Fred Phelps: Let’s Picket His Funeral…With Love

 

fredphelpsFred Phelps, organizer and leader of the hate-filled Westboro Baptist Church, is reported on his death bed at the moment. It is news that is quickly spreading throughout social media, with flagrant tweets and Facebook statuses that are somewhat amusing, yet slightly disheartening.

Let me begin by saying that I am, obviously, not a fan of Fred Phelps nor the WBC. I believe they are vile, bitter, and downright dangerously cultish. They have nothing to do with Jesus Christ and the Gospel of the Kingdom.

However, it is moments like this that I have to re-evaluate where I stand, theologically. You see, I believe Christ has grace for people like Fred Phelps as much as he has grace for me. Even though I’m not quite sure I believe in a literal hell of eternal burning, I do believe there is a hell that we put ourselves into, even after death, until we can break free of certain chains and mentalities (racism, sexism, homophobia) that keep us in injustice – and I hope that Phelps does not stay there long. I wish hell upon no one, because I want all souls to encounter the true love that God has to offer.

godhatesfagsAs I read some of the tweets, I realize that we are not going to get anywhere as a society until we begin to truly return hate with love. As Martin Luther King, Jr. so famously put it: “Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” There are many people calling for picketing of Phelps funeral, as it is Phelps himself that became famous when he picketed the funeral of Matthew Sheppard in 1998, and has been picketing funerals ever since. But how would this help things at all? It would only be a small, self-serving act of vengeance that would only continue to raise the hate level of those that are still in attendance at WBC.

One fact I found quite interesting is that Nate Phelps, Fred’s son that left the church many years ago and is now an LGBT advocate, said that Fred was “excommunicated in August of 2013.” Why was Fred excommunicated? At this point we can only speculate, as the WBC has not released this information at all. One can only hope that Fred woke up one morning and said, “Wait a second…I was wrong.” While this is quite a stretch of the imagination, it is not entirely impossible. Maybe he was actually reading Scripture one day, and realized he was on the wrong side. I like to think that he was flipping through John and ran across the verse in Chapter 13 that says, “Your love for one another will prove that you are my disciples.” Then, as he read it, he thought, “Oh, crap!”

But nonetheless, the fact is, Fred was kicked out for some unknown reason, and is now lying on his deathbed, with no one around him. He is dying alone, facing the consequences of decades of hate. I only pray that as he embarks on eternity, he is able to let go of the hate and bigotry that has kept him tied down for so long. I pray that he is able to let go, not only of the hate and bigotry, but of the things that ultimately led him there in the first place. Why did he hate homosexuals so much? Only Fred probably knows that. I hope he is able to let go of that, too.

My final prayer is that people do show up to his funeral as a show of pageantry. I hope they show up with large, decorated signs and billboards. I hope they line the streets leading to the funeral home, and I hope that they make sure they are seen. Finally, I hope every one of those billboards and signs read, “We forgive you.”

Maybe that little sign of love will do something to the remaining members of WBC, and show them that a life filled with hate is really no life at all, but that a life filled with love is the only way to live. I strongly believe that true Christianity – and what I mean by that is simply people following Christ in doing exactly what Christ wanted us to do – is simply having love for everyone, even your enemies, and fighting for justice throughout the world (1 John 3:23, Micah 6:8, John 13:35).

So, Fred, may you be released from the bondage of hate and bigotry, and may God prepare your heart and soul for eternity. Maybe one day in the ever after, I can look you in the eyes and say this to you face-to-face: I forgive you. May you also be able to forgive yourself.

Amen.

UPDATE: As of 11 AM CST on 3/20/2014, Phelps has been confirmed as deceased. May he now know that God truly is love, and may God have mercy.

———————————————————————————————————————————————–

Brandon Wallace is the author of the memoir, Straight-Face, which chronicles his journey from Southern Baptist Minister to coming out of the closet. For more details on the book, click here!


231 thoughts on “Fred Phelps: Let’s Picket His Funeral…With Love

      • Thanks Carol. I know he’s been living in hell for years for being so hateful, but he goes where we all go… nowhere. Yet while he lives I hope he reaps what he sows.

        • You are correct on where he went – nowhere. Even the bible states at Ezekiel 18:4 “the dead are consciense of nothing at all” Too bad more people dont read.

          • Way to pull the ONE scripture in the ENTIRE Bible that says that in order to prove your point. The Bible talks many times about eternal life as well as eternal damnation (lake of fire, eternal fire, etc.). Maybe you should read?

          • I’m sure that scripture was given to you to make a point you agree with, but unfortunately for you, it does not say that…at all. Go look it up.

          • I’ve never read that scripture but I am guessing it means that yes, your body does conscience of nothing at all, but your soul goes to heaven or hell.

          • This is prooftexting of the Scriptures it is not a true exegesis of the this passage. Why do people take things out of context to fit their thoughts or preference.

        • The bible says the sexually immoral will not inherit the kingdom of heaven, if your committing adultery if your a homosexual you need to repent.
          Jesus can free you.

          • *you’re. I also assume that you do not wear fabrics of mixed fibers, eat pork, work on the sabbath, cut your facial hair, keep your slaves in line. Oh that’s right, THOSE parts have evolved with time, but the others that are convenient to segregate a group of people for your own self fulfilling prophecy; they remain upheld. Either follow the book(s) to the letter, or don’t follow them at all. You can’t pick and choose which words of your god to follow and when and then expect others to respect you and listen to you when you preach them.

          • And there is a lot of pedophilia and rape throughout the bible so I take it that’s ok then. Wake up people the book was written how long ago non of it is true it’s all stories when will you all realize that. In 100,000 years people will probably believe in startrek.

          • @Jean Westmorland

            The incredible amount of hubris you possess is astonishing. Oh, is NONE of it true? So there were no Pharisees? There is no place called Israel? No Red Sea? No Egypt? The Romans were never in power in the Middle East?

            Why are you on a site with the ‘Christian’ in the name? Just to be at troll? How does this fulfill you in life?

            We’ll all be praying that you find a more productive way to spend your time and find enlightenment of some sort. Until then, perhaps try silence.

          • The very simple answer is this. You cannot, cannot, pick and choose which part of scripture to believe to suit your needs. It says quite plainly, that man and woman were created to be together. In fact, no one that I know of these days goes by what the Bible says about sex. You are not to lie together until after you marry, that is also immoral. Fornication is a sin, same as any other. Who waits these days? Most of the time there are several bastard children before the parents finally marry legally. Stop looking for loopholes and READ the book. Don’t choose to pick the parts that fit your needs. Jesus loves us all, no matter what, but he also says he forgives, but go and SIN NO MORE.

          • Then I assume you are working to make civil marriage equally possible for all adult couples where you live, so that, in keeping with the principle of religious freedom, those Churches and other communities that wish can legally join couples in matrimony that they now can only celebrate commitment ceremonies for. That would prevent adultery/fornication for Christians, as far as you’re concerned, and it would certainly solve lots of civil rights problems.

          • I read a comment on the internet the other day from an individual who said they thought Christianity was so beautiful but felt so alone because God could never love her because she was gay. This is a terrible lie. It’s not my business how you live your life. Its not my place to judge you for your sins while I have so many of my own to account for. I am not so “holy” that I have the power to condemn you for ANY REASON. EVER. Jesus taught forgiveness, tolerance, and love. “Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that”. The bible says you may have faith that can move mountains but if you do not love, you have nothing; It has never given man the authority to condemn his brother. When we say we want to spread the love of Christ, people assume we are saying “I want to change you, and make you feel guilty, and put you down, and show you why you’re not worthy”. Wake up. NONE of us are worthy. We are saved by GRACE, not by our own self-righteousness. As Christians, we desperately need to humble ourselves and put ourselves in line with every other human being because like it or not, we are in the same boat. This “us v. them” attitude leaves a bad taste in people’s mouths and gives a terrible example of how a relationship with Jesus is supposed to influence you. For everyone who has been made to feel excluded from God’s love because of who you are, I am truly sorry. Remember that Christians are as human and flawed anyone else. We do not always represent our faith or beliefs to the best of our abilities. Jesus died for you just as much as he did for me. God’s Love is so much bigger than us, and cannot be denied to you because you are gay, no matter what anyone says.

