    Only speak good of the dead: “Fred Phelps is dead. Good.”

  • loren_1955

    Immediately what came to mind was…Ding dong the witch is gone…then I felt bad for insulting witches.

  • Sebizzar

    HALLELUJAH! Let the funeral protest karma begin :D

  • Geoff B

    A gay couple came in the bar tonight very spirited and in great moods. I asked them if they were celebrating something and they were the ones who told me the news. I set two glasses of sparkling wine in front of them and they said they didn’t order it. I told them it was on me. A rednecky guy near them asked them what was up (I started thinking “oh, crap!”) they told him, and he knew who he was regarding the veteran’s funerals they protested. He bought them a round, a couple of his friends bought them rounds and it turned into a really cool friendly scene. Ran into them all later at the bar I frequent after work. A bunch of good ol boys and a gay couple hanging out like they were lifelong friends getting hammered together (not like that!). Nothing like the well deserved death of a monster to bring the least likely of people together. Plus I won money playing video slots. What a great day.

  • winemaker

    Thank God that this evil, hateful piece of SHIT kicked the bucket. Hopefully his followers will soon come into the light and “get it” soon. With the passing of Jerry Falwell awhile ago, two major thorns in the side of the Gay community no longer should concern us, nor should we waste time thinking about this true American tragedy !

  • misterhollywood

    I feel bad saying this but I cannot say I felt bad upon hearing the news.

  • omacdonald

    In some ways, this horrible man helped our community. His vile antics helped galvanize us to organize and counter-protest. His church’s hateful demonstrations brought a light in the media to what right wing nuts can be capable of if allowed to push to the extremes. I daresay that if these religious zealots had their way, we’d be herded into ovens by now.

    But at the same time, during the media exposure, our community was depicted many times in a sympathetic light from being associated with the targets of these crazy protests: fallen (and sometimes gay) soldiers, cops killed in the line of duty, and murdered children.

    This man’s methods was definitely vile and reprehensible but we survived him (and hopefully future creeps like this) and I look forward to our community becoming stronger and better from these crazies’ actions.

  • Allen D.

    It’s a good thing, and something to be celebrated. I have a hard time believing that anyone isn’t just a little bit thrilled about it.

    On another note, here are a couple links that I think should be in the comments of every Phelps story (so forgive their redundancy as you read other stories)…

    9 chapters of a book that was being written about him:

    And a fun little song that features some of his BS rantings:

    Rot, ya bastard.

Comments are closed.