Fred Phelps is dying, kicked out of Westboro Bapist Church

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Article: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/03/16/1285133/-Fred-Phelps-of-Westboro-Baptist-Protests-Near-Death
Well, this is a shocker. I'm most curious about why he was kicked out, he seemed very passionate about his church. Dying on the other hand seems natural seeing as he's very old.

Thoughts?

Is it wrong of me to find this pretty amusing?

I can't say to feel very sorry for this man even if his hate club has turned their backs on him. I wonder if there will be protests during his own funeral.

Can't really say I care. Sad thing is Phelps was once a good, maybe even great man, as a shining example of the civil rights movement by being the only lawyer in his country who would represent African American clients. I honestly am more interested in learning what the hell happened between that and now to go from hero to "Mr Godless Sotimiteses"?

Whoa, that is surprising. Odd that, as much as I despise the church he founded and everything they've done, I'm oddly not happy about his death, even though I once wished it on him. Maybe it's because when it comes down to it, he's just an old fool who somehow got extremely twisted up, and that's just more pitiful than anything.

As for his excommunication, there is a great deal of ironic humor to be found in that. I'm very curious as to the reason, though the church seems to be as tight-lipped as usual about it. Though I seriously doubt this is going to end the WBC, as Shirley Phelps is, if anything, even more of a fanatic than he is.

Either way, I'm sure that if there is one thing both atheists and the religious can agree upon, it's that when Fred finally passes, he won't find anything remotely like what he was expecting waiting for him.

I'm most curious about why he was kicked out

I suspect that he simply got too old and sick to frighten his "flock" into submission, got overthrown and became his own church's prisoner.

Oh, hadn't you heard? Everyone in Westboro is immortal, 'cause they say so, so you can't be a member if you can die.

But in all seriousness, that's cold. You'd think that with nobody else on their side, they'd show a little solidarity.

Zontar:
Can't really say I care. Sad thing is Phelps was once a good, maybe even great man, as a shining example of the civil rights movement by being the only lawyer in his country who would represent African American clients. I honestly am more interested in learning what the hell happened between that and now to go from hero to "Mr Godless Sotimiteses"?

Yes, by all accounts he was a pretty good lawyer.

Nixou:

I'm most curious about why he was kicked out

I suspect that he simply got too old and sick to frighten his "flock" into submission, got overthrown and became his own church's prisoner.

The article mentioned that before his excommunication he was confronted by former members and asked if he wasn't gay himself, and if the whole "God hates fags" thing was just shame for possibly being gay. There is also a link between hating gays and being gay. http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/homophobes-might-be-hidden-homosexuals/

TKhanman:

Yes, by all accounts he was a pretty good lawyer.

until he called a woman a slut on the stand, lied about judges,& lied about having witnesses.
He was always very aggressive for good or bad.

Good. I don't mean to sound callous, cruel, or heartless, but... Sometimes, the world is just better off without some people, because they actively make it worse. Fred Phelps is one of those people.

Very briefly I entertained the idea that Phelps might have been some kind of gay hero. It's surely not entirely coincidental that America's mainstream coming around to LGB people began with the WBC's hate campaign against them and against the general US. Their theology was that America deserves to be punished for tolerating gays and so their first cry for attention was to picket military funerals. In doing so, they put the population most likely to be demographically conservative and fearful of gays and the gays themselves on the same team, mutually defending each other from the WBC's childish hate. It's not impossible that this was a long game, and that Phelps engineered his cult to be rabidly and idiotically anti-gay in order to create sympathy for oppressed gay people like him.

Then I figured this is not Dune and there are probably no wheels within wheels and if someone acts the part of a hateful idiot in public then odds are good that they're actually a hateful idiot in private. Still, it's a fun idea, and there's a tidy lesson in all of this even if it wasn't intentional- nothing builds support for another group faster than their oppressors turning fanatical and casting their hate nets too wide.

Hooray! It would be quite amusing if some gay soldiers came along to picket *his* funeral with "God Hates Twats" placards.