    • Jesus had a habit of not taking sides in political debates. He open loved sinners, yet just as openly hated sin. Jesus loved the woman caught in adultery and didn’t condemn her when others wanted to, but also told her to “go, and sin no more”. Fred Phelps was one extreme in the church that totally misrepresented Christ and Christianity. Remember, Jesus loved sinners, BUT ALSO hated sin. Jesus clearly loves homosexuals, and all sinners no matter what their strip. God does NOT hate sinners. Fred was clearly wrong. Unfortunately, Fred Phelps is only one side of the coin. There is another EQUALLY as deadly deception some have fallen into in the church. They also are deceived like Fred Phelps was. Those who proclaim God loves the homosexuality (the sin). NO, He does NOT. Jesus is NOT OK with homosexual behavior, and unfortunately, this deception is equally as misrepresenting of Christ and Christianity as Fred Phelps was. Let all be like Jesus is. Love the sinner, and hate the sin. Love the homosexual, but also tell them to “go, and sin no more:.

        • Paul, maybe you should read the parts concerning homosexuality. The Bible never gives a “thumbs up” for it, just like with adultery, lying, stealing, etc. You may not agree with what the Bible says, but Jeff hit in on the head with his post. Christians should always love everyone because we’re sinners, too, but we are not to be okay with sin… That would defeat the purpose of Christ dying for all of us–so we can be freed from sin’s grasp and have hope :)

          • Actually, the parts in the Bible that refer to homosexuality only refer to male homosexuality. There is no mention of lesbianism in the Bible anywhere. So what exactly is to be made of that? I mean, if we’re only supposed to look at the Bible’s words and nothing else in order to contextualize this, then really it’s only male homosexuality that is a sin. Also, male homosexuality is no more or less a sin than eating shellfish and wearing mixed fabrics. Why is no one protesting that? Why hasn’t anyone protested Red Lobster with the same fervor that WBC protested funerals?

          • Mary could not be more incorrect. I am amazed at those who adamantly tell someone what the Bible says – at times even providing chapter and verse – and are completely wrong. To Mary: you are absolutely incorrect in both of your assertions. I suggest visiting one of the following sites where you can search the Bible by topic or question as well as read in different translations:
            gotquestions.org
            bible.org
            biblegateway.com
            openbible.info

            That being said – the “love the sinner, hate the sin” catchphrase bothers me for this reason: it allows us to project sin onto someone rather than recognize that our sin is no less disheartening to God than anyone else’s. God does hate sin – make no mistake about that – but He hates ALL sin, not just the sin we find unpalatable.

          • Colossians 3
            If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. 3 For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

            5 Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. 6 On account of these the wrath of God is coming. 7 In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. 8 But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. 9 Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.

            None of us come away clean! We all have messed up. This speaks across the board all of our issues.

          • If you have only read the Bible in English, you have no right to make any judgements about it. If you study Biblical Hebrew you will find it a very different book. Nowhere in the original language does God condemn homosexuality.

        • Sorry Paul, I have a Master Degree in Theology and two semesters of Koine Greek on the masters level! You have a faulty understanding of the sacred text not Jeff Strange. Jeff Strange is right on! Homosexuality is considered a sin! I commend Jeff on his loving rebuke! I hope you many will take heed of his words. Paul you need to repent! Oh Jesus said much about immorality! And when he refers to fornication being sin. That word in the Greek is Pornia. Pornia means all sexual sin outside of the Marriage bed. Homosexuality is under this meaning. And if you want to know what Jesus said about the bounds of marriage, just read Matthew 19! Man and Woman was and is God’s only plan for marriage!

          • Your 2 whole semesters of high school greek have failed you. The language in the time it was written, had no word for “homosexual” the correct translation to modern day english is: “carnal knowledge” and in context has meaning that is far from that of homosexuality.

          • As there are many Gods, and nobody has anything but guesses concerning them. “Man and Woman” is one group’s guess about God’s plan, as reality shows there are other ways of loving and other intrinsic natures than heterosexuality. The lame attribution of sin to a whole class of widely differing people based on superstition, assumption and things not upheld by history is too primitive for the 21st century, as is the odd fiction that it is some sort of choice. And those “christians” who mindlessly conflate homosexuality with adultery, theft, bestiality, and so on are really worthy of no more respect than Phelps. You have the blood of beaten and killed, burned at the stake, tied to the back of trucks and dragged to their deaths, gay people on your hands just as Phelps does. And when you examine your heart of hearts (if you even know how) you will see that you think of me and my kind as LESSER than you and worthy of less. That is the “love” you sow. I hope your kind all reaps in kind!

            You are little different from Phelps, he is simply more honest!

          • Oh god, where to begin. First, please return your masters degree. Iam nmot even going to bother debating the finer (and not so fine) points of Lev. And Deut. and who they do NOT mean what you appear to claim they mean, nor even the bigoted, misguided letters of Paul.
            Instead, lets keep it simple. The “word” in Greek is NOT “pornia” which is not only not Greek, it is not even a proper Greek production. “What on earth gave you the idea you knew Greek?!? Oh yeah, that masters degree. The word would have been “πόρνος”, (pornos) and that did NOT mean “sex outside marriage. The rest of your misinformed argument collapses under its own fœtid weight.
            Toi put it simply, you, sir, are an idiot.

          • Typo corrected version:
            Oh god, where to begin? First, please return your masters degree. I am not even going to bother debating the finer (and not so fine) points of Leviticus and Deuteronomy. and how they do NOT mean what you appear to claim they mean, nor even the bigoted, misguided letters of Paul.
            Instead, let’s keep it simple. The “word” in Greek is NOT “pornia” which is not only not Greek, it is not even a proper Greek production. What on earth gave you the idea you knew Greek?!? Oh yeah, that masters degree. The word would have been “πόρνος”, (pornos) and that did NOT mean “sex outside marriage. The rest of your misinformed argument collapses under its own fœtid weight.
            To put it simply, you, sir, are an idiot.

          • Why has the unicorn been taken out of the Bible? And the four legged fowl? Why has the mentioning of Hell been diminished greatly since the KJV? Why do we claim literalism but no longer kill women who were found not to be virgins on their wedding night? Why do we continue to be single issued? If we are to be single issued, can it be about what Jesus did in our lives? Our personal life testimony, that if there really was a change, cannot be refuted? Go out and make disciples… through stone casting and shame?

          • Howard, just because you have a degree in theology and two semesters in Koine Greek, does not necessarily prove that what you believe is for everyone else. It may help in understanding, but does not necessarily make you an authority. Scripture has been interpreted and reinterpreted for centuries. It is and will always be open for discussion; that is its beauty. Scripture was written by men (hopefully under the inspiration of God, but in many case, I have my doubts). I say this because there is so much in the Bible that I find difficulty believing it ever came from God. Scripture was was written and delivered by men influenced by their time and culture. To disregard this, in my opinion, is a grave mistake and is what causes people to be so judgemental. There are many things in the Bible, Old and New Testament, that if we tried to implement them today, it would be against the law. Things change and so must our understanding. One cannot read a text that was written thousands of years ago and assume that it, to the letter, applies for today. It has nothing to do with sin.

          • Well I guess we’re just lucky that the odds of christianity being correct are infinitesimally small, or a LOT of people might be screwed!

          • I have six semesters of Koine Greek. You may want to brush up on yours a bit, because you are incorrect.

