h/t Raw Story.
h/t Raw Story.
How should the LGBT community respond to the (eventual) death of Fred Phelps?
William S. Burnett writes:
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We’ll leave aside the question of the relationship between God and the “fags.” Using people’s funerals is a horrible way to communicate your beliefs to a wider audience. I don’t personally think that’s what was meant by “freedom of speech” or “freedom of assembly” in our Constitution. But I’m neither a Constitutional lawyer nor a judge, so I’ll leave that alone. I’ll just say that the expression of their hate knew no boundaries! In the Catholic community, we would call that “pastoral insensitivity” at the least; but I think “pastoral insensitivity” is a big understatement!
Over the years, I had been incredibly incensed by Fred Phelps, Sr. and his clan, both as a queer and as a Christian. As a queer, I was incensed because I was the primary target of their vehemence; and, because in their hate, they were trying to project an ugly, evil image of me that was far removed from who I was.
National media is running with the story (not that that means anything necessarily) that 84 year-old Phelps has been “excommunicated” from his own church and is very near death. Given the highly litigious history of the church , I’ll refrain from guessing (publicly, at least) what kind of deathbed confession would be shocking enough for the virulently homophobic Westboro Baptist Church to cast out their founder – if it’s true.
I don’t know if you’ve ever seen a WBC Protest, but when they actually show up (they often make a big deal about coming somewhere and then are nowhere to be seen), there’s usually just a couple of them with signs, and they usually get the hell out of Dodge within minutes. When I was in college, exactly ONE of them showed up just off the property of my school with a little sign. She bailed in minutes, staying around just long enough to grab some media coverage.… Read the rest
Fred Phelps, notable homophobe (catchphrase, “God Hates Fags”) was the face and voice of the notorious Westboro Baptist Church. Now his estranged son has revealed not only that Phelps is dying, but that he was excommunicated from his own church. What could have happened? Did he have a change of heart about gay culture? From Nathan Phelps’ Facebook page:
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I’ve learned that my father, Fred Phelps, Sr., pastor of the “God Hates Fags” Westboro Baptist Church, was ex-communicated from the “church” back in August of 2013. He is now on the edge of death at Midland Hospice house in Topeka, Kansas.
I’m not sure how I feel about this. Terribly ironic that his devotion to his god ends this way. Destroyed by the monster he made.
I feel sad for all the hurt he’s caused so many. I feel sad for those who will lose the grandfather and father they loved.
Apparently God loves epic lulz. Check out this round-up of 35 hilarious and moving rebuttals to the hate-filled shenanigans of Westboro Baptist Church. My favorite sign of the bunch is carried by the Anon in the Guy Fawkes mask: “I herd God lieks Mudkipz”. Humor and ridicule can be powerful weapons.
Pointing out Fox News’ editorial bias is as easy as shooting fish in a barrel, and almost not worth noting anymore. Still, examples like this do an excellent job of illustrating the “news” network’s willingness to sacrifice fact in favor of its national agenda as an arm of the Republican party.
The caption from this screenshot describes the notoriously homophobic fundamentalist Westboro Baptist Church as a “left-wing cult”. Left-wing as compared to Fox News, maybe, but not in any normal sense of the term. The writer also takes pains to describe church leader Fred Phelps as a “Democrat”. It should be noted that Phelps was born and raised in the Mississippi of the 1940s. At that time, the southern branch of the Democratic Party was extremely conservative: staunch supporters of segregation and the preservation of “the Southern way of life”. It just didn’t mean the same thing as it does today.… Read the rest
The Westboro Baptist Church, widely reviled for its homophobic beliefs and protests of veteran funerals, announced on Saturday that it would picket at Sandy Hook Elementary School following the tragic shooting there Friday that took the lives of 27 people. Members of Anonymous began an operation against the Church to discourage them from protesting at the school and compounding the misery already experienced by Newtown residents. In a video uploaded by KY Anonymous, the hacker collective states: We will not allow you to corrupt the minds of America with your seeds of hatred...
Patty Akrouche says she's "never been prouder" of her 9-year-old son, Josef Miles, than she was this past weekend. As Akrouche wrote on her Facebook page, she and Josef were on the campus of Washburn University in Topeka when they encountered some of the protesters from the tiny Westboro Baptist Church, which has gained notice in recent years for protesting against homosexuality, abortion and other issues outside the funerals of military veterans and celebrities. Westboro's followers are infamous for their signs that — using an F-word we won't repeat — say 'God Hates [Homosexuals].' "Josef was determined to make his own statement so we went to the car and with pencil and his sketch pad, he made up his own little sign that reads 'GOD HATES NO ONE,' " his mom wrote...
Warren Richey writes in the Christian Science Monitor:
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Supreme Court Justice Alito is the lone dissenter in the 8-to-1 ruling on free-speech principles, saying the conduct of the Westboro Baptist Church ’caused petitioner great injury.’
In an important reaffirmation of free speech principles, the US Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled that noxious, highly offensive protests conducted outside solemn military funerals are protected by the First Amendment when the protests take place in public and address matters of public concern.
The high court ruled 8 to 1 that members of the Topeka, Kansas-based Westboro Baptist Church are entitled to stage their controversial antigay protests even when they cause substantial injury to family members and others attending the funeral of a loved one.
“Speech is powerful. It can stir people to action, move them to tears of both joy and sorrow, and – as it did here – inflict great pain,” Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in the majority opinion.