Fred Phelps, leader of the infamous Westboro Baptist Church, is dying in a hospice in Topeka, Kansas. WBC constantly makes headlines for their vitriolic hate speech against homosexuals and their allies.
Nathan Phelps, one of Phelps’ estranged sons, posted via Facebook about his father’s fate.
Fred Phelps was ex-communicated from the church last August but reasons remain unclear.
The church rose to infamy due to their protests of soldier’s funerals. They reckoned that the death of our fallen troops is a direct punishment from God due to society’s acceptance of alternative lifestyles. Ever since, communities have banded together to stop the pain this group imposes on families. While in college, they actually went to my high school to protest. Shout out to the Brooklyn Tech community for standing together and outnumbering them almost 100 to 1. hahaha
The church is notorious for their protests and the offensive signs that normally read “God Hates Fags” and other ridiculous content. Most believe its all an attention-seeking publicity stunt. Some have challenged the group in the courts, however the courts ruled that their protests and message-spreading are protected under the First Amendment. Local governments have taken it upon themselves to institute certain buffer zones.
Over the past years, membership has declined sharply. WBC is family based, and as many as 20 relatives have left the church due to harsh treatment and strict lifestyle they are supposed to maintain. Nathan Phelps, one of the first to leave, is ardently vocal in his support of the LGBT community, and denounces his father as a violent man who uses the church to express his anger and rage. Nathan also alleges that his father beat them mercilessly as children.
It’s unlikely that Fred Phelps’ condition will garner sympathy from the community at-large. However, I pray that Fred Phelps finds solace in his last days, and reconciles with the millions of people he hurt with his violent ignorance.