          • Howard, you must have a faulty understanding of the Greek language. My best friend and her family are from Greece. They are extremely educate, went to the finest private schools there. There is no word in Greek in the bible referring to homosexuality. It was referring to pedophiles and rapist. The word homosexual wasn’t even in the bible until the late 1950’s. You only “know” what you were taught at the institutions you attended. You do not speak fluent Greek so please don’t profess to be an authority. Real life experience speaks volumes over Master’s Degrees.

        • let the truth set you free,

          Romans 1:23-28

          New International Version (NIV)

          24 Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25 They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.

          26 Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. 27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.

          28 Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done.

          • “Inflamed with lust” – sounds like rape to me. What does that have to do with men LOVING each other. And exchanging ‘natural sexual relations’ sounds like denying one’s own sexual nature – like most closeted lesbians do for fear of being called a dyke. I can play this game all day, Sabrina. Just because you post translated words from a 2000 year old text, doesn’t mean that I will read it the way you want me too. This hold no proof for me, except that you’ve misunderstood what God meant. Rape is not love, and self-denial is not natural.Those are the sins described here, not the love of same gendered people for each other,

          • I have 55 semesters of Whovian, and what they are really talking about here is people committing what is translated to “Dirty Sanchez”, though there is a debate – it could be translated into “Donkey Punch” depending on how you pluralize the “au” sound. Who are you to say I’m wrong?

        • People have perverted sex for centuries. Sodom and Gomorrah was destroyed due to sexual perversion. A man and a woman were created to fit together. As far as I am concerned, even a woman who gets on her knees and gives oral sex is doing a perversion. And the anus is meant for one thing only, to expel waste from the body. There are health consequences from practicing this type of sex, that is a fact. Sorry, I cannot and will not back down from the truth.

          • Sounds to me like you are the perverted one. People loving each other isn’t shameful, but glorifies God. You are the one getting all tied up in knots about sexual acts. Yes, people are sexual beings. However, there is a healthy relationship to our bodies and our sexuality, and then there is compulsive, unhealthy sexuality that has nothing to do with love and respect. Sounds to me like you are focused too much on acts of sex, instead of the loving communion with another human being that it is ‘meant to be’ regardless of gender. Perhaps you would do well to examine your own relationship to sex, and stop worrying about what other people are doing in the privacy of their own bedrooms, because you seem to be obsessed with the mechanics of sex, instead of the feelings. Physical expressions of love are not ‘shameful acts of lust’ If a sex act is shameful, then it is likely forced, compulsive or devoid of emotion.

          • Juleez33 What do wastes have to do with this discussion? Last I looked wastes are expelled from various parts of the body, even the parts where you say men and women were created to “fit” together, not to mention the nose, the ears, the skin, etc. There are health consequences from practicing any kind of sex if it is not done properly. Truth has very little to do with what you wrote. People have not perverted sex for centuries; for the most part it is rather modern thing. If you read about ancient cultures, their attitude towards sex was much healthier. What people share and what they do to give one another pleasure has nothing to do with you, me or anyone else, and I think it is a bit arrogant on your part to call another person’s sexual practices perversion, because you decide not to experience it..

          • This Christian obsession with gay anal sex is very illogical, you folks spend so much energy fighting against it. It’s your belief that homosexuals only make up 1% of the population. According to the CDC, 40% of heterosexuals have engaged in anal sex. Considering lesbians aren’t equipped, that means gay men only make up .5% of the population, according to your propaganda.

            Please, do the math, anal sex is out of control and it’s not gay pornography you should be looking at to get your panties in a bunch!

          • I don’t care about percentages, it is just simply, wrong. I myself am an asexual female, and it isn’t because of any big reason, I just am. However, being asexual is not harming me or anyone else. But anal sex is unsanitary, risky behavior and I for one, feel it is wrong. If you are Christian, and feel we should all love one another, then please respect my belief that God had a plan when he created man and woman.

          • You are asexual? This means you masturbate? Does the bible not say the spilling of ones seed for no reason is a sin. If you are not procreating then expelling your self would be sin?

      • Thank you for your comment. Let me make one statement. Someone may be homosexual, but chooses not to act upon it. He or she may be chaste until death. That someone is a Christian homosexual. A person who chooses to follow his Savior Jesus Christ and refuses to engage in sin. He or she also chooses not to marry those of the opposite sex, knowing he/she cannot possibly give his/her all to the spouse. I also want to state that a homosexual is no worse than heterosexuals who engage in sex without the benefit of marriage. Both are sinners in the eyes of the Lord. We are to love all people but not the sin. As a nurse, I’ve been very upset at the nurses who refuse to care for the homosexuals in the hospital. I was one of only two who would care for them on the floor and the charge nurse knew she could count on me because I was a “true Christian”. The others only pretended to be Christianly. May we all have love for each other.

        • Have you sold every single one of your possessions and given all the money to charity? Do you break bread with lepers? Do you reject all worldly wealth? No, of course not. Sadly, that means you’re not a true Christian either. Because unlike all this homosexuality nonsense, which is implied but never outright said, Jesus flatly states that you need to do those things to get into heaven – to be a Christian.

          • Peregrine, I really don’t understand your comment, and I hope no one follows your advice. each person has the right to pursue love and happiness. I believe with all my heart that a person can find love where he or she wishes and still be a Christian. A person is Christian because he or she is Christ-like. I don’t understand all this rejection of people in the name of someone that brought us grace.

          • Perregrine, sorry but my last comment was not meant for you. it was meant for Sharon. I would have erased it, but did not know how. Sorry. I agree with you.

          • It’s not about what we do that makes us a christian or follower of Christ. (stay with me, this may be long but I’m wanting to help you better understand) What makes it possible for someone to get to heaven is what Jesus did, not us. From the very beginning, when Adam and Eve disobeyed God, there had to be punishment. First was seperation from Him. a Holy God can’t live with sin. Furthermore, He is a God of justice and the sin must be paid for. the only way for each person to pay for their sin is to be seperated from Him forever. “The payment for sin is death…” Romans 6:23 That was their choice, and the consequences followed. But because God is also loving as well as just, He made atonement for our disobedience where the debt is fully paid and we can no longer be seperated from Him if we accept His gift, which is His Son, Jesus. Jesus came and lived in perfect obedience to God. since He never sinned, He never had to die or pay for His own sins. And since He was innocent and not guilty of His own sin, He willingly gave Himself up for the world to pay for the world’s sin Himself. His perfect life and blood that was willingly given made the perfect atonement for our sins. “…But the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:23 That’s why Jesus is called “The Lamb of God (or from God) who takes away the sin of the world.” And not only that, but there were several hundred witnesses to His resurrection three days later. He not only paid off the debt we owe to God for our sin, but He also defeated death itself and death is obedient to Him. He is still alive and well today. And God says in the Bible that if we trust that Jesus already paid of our debt that we had no way of paying off ourselves, that we are saved and can be with Him. Jesus wiped the slate clean and God no longer holds the sins against the person who accepts the gift Jesus gave of total reconciliation.
            The things you mentioned that Jesus wants us to do are very valid. Yes He commanded those things from His followers because He did them Himself. We as christians or followers of Christ are called by Him to represent, or re-present Christ. undeniably, most of us are going the totally wrong way about it, and I have no excuse for people who follow Him (or claim to) that do not do it fully, or do it with the wrong heart. I’ve fallen into that category my self and I’m still learning what it means to truly be like Jesus, who is God in a bod, that came and did what no one else could do and taught us how to live by living that way Himself.
            Consider this, though, when Jesus was dying on the cross, one of the criminals next to Him acknowledged that Jesus was innocent and was dying for him. Because he believed in Jesus, Jesus told him “today, you will be with me in paradise.” This man had no time to live like Jesus and show he was a follower of Christ. In fact, many people put their trust in Jesus on their death bed without living out what they believe. It’s not by what we do that we are saved because what we do never measures up to God’s standard. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” Romans 3:23
            But through Jesus and trusting in what He did for us and believing that He is who He says He is, we are saved. “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9
            Sorry, I know it’s long, but I wanted to help give you the bigger picture :)

          • No offense Peregrine but these are really silly questions.

