Since word rapidly spread Sunday that Fred Phelps is facing imminent death in a Topeka hospice, numerous questions have arisen about the future of the Westboro Baptist Church he notoriously founded to inform LGBT people that God hates them. “Church leaders” have prepared for an inevitable full onslaught from nosy media types by adding a FAQ page to its charming website.
Addressing the news that Phelps is preparing to meet his maker, WBC states:
Fred Phelps is a person of advanced age, and such people sometimes have health issues. Fred Phelps has health issues, but the idea that someone would suggest that he is near death, is not only highly speculative, but foolish considering that all such matters are the sole prerogative of God.
The author of this informative note then asks readers to consider some Biblical scripture from the Book of Deuteronomy, but we’ll omit that bit and others as a courtesy to our secular readers.
Perhaps the most shocking revelation from the Facebook note from Phelps’s estranged son Nathan was that Reverend Fred had been excommunicated from WBC in August 2013. Don’t expect enlightenment from WBC, apart from correcting the common terminology.
Q: Has Fred Phelps been ‘excluded’ from membership at Westboro Baptist Church?
A: Membership issues are private.
Wow, they almost make it sound like a whites-only country club. Since WBC has obviously been continuing its haterific mission, many are wondering who’s in charge. According to the FAQ, it’s the big guy upstairs.
The church has no singular human leader – our head is the Lord Jesus Christ. The church currently has 8 male members who have been serving the church in the capacity of ‘elders’ for several years (this word is synonymous with ‘bishop,’ ‘pastor,’ and ‘overseer’) – all of whom minister to the members of the church, preach, and are involved in doctrine and teaching. These men were unanimously chosen by the members of the church to serve in this capacity, having evidenced the proper scriptural qualifications.”
You’re probably wondering how the lack of earthly leadership will impact the future of WBC. The church asks itself a question: What do any of these issues change?
Nothing. The church of the Lord Jesus Christ does not rise or fall with any man – in fact, the Lord doesn’t need ANY of us. This is still a nation and world awash in sin. We will still warn you of this condition, out of our love and fear of the Lord, and out of our love for our neighbors. Here is the message of Westboro Baptist Church: God still hates fags, God still hates fag enablers and any nation that embraces that sin as an ‘innocent’ lifestyle can expect to incur the wrath of God. Repent or Perish.
So there you have it. Some things will never change. The god that Westboro Baptist Church worships still hates “fags” and its hate-filled ministry, like Celine Dion’s heart, will go on.
as much as I dislike this person and what they stand for, wishing the death of someone doesn’t seem right. he will need to live with the pain he has caused but unfortunately he doesn’t think he has done anything wrong.
Well, if Jesus Christ is actually the leader of their church, then either a)Jesus is a TERRIBLE manager with a serious lack of communication skills, or b) these guys are just a bunch of lying hypocrites using the cover of being a “church” to justify their hate-crusade.
Hmmmmm…….. I’m going with b)
Bobby Christina Crawford
It is my sincere hope that someone will direct a sewer line straight into his coffin that will flow from his house. Allow him to eat the shit he has taught his family to spew for all eternity.
It would be great if he could writhe in pain for the next six months. Only a wuss ass fool would attempt to take the “high road” when it comes to this group of hate filled snakes that I witness break into hospitals and yell at my friends dying of AIDS that they were going to hell and then turn around and scream at their parents. Some of the last words some of these dying men heard was the hate spewed by him and his family.
He is a waste of space.
The whole thing is horribly sad.
Yes. No matter what Fred said it’s not proper to gloat over his impending death or whatgever is happening to him.
Having said that the WBC and its current leaders are revolting, disgusting people and their so-called God would have nothing to do with them.
Having said that I apologize to all (except them) when I say: fuck them!
if America is so bad, why don’t they leave?
Manolete’ John Garcia
I have been processing the news of the impending death of Reverend Fred Phelps of Topeka, KS since I first began hearing of his entry into a hospice. My think has evolved as this process has continued.
I think in reality Fred Phelps has done more in a positive way to call attention to the inequality and bigotry that assaults the LGBT community on a daily basis. His hatred has probably done more to move gay rights forward than much of the positive steps anyone has taken. His rabid assault on the gay community has caused people who might not have, to rally around the equality mantra. It will be refreshing to have his leadership in hatred snuffed out forever but there will always be those who will rise to take his place.
