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Westboro Baptist makes an official statement on the death of Fred Phelps

I think. There’s no expression of human sentiment, grief or loss in this incoherent ramble of pissed-offedness at the world. I guess it’s a fitting tribute to the man’s life, after all.

Fred W. Phelps, Sr. Has Gone The Way of All Flesh, And Has Died on March 19, 2014

Westboro Baptist Church Issues the Following Commentary:

Psalm 2:1 ¶  Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing?

The world-wide media has been in a frenzy during the last few days, gleefully anticipating the death of Fred Waldron Phelps Sr.  It has been an unprecedented, hypocritical, vitriolic explosion of words.

Do they vainly hope for the death of his body?  People die – that is the way of all flesh:

Psalm 90: 9  For all our days are passed away in thy wrath: we spend our years as a tale that is told.

10  The days of our years are threescore years and ten [that would be 70]; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years [80], yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away …

12 ¶  So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.

Our lives are like a vapor; like the flower of the field that comes and goes in its season.  The fact is, that God almighty is the one that appoints the precise measure of that season.  He fashioned each of us according to his righteous, unchangeable will and he will dispose of each of us at his pleasure.  Consider the scripture:

Deut. 32:39 ¶  See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god with me: I kill, and I make alive; I wound, and I heal: neither is there any that can deliver out of my hand.

Heb 9: 27-28  And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:  So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.

So – the death of Fred Phelps’ body, a man who preached a plain faithful doctrine to an ever darkening world, is nothing but a vain, empty, hypocritical hope for you.

It’s like every journalist in the world simultaneously set aside what little journalistic integrity they have, so that they could wait breathlessly for a rumor to publish:  in-fighting, succession plans, and power struggles, oh my!  How shameful!  You’re like a bunch of little girls on the playground waiting for some gossip!

Listen carefully; there are no power struggles in the Westboro Baptist Church, and there is no human intercessor – we serve no man, and no hierarchy, only the Lord Jesus Christ.  No red shoes, no goofy hat, and no white smoke for us; thank you very much.

No board, no separate decision making body, just humble servants of God – qualified according to the scriptures, and chosen by the church – privileged to feed the sheep for a time.  2500 years ago, the Prophet Jeremiah described this tabloid journalism quite well:

Jeremiah 20: 10-11  For I heard the defaming of many, fear on every side. Report, say they, and we will report it. [who cares if it’s true:  we’ve got our twitter machines all ready to go!] All my familiars watched for my halting, saying, Peradventure 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.

Remember that the Lord Jesus Christ warned us that a man’s foes will be they of his own household:  So again, there is nothing surprising about these shenanigans, spurred on by faithless, ax-grinding, God-hating deserters of the cross, and it amounts to nothing but vain, empty, hope.

God forbid, if every little soul at the Westboro Baptist Church were to die at this instant, or to turn from serving the true and living God, it would not change one thing about the judgments of God that await this deeply corrupted nation and world.  That is the pinnacle of your hopes, and by far the most vain.  Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, or the power of God.

There is only one hope for any human – inside or outside of this little church – that God gives you repentance unto salvation.  We pray that the Lord will do just that for any of our enemies whom he has predestined to eternal life.  And for those who are truly the enemies of God – ordained of old to such a condemnation – we pray his righteous wrath and vengeance, wherein we rejoice.

Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand!

Amen

Contrast that with Nathan Phelps’ statement.

Fred Phelps is now the past. The present and the future are for the living. Unfortunately, Fred’s ideas have not died with him, but live on, not just among the members of Westboro Baptist Church, but among the many communities and small minds that refuse to recognize the equality and humanity of our brothers and sisters on this small planet we share. I will mourn his passing, not for the man he was, but for the man he could have been. I deeply mourn the grief and pain felt by my family members denied their right to visit him in his final days. They deserved the right to finally have closure to decades of rejection, and that was stolen from them.

Even more, I mourn the ongoing injustices against the LGBT community, the unfortunate target of his 23 year campaign of hate. His life impacted many outside the walls of the WBC compound, uniting us across all spectrums of orientation and belief as we realized our strength lies in our commonalities, and not our differences. How many times have communities risen up together in a united wall against the harassment of my family? Differences have been set aside for that cause, tremendous and loving joint efforts mobilized within hours…and because of that, I ask this of everyone – let his death mean something. Let every mention of his name and of his church be a constant reminder of the tremendous good we are all capable of doing in our communities.

