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Fred Phelps

Fred Phelps is the leader and head minister of the Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kansas. He is also owner of the web sites "godhatesfags.com" and "godhatesamerica.com" and a perpetrator of anti-homosexual propaganda.

Picketing

The group carries out daily picketing in Topeka, and travels nationally to picket the funerals of homosexual victims of murder, gay-bashing or death related to AIDS/HIV, as well as other events related or supposedly related to gay people.

Phelps and his supporters and members of his church (1) attend said gatherings, as well as other gay-related events, with signs bearing anti-homosexual slogans which some consider to be hate speech. These have included, but are not limited to, "God Hates Fags," "Matthew Shepard Rots In Hell," "AIDS Kills Fags Dead", and "Ellen DeGeneres Is a Lesbian Slut". (The latter was carried at an "Equality Rocks" rock concert and fundraiser. At the event Degeneres commented that she wasn't so offended by the slogan as the fact that they had drawn pock marks all over her face on the poster.)

On his web site, Phelps maintains an "Perpetual Gospel Memorial" to gay murder victim Matthew Shepard. Some direct quotes/images from this page:

  • A photograph of Matthew Shepard's face with animated flames dancing across it.
  • A counter which displays how many days Matthew Shepard has "Been in Hell."
  • "WBC does not support the murder of Matthew Shepard: "thou shalt not kill." Unless his killers repent, they will receive the same sentence that Matthew Shepard received - eternal fire. However, the truth about Matthew Shepard needs to be known. He lived a Satanic lifestyle. He got himself killed trolling for anonymous homosexual sex in a bar at midnight."

Phelps' group also planned a protest at the funeral of David Charlebois, gay copilot of the plane that was crashed into The Pentagon as part of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack.

On his site www.godhatesamerica.com the following hymn can be found: God Hates America!, sung to the tune of "God Bless America":

God hates America! Land of the gays!
He abhors her, deplors her, [sic]
Day and night, by His might, all His days,
From the mountans, to the prairies
To the oceans, white with foam,
God hates America! The faggots' home!

On August 18, 1999, an anonymous hacker transferred ownership of the domain www.godhatesfags.com to Kris Haight, owner of the counter activism site www.godlovesfags.com. Apparently, this was done by forging an email message from Phelps. Haight promptly redirected all traffic to his site. After much media attention, Phelps threatened to sue and the domain name was returned on August 21.

An alternate view

Although there are a wide variety of individuals who believe homosexuality to be immoral, even condemning of one to Hell, within these same groups there is commonly a belief to "love the sinner, hate the sin." Most individuals believe that a message of hatred, especially allegedly espousing that said hatred comes from the Christian God, is inaccurate and destructive.

For example, Rev. Jerry Falwell, who is known for anti-homosexual views, has been reported to have called Rev. Phelps as a "first-class nut" [1] (http://my.ohio.voyager.net/~dionisio/queer/Origins/fallwell).

External Links


(1) According to various sources that are critical of Rev. Phelps and his activities, his congregation is made up largely of his extended family. For one such source see Fred Phelps' Expose (http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/michael_haggerty/expose3.htm).



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