Hate cannot drive out hate only love can do that. I don’t know if there is a heaven or for that matter a hell. Id there? Your guess is as good as mine. No one really knows, many believe because the alternative scares the hell out of them. Eternity scares the hell out of me. An eternity anywhere doing anything. I ask myself “what could I spend an Eternity doing?” I can come up with nothing. The older I get I can’t even sit through a 2 hour movie unless it really grabs my attention. I haven’t been able to pick up a book and read it cover to cover without putting it down and going back to it later. People who have survived “near death” experiences have returned to report both positive and negative experiences. Science believes both are related to oxygen deprivation and neurons firing in the brain at that moment.
I suspect, but do not nor can I prove that there is not. And that our bodies return to the universe from whence they came breaking down into elements and atoms. Our energy, since it can neither be created or destroyed simply returns to the universe as well. I have likened the dying process with it’s pain and final release in some of my earlier writing and from observations of the death process. To “giving birth to the soul” for the benefit of those that believe there is a soul. Is there? I don’t know, no one really does.
What faces Fred Phelps | Heaven, Hell or Oblivion. I’m sure he will learn that fate soon enough. For his survivors I hope that they can begin to heal from the horrible hate that he visited upon them. and that the world will come together a little closer in LOVE.
Agreed, he made bigotry so ugly and public, that he made it difficult for people to be anti-gay without being associated with him. If he didn’t exist, organizations like Fox News would have been far more anti-gay publicly than they were because they could be. He made it all too ugly, espeicially when he started picketing soldiers funerals.
Sorry, but I think he deserves a bit of gloating over his demise. He’s earned it. In fact, I hope there are picketers at his funeral with signs like “God hates HATERS!” and “Surprised by Hell, Fred???”. Or perhaps they would be more gracious: “I hope God is more loving than you gave Him credit for, Fred… If not, you’re now in HELL” and “May the LOVING GOD forgive you for decades of SPEWING HATE”. What do others think the picket signs should say at his funeral?
Bad Ass Biker
@gskorich: Assholes like Phelps will never acknowledge that they have caused pain to others.
The only wish I have for Phelps… I wish I could see his face when he arrives.
The greatest thing about that picture is that he looks exactly like Jerri Blank’s dad from Stranger’s with Candy.
“It is all ignorant prejudice…; the world is slowly growing more tolerant and one day men will be ashamed of their barbarous treatment of me, as they are now ashamed of the torturing of the Middle Ages. The current of opinion is making in our favour and not against us.”
~ Oscar Wilde, 1898
He’s going to hell. I hope the devil sodomizes him with his horns once he is in the flames of Hades. I’m sorry. I know it is wrong to gloat over a person’s death, but Phelps is NOT human, he is trash, and the sooner we can recycle him in the fires on the Underworld, the better. So, how many GLAAD, PFLAG and other gay groups will protest his funeral service? Karma is a real bitch.
‘Ol Phred has spawn that makes him look sane by comparison.
I think they have “Jesus” mixed up with a homophobic person of the same name. I am a non-theist but I am pretty sure the “Jesus’ of the bible preached LOVE and acceptance, kindness and mercy etc. etc….. Or maybe that’s just me!
@Bobby Christina Crawford:
I TOTALLY AGREE WITH YOU. No high ground required.
Without their original leader/tyrant this Band of Fools will soon disband. Once Fred is dead and completely gone, the in-fighting will become extreme and they will cease to exist forever and ever, amen.
Someone on another board put it best, just paraphrasing here: the best way to deal with Phelps is to completely ignore his passing. For anyone to picket, march, or even gloat at his death is doing what he wants and that is to get attention for himself. Hopefully, he’ll be forgotten in the annals of history and the world can move on.
In response to “gloating” about his impending death, I will say this about my personal policy… Once you are dead, I will not bring forth accusations since you can no longer defend yourself. However, just because a person is dead or about to die doesn’t mean I am going to suddenly feel differently about them. The only other person who has earned my eternal dislike was someone very much like Fred Phelps. I hope Fred and Sue enjoy one another’s company in Hell.
The only pity is that they will probably withhold news of his passing until he has been buried. There are too many people who would love to make the trip to Topeka for THAT funeral.
@MikeE: I choose C) All of the above. I hope Phelps leaves this mortal coil without incident and people forget about WBC altogether. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the people of WBC discovered HAPPINESS in doing kind deeds for others?
@gskorich: wishing doesn’t cause death any more than wishing causes someone to win the lottery. If someone is a true Christian they have lived for one purpose, that of every lasting life and dying is not to be feared but something to accept and embrace.
As a case study in cults, WBC is fairly fascinating. They use the ultimate trump card–God–as defense for their message, and explain anything positive or negative that happens to them as equally highlighting their “message.” You can’t go wrong there.
What is curious is the issue of Phelps being excluded from the church. Did he have a change of heart in the eleventh hour?
Many seem to believe that Fred will be going to hell – personally I don’t think the Devil wants the competition.