DANGER- MUST SILENCE:
Very briefly I entertained the idea that Phelps might have been some kind of gay hero. It's surely not entirely coincidental that America's mainstream coming around to LGB people began with the WBC's hate campaign against them and against the general US. Their theology was that America deserves to be punished for tolerating gays and so their first cry for attention was to picket military funerals. In doing so, they put the population most likely to be demographically conservative and fearful of gays and the gays themselves on the same team, mutually defending each other from the WBC's childish hate. It's not impossible that this was a long game, and that Phelps engineered his cult to be rabidly and idiotically anti-gay in order to create sympathy for oppressed gay people like him.

Then I figured this is not Dune and there are probably no wheels within wheels and if someone acts the part of a hateful idiot in public then odds are good that they're actually a hateful idiot in private. Still, it's a fun idea, and there's a tidy lesson in all of this even if it wasn't intentional- nothing builds support for another group faster than their oppressors turning fanatical and casting their hate nets too wide.

Yeah, I guess his homophobia could also come down to a clear cut case of being ignorant and intolerant.

DANGER- MUST SILENCE:
Still, it's a fun idea, and there's a tidy lesson in all of this even if it wasn't intentional- nothing builds support for another group faster than their oppressors turning fanatical and casting their hate nets too wide.

Possibly...however, it's easy to oppose an extremist, it doesn't prevent you from supporting less extreme people. I'd imagine quite a few of the "I'm not homophobic, but..." crowd would not be fans of the WBC.

There's always a lot of people thinking they aren't bigots because their bigotry isn't quite so vitriolic

You know, as much as I dispise this man and his ilk, I find no joy in this news (well, I find amusement in him being kicked out). I feel that celebrating the death of a hated figure is shameful, and only reflects poorly on those doing the celebrating. May he burn in the Hell he believed in, preferably surrounded by a bunch of greased up homosexuals all of whom are rubbing their junk on him.

Sounds like Nathan (and other previously excommunicated/leaving church/family members )would want to meet and visit his dying father, but while they excommunicated him, they won't allow other "heretics" to visit him, either? That's harsh, downright evil. It's understandable to want to meet him again, even if you agree he did much wrong; he is family, after all, and few ever fully disregard their nuclear family, even when much negative has happened. Denying children and grandchildren that option, as well as denying Fred himself that, is pretty damn awful and I don't even see how it could be legal.

Skeleon:
Sounds like Nathan (and other previously excommunicated/leaving church/family members )would want to meet and visit his dying father, but while they excommunicated him, they won't allow other "heretics" to visit him, either? That's harsh, downright evil. It's understandable to want to meet him again, even if you agree he did much wrong; he is family, after all, and few ever fully disregard their nuclear family, even when much negative has happened. Denying children and grandchildren that option, as well as denying Fred himself that, is pretty damn awful and I don't even see how it could be legal.

Yeah, it makes me feel quite weird actually - I'm not quite sure what to think.
The WBC is disgusting, and I'm not ashamed to say that I'm slightly happy that he won't be with us for much longer. But denying his estranged family access seems very wrong.
Maybe I actually feel sympathy for the guy (which seems unlikely), or for his estranged family (certainly).
Or maybe it's just because the ones denying him access are also members of that foul church - and if it's a choice between a foul invalid dying man and a foul healthy powertripping church head, I'm going instinctively to root for the dying man.
Either way; weird.

DANGER- MUST SILENCE:
Very briefly I entertained the idea that Phelps might have been some kind of gay hero. It's surely not entirely coincidental that America's mainstream coming around to LGB people began with the WBC's hate campaign against them and against the general US. Their theology was that America deserves to be punished for tolerating gays and so their first cry for attention was to picket military funerals. In doing so, they put the population most likely to be demographically conservative and fearful of gays and the gays themselves on the same team, mutually defending each other from the WBC's childish hate. It's not impossible that this was a long game, and that Phelps engineered his cult to be rabidly and idiotically anti-gay in order to create sympathy for oppressed gay people like him.

Maybe I am just tired, but I think that is the greatest thing I have ever seen on this website. Just.. beautiful. Would you mind if I make a short film about the concept?

Flutterguy:
Maybe I am just tired, but I think that is the greatest thing I have ever seen on this website. Just.. beautiful. Would you mind if I make a short film about the concept?