            If one sold all of their possessions and gave to charity, (Btw, that’s not a Biblical rule, that’s what Jesus asked of his disciples only), then they would be homeless and a burden on society – not really Biblical huh?
            Break bread with lepers? Do you know any lepers? I’d happily break bread with anyone but have never come across a leper yet.
            Reject all worldly wealth? Who has wealth nowadays. Certainly not anyone commenting here.
            Jesus didn’t flatly state anything of the sort. Do you have a different Bible than everyone else?

            Dude, get it right.

      • Jesus never actually said ANYTHING about homosexuality. For God’s sake, why does everyone insist he hated homosexuality? He never said a DAMN THING about it. There is one, and only one verse, in the ENTIRE Bible, that references homosexuality AT ALL, and it’s in Leviticus, in the Old Testament – you know, the book whose rules were supposedly rendered invalid by Jesus’ death, hence the ‘New Testament’?

        If you want to continue acting on that ONE and ONLY ONE verse you are free to do so, but please, STOP saying Jesus hated homosexuality. He didn’t. He never said a damn thing about it.

        • Peregrine, you are correct. The Bible never even had to word homosexual in it until the late 1950’s. Abominations, btw, were not unforgivable sins, they were something that was against one’s (Jewish) culture. So, those folks that keep putting out that misrepresented and mistranslated verse better make sure they’re not violating any of the other “abominations”, such as eating shellfish, men cutting the hair near their temples, wearing 2 different fabrics…the list could go on. And right again, Jesus did not hate homosexuals.

      • I’m all for this EXCEPT I think there should be some signs that say: God Loves Everyone (Even pieces of excrement like Fred Phelps and members of The Westboro Baptist Church) and similar. not in overwhelming amounts, just gently sprinkled.

      • Hey there Jeff!

        “Judge not lest you be judged”

        Also, maybe speaking for GOD and/or Jesus is not the smartest way to go. Just saying.

    • GO forth into the world in peace; be of good courage; hold fast that which is good; render to no man evil for evil; strengthen the fainthearted ; support the weak; help the afflicted; honour all men; love and serve the Lord, rejoicing in the power of the Holy Spirit. ,,,,, I don’t think this is meant for only those who are nice to us. Let’s not swap evil for evil here. His day is coming…soon

    • I agree, very well said, EXCEPT this: “But nonetheless, the fact is, Fred was kicked out for some unknown reason, and is now lying on his deathbed, with no one around him. He is dying alone, facing the consequences of decades of hate. I only pray that as he embarks on eternity, he is able to let go of the hate and bigotry that has kept him tied down for so long.” Its heresay, not fact. Not YET at least. But you must be a wonderful person because I cant forgive him yet. I am okay with him suffering juuuust a bit. God and I are okay too, He understands I feel, like all His creatures. Glad to know I am not the only person wondering exactly where I stand IF he’s croaking.

    • Mr. Wallace, your blog was beautiful but too religious for me. I don’t believe in God, but what i do believe is in a universe,that we are all one.Having said that, the universe answers everyone even when you don’t realize it. This is the perfect example of that. It is unfortunate, I feel sorry that he led his life full of hate. Someone like that in his next life will come back as whatever it is he hated. I wish him luck with that.

  1. I agree wholly with your position. Leave the dead to bury the dead. Picket him with LOVE as I think Jesus would. Thanks for writing this.

  2. Fred’s mental state has been obviously deteriorating for years now. He had come up with more and more outlandish rules for his minions on a whim, and he had truly gone mad. If indeed he was “excommunicated”, it’s likely that he got too crazy even for them, and they decided that his will should no longer be their guide. For him to have had a change of heart would be highly unlikely, given his steady escalation of vindictive hatred. I’ve studied these people for years……and I’d bet that my conclusions are correct.

    • My guess? He was mad from untreated syphilis and untreated AIDS, likely from a “liason” w/ a male, likely a prostitute as no one else would touch him w/ a 10′ pole…because we all know the “Methinks thou doth protest too much” meme.

  3. I’m reminded of the prayer of the angel at Fatima:

    “Oh my Jesus,
    Forgive us our sins,
    Save us from the fires of hell,
    And lead all souls to heaven,
    Especially those most in need of Thy mercy.
    Amen.”

  4. Yeah much nicer then I am too. I’d have a “have fun roasting in the fiery pits of hell” sign complete with stuck figures, the devil and hell fire…:-)

  5. Pingback: Fred Phelps: Let's Picket His Funeral...With Lo...

      • Because Gay Christians actually STUDY and COMPREHEND the Bible, unlike the vast majority of other “Christians”. The passages in the Bible touted by the haters are referencing temple prostitutes who are males dressed as females, not “gay men” (well, presumably they ARE gay, but it’s the being a temple prostitute that is condemned, not the gay male part), and take Bible verses IN CONTEXT, not out of context, etc. So we get that God and Jesus have no issue w/ queers, as long as we are ‘right w/ God/Jesus’. We get God/Jesus do not hate us, after all He created us as we are, just some of God/Jesus FOLLOWERS tend to hate and/or fear etc, us…. there is a significant difference.

  6. Brandon, I wholeheartedly agree with the sentiment in your posting. Judgment is saved for God alone, and I too pray that when Mr. Phelps is presented to God that he atones for the sins of his past so that he will be able to live in the fullness of God’s love. God’s mercy and love is beyond our understanding by times, but God did create us all in His likeness and image. It is only by the choices that we make that we either turn to or turn away from the light of God. I pray that as Mr. Phelps walks his final journey, he walks toward the light of Christ rather than away from it. It’s his choice. Speaking of choices, I’m wondering if the picture of the little girl standing in between those two hateful signs is contradictory to the message you’re trying to convey Brandon. I’m certainly not wagging my finger here, but I found it to be distracting to read your message of love and unity with that photo smack dab in the middle of it all. This particular writing of yours is gently and prayerfully speaking of rising above the hatred and bigotry…. may I make a suggestion to remove that photo as another possible way of rising above.. of not giving over to… of letting it go. Just a thought. In Christ… Susan

    • “Jugement is saved for God (or Allah) alone”. I’m thinking this since years, but it’s THE FIRST TIME I hear somebody else saying this. It cannot be said enough.

      • It’s odd, since the Bible just flat-out states ‘Judge not, lest ye be judged’. Funny how people don’t seem to take that one as seriously as the homosexuality one.

        • Especially because there is NO confusion/contention regarding the judge not passage as there IS with most of the passages used by haters to condemn gays.

    • Susan you said, “… I too pray that when Mr. Phelps is presented to God that he atones for the sins of his past so that he will be able to live in the fullness of God’s love” … that is a lie of satan right there!! One that will keep you and anyone that thinks that you have a second chance AFTER you’re dead. NO SUCH THING.

      Once Mr. Phelps (or any of us for that matter) is dead there is no chance for him to repent (let alone atone – how does someone atone for something when they are dead … that itself does not make any sense). If we have not accepted Jesus Christ as our Saviour, have repented of our sins and asked Him to forgive us BEFORE we breathe our last breath here on earth then that’s it. Too bad so sad. Yes God is loving and tolerant but He does have rules. Don’t follow the rules you don’t get to reap the rewards.

      People NEED to read God’s word … the Bible …preferably the King James Version.

  7. Thank you for this…as a friend of Matthew Shepard I wish all the Phelps peace and comfort at this time and the hate speech I have been hearing online has hurt me. If I could be there I would hold a sign saying ‘rest in peace, hug Matthew for me when you meet him in the presence of God’.