@Hillers: actually his “outster” was most likely orchestrated for internal financial and control reasons and quite possibly at his own direction.
What I dislike most about Fred Phelps and his message of hate is that it leads some people to assume that all Christians are like this. Our church, Trinity+St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in San Francisco, is proud to have many gays among its members. The God we know loves everyone. We think it appalling that the Westboro Baptist Church leaders are such bigots.
Please enough of this evil man. Let him die and let him go to hell in peace. Good riddance. They should just close the church. Then take it down and rebuilt and start fresh with a pastor preacher man of cloth, priest, any one with an open mind preferably a young man or woman. Prior to opening, priest should spray the church with holy water to the new church or to the old church. Enough is enough. Good bye .
Don’t wait until Shirley’s dead, just throw her in with him.
So back to the loving arms of Satan he goes!
Well — they do say the Devil looks after his own, don’t they?
Maybe, someone caught Fred giving a bj in the back pew.
@Bulls Eye: I love that your username really says it all, LOL! Can’t believe I read all this WBC Q&A bullshirt “Blah, blah blah…” before I realized “Who gives a rat’s ass about this hateful ass-clown anyway?” Haha!
Maybe Freddy Krueger food his heart, like many wacko conservative Christians and right-wing politicians do on their death bed when they realize what lying asshole scum bags they’ve been. It’s happened to better folks when faced with the truth, just look at Scrooge and the Grinch!
These people caused me to have panic attacks when I was having to face my homosexuality. To hell with this “turn the other cheek” and forgiveness BS. Nothing is too good for them. I want them to all die and suffer horribly, period.
They don’t have a “church”. They have a house with a cross nailed to the front door. It’s all a big tax avoidance scheme and that is exactly what his excommunication was.
Fred Phelps showed nothing but hatred and disrespect to others and revelled in causing upset at funerals with his vile actions. He cared nothing for the hurt he caused families. He was the embodiment of pure evil.
If people are now looking forward to the death of this old bastard then who can blame them. Phelps deserves everything that he will get when he takes his last breath.
Lest we forget they were tired of the gays having sex in the park next to their church, which started it all. Anyway, hopefully we can all cavort freely again even though we can now get married, right? Even though you can get married in Illinois, Chicago’s infamous bath house with mazes is still thriving.
Unfortunately, the passing of this monster won’t stop the sick hatred he has passed on to his family. They are his victims as much as anyone he has harassed. As much as I despise Fred Phelps and his church, I feel sorry for someone whose entire life was consumed by hatred for millions of fine people. What a way to go through life. Fundamentally crazy, or crazily fundamental.
The passing of Fred Phelps, when it occurs, will not be something to celebrate, because it changes nothing. His legacy of hate will live on in the surviving members of his family who still subscribe to the beliefs and mission of his “church”.
I also fail to see the point of protesting his funeral.
Neither position has anything to do with being a “wuss”. Both have everything to do with not stooping to the level of our enemies or giving them more ammunition to turn around and use on us.
Moreover, both ideas strike me as arising from a thirst for revenge. Maybe people will feel better if they celebrate his death or protest his funeral, but let’s be honest and call out the selfish purpose behind both in that case. It is returning hate for hate. Neither action will bring back lost loved ones. Neither action will undo the harms already done by the Westboro Baptist Church or Fred Phelps. Neither action will provide anything of benefit to our communities’ struggles to have our equality respected.
I will certainly admit to feeling a bit of schadenfreude when I first read the news of Phelps alleged impending death. “Good, one less hateful person in the world.” But his death holds no greater meaning to me. It is not symbolic of anything. Hate is very much alive in the world, with or without Fred Phelps. Hardly cause for celebration then. As for protesting the funeral, why reward their hate with more publicity?
But I’m not going to tell anyone how to feel or what to do. All I seek to do by this post is provide another outlook on the situation. You are free to reject it in favor of acts motivated by selfishness and revenge if that’s your choice. If you have some different motivation and I’ve overlooked something, by all means – share.
Oh, and lest someone misinterpret, my post is not about forgiving the Phelps clan, or turning the other cheek. I do neither. I simply would rather we didn’t feed their egomania by giving them more publicity.
@gskorich: But that’s the thing, he is NOT a person. His humanity left him longgg ago.
@WayDifferent: What exactly is your point? Straight marriage hasn’t stopped heterosexuals from being sluts. BFD.
I suggest reading the aborted book hat was being written about Felpa at blank.org/addict. Fred’s crusades have nothing to do with morals. It’s all about money and an enjoyment of inflicting pain and punishing people.
@Allen D.: That you’re all just as much the hypocrite as the people you choose to chastise.
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