|And they say evil never dies. Image from source, Advocate.|
Remember, this was during some of the worst of the AIDS crisis, so not only was the LGBT community still reeling from that, they then had to go on defense against these hateful people. Called The Westboro Baptist Church (but disowned by actual Baptists), this demented group owned a block of homes and a plain (ugly, really) church in Topeka, Kansas. I drove by it about 10 years ago when on business in the city, and recall the dumpy neighborhood, cramped one-way street, and on the church, a banner that read GodHatesAmerica.com
|I have no idea which Phelps this is, but|
helloooo, sister! Image from Huffington Post.
But it wasn't until they started regularly protesting soldiers' funerals that mainstream America stood up and took notice. Suddenly, these vile people were attacking people who "mattered." Even Right Wing World began to call WBC and the Phelpses out for their wicked, hateful behavior. Of course, the right can't help but point out that Fred himself was at least one time a Democrat, which is almost as relevant to his behavior as the fact that he used to fight Jim Crow laws. Both facts actually go counter to his behavior, especially in the past 25 years or so.
Here's hoping that his demented family--minus their lighting-rod patriarch--eventually tires of their pointless hate carnival, and the WBC just peters out. Until then, I hold this cult in exactly the same regard that I hold their former leader.
Westboro Baptist Church Founder Fred Phelps Dead at 84
. . .The 84-year-old preacher and disbarred lawyer built a hateful name for himself by establishing the WBC in the 1950s, and rose to prominence picketing the funerals of people who died of AIDS complications, then gained international attention when the church picketed slain gay college student Matthew Shepard's funeral in 1998. Under the leadership of Phelps, Sr., his children and grandchildren who comprise the vast majority of the church's congregation made a habit of picketing the funerals of military veterans, carrying inflammatory signs with messages like "Thank God for Dead Soldiers," and claiming that the death of American troops was God's punishment for the nation's tolerance of homosexuality. The WBC regularly picketed funerals and events which they believed were sinful, often "thanking God" for natural disasters, violent massacres, and even the attacks on September 11, 2001. . .
Read more at: The Advocate