Sunday, October 2, 2011


Here's a list discerning facts and rumors about the Westboro Baptist Church. It has been established in accordance to the philosophy "know thy enemy." In other words, it exists to promote the truth about the church and what they actually stand for, not what people have speculated on and think they are about. The purpose all of this serves is to better combat the church in a more meaningful and productive manner. The spreading of rumors and myths only serves to satiate the appetites of people whose only interest is to mock and defame. Our goal here is to give a rare and substantial glimpse into the true nature of the church itself, so that their actions may be taken more seriously.

Popular Myth: "The Westboro Baptist Church consists of a family of inbreds."

Truth: There is absolutely scant to no evidence that the Phelps have ever actually committed incest. This misperception probably stems from the fact that the majority of the church's congregation are all very closely related by blood (however, there are also a select handful of those who belong in the Phelps' family who are adopted and are of different ethnic and racial backgrounds). Shirley Phelps, for example, is married to Brian Roper and has taken on his name by marriage. With that aside, however, it is true that contrary to what the Phelps often preach, some members of the family (like Shirley) have been guilty of premarital sex (4:18 - 5:12):

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Popular Myth: "The Phelps are uneducated and ignorant redneck hicks like the Ku Klux Clan and other related hate groups."

Truth: In reality, the Phelps family are highly educated people and the majority are practicing attorneys who run their own Kansas-based law firm. Unfortunately, there are many noted instances of where the WBC has successfully waged lawsuits against state and the federal government and have won their cases. It is highly advised and recommended to anyone reading this that they proceed with caution when trying to take action against the Phelps. All counter-action should be executed in a legal fashion, and done so in an appropriate context (in the cases of the Phelps protesting funerals and so on). If you have been personally harassed by the Phelps and are considering retaliation, please speak with a licensed attorney as to your options. Do not take any chances or wild risks.

Popular Myth: "The Westboro Baptist Church promotes racist ideologies and endorses Nazism."

Truth: It is a matter of fact that many of the sentiments spewed by the WBC are anti-Semitic in tone, and that the Anti-Defamation League has listed them as an official hate group, you'd be hard pressed to actually find that the WBC promotes racism in and of itself. You would also be hard pressed to find evidence of them endorsing any Neo-Nazi philosophies. The rationale for the Phelps' commentary on Jewish peoples is strictly "Bible-based." Any reference to atrocities against the Jews is done so in light of the Jews going against "God's commandments." The Phelps do not ascribe to any such perspective that Semitic people are racially inferior like the Nazis did or like many Neo-Nazi groups advocate for today. It is also an historical fact that the Phelps have worked as civil rights attorneys on behalf of African Americans and black peoples within the state of Kansas.

Popular Myth: "The Phelps advocate violence and genocide against other people, whether they are of a different race, sexual orientation, or political viewpoint."

Truth: As surprising as it may seem, the vitriol of the Phelps is simply that -- vitriol. It is often the case, as they would themselves tell you, that violence is committed on behalf of those who oppose the church, hardly ever if at all by the church members themselves.

However, with that said, there are charges on record of Fred Phelps (from the distant past) having been found guilty on counts of assault and battery towards neighbors. While this continues to be an inconvenient and touchy subject for the Phelps, their record for ongoing violence is seemingly non-existent as it stands currently.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Freedom of Speech?

Perhaps the greatest oxymoron in regards to the WBC is there defense of self by using the First Amendment to justify their behavior (namely, protesting the funerals of the deceased, particularly dead soldiers).

Organizations such as the American Civil Liberties Union have in the past vouched for the "freedom of speech" the Phelps family and company are supposedly entitled too when they carry out these acts. Many individuals, even if they disagree with the philosophy and are fundamentally opposed to the Westboro Baptist Church, argue that the Phelps do have the freedom to go about doing these things without legal reprecussions. This controversy not only applies to the WBC but by inclination extends itself to the much broader subject of freedom of speech in general. With that said, while we still remain a nation (in large part) that believes in the right to free speech, there is no argument that there have been limitations and restrictions even for a country such as our own. At times (or perhaps any given time) these limitations and restrictions have been perceived as violations of our basic human rights, and in certain cases people like myself would be in agreement with this stance.

However, it also stands to reason that words are like any other utility in that they can cause great harm and injury especially when abused. Are the Phelps using only free speech, or are they ultimately concerned with intimidation and verbal coercion, even if the threat of physical violence is non-existent? If you are a believer that the First Amendment applies to everything verbal, regardless of its offensiveness or even its potency to cause emotional damage, then it is strongly urged you look within yourself to consider this for the time being:

Friday, March 11, 2011

Rep, Giffords Assasination Attempt

After a somewhat extensive hiatus on behalf of Fred Phelps (the current frontman and founder of the WBC), the recent assassination attempt by Jared Loughner targeted towards Democratic Representative Gabrielle Giffords has prompted his return to the spotlight.

This entry stands out not only because it touches upon an incredibly sensitive issue for many of us here in the States, but because it is also a highlight to the sloppiness in research and lack of attention to detail which are deplorable characteristics of anyone who just so happens to work as an attorney. Ironically, for those of you who are unaware, the majority of the Phelps family (that is to say, most of Fred's children) are practicing attorneys. The sheer shamelessness of this video does not attest only to the fact that the Phelps are willing to push the envelope in their hate speech, they are also hasty to make conclusions and judgements based on very little documentation and even outright rumors. Examine this for yourself. I have taken it upon myself to collect some factual details correcting Fred's erroneous assessment:

Reports of Fred Phelps' ailing health surely brought assurance that the old man (age 81 to date) was on his way to kicking the bucket. But it turns out that Fred seems to be back in his typical routine, doing his little "dog and pony" show, and demonstrating his level of sophisticated and indepth research. Case in point:

In this video, Fred Phelps immediately opens up with the phrase "Afghan veteran" in regards to the Tuscon assailant, Jared Loughner. Of course, the idea here is to create feelings of unease and insecurity because God is inflicting his punishment on us as a nation by sending veterans to kill innocent civilians and fellow citizens.

If there was ever any indication based solely on evidence that the Phelps were nuts, well, this would be it. What the Phelps apparently don't know is that Jared Loughner was rumored to have veteran status and to have served in Afghanistan, but the truth of the matter is that Loughner was denied from enlisting in the Army, period. That makes the whole point of "God is sending military veterans back in your face because you have persecuted us" moot and laughable.

And what the Phelps also probably don't realize is that this man is absolutely cookoo for cocoa puffs. Law enforcement later did a search of his house and came across a backyard shrine featuring a replica of a human skull surrounded by torched oranges and marijuana bags. Seems more like he was interested in voodoo rituals than being a pariticpant on behalf of God's work, eh Westboro Baptist Church?

Let's be honest here: Even the Phelps would probably find this type of stuff pretty creepy and alienating. You'd think that if they were really good researchers and were interested in the truth (and in this particular case, they don't seem to be all that interested) they probably never would have made a video about this in the first place. It's quite simply a political mechanism for scaring the living daylights out of the rest of us and providing reassurance to some seriously mentally ill beliefs.

Now Fred, if it was so easy for you to screw up on this one, what else might you and your congregation be wrong about?

Oh and of course, let's not forget: Kevin Smith is about to release his latest film loosely (but unmistakeably) based on the Phelps in the upcoming project titled "Red State". Here's the teaser. The film is slated for an anticipated release this upcoming October: