“Most Hated Family in America”: Unlikely Hero’s for Free People
Hate group leader Fred Phelps made American freedom stronger
2500 years ago, Prophet Jeremiah in the old testament of the Christian bible, threw in his two cents on journalism:
“For I heard the defaming of many, fear on every side. Report, say they, and we will report it. All my familiars watched for my halting, saying, per adventure he will be enticed, and we shall prevail against him, and we shall take our revenge on him. But the Lord is with me as a mighty terrible one: therefore my persecutors shall stumble, and they shall not prevail: they shall be greatly ashamed; for they shall not prosper: their everlasting confusion shall never be forgotten”-–Jeremiah 20: 10-11
“God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. We love because he first loved us. Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. And He has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.” — John 4:16-21
March 22, 2014
Fred W. Phelps, Sr., patriarch of the Westboro Baptist Church Hate Group, is a national hero.
The lunatic hate monger, infamous for picketing thousands of funerals of American soldiers killed in war, children massacred by sociopaths in school shootings, and people tortured and murdered for their sexual desires, blaming them for deserving their horrific deaths, “has gone the way of all flesh, and has died”, the church announced this week.
But his personality cult church announced they would not hold a funeral for the Christian preacher, fearing that others would use the same unspeakable tactics that they have inflicted on thousands with glee.
But something both odd and profound has happened as a result of Fred Phelps lifework.
Most of the victims of his vitriolic hate have taken heed of the biblical mandate forbidding tactics responding with an “eye for an eye” of reciprocal vengeance.
Phelps death was met this week with the words and actions of a nation he unintentionally made stronger.
“My final prayer is that people do show up to his funeral…..with large, decorated signs and billboards. I hope they line the streets leading to the funeral home, and I hope that they make sure they are seen. I hope every one of those billboards and signs read, ‘We forgive you,’” wrote Brandon Wallace in the Gay Christian.
“At the very least, Phelps challenged us all to live lives as filled with love and compassion as his was filled with hate,” wrote Jack Jenkins of the Faith and Progressive Policy Initiative at the Center for American Progress.
Thomas Witt, executive director for Equality Kansas, called for people to ”rise above all the anger we feel toward the Westboro Baptist Church and do what we’ve been asking the Phelps family to do for 20 years, which is let us grieve in peace. The gay-rights movement is moving forward … and will continue to move forward now that he’s gone.”
Witt called Phelps “an obscene footnote in history” whose “life will have been meaningless.”
But Phelps life was far from meaningless.
He was an icon that strengthened the right of free speech and contributed to strengthening that pillar of the foundation to free societies.
The church complained shrilly on their website that of a “frenzy (of) unprecedented, hypocritical, vitriolic explosion of words.”
“Vitriolic explosions of words” have been the manna of life for the fringe personality cult which the Southern Poverty Law Center called “arguably the most obnoxious and rabid hate group in America.”
“God Hates You” and “God Hates the USA/Thank God for 9/11”, “Thank God for IEDs”, “God Hates Fags”, “Fags Doom Nations,” and “Thank God for Dead Soldiers” are a sampling of the messages scrawled on picket signs used by Church members celebrating the death of Americans at their funerals where their loved ones grieved.
Phelps and his pathetic religious lunatic cult followers forced up for debate, once again, the question of whether the most profoundly vile and deranged and hateful and hurtful and incendiary of words can be legally uttered as a citizen’s right to free speech protected by the First Amendment of the constitution of the United States.
Fred Phelps sparked numerous lawsuits, legislation and most every other form of protestation objecting to the rhetorical tactics his Westboro Baptist Church deployed in over 50,000 public demonstrations, mainly at the funerals of Americans who died under the most tragic of circumstances.
He inflicted unspeakable, shocking suffering on innocent grieving Americans.
I am glad he did.
And I thank the victims of Fred Phelps for their unwilling suffering that has made their nation stronger and better.
Fred Phelps, in life, made America a stronger place, a country even more firmly committed to ensuring a peaceful and stable society for its citizens.
In death, I suspect, he will serve his country and faith better by the simple virtue of his absence.
In 2006, the U.S. Congress–whose public approval ratings aren’t much higher than those of Phelps’s church–passed the Fallen Heroes Act that limited public demonstrations at the funerals of military personnel.
But in 2011, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the church’s protests came firmly within the legal constitutional protections of expressions of free speech.
