March 20, 2014
We have lost a great man, who was not afraid to stand up for what he believed in.
I didn’t agree with everything the man did, but he stuck to his guns in a way that virtually no one else in recent memory has done.
May God rest his soul.
Fred Phelps, the pastor who led a small Kansas church’s vitriolic “God Hates Fags” anti-gay campaign across the United States, has died, the church said on Thursday.
Phelps, whose Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kansas, won a 2011 freedom-of-speech U.S. Supreme Court decision related to their anti-gay picketing, died on Wednesday in a Kansas hospice at the age of 84.
“People die – that is the way of all flesh,” a blog post on the church’s website said.
Phelps founded the church in the 1950s.
In his later years, Phelps, known as “Gramps” to his family, turned over much of the church’s day-to-day operations to his offspring.
In March, his son Nathan, who ran away from home as soon as he turned 18 and later became a gay rights advocate, said in a Facebook posting he had learned Phelps was near death in a hospice and that he had been excommunicated in 2013. The church would not confirm the excommunication report, saying membership issues were private.
Phelps’ church was widely denounced as a hate group and was not part of any mainstream Baptist organization. Its membership has been estimated at about 100, many of whom were related to Phelps.
The Westboro Church was like something out of a long-dead era. A reactionary response mechanism to a flood of evil.
I fully understand that this is was something thought to make our message look bad. Redneck or low-class. But it was what it was, and it was powerful. No one drew media attention like Fred, and he kept it in the collective consciousness of the masses that somewhere there is someone who thinks this is all wrong and evil.
The man is dead, but the message is not.
God Hates fags and He hates the Jews. And He always will.