The lessons of my father were not unique to him, nor will this be the last we hear of his words, which are echoed from pulpits as close as other churches in Topeka, Kansas, where WBC headquarters remain, and as far away as Uganda. Let’s end the support of hateful and divisive teachings describing the LGBT community as “less than,” “sinful,” or “abnormal.” Embrace the LGBT community as our equals, our true brothers and sisters, by promoting equal rights for everyone, without exception. My father was a man of action, and I implore us all to embrace that small portion of his faulty legacy by doing the same.

At least it says something about his father’s character…something more than that he’s now a corpse, larded with bible quotes.

Comments

  1. says

    There is only one hope for any human – inside or outside of this little church – that God gives you repentance unto salvation. We pray that the Lord will do just that for any of our enemies whom he has predestined to eternal life.

    Erm, if your fate is predestined, crying, repenting, and praying aren’t going to help.

    Nathan:

    Differences have been set aside for that cause, tremendous and loving joint efforts mobilized within hours…and because of that, I ask this of everyone – let his death mean something. Let every mention of his name and of his church be a constant reminder of the tremendous good we are all capable of doing in our communities.

    This is a wonderful thing, and it’s a way to see good, and continue to do good for all peoples.

  2. says

    You’re like a bunch of little girls on the playground waiting for some gossip!

    Remember kidz: “little girls” is a terrible, terrible insult. The worst thing one could be, really. Also: all female humans crave gossip. Unlike people obsessed with the consensual sex lives of strangers.

  3. ck says

    It is rather curious that Nathan’s statement talks about the man who died far more than the WBC statement did.

  4. Al Dente says

    DrMcCoy @5

    I think that most people outside the USA haven’t even heard about the WBC.

    Large numbers of people inside the US have never heard of the WBC either.

  5. kraut says

    “It has been an unprecedented, hypocritical, vitriolic explosion of words.”

    Are they referring to themselves?

    “So – the death of Fred Phelps’ body, a man who preached a plain faithful doctrine to an ever darkening world, is nothing but a vain, empty, hypocritical hope for you.”

    No, just good riddance. It is better for some to expire earlier than later. Some more vile samples of humanity come to mind. At least – phelps was mostly vile in words and could not do much damage in action beyond his family.

  6. says

    The controversial Westboro Baptist Church has asked the public not to picket the funeral of its founder, Pastor Fred Phelps, who died this week at 84, and “have a little decency and respect” for his family and friends.

    In a statement posted on its website, the Topeka, Kan.-based church – home to America’s most hated family – claimed members of the public have threatened to protest Phelps’ funeral just as the church protested the funerals of others.

    “This is a very difficult time for us,” the statement reads, “so we ask that the public have a little decency and respect by allowing us to mourn a great man who served God and tried to protect America from the threat of fags and perverts (i.e. gays and U.S. soldiers).” […]

    Ah, the plea for decency and respect at a funeral just hit my irony meter so hard that the device is now a smoking ruin.

    http://dailycurrant.com/2014/03/21/westboro-asks-public-not-to-picket-phelps-funeral-2/

  7. says

    More from the Daily Currant article (link in comment #8):

    Shirley Phelps-Roper, a church spokeswoman and Phelps’ daughter, said she was concerned people outside the church would try to picket the funeral service.

    “It would be in extremely poor taste if someone were to protest my father’s funeral just because they disagreed with him,” she said. “Everyone is entitled to respect in death. What monster would go out of their way to upset my family when we’re grieving?”

    Phelps-Roper dismissed the claim that the church’s unusual request is hypocritical, given the members have picketed the funerals of U.S. soldiers and murder victims.

    “My father was a great man who did no harm to anyone,” she said. […]

  8. woozy says

    The world-wide media has been in a frenzy during the last few days, gleefully anticipating the death of Fred Waldron Phelps Sr.

    Uh, name one. Cranky bloggers and their cranky comments posters don’t count. Name one respectable and reliable news source that posted anything that could be described as “gleeful anticipation”.

    So – the death of Fred Phelps’ body, .., is nothing but a vain, empty, hypocritical hope for you.