    • Lisajoy-I read Matthew’s mom’s book and was moved to tears! Congrats on being his friend and standing by your principles. Try not to let the hate speech get to you. Always remember there are millions of us out here who love Matthew, his family and friends! Blessings to you :)

    • If you think Fred will get within a stone’s throw of God, I fear you will be disappointed. Someone with as much hate, fear and loathing as this… man (I use the term loosely) has/had takes years of reconciling. Miracles do happen, but I’d be shocked if it were to occur in this instance. More likely Matthew will wave a saddened farewell to Fred as St. Peter points the downward passage to Fred.

    • Well, I hope his family can see the error of their ways before it’s too late, I fear it is far too late for their patriarch to find anything but pain suffering and sorrow.

  8. What a wonderful idea. Forgiveness not only for him but for those of us who have been infected by hate because of him. I say now is the time to heal, and I for one agree with you.

  9. I wish people could figure out where his deathbed is, so a large group could sing outside the building. Sing of the Lords love and forgiveness. Show God’s love while the an is still alive.

  10. Awesome post and good for you! That is the true message of Jesus “pray for your enemies, pray for those who persecute you.” you are the embodiment of it with your attitude and it doesn’t matter what race, color, religion, or sexual orientation you are. We are all God’s children (even the WBC) and He loves us all! God does not hate! Blessings to you :)

  11. Golda Meir summed it all up nicely, for all of us: Peace will come when the Arabs will love their children more than they hate us. In this case, peace will come when we love our neighbors more than we hate their behaviors.

  12. I wholeheartedly agree. The problem is not who’s right or who’s wrong. The problem is fighting hate with hate. Jesus would not want us to combat hate with more hate. He would have wanted us to face it with love and compassion. I came to the same conclusion as the blogger. I pray that Mr. Phelps had a change of heart which led to his excommunication from the church he made. I dislike the fact that his own family has turned their backs on him and that he lays dying alone. However, I am not surprised in the least. It seems to be the modus operandi of the congregation. I hope Mr. Phelps has found peace.

    • Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. (1 Cor 13:6) Christians are called to be loving AND truthful, we are to speak the truth in love. Speaking against PEOPLE is hateful, speaking against BEHAVIOR is not hateful. For all of those out there that embrace “love” out there, remember the verse above, right in the middle of the “love” chapter. Love embraces truth, love does NOT lie to people and tell them God is OK with sinful behavior. I have a teen aged daughter, who I greatly love. While I love HER, much of her behavior I hate. To correct someone who is engaging in sinful behavior is one of the most “loving” things you can ever do for them.

  13. Let the man die in obscurity and oblivion in the historical grave he dug for himself. Don’t honor his legacy by adopting his vile tactics.

  14. The Lord’s Prayer- …and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.” I agree. keeping it classy- whether you are LGBT, parent of a soldier whose funeral was picketed, family of a Sago miner whose funeral was picketed- is a great way to be a witness. The best situation for this is that he would die in obscurity and not receive any more publicity for a misguided cause.

  15. You wrote “I strongly believe that true Christianity – and what I mean by that is simply people following Christ in doing exactly what Christ wanted us to do – is simply having love for everyone, even your enemies, and fighting for justice throughout the world.” I agree and disagree – we are to love others because we are all sinners, even our enemies; our goal, though, is not to fight for justice but to tell of Christ’s salvation. Justice is only of value here on earth; after we leave this life our eternities are either with or without God. The problem with your belief system is that you are picking out what you like from the Bible and ignoring what you don’t, or twisting it to mean what you want it to say. 1 Corinthians 6:9 says “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites…will inherit the kingdom of God.” We can’t say sin is not sin because we want to commit it without guilt, or because finite, fallable scientists says there is a physical reason for why we have ungodly desires, thereby justifying acting on them. Scientists are not God; they are not all-knowing or all-holy. Please don’t run the risk of eternal separation from God because you continue to condone and participate in what is clearly called sin by your Creator. Love the sinner, yes, but (acknowledge and) hate the sin.

    • Except that the word translated as ‘homosexual’ in there did not actually mean that in the original Greek (its definition is still disputed), and has been translated as other words in the past and in other translations, unrelated to homosexuality.

    • It stands almost without saying that the overall mission of the Church is in preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ or “…to tell of Christ’s salvation.” as you so eloquently put it. I’ll leave the “justice” issue to those better qualified on such matters.

      “The problem with your belief system is that you are picking out what you like from the Bible and ignoring what you don’t, or twisting it to mean what you want it to say.”

      I see it quite often enough that I have to wonder if it simply boils down to the left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing, or putting it more bluntly certain individuals just being ignoramuses and thinking no one would take too much notice. Anyway, you don’t think you’re doing the same thing!? Unless you did so for the sake of brevity, your partial quotation of verse 9 without bringing into the mix verse 10 was a bit disingenuous to say the least. “1 Corinthians 6:9 says ‘Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites…will inherit the kingdom of God.’” Once again did you think that no one would notice, or perhaps notice it but not really say anything? Here, let me help you out a bit: “…nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers…” I could also go for some gusto and mention the issue of divorce and remarriage by quoting chapter and verse via the gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke (and 1 Corinthians 7), and how the former is frowned upon with the exception of marital infidelity in one instance & a non-believer seeking to leave his or her believing spouse in another instance. Having said all that, try to argue for other instances (e.g., spouses no longer getting along, one did something reprehensible and allegedly beyond forgiveness, etc., etc.) where divorce and remarriage might be allowed and that Scripture doesn’t say a word about *and* harp on the gay & lesbian issue by quoting elsewhere in Scripture, and you’ll see how fast I’ll take you task and make your head spin even faster. For your sake I just hope you apply your use of Scripture in a consistent manner overall and straight across the board, and don’t just resort to “…picking out what you like from the Bible and ignoring what you don’t…”.

      • I might as well as mention it since I get the feeling some will misinterpret me and think I was comparing apples and oranges. Simply put, why did I bring in the issue of divorce and remarriage, and what sort of relevance is there to the issue at hand in regards to Rev. Phelps? I brought in the issue of divorce and remarriage because it’s no mystery throughout the Christian Church at large that certain portions of Scripture are clearly being disobeyed, and in such instances one hand does not want to know what the other hand is doing. Additionally, the numerous individuals who are failing to dot their i’s and cross their t’s are more than happy to point out the same to those brother and sisters in Christ who happen to be gay or lesbian! All in all, if someone wants to convince me about one issue and what Scripture has to say on the matter better be damn well consistent on another issue (besides divorce and remarriage) that Scripture clearly speaks out on.

    • Linda,so well put! No pointing fingers but simply quoting the word of God! No misunderstanding or self-interpretation,but repeating what God spoke! He is love & He loves us all,but sin is an abomination to Him. Pure & simple!

    • Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites…will inherit the kingdom of God

      Interesting statement considering that there was no word for homosexuality, nor did the concept exist, even in the king James version of the Gospels. And in the 21st century conflating homosexuality, an obviously intrinsic nature to those who are gay and lesbian, with theft, murder, bestiality, adultery and so on is both primitive and foolish. This is not the 12th century, and we live in a secular country. Scientists are certainly not God, but your Gospels, like my Tanach (what you laughably call “the old testament”) were written by peole of the early iron age who had little knowledge of the world or universe, were filled with superstition, and to think they had eternal truths is ridiculous.

      In demonizing LGBT epole as you do, you are really little different from Phelps and his tribe, and the fruits of your belief are little different as well. I realize that considering others big sinners makes you feel better, but it is not productive of anything but more hatred in the world.

  16. I’m not gay but, if I were, I’d be picketing with a sign saying “God hates the Westboro Church!”, Go get him, you guys!

  17. He’s actually been picketing funerals much longer than 1998 – he started by picketing at funerals of people who had died of AIDS even in the 80’s. I think folks should really just go to the funeral and offer their love and condolences to the family in stead of protest – especially Christians. Aren’t we supposed to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us? Food for thought.