No, go for it. Just don't think it's anything other than an idea I pulled from my backside while similarly tired. :]

Flutterguy:

DANGER- MUST SILENCE:
Very briefly I entertained the idea that Phelps might have been some kind of gay hero. It's surely not entirely coincidental that America's mainstream coming around to LGB people began with the WBC's hate campaign against them and against the general US. Their theology was that America deserves to be punished for tolerating gays and so their first cry for attention was to picket military funerals. In doing so, they put the population most likely to be demographically conservative and fearful of gays and the gays themselves on the same team, mutually defending each other from the WBC's childish hate. It's not impossible that this was a long game, and that Phelps engineered his cult to be rabidly and idiotically anti-gay in order to create sympathy for oppressed gay people like him.

Maybe I am just tired, but I think that is the greatest thing I have ever seen on this website. Just.. beautiful. Would you mind if I make a short film about the concept?

that would actually be an awesome story to tell...

even if it's not true it could make a cracking film.

...Lemme see if I give a crap... no, no I don't. This may sound wrong, but I don't care. I'm glad the old bastard is finally going to go away, and I doubt his little "church" will last long without him...

DANGER- MUST SILENCE:
Very briefly I entertained the idea that Phelps might have been some kind of gay hero. It's surely not entirely coincidental that America's mainstream coming around to LGB people began with the WBC's hate campaign against them and against the general US. Their theology was that America deserves to be punished for tolerating gays and so their first cry for attention was to picket military funerals. In doing so, they put the population most likely to be demographically conservative and fearful of gays and the gays themselves on the same team, mutually defending each other from the WBC's childish hate. It's not impossible that this was a long game, and that Phelps engineered his cult to be rabidly and idiotically anti-gay in order to create sympathy for oppressed gay people like him.

Then I figured this is not Dune and there are probably no wheels within wheels and if someone acts the part of a hateful idiot in public then odds are good that they're actually a hateful idiot in private. Still, it's a fun idea, and there's a tidy lesson in all of this even if it wasn't intentional- nothing builds support for another group faster than their oppressors turning fanatical and casting their hate nets too wide.

...Okay, I admit that, that's a pretty interesting way to look at it... even if it is just over thinking it, perhaps, but hey, I'm always up for a it of Alternate Character Interpretation (thank you TvTropes!)

Well, it wouldn't be the first time a group has used a caricature to try to reflect badly on another group or position. See: Alinsky's followers dressing up as KKK members, so DANGER's postulation could be true...

...buuuut this is probably not the case, and this dude was always nuts. As a Christian, I've always been embarrassed by people like this and their brand of "Christianity", which basically boils down to being a political activist group, not a "church" in the proper sense.

Can a mod please delete this post? I had posted a relevant story but it turned out later to be a hoax.

Xan Krieger:
They're gonna protest his funeral
http://www.ibtimes.com/westboro-baptist-church-protest-fred-phelps-funeral-says-daughter-1561830

"his daughter Margie (who is a part of the WBC) said on Twitter the hate-fueled organization would definitely be at his funeral, if only to picket.

"My dad Pastor Fred Phelps is a hell bound f*g enabling whore," she shockingly wrote on Twitter Sunday evening. "#Westboro Baptist Church to protest this whores Funeral." Margie had nothing but revulsion to spread in regards to her father's ailing health. She added he is "now a hell bound whore.""

Her reaction is really fucking weird... I mean, "fag enabling whore"? That phrase alone brings up so many possibilities, that I am just dying to hear about why he was excommunicated...

Also, awww, the WBC is protesting his funeral? That takes all the fun everyone else would have gotten from protesting his funeral! D:

BreakfastMan:

Her reaction is really fucking weird... I mean, "fag enabling whore"? That phrase alone brings up so many possibilities, that I am just dying to hear about why he was excommunicated...

Also, awww, the WBC is protesting his funeral? That takes all the fun everyone else would have gotten from protesting his funeral! D:

It's ok, it was a hoax. That stuff hypothetically said by his daughter is fake.

Which is a shame, cause it was lending credibility to the "he was really pro-gay" theory.

tstorm823:

BreakfastMan:

Her reaction is really fucking weird... I mean, "fag enabling whore"? That phrase alone brings up so many possibilities, that I am just dying to hear about why he was excommunicated...

