A blight on the Christian faith

A little while ago, Bill considered publishing a post on Pastor Fred Phelps. Phelps is a blight on the Christian faith. But how can you put Phelps in his place when you are speechless with inarticulate rage?

Now I have an answer:  laugh at him.

First, for those of you who don’t recognize the name, Phelps is infamous for carrying on a relentless “God hates fags” campaign. According to Wikipedia:

Phelps rose to national prominence in 1998 when he and [members of his church] picketed the funeral of gay murder victim Matthew Shepard, delivering an obscenity-laden sermon (with focus given to graphic descriptions of homosexual sex acts) informing the mourners that Shepard had gone to hell and that everyone in attendance would join him there.

When the media reported that story, I assumed the picketers were family or friends of the two murderers. The media didn’t make it clear, but the picketers had no personal connection to the events. They had just seized on Shepard’s funeral as an opportunity to spread their anti-gay message.

More recently, Phelps has been in the spotlight for picketing the funerals of American soldiers killed in Iraq. He thinks every death in Iraq is attributable to God’s judgement on the USA. God is seriously ticked off because of the USA’s tolerance of homosexuality.

There’s more, but you get the idea. Phelps is a man with an idĂ©e fixe. He does not represent mainstream Christianity:  or even fundamentalist Christianity, for that matter. He plays in a league of his own, and it’s a shame that he has turned so many of us into spectators.

On his blog, RedAngel aptly refers to Phelps as a nutjob’s nutjob. I got a chuckle out of that, but I particularly enjoyed two of the comments.

(1) Here’s a great photo:  hat tip, Barzelay. (Click on it to go to the original.) Presumably these two guys set Phelps up and he never saw it coming:

Phelps holding an anti-gay sign; two young men wearing t-shirts, 'He's gay'
(2) I also got a kick out of this story, from annamaria:

A few years ago Phelps and his “church” came to a Detroit suburb … marching down Main Street chanting out their hatred, waving the infamous “Thank God for AIDS” signs. Rather than confront them directly, the LGBT1 groups in the area simply walked down the street behind them with brooms, literally cleaning the streets of their filth. Beautiful.

Pastor Phelps, if you’re surfing the net, looking to see who’s saying what about you, note this:  we’re having a good belly laugh at your expense.


1LGBT:  Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, or Transgendered


4 thoughts on “A blight on the Christian faith

  1. HA!
    I love that picture.
    Our duty as fellow professing Christians is to talk these people down from the crazy train whenever we can.

  2. Good grief. Whatever happened to preaching acceptance and love?

    I love the imagery of the LGBT groups sweeping after them. What an intelligent, calm thing to do. If they’d addressed them directly they may have just received bad press and made a bad situation worse. Whoever thought of this style of protest is very clever. I’d love to shake his/her hand.

  3. The peculiar thing about Phelps and his so called church is that they believe strongly in predestination, so what is the point of protesting gays if they are already headed to hell. {rhetorical statement – I don’t think they are]

    The best discription that arrises from this is that Phelps and his church (which the Southern Baptist conference rejects) are really a hate group masquerading as a church.

    The message is not turn and repent it is hatred pure and simple.

    The problem is Phelps is so twisted that one day he is going to kill some poor INNOCENT homosexual and go to prison.

    How do we prevent his hate from spreading from words to actions? In protesting at funerals he is on the brink of going that way.

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