  18. I’ve thought that hell is a state of mind we have placed ourselves in if we believe the thoughts or concepts pushed down on us. In Phelp’s case, he has been in hell! and takes people with his experience of hell on earth, once they react to his signs of hate. I do take on the paradigm that once he enters the realm of the “other life” or afterlife, he will enter the state of who he was before his mind took over his life, or the state before he came to be his human form. And he’d say ” if only I knew, I would have loved instead!”

    • Jojo,

      I would tweak and/or take issue with one or two things that you said, but good observation nonetheless. Though I’m a bit skeptical here and there, but I’m reminded of a number of things I’ve read in what would commonly be referenced as the paranormal. From the more mainstream like near-death experiences (at least in the past few decades unlike many many years before) to the more esoteric like some of the writings from Swedish seer and overall jack-of-all-trades Emanuel Swedenborg. Again, and without going into specifics, I’m a bit skeptical about some of the stuff I’ve read; but overall there’s a certain uncommon common sense to it all.

  19. For some reason I was under the impression that Fred JR (his son) qas excommunicated from the church in aug. 2013. Could be wrong though. Great article, completely agree

  20. Although I think it would be more stylish to pointedly leave Phelps’ funeral alone, I can’t really begrudge others their – *entirely justified* – schadenfreude, particularly given my own unbrlidled glee over Thatcher. TRAMP THE DIRT DOWN.

    (That said, my loved one is a transgender Christian who is aiming for ministry. Their lovingness shames me at times like this. I’m not religious, but I have thorough respect for you Christian good guys.)

  21. I say Unconditional Love. As a PFLAG straight ally, living our love is our strongest statement. No words are necessary. Out of the closet into full inclusion in the world. No fear no hatred no rejection. That is my dream.

  22. In Unity (New Thought Christianity) we study the Course in Miracles. Quite a challenge even to forgive those who mildly irritate us let alone someone with hatred of this Hitleresque magnitude. Thank you for putting this positive message out there. It’s inspiring.

  23. It is true, only God can judge and we as Christians need to not try and put a wedge between sinners and God. As a Christian I do believe that homosexuality is a sin, just as I believe adultery, lying, cheating, stealing, and many other things are sins. We all sin, so we need to ask for forgiveness…I think the problem lies in people not seeing sin as sin. God loves everyone, and I’ve come to the conclusion on one thing, sin separates us from God, and nothing should ever separate us from God, nothing is worth that! I’ve also want to say this, no one has the right to tell a person they will go to hell because of whatever sin, their final destination is between them and God. We just have to love our neighbors, love God, and show the Christ that is in us.

    • But all those other sins involve actually doing things, and things to hurt people, at that. Whereas homosexuality isn’t a thing that’s done; I’m a celibate virgin who has never been in a relationship, and I’m still gay. It’s horribly unjust that I’m still considered to be sinning when I *haven’t done anything*.

      • anakin mcfly,

        You probably know something I don’t. I find it odd or simply difficult to believe that you’re facing that sort of thing. Indeed, I know that there are quite a number of Christians out there who go further and say one’s orientation is a sin too. But I do know that most folks who feel that Scripture is *clear* on the issue of ‘homosexuality’ (unfortunately, they seem to lack clarity and are “blind” on other matters, e.g., divorce and remarriage, which I tackled briefly in another post) believe that one’s orientation is not sinful per se, but acting on that inclination is. Keeping it brief and without quoting this or that portion of Scripture (for my purposes the N.T. in particular) we’re all under the power of sin and debased in one form or another. One of the problems I see — and I said so much in a previous post or two — is that a number of my brothers and sisters in Christ seem to harp on this one issue while not really paying too much attention to others. Despite not seeing eye to eye with how she expressed it, but what Audrey put her finger on is more or less on the money. The sad part is that more often enough it fails to take into account the old adage “easier said than done”. In other words, if one REALLY believes that “homosexuality…adultery, lying, cheating, stealing, and many other…sins” are all on the same level playing field (i.e., neither one being less or more heinous than any other), I fail to see it in practice. I am my own best test subject on the matter. But ironically enough I tend to see it a bit more clearly in others than I do in myself. :)

  24. Good riddance to bad rubbish. I hope he burns in hell, nothing but a large homosexual rapist with a penis as big a round as a cantaloupe to keep him company. Is that a sin to wish on someone? probably, do I care?, not even a little

  25. Something I learned after my 17 year old son was killed in a car crash was that we are born into this world with a relationship with our parents, and when we die, all we have to present to God for judgement is how we treated God’s children, and how the children of God treated us. Great blog article

  26. I would say, if you happen to be in the neighborhood when Phelps’s
    funeral is held and see loving people attending out of compassion, then join the crowd and be blessed. My preference would be to see people gather to support the family and friends of someone whose life had lost all meaning and passed away without realizing their potential and capacity to love and be loved. Happens often. God is always willing to listen, to Phelps or to us.

    • I think this is fun. He is getting so much attention in death. I just ask…how many of you are from Topeka and grew up with him picketing you? How many of you have been spit on by Shirley phelps or been knocked to the ground by Fred with a sign while trying to go see the orchestra concert. I have been through that. They picketed my graduation with my picture on a sign. I say let him go and get his judgment and let us not give a damn. Do not give that a cult any attention. God will deal with him. Hell is real. There is no release from that. When I see the Lord..i am sure Fred will not be any of my concern. Just my opinion.

  27. Everyone seems to always refer to the bible when it comes to forgiveness…why does no one ever refer to the bible when talking about homosexuality?

    • Because Jesus explicitly said to love and forgive and NOT to condemn others. Cherry-picking minor passages from the Bible and deciding to make your stand there – and in doing so, ignoring the much larger thematic message of the New Testament – is ridiculous and petty.

      • Cherry picking ? You can say that about any reference to the bible. Still can’t ignore what the bible has to say about homosexuality anymore than you can ignore what it has to say about forgiveness. And is it up to you to determine what is a MINOR passage? Oh and why do homosexuals need forgiveness?

        • Jesus’ teachings revolve around forgiveness and loving of one’s neighbors. He said nothing about homosexuality, which is why it seems clear to me that it should be more important as Christians to focus on loving others rather than condemning those you consider sinners. It isn’t up to me to determine what is a minor passage, but again, Jesus said nothing about homosexuality. I don’t understand why people are so impassioned about two verses in the entire Pentateuch – whose proscriptions Jesus made obsolete – and one in a book which was written well after Jesus’ Ascension by a human disciple, when there are literally hundreds of other prohibitions and damnations in the Bible that everyone ignores.

          I don’t think homosexuals need forgiveness any more or less than other people. I’m just explaining why I think the comparison between quoting the Bible to talk about forgiveness versus quoting the Bible to talk about homosexuality is a silly one to make.

  28. Pingback: Fred Phelps on Death Bed

  29. BULL picket his funeral like Death Valley and a nose full of material. Make sure this SOB and his followers see that what they do is hateful. See how they like it. If I lived close I’d be the first one there.

    • What good is a Christian that only wishes revenge on another? Fight fire with love. As an Atheist, I am compelled to picket his funeral due to his hate speech and creation of an abominable association. But I won’t, because “eye for an eye makes the world go blind”.

  30. I am not familiar with the excommunication or teachings of Mr. Phelps. I do know that Christ says we are to forgive so that we can also be forgiven. God is love. Beloved let us love one another! I pray for the man and mercy and miracles. God bless,

    Love,

    Nanette, thank you for posting!!

  31. If someone can respond to this brand of hate with love, more power to you, it’s admirable. I aim for complete indifference. These folks only exist to provoke, the angrier we become, the more they believe they’ve succeeded and it’s their only source of relevance. Who knows why. I would be content to ignore his passing and feel nothing about it. We need to stop giving them so much attention.

