Hate Hits A Wall

Is This The End Of The Westboro Baptist Church?

westboro1-3d0baab9ccc674c5428c2cf5342da0ffcee7da0e-s6-c10Just two days after the death of Fred Phelps, experts are predicting the end of the ‘God Hates Fags’ church.

A number of church members have already left the small group of around 30 in recent years, including prominent members, such as Phelps’ granddaughters Megan and Grace. Megan was the public face of the church through social media. 

Reverend Darlene Nipper, deputy executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, told USA Today that she believed that without Phelps, the remaining members of the church, made up mostly of Phelps’ extended family, will leave to find “true religion.”

Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center, which has closely studied the cult group for a number of years, said:

“When you build a group so much around the personality and politics of a single leader, it’s sometimes difficult to keep that group alive when that leader dies…It’s possible the church could fall apart in the next year or two.”

Potok cites examples of other extremist groups such as National Alliance and Aryan Nations, Neo-Nazi organizations which closed down soon after the death of their figurehead leaders.

However, things may not be as simple as an end of Phelps, equalling an end of the church.

Phelps is reported to have been excommunicated from the church in September 2013. According to the Topeka Capital Journal, Phelps was kicked out by a group of newly elected elders who had recently won a power struggle with the church’s longterm spokeswoman, Phelps’ daughter Shirley Phelps-Roper.

The reason stated was due to “advocating a kinder approach between church members.”

Was Phelps softening towards the end of his life? Little is known about the newly elected leaders, but the fact that they dismissed their former leader over calls for kindness, perhaps paints an even darker picture than before.

We can only hope that the internal conflicts will destroy the church from the inside out. After all, when your main message is hate, there’s only so far you can go before you destroy yourself.

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  • LJ Thomas

    This cult of hate is the most egregious embarrassment to this nation in all of its history. The fact the our Supreme Court allows them under the guise of “freedom of speech” to carry signs that engender hatred, contempt, bullying, violence, and the disruption of the funerals of our country’s gretest fallen heroes only adds to the shame and despicable nature of their endeavors.

    I for one, will not be a bleeding heart hypocrite who takes the “high road” in response to Phelps’ death. He was the embodiment of evil and used the name of God and the institution of Christianity to persecute people who did him and his family no personal harm.

    I also do not buy into the theory that the WBC has helped the LBGT community by bringing about an awareness of the power of hate and bigotry. The vile slurs and signs publicly displayed by this anomaly of inbred scumbags that masquerades as a church continues to poison the eyes and minds of children and weak minded individuals who buy into their one-size-fits-all moral agenda.

    If I were at Phelps’ grave I would spit on it. I hope he suffers the pain and agony in death that he has caused so many others in life.

  • IcarusD

    @LJ Thomas: I don’t disagree that they are an egregious embarrassment, but I’m going to have to put slavery and Native American genocide as a bit higher on the egregious embarrassment scale.


    Here’s a little somethin I posted on facebook on the subject:

    A eulogy for Fred Phelps

    Thank you, Fred.

    I am one of the millions of gay Americans you spent your entire wretched life condemning. You’ve picketed military funerals, insisted Matthew Shepard was in hell, and have fastidiously made it plain as day that you believe God Hates Fags.

    But life is full of irony, isn’t it? I have you to thank, in part, for helping the country I love see that hating someone for how they’re sexually wired is absurd. That religious hatred is an oxymoron, if your God is true.

    I am not a godly person. I rarely go to church and only go when visiting relatives. I see that religion brings peace, hope and solace to a great, many people.

    But I also see how it provides implied permission to hate a fellow human being. That part confuses me. Seems to me Jesus spent a LOT of time hanging with those whom society loathed, yet had very little time for the self-righteous. But we stray from the issue at hand.

    You are a human being who died. What you did with your life is certainly memorable. But hear this, Fred. The results of your actions are exactly the opposite of what you intended. Because of you, gay folks like me are seen as what we are: people. And your crusade against us, fought hard and true, helped turn the tides in today’s America, which now approves of gay marriage (if by a narrow margin). That is your legacy. Your epitaph.

    RIP, Fred. May you be shocked and astounded by how liberal God’s love is for his creation. And you might also be shocked by the fact that this homosexual agnostic loves you, despite how much you hate me back.

    Peace out.

  • LJ Thomas

    @IcarusD: fair enough. However, as a nation we have moved well beyond those issues while it is still open season to persecute gays, and the Supreme Court decision has added insult to injury by allowing it under “freedom of speech” to perpetuate.

    Try carrying signs publicly that express hatred for people of any other minority and see if the the US government protects you.

  • Thad1527

    Heck, my church closed and we had more going for us than Westboro. But mine was just a little family-friendly suburban Methodist church that had been around since 1860.

    Expect Westboro Baptist to be gone soon.

  • hotshot70

    My eulogyto Phelps “Goodbye Fred, at last you’re dead. May worms and maggots burrow in your head.”

  • toronto416

    This isn’t the end of hate groups like this. There are a lot of angry young religious fanatics in rural areas that have no interaction with GLBT people and these kinds of fanatical adults will always be around to teach them this stuff. If anything, there are more than ever because the internet has a way of bringing all these people together so they can find each other easily and never talk about anything else.

    The other reason why these groups will always exist is because the gay community does absolutely nothing to defend one another if we are attacked. We run away from whoever is attacked because most gay men are cowards. We don’t want our names in the paper. We don’t want to deal with defending someone in our community when we could be having drinks or being at dinner with someone who is ‘our type’. Gay men are the worst when it comes to how self-important we are versus other gay men. How dare they waste our precious time when we’re should be around someone more attractive and better. When you’re gay, particularly around 10-15 years after coming out, you are truly on your own. Don’t expect the community to support or help you if you are targeted and attacked. That’s your problem and you should have known better. It’s this kind of attitude that has increasingly isolated us from each other, as well as wanting nothing to do with the rest of the gay community when we treat each other so badly simply because we feel we’re better than everyone else.

    These churches, hate groups and others wouldn’t exist if we had a more connected community that could grow up and get over itself. Communities of color have the NAACP, Jesse Jackson and Rev Sharpton – all they have to do is show up on tv and the world shuts up immediately. Gay men are still the subject of jokes and among middle schoolers it’s the worst possible insult you could be the subject of – they’d rather be dead than gay. I am disappointed because I thought we were past this, and clearly we’re not.

  • mcflyer54

    Thanks to Fred Phelps. He put a face on hate. He almost single handedly brought prejudice, hatred and bigotry out of the closet and into the mainstream. And, through his actions, and those of his few followers, he forced many Americans to look at, acknowledge and abandon their own prejudices. Without intending to he united friend and foe as he inadvertently moved more people toward the acceptance of LGBT people than any other single individual. If there is truly a God then He will judge Fred. But personally I see Phelps, his followers and his campaign as greatly instrumental in the advancement of equal rights and that must surely make Fred turn over in his grave.

  • stranded

    @LJ Thomas:
    “as a nation we have moved well beyond those issues”

    You know nothing Jon Snow. Laws make it illegal to outright discriminate people based on race, but that hardly stopped people from doing it anyway. We’re no different than any other minority looking for equality.

  • Goforit

    Please folks, let’s not argue with each other over this. He was human garbage, he is dead, good riddance.

  • DarkZephyr

    I am fairly sure that the Church won’t end. They are all about making money.

  • newecreator

    Not yet. Too early.

Comments are closed.