Fred Phelps, the founder of the gay-bashing funeral-protesting Westboro Baptist Church, has died at the age of 84. After years of protesting the funerals of American soldiers and members of the LGBT community, karma may come for Phelps in the form of people picketing his funeral. Now that he’s dead, let’s see if Satanists follow through on their promise to preform a ritual on his grave that will turn Phelps gay after death.
By the general public, he will not be missed, but his divided family mourn the loss of a man they feel conflicted about.
Here is what you need to know:
1. He Was Excommunicated From the Church in 2013
In August 2013, towards the end of his life, the detestable Fred Phelps, who believed that American soldiers deserved to die because their country allowed same-sex marriage, was excommunicated from his own hateful church.
Nathan Phelps, one of Fred’s sons, confirmed on his Facebook page that his father had been excommunicated from the church he built back in August 2013 and apologized for his father in light of his impending death. He wrote:
I’ve learned that my father, Fred Phelps, St., pastor of the “God Hates Fags” Westboro Baptist Church, was ex-communicate from the “church” back in August 2013. He is now on the edge of death at Midland Hospice house in Topeka, Kansas.
I’m not sure how I feel about this. Terribly ironic that his devotion to his god ends this way. Destroyed by the monster he made.
I feel sad for all the hurt he’s caused so many. I feel sad for those who will lose the grandfather and father they loved. And I’m bitterly angry that my family is blocking the family members who left from seeing him, and saying their good-byes.”
Phelp’s son Nate also spoke exclusively to the Daily Mail after his father’s death saying that his father was a “sociopath and narcissist.” Nate Phelps went as far to say that his hateful father was addicted to speed and prescription medication.
2. He Has Been Very Ill
On March 16, the AP reported that Phelps was admitted to a Hospice care center. Steve Drain, a spokesperson for the church told them, “I can tell you that Fred Phelps is having some health problems. He’s an old man and old people get health problems.”
The news of his declining health prompted the creation of a “Fred Phelps Death Watch” Facebook group.
3. He Founded the Westboro Baptist Church in 1955
Phelps was hired as an associate pastor in 1954 at a local baptist church in Topeka, Kansas, before opening the Westboro Baptist in 1955. The group did not come to nation-wide recognition until the 1990s when Phelps began picketing funerals and protesting the opening of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in 1996.
They have taken a vicious stand against American soldiers, Jews, members of the LGBT community, and just about anyone who isn’t a member of their group.
4. He Left a Power Struggle in the Church
Even before Fred Phelps was dead, reports the Examiner, a power struggle began when the church created a board of male elders. The board rejected Phelp’s daughter and outspoken Westboro advocate Shirley Phelps-Roper, causing a rift amongst church leaders.
5. He Was a Civil Rights Lawyer in the 1960s
Try not to all cry at once, Fred Phelps died. pic.twitter.com/vwl0TXlwgp
— Anonymous (@blackplans) March 20, 2014
Fred Phelps was a civil rights lawyer with a great standing among the black community in Kansas where he won cases against the Topeka school district which he argued was giving black students an inferior education. In 1973 and 1979, Phelps filled high-profile cases continuing to chip away at discrimination. At CJonline you can also read abut a number of civil rights awards he was given in the 1980s, including one from the NAACP.