  32. Lol there is an eternal hell of burning fire. Although, I don’t know if he is going there or not. That’s for God to judge. Not us. What this author is writing is anti-biblical!

  33. Regarding Fred’s excommunication –

    I have no insider knowledge of WBC’s inner workings, but I imagine it was pre-emptive self-preservation of ideology on their part.

    Their belief is that ALL pain, suffering, and death (from a soldier being killed in war, to the victims of random spree killers, to teenage suicides) is a punishment for disobeying God. In essence, bad things do not happen to good people (as the members of WBC believe they are). The extension of that logic is that if God loves Fred, then God would never allow Fred to die. This is the foundation of their belief, and, for obvious reasons, it is shaky.

    Again, I don’t know why Fred was excommunicated. But, unfortunately, I doubt he had a change of heart. I imagine he became sick and therefore exposed the fact that God was not protecting him. The members of the church could either ditch their ideology, or they could ditch Fred. Seems like it was an easy choice.

    Ironically, I feel that Fred Phelps ultimately helped to advance gay rights. There are many people in this country who feel that homosexuality is a sin against God; that AIDS is God’s curse against gays. Fred took that line of thinking and brought it to its logical conclusion. He showed how ugly those beliefs really are. He never sugarcoated it. He never hid his hatred behind veils like “I actually love gays. That’s why I’m trying to help them.” He showed what true homophobia really is. And it’s not pretty.

    I think he changed minds, but not as he intended. I have to believe that at some point, some homophobic Christian drove past one of Westboro’s pickets and, deep down, agreed. But maybe this person quickly said to themselves, “Well, I agree that God doesn’t approve of homosexuality. But He’s a loving god. So I don’t believe ‘God hates fags’, but he… umm… therefore… ‘loves’ them?” Hopefully that person then considered what God’s love really meant. Hopefully they realized that they needed to distance their beliefs from Westboro. Hopefully they changed.

    As divided as this country is, where Dems and Reps will battle over the tiniest thing, we were all united against Westboro. Is there anything else that 99.9% of Americans can agree on, other than “Westboro is vile”?

    I’m not saying Fred Phelps is a good man. But he powerfully showed us an ugly reflection of ourselves. And ultimately I imagine that if God loves everyone, then God also loves Fred.

  34. The sad thing is, is that I think WBC somehow believes that what they are doing is an act of love. (This is what I got from Jeff Chu’s interaction with them in “Does Jesus Really Love Me?”) If this is the case, then I don’t know if they can even respond to the actions that the majority of us would consider to be loving. I don’t know if they’d “get it” if people showed up to Fred’s funeral saying “We Forgive You.” They seem to have a very warped view of how love acts. That being said, I think it would be a beautiful picture for the rest of the world if Christians can pull themselves together and do this. Gay, straight, conservative, liberal, whoever…uniting together in an accurate picture of love in action. That is the picture that the rest of the world needs to see. That is a picture that frankly I need to see.

  35. I guess he will find out if you can still reach Heaven and be so hate filled….his actions will now be between him and God. I am sorry he lived a life of hate and has caused so many Christians so much ridicule. I’m not here to judge gay people nor hate on them….so I wonder…what will be his fate? Even the bible warns us not to say Lord Lord, look at all I have done…God will say be gone with you .. Matthew 7:22
    Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?

  36. No such thing as a “gay Christian”. Homosexuality is an abomination in the eyes of God, as He said Himself. Can’t have it both ways, people. Either you accept His Word, or you don’t – but you can’t fly in His face with your disobedience and still call yourself one of His.

    • Have you actually read the Scriptures that you claim to be using as your basis for this argument? Never does it say that being gay is a sin. It does talk about acting upon homosexual desires, and this is the part that can be considered to be a sin (and is debated endlessly online). However, I don’t see how anyone (regardless of their understanding of these passages) can doubt that it is perfectly possible for someone to be both gay and Christian if they choose to remain celibate and not act upon their desires. In what way have they sinned? They are not “fly[ing] in his face with… disobedience”, as you say, because they are making a conscious choice NOT to disobey his teachings. A reminder, again – Jesus said NOTHING about homosexuality. Not one thing, in his 3 years of ministry. Yet people make it out to be a sin above all others and the ultimate condemnation. That says a lot more about our society than it does about God or the scriptures.

  37. I applaud your sentiment. As a Christian, though, unless Westboro has DIRECTLY affected one’s life, one does not have the “right” to say “We/I Forgive You.” It is not anyone’s place to forgive any sins not committed directly against that person. So, I say sing songs, make signs with scriptures, etc. But, unless that sign is made by someone personally affected, leave the “We Forgive You” out of it. And, if there someone personally affected, then that person should say, “I Forgive You.” Of course, that would have to be done before the man passes away anyway, because a dead man cannot be forgiven. Otherwise, all dead people could be forgiven in the afterlife. Just my 2 cents. As for “no such thing as a gay Christian,” well, there are many “abominations” laid out in the Old Testament that many Christians seem to be pretty choosy about. Jesus came to free us of the Old Testament laws. Again, my 2 cents.

  38. Stand for Love, but also for truth for Love is found is that same Truth, in Jesus Christ. Judgement belongs to God only, but pleae don’t use circumstances like this to mislead the lost.
    May God have mercy on all of us, on Fred, you and myself. However, while we still have the opportunity let us truly turn to the Lord and his true word.
    The word of God is clear, and it is yours to follow. Fortunately the trend of this wicked world won’t change the Truth and no matter the fights, the mistakes and the misleading speeches of the devil’s agents it will remain the same. LGBT is a curse, it is proven and clearly written in His Word. Our Lord had never called that love, but a curse. Wake up and save your soul while it is still possible. Once you reach that deathbed, it would have been late.

  39. We should demonstrate with signs saying, “we understand” in reference to the Saint Francis prayer’s request that we rather understand than to be understood.

    Because what GBLT person, me included, hadn’t felt the same fear, the same rage, the same confusion towards their own sexuality, faith, family, even community at some point? There are deeply dismissive lines against bisexuals in the gay community, screaming matches between GLBT members and straight couples over children who are identifying as transgender, and all the fears that grow with becoming an “accepted” community more and more when our uniqueness was once highly identified as part of ourselves.

    These reasons are mostly why I stopped being angry at Fred Phelps. Because I understood something a friend once asked me about my lingered anger over a similar person in my life: “Would you trade places?”. Five years later that question has held the key to dissipating nearly every conflict I have held onto or experienced.

    So, who would I rather be?

    Maybe, then, we picket with signs saying, “We understand” cause we have a little bit of Fred Phelps Sr. in us all…the person who held the signs of hatred is still the person who created Nate Phelps – the son struggling to love, to understand the person who helped create him – and practice forgiveness. We should extend that hand.

  40. I think we should ignore westboro. Their demonstrations are cries for attention, and I think everyone should quit giving them any. Let them throw their tantrums alone.

  41. I am not ashamed to admit that even here, in a small inaccessible village in Guatemala, we celebrated his judgement tonight. One can only hope that he suffers even a tenth as much misery in the afterlife as he dished out in his current life.

  42. If anyone pickets his funeral, the signs should say, “We’re sorry for your loss” and “We forgive you,” like we always wished their signs would say. Maybe, if we give them enough love, we can run out the hatred in their hearts. I know his son already knows that his father was wrong. Maybe we can spread that change. It would be ironic, wouldn’t it, if the Westboro Baptist Church was something that allowed people to unify in love for each other.

  43. may he rott in hell where that bigot belongs if you love him be my guest i stand up to magots like him he is worse than a bug he is a worthless piece of trash what a waste

  44. I do not believe in any god, But I do believe that Mr.Phelps was a piece of shit. I hope that he dies,this blog ends and he is never remembered as anything. Because he does not deserve the attention……he was a dirty dirty cunt. Fuck the idea that he even deserves a god.