    Okay, this is nothing but projection on your part. A human death, whether received tragically or with “gleeful anticipation” and jubilation, offers absolutely no message to us and certainly not any message of hope. That you assume we view this as anything other than news (of which the very sympathetic of us view with the sorrow of all deaths, the vindictive and justice-seeking of us with righteous satisfaction, and the journalists with interest in a news event concern a public figure who affected the news) as some sort of “hope” just shows the perversity of your own view of the deaths of others.
    ===
    Lynna, it’s often been pointed out that it’s a sad state when reality becomes indistinguishable from satire. But I think it’s even sadder when satire becomes more sane and rational than reality. In reality, the WBC have shown no human passion and concern of any sort and have simply been ghoulish in their lack of concern for the death of their former leader.

    During a protest of a Lorde concert last Fri. counter protesters held up a banner stating “Sorry for your loss”. Okay, the protesters probably weren’t entirely sincere but they were respectful and well behaved. And I think those holding the sign had gotten themselves into the mindset of being respectful of those who have suffered a loss. Steve Drain truly didn’t get and apparently saw no irony in stating “I don’t even know what they’re saying“.

  9. Pierce R. Butler says

    Why did WBC feel a need to communicate about someone they just excommunicated?

  10. ck says

    WBC members would make excellent Daleks. So much concentrated hate, and I don’t imagine it would take much of a push to drive many of them to murder the people they revile.

  11. says

    From the link in comment #13:

    If your pastor preaches that God loves everyone, you should run as fast as you can from that vile place. This is the granddaddy of all lies belched forth from the bowels of hell.

    That’s Steve Drain speaking. He was Fred Phelps’s closest disciple, and is now a sort-of replacement for Phelps.

  12. busterggi says

    Let me see if I understand the official WBC message – they (his loyal followers) kicked their founder out of his own church while he was on his deathbed and therefore we are bad.

    Have i got that right?

  13. madscientist says

    “… it amounts to nothing but vain, empty, hope.”

    What an apt description of the WBC members’ beliefs, and yet they don’t see it. Forget about splinters and planks in the eye, I think they must have the whole of Noah’s ark stuck in their eyes – planks, splinters and all.

  14. Olav says

    Al Dente #6

    DrMcCoy @5

    I think that most people outside the USA haven’t even heard about the WBC.

    Large numbers of people inside the US have never heard of the WBC either.

    Don’t underestimate the number of people outside the USA that have heard of it.

    What is America famous for? Blue jeans, a lot of nice music, stupid arrogance, arrogant stupidity, Christian fundamentalism.

  15. anuran says

    I kind of wish they had followed through on their “threat” to protest at Nelson Mandela’s funeral. If they were lucky they’d be in a South African prison and no longer our problem. Otherwise there wouldn’t have been enough left to pick up with a blotter, and they wouldn’t be anyone’s problem.

  16. mykroft says

    I wonder if in the end history will ultimately look upon the WBC as a good thing for the LGBT community. Their behavior was so vile, I believe it made many rethink their positions, if only to distance themselves from Phelps and company.

    Instead of pulling the country off the path of sin (as they saw it), they may have pushed us in the exact opposite direction. Would we be at a point in history when states are dropping laws against same sex marriage, if he and his followers hadn’t shown this country the truly ugly side of prejudice?

  17. anteprepro says

    mykroft:

    I wonder if in the end history will ultimately look upon the WBC as a good thing for the LGBT community. Their behavior was so vile, I believe it made many rethink their positions, if only to distance themselves from Phelps and company.

    Maybe, but it would be about as revisionist as the inevitable “Christians supported gay marriage” whitewashing. The “rethinking” of the position involved was simply to invoke “hate the sin, not the sinner” and other such handwaving, not to actually stop hating gay people. Crediting WBC with an increased positive outlook towards gay people is like crediting the KKK for reducing national support of racism. It isn’t based in fact enough to warrant the assertion, and it looks like a blatant attempt to put a positive spin on a hate-based organization.

  18. anuran says

    Think of a god as part of a training program – an embodiment of a concept, an ideal against which to measure performance, a shorthand way of personifying ideas and combinations of characteristics for comparison and emulation. It doesn’t matter whether the gods exist outside of your head. In fact, it might be better if they don’t.

    This is how a number of atheistic traditions use gods. The Tibetan Heat Meditation yields quantifiable, falsifiable, verifiable results in terms of raising and maintaining BMR and core temperature. One of the training methods involves visualizing angry fire gods in various parts of your body; nobody believes they actually exist. It’s how atheistic Magician/Author Alan Moore uses his ancient Welsh god even though he doesn’t believe in Him.