Phelps was a trained lawyer, and was disbarred in Kansas in 1979 on ethics charges for intimidating witnesses.
But his family law firm is run by five of his children and a daughter-in-law—all lawyers. Phelps had 13 children; 11 of them attorneys. Most of the members of Phelps’ miniscule church are members of his large family.
The church and Phelps were the recipients of dozens of legal attempts to stop them from their despicable behavior picketing funerals of dead soldiers, children killed in mass school murders, and victims of antigay violence.
In 2011, the US Supreme Court ruled that the church was exercising their rights to free speech protected under the first amendment of the constitution. The court ruled that the families of the dead could not sue the church and no laws could be enacted prohibiting church picketing of private funerals which the Supreme Court deemed as firmly within the protections of the constitution.
Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, in his written majority opinion in Snyder v. Phelps, quoted the slogans the church used picketing funerals when the Court ruled that the church can continue their abhorrent activities as cemented in the law of the land:
Chief Justice Roberts listed the following church slogans scrawled on placards held high in public demonstrations. “God Hates the USA/Thank God for 9/11,” “America is Doomed,” “Don’t Pray for the USA,” “Thank God for IEDs,” “Fag Troops,” “Semper Fi Fags,” “God Hates Fags,” “Fags Doom Nations,” “Not Blessed Just Cursed,” “Thank God for Dead Soldiers, ”You’re Going to Hell,” “God Hates You.”
“While these messages may fall short of refined social or political commentary, the issues they highlight—the political and moral conduct of the United States and its citizens, the fate of our Nation, homosexuality in the military, and scandals involving the Catholic clergy—are matters of public import.”
Many would posit that the words “God” and “hate” do not belong together. And even if one believes being gay is a sin, God loves us regardless of what sins we commit.
Not the Westboro Baptist Church, which cites the “Arminian lies that ‘God loves everyone’ and ‘Jesus died for everyone’ (which) are being taught from nearly every pulpit in this generation.”
The truth is if one cherry picks from the bible, the handbook of Christian faith, one can corroborate any pre-determined conclusion.
“We adhere to the teachings of the Bible, preach against all form of sin e.g., fornication, adultery [including divorce and remarriage], and sodomy,” the Church says on its website which adheres to the teachings of John Calvin, at http://blogs.sparenot.com/
“Although these doctrines are almost universally hated today, they were once loved and believed. Even though the Arminian lies that “God loves everyone” and “Jesus died for everyone” are being taught from nearly every pulpit in this generation.”
They contend that if “you are hearing these lies, then your church doesn’t teach what the Bible teaches.”
“WBC engages in daily peaceful sidewalk demonstrations opposing the homosexual lifestyle of soul-damning, nation-destroying filth. We display large, colorful signs containing Bible words and sentiments, including: GOD HATES FAGS, FAGS HATE GOD, AIDS CURES FAGS, THANK GOD FOR AIDS, FAGS BURN IN HELL, GOD IS NOT MOCKED, FAGS ARE NATURE FREAKS, GOD GAVE FAGS UP, NO SPECIAL LAWS FOR FAGS, FAGS DOOM NATIONS, THANK GOD FOR DEAD SOLDIERS, FAG TROOPS, GOD BLEW UP THE TROOPS, GOD HATES AMERICA, AMERICA IS DOOMED, THE WORLD IS DOOMED, etc.”, writes the church on their own website.
While the Westboro Baptist Church proudly trumpets that gay rights “pose a clear and present danger to the survival of America, exposing our nation to the wrath of God” and demonstrated at “over 400 military funerals of troops whom God has killed in Iraq/Afghanistan in righteous judgment against an evil nation”, Fred Phelps daughter, Shirley Phelps-Roper, said that there will be no funeral held for their dead loony cult leader.
“This nation is on a short path to her full, final and complete destruction!” Phelps-Roper said. “It will be beautiful and it will be righteous.”
She is right that this nation is “beautiful and righteous” because we firmly defend the right of her and her despicable ilk to spew their putrid venom as a necessary, if mostly boring, collateral side effect of protecting the ability of all of us to say and think and believe whatever we do with the defense and support of the full weight of the power of the political authority of the United States of America.
So yes, Fred Phelps and family, God bless America.
And Fuck you!
Or rather don’t.
I am kicking you out of my bed as a metaphorically unworthy fuck.
But worthy of defending your right to shout from the mountain tops of exactly why you are so repulsive and unattractive.
You have served your purpose.
And now I will ignore you.