Fred Waldron Phelps, Sr., self-proclaimed leader of the much hated Westboro Baptist Church, died from a ruptured brain aneurysm, Tuesday morning. Police say his body was discovered on the toilet by the family poodle.
Westboro Baptist Church came to fame with their loud and outlandish protests at the funerals for military and children. Their colorful picket signs echo their hate-filled anti-military, anti-American and anti-homosexual views. The group, made up mostly of extended members of the Phelp's family, are not affiliated with or recognized by any Baptist organization. At protests they are often yelled at, spit on, peed on, cursed at, clothes burned, and nearly run over by cars.
Family members met in private in their Topeka, Kansas home before making a statement to the press. They expressed sadness over the loss, and announced they would be disbanding the church after holding one final protest over the grave of the late Fred Phelps, Sr..
"It would disingenuous if we didn't protest his funeral. Besides, " said Ben Trollen, an attorney who married into the church. "I think he would have wanted it that way."
Asked why the group would be breaking up, Trollen answered, "Fred was a lot of things. A husband, a father, a crazy, bitter old man, a disbarred lawyer, possibly gay, but... he was never a real pastor. He didn't even own a Bible. And as far as our church goes, it was more like an extended family reunion -- in-bred cousins and all. He picked the name 'Baptist' cause we thought it would tick people off. It's not funny, anymore. None of it is. This will be our last protest."
Son, Fred Phelp, Jr. added, "It isn't just God we've mocked, we are nothing but slimy attorneys who've made a killing butchering the First Amendment. We'd announce the next town for a protest and HOPE they'd protest or block us. Then we'd sue their pants off for 'denying us our right to Free Speech. We made millions that way. It makes me sick to think about. We suck."
Much like the Prophet Jonah, Phelps and the other members of the Westboro Baptist Church took issue with God, Himself. "The God of the Bible is a God of love, forgiveness and salvation," former-church spokesperson, Shirley Phelps-Roper, said. "We wanted God to punish Americans for tolerating homosexuality. We picketed funerals to make people angry. We wanted people to reject God and be condemned to hell. " She is the only member of the family who wants to continue the protests.
"Our job was laid out and now they are just quitting!" Shirley said, her eyes glazing over. She spewed several out-of-context bible verses then added, "Fred Phelps was a great man! We were supposed to blind their eyes, stop up their ears and harden their hearts so that they cannot see, hear or understand, and be converted and receive salvation. I hate them. I hate God. I hates them all, my precious!"
The group encourages onlookers to pelt them with rotten eggs, tomatoes and otherwise try to make them as miserable as possible whenever they see them.
- Stop The Westboro Baptist Church: Facebook Page
- Against Fred Phelps and the Westboro Baptist Church: Facebook Page