    Now, suppose you’ve made yourself a god or two. You worship them. You model your behaviour on their traits. You adopt the values they embody. You think about them a lot. If you do this for a couple decades it will affect how you think and feel and act. If the gods are constructed as loving, kind, generous and humble you will probably be a nicer person for it. If the values they embody are courage, stoicism, extroversion, theft and a touch of cruelty, then hop in the longship, Hrothgar. We’re going Viking!

    And if you constantly meditate on hatred, exclusion, fear, entitlement and your own superiority you just might find yourself more likely to parade around with a “God Hates Fags” sign.

  19. anteprepro says

    Olav:

    What is America famous for? Blue jeans, a lot of nice music, stupid arrogance, arrogant stupidity, Christian fundamentalism.

    Actually, seeing things you missed that America is even MORE famous for, a song title comes to mind:

    Bullets, Bombs, and Bigotry

  20. Menyambal says

    No board, no separate decision making body, just humble servants of God – qualified according to the scriptures, and chosen by the church – privileged to feed the sheep for a time.  2500 years ago, the Prophet Jeremiah described this tabloid journalism quite well:

    All the paragraph symbols in that screed, and they can’t put a paragraph break in between those two sentences?

    So much else is wrong ….

    I spent part of my day proofreading eight-year-olds. I need to go back and give the kids more gold stars.

  21. Rich Woods says

    Two published statements, but only one in modern English. Says it all, really.

  22. loreo says

    “Now, suppose you’ve made yourself a god or two. You worship them. You model your behaviour on their traits. You adopt the values they embody. You think about them a lot. If you do this for a couple decades it will affect how you think and feel and act.”

    I suppose this might be useful if you were unable to conceive of virtuous traits without anthropormorphizing them.

    I’ve found that wondering about what a third party would do when making moral decisions lends insincerity and emotional distance that undermines real compassion.

  23. Christoph Burschka says

    The most coherent and informative part of that text is the information that his middle name was Waldron.

  24. Christoph Burschka says

    We pray that the Lord will do just that for any of our enemies whom he has predestined to eternal life. And for those who are truly the enemies of God – ordained of old to such a condemnation – we pray his righteous wrath and vengeance, wherein we rejoice.

    1. God has decided who to condemn and who to save in advance.
    2. We pray that God will save those of our enemies he decides to save.
    3. We pray that God will condemn those of our enemies he decides to condemn.

    Gee… you’re really reaching with this prayer.

  25. Athywren says

    I’m not a member of the worldwide media, so maybe the criticism doesn’t apply to me, but I felt no glee when thinking about his death. If anything, the more I’ve learnt about his final days, the more I’ve felt sympathy for him. I mean, sure, he was a terrible man who said and did terrible things, but he was also an old man who was kicked out and replaced by his own church and locked away from his family. Sounds like his was a prisoner in his own home. No matter how much pain he caused in his life, I can’t imagine any argument for his deserving that treatment.

  26. Thumper: Token Breeder says

    So I follow Lynnoa OM’s link at #8, and find this:

    “It would be in extremely poor taste if someone were to protest my father’s funeral just because they disagreed with him,” she said. “Everyone is entitled to respect in death. What monster would go out of their way to upset my family when we’re grieving?”

    The hyppocrisy of these people is fucking infuriating.

  27. anuran says

    @30 Christoph Burschka

    We pray that the Lord will do just that for any of our enemies whom he has predestined to eternal life. And for those who are truly the enemies of God – ordained of old to such a condemnation – we pray his righteous wrath and vengeance, wherein we rejoice.

    1. God has decided who to condemn and who to save in advance.
    2. We pray that God will save those of our enemies he decides to save.
    3. We pray that God will condemn those of our enemies he decides to condemn.

    Welcome to end-stage Calvinism. Whatever the Elect do is Justified. Whatever the rest do is Depraved. It’s already been decided which camp you’re in and whether god will even listen to you. So prayer and atonement … uh … urmmm … well, you see….

    This is why in Charlie Stross’ latest Laundry book he says “There’s a certain point beyond which any sufficiently extreme Calvinist sect becomes semiotically indistinguishable from [an insane Cthulhu Cult].” And the WBC is a very extreme Calvinist sect.