Also, awww, the WBC is protesting his funeral? That takes all the fun everyone else would have gotten from protesting his funeral! D:

It's ok, it was a hoax. That stuff hypothetically said by his daughter is fake.

Which is a shame, cause it was lending credibility to the "he was really pro-gay" theory.

my bad, I'll remove it. Didn't see the update.

My theory is that they excommunicated him as quickly as possible so that his death wouldn't be perceived as a blow to WBC.

Johnny Novgorod:
My theory is that they excommunicated him as quickly as possible so that his death wouldn't be perceived as a blow to WBC.

...wait... are you implying they might want to keep up a mystique of immortality surrounding their leaders or something? That makes WBC sound even more cultish. Or why would his death be a blow exactly? Even Popes are acknowledged to die.

Skeleon:

Johnny Novgorod:
My theory is that they excommunicated him as quickly as possible so that his death wouldn't be perceived as a blow to WBC.

...wait... are you implying they might want to keep up a mystique of immortality surrounding their leaders or something? That makes WBC sound even more cultish. Or why would his death be a blow exactly? Even Popes are acknowledged to die.

Well, he's always been the founder, leader, voice and image of his rabid 20-person outfit. If they have any pretense of survival past Phelps's demise I think it makes sense - in a way - to distance themselves from him as much as possible, if only to get the message across that the WBC doesn't depend on him, that it was always more than just some old guy's crazed delusion. They'll probably keep the "reasons" for his excommunication a mystery and randomly pick out some other dunce from their own to play leader.

Johnny Novgorod:
Well, he's always been the founder, leader, voice and image of his rabid 20-person outfit. If they have any pretense of survival past Phelps's demise I think it makes sense - in a way - to distance themselves from him as much as possible, if only to get the message across that the WBC doesn't depend on him, that it was always more than just some old guy's crazed delusion. They'll probably keep the "reasons" for his excommunication a mystery and randomly pick out some other dunce from their own to play leader.

Ah, I see. I didn't really make that connection because I kind of associated WBC more with Shirley Phelps at this point than Fred. I may be wrong, but it seemed that she had taken over a lot of the... "outreach" and "publicity" in recent years. Fred seemed to have moved into the background way before this happened, but I suppose others might strongly associate the WBC as a whole with Fred even today, yes.

Xan Krieger:

my bad, I'll remove it. Didn't see the update.

Nah. I'd guess the update wasn't there when you linked it. That's definitely that sites fault, not yours.

I do my utmost not to feel amusement centered around the suffering of human beings.

However, given my viewpoint that the nature of an individual is defined more by their actions than their species, I have no qualms about laughing my ass off over this.

You know, i doubt this is true, but this was always a thought that i kept in the back of my head that Phelps was a fake. He in reality had no problems with homosexuals, but acted like he did so that by having a very clear enemy, the gay rights movement would actually receive indirect support. I doubt that is true, though one thing i do sincerely believe is that he was homosexual himself but violently repressed. It's hard for me to believe that someone that disgusting came to be without some kind of major personal problem.

http://cjonline.com/news/2014-03-17/elders-excommunicate-phelps-after-power-struggle-call-kindness-within-church

Huh, guess I was even more wrong than I thought. According to this, Shirley has been taken out of power already. Guess she really isn't the new leader or face of the WBC anymore. And, yes, apparently Fred was advocating for a kinder approach (towards other church members), which the new board of the WBC didn't really feel like. Also, PZ Myers noted - not kindly - that the new board consists solely of men now. Like some Christians interpret it to be intended.

Damn, that's rough. Being kicked out from the organisation you yourself built from scratch.

Hope it all goes to shit after Phelps death. I mean, you can at least respect low-lives that has some sort of internal code of honor amongst themselves, but these kind of people who has no sense of gratitude, who just wait for the right moment to stab a knife in each others back.. fuck 'em.

Update: he's dead.

Not entirely sure what to add, aside from the obligatory "thank fuck". It'd be nice to think his church would crumble without him, although sadly - and bizarrely - that doesn't seem to be the case.

Whether God exists or not, this guy sure isn't in heaven. RIP.

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