  45. obviously jesus isn’t real so this whole article verges on insanity, but yes, answering this hate with love is the only option. if we can’t do it on this small of a scale how will nations ever return hate with peace? granted they probably won’t anytime soon, but let’s hope it can begin somewhere. its time for another Ghandi or Martin Luther King Jr.

  46. Pingback: Fred Phelps: Let’s Picket His Funeral…With Love (from “The Gay Christian”) | Sky Pilot

  47. Pingback: A Prayer for the World’s Greatest Sodomite | Hacking Christianity

  48. My nephew just said it best….why picket his funeral and make it seem he was someone important? Stay away and let the sorry ass be buried as if he was NOBODY!!

  49. Brandon Wallace;
    Although this is more of an editorial opinion on what should be done, it was not loving or kind at all. This is a self righteous view on one’s last hours on earth. I’ve read the Bible many times, I don’t remember your name mentioned once as being righteous. In fact, the opposite was stated.
    And to put Amen at the end, is just one more example of shameless rhetoric on “I’m right and you’re wrong” that you condemn but nevertheless fail to follow.
    Way to raise the bar up to one’s ankles.

  50. Pingback: Jesus loves Fred Phelps - Hot Dogma!

  51. Pingback: Fred Phelps | presblogterian

  52. Even though they picketed my nephews funeral I won’t picket! It hurt my family to see there hate. My nephew was killed at work and he was a wonderful person. He would give a stranger the shirt off his back. I wonder why anyone would want to stup to there level. I’d rather spend the day with my family! Some people are just not worth my time and Fred is one of them.

  53. You all argue over a book written by men so long ago. Everyone has their own translation and understanding of the important stuff to them. And this book, that you all say preaches love and tolerance makes you all argue and divisive. My life is not lived from a book. My life is lived from my heart. I know that I try to do good, and help others, and not hate, and live a life that is good and not bad. I know I will go to a better place. I don’t need a book to tell me what I already know in my heart. I also recognise that we all have divinity within, and I honor your as you honor mine. If a book can make you intolerant of what other people see within the same book, it has to make you stop and think. Peace on all of you and life everlasting.

  54. I agree as a gay mail who have had to deal with these heathens, I try to forgive but would love to picket his funeral with signs that god hate Westboro Church full of Satanic hate. Welcome to HELL.

  55. Pingback: Enemies: A Confession | Appalachian Preacher

  56. I thought the topic here was how to respond with grace and compassion to the death of a man whose life demonstrated little of either. How did it turn into a diatribe against homosexuals? That is just another demonstration of this man’s sin. Too bad the focus got lost in more vitriol.

  57. I believe in ” Let go and let God” . I also feel there is a difference between gay persons and homosexuals. Gay people have a deep love between two same sex individuals. Homosexuals can include sexual addicts, perverts, rapists and others who have nothing to do with love. I believe it is time to separate these descriptions properly. Gay or lesbian couples are not in same catagory as sexual perverts. If this differentiation was made life would be better for gay or lesbian couples who are truly in love with their partners.

    As for this poor lost soul who spent his life filled with hate all we can do is pray for him. I do not feel leading any form of demonstration would be a Godly thing to do. He is now in Gods hands.

    • I don’t understand logic behind your labeling. What are you going to do with heterosexuals? They include, rapists, perverts and sexual addicts, and others who have nothing to do with love. In fact, the majority of what can be clinically labeled as perversion does not happen in the homosexual or gay community. I do believe in “Let go and let God”, I also believe in “Let go and let Man”, as well; I f we just leave people to work out their lives, as long as they are not hurting anyone, a lot of pain could be avoided. I don’t understand why people, who say they belive in a loving God, need someone to attack.

    • The only problem I have with your statement is you seem to think being gay and being homosexual are different. I love all my women friends, but I don’t want to marry them. I am also sure if I lived with a best girlfriend, we would not sleep together. Eh, I know this could be argued till the sun comes up, but the point is, love all, but you don’t have to love their lifestyle. I have had dear friends who were and are gay, but I don’t have to approve. I am done, I am out of the convo. Peace all!

  58. Pingback: How do you forgive what seems unforgivable? | The Daily Cake

  59. Love this whole post. With one exception. You said, ” I do believe there is a hell that we put ourselves into, even after death, until we can break free of certain chains and mentalities (racism, sexism, homophobia) that keep us in injustice – and I hope that Phelps does not stay there long.”
    I do believe when Christ died for our sins, it was once and for all. That when he pronounced “it is finished” he conquered both sin and death. Not really sure where this theology of postmortem salvation comes from…it’s even a nice notion, but I’m sticking with the only Way we were given.
    Your points tho are right. True Christians will NOT carry the signs of hate, division, confusion. With one voice we should sing praise to God for his great love. And love one another.

    • Tray,

      Just wanted to say ‘Thumbs up!’ on your brief statements.

      If you’re curious check out a book entitled, “No Other Name: An Investigation Into The Destiny Of The Unevangelized” by John Sanders. In chapter 6 under the heading, ‘Eschatological Evangelization’, you might be find interesting in regards to so-called postmortem salvation. From the looks of things it’s got a bit history behind it. :)

  60. Pingback: FORTY SIX | lex gill

  61. Brandon, a powerful, eloquent people. Your essay exemplifies “Love those who spitefully use you.” Fred Phelps is the ultimate “disspiteful user.” We have a lot to forgive Fred for; as Christians at we up for the task?

  62. It seems if he has been excommunicated his former followers will go on their merry way of hate and intolerance regardless of what is done at his funeral.

  63. By reading all of the comments of people picking and choosing which scripture works as long as the words can be twisted to what their point is ……This is exactly what this group does to get their point across….yea, think about that for a second.

  64. I agree. This is a beautiful idea. I’m an atheist, so I don’t think it will do Fred any good, but if I were a Christian I’d be praying for his forgiveness as well. I’m pretty sure that’s the “Well, DUH!” answer to the question, “What Would Jesus Do?”

  65. @Juleez

    I’m just trying to be helpful. Evangelicals have spent tens of millions of dollars on their obsession with male on male anal sex when it’s a behavior of only .5% of the population, heck, a lot of gay men don’t even like it, you’ll have to trust me on that.

    If this is really about god getting upset about people not knowing where their body parts fit into one another as you have said, Christians should seriously consider focusing their outrage on heterosexuals who have sex that they disapprove of. That’s 99% of the population, your money would go much further in stopping sin. If you folks started attacking heterosexuals with the same fervor that you attack homosexuals, I might even stop calling you bigoted and just accept that you’re obsessed with sex of all kinds.

  66. Scripture (1 Cor 13:6) tells us we are not to rejoice in unrighteousness. As followers of Christ, we should not rejoice at the passing of an angry and obviously disillusioned man, but instead pray for the family that they might heal. And yes, avoid the funeral.

  67. What the hell, people? This wasn’t a discussion about what’s right and wrong. It was a discussion about love. Just love. Love.
    Love. Love. Love. LOVE. JUST LOVE.

  68. Pingback: WBC founder Fred Phelps dies - Christian Guitar Forum

  69. Pingback: Too Late? | Joyful Jottings

  70. Pingback: Fred Phelps Is Dead | The Website of Jim Snowden, Author

  71. I find it a bit disingenuous to want to picket his funeral with “love” in the name of God, when we criticized Phelps for picketing funerals, which he picketed in the name of God, too. We wanted Phelps to stop picketing funerals. So, let’s walk the walk. Let’s not do anything. Let’s ignore his funeral. If we picket his funeral, we are really no better than he was, even though you want to cloak your anger toward Phelps with God. Deep down inside, those who want to picket Phelps don’t really want to do it to show him love or forgiveness. Be honest with yourself about that. You want to get back at him in the only way you think will work. That will only backfire. I say let him go. Ignore him. He and his