  28. Thumper: Token Breeder says

    @Chigau

    Oh dear. I may have already ranted on FB about their hyppocrisy :-/ that’ll be an embarrassing retraction.

    On their actual statement, take away all the God-bollocks and what they appear to be saying is that Fred is dead, but don’t think that’ll stop us spreading our message! Besides, even if we all died or stopped being hateful tomorrow, that doesn’t change the fact that God hates you all and the end is coming! Ner Ner Ner-Ner Ner!

  29. tbp1 says

    @30 & 34:

    Yes, is there any concept more oxymoronic than Calvinist intercessory prayer?

    I have relatives who are missionaries abroad. Oddly enough they belong to a Calvinist denomination. Since they only get back to the country every other year or so, there’s a sort of tacit understanding that we don’t spoil family gatherings by arguing about religion, so I haven’t pointed out to them that “Calvinist missionary” is about the most useless job ever invented. The weird thing is they are actually smart, well-educated, well-read and informed, but somehow can’t quite see the inherent contradiction between their professed beliefs and their profession.

  30. marcmagus says

    Remember that the Lord Jesus Christ warned us that a man’s foes will be they of his own household:

    I do wonder how they twist that into being about worldwide journalists rather than, say, themselves…

  31. says

    The fact that the Daily Currant satire site cannot be easily spotted as satire is telling. The Westboro Baptist Church is so bad that you can’t really write satire about them. It all sounds plausible (comments #8 and #9). Sorry if I confused some readers with those comments.

    In good news, the LGBT community is showing the Westboro Baptist Church how to protest with decency, respect, and a good deal of human empathy. Salon link.

    When you’re met with consistent hatred, cruelty, ignorance, and a whole lot of just plain stupidity, it’s hard not to want to return the favor. It’s a challenge to not push back with all the righteous anger in your arsenal, to not gleefully pounce on any opportunity to extract revenge. And when it comes to dealing with bigots, you almost couldn’t be blamed if you did. In the past week, LGBT groups had two ripe opportunities to do just that. But by choosing instead to respond with grace, they struck a more powerful blow for tolerance than their opponents could ever have hoped to make for divisiveness.”

    Check out the photo of LGBT persons holding up a large sign that reads, “Sorry for your loss.”

    […] when the WBC posse of clowns picketed a Lorde concert near Phelps’ home base of Kansas City over the weekend, they were met with a small band of counter protesters, holding signs that read, “Live your life and be awesome,” and “Sorry for your loss.” Megan Coleman, who made the sympathy sign, told reporters, “We realized it wasn’t so much about antagonizing them, but sending out the counter message that we are here for people who need that message and need positivity.” […]

    Scroll down in the article to read the hilarious story of Bill Donohue being sure that carrying a sign saying “Straight is Great” would not be allowed in a Gay Pride Parade.

    GLAAD President and Chief Executive Sarah Kate Ellis promptly responded affirmatively, saying, “As a fellow Irish New Yorker, I’m hoping Bill will march with me at NYC Pride. I look forward to the day when I can march openly with Bill in the NYC St. Patrick’s Day Parade, and not be turned away because of who I am.” And the parade’s march director David Studinski added, “Straight is great – as long as there’s no hate.”

    Funnily enough, the reality that he might have to actually embed himself in a sea of homosexuals did not sit well with Donohue, who backed out the next day, saying, “I objected to their rule requiring me to attend gay training sessions, or what they call ‘information’ sessions.” […]

    GLAAD says that their nefarious information sessions are for parade marchers to learn “line-up times, check-in locations, our moment of silence, dispersal activity, NYPD safety policies, attire and vehicle/sound permits,” but as far as I’m concerned, “gay training sessions” sounds like a great idea too. Do those sessions include tips on how to be classy and compassionate when a homophobic bully dies?

  32. hexidecima says

    “No board, no separate decision making body, just humble servants of God – qualified according to the scriptures, and chosen by the church – privileged to feed the sheep for a time”

    Nope, nothing showing these people are “qualified” in the bible. They can’t heal by placing on hands and anointing with oil. They can’t speak in tongues. They can’t drink poison (say, about 3 oz or Sodium Cyanide in water?) and live, and oh they very much can’t get nailed by poisonous animals and live.

    Unless they’d like to show that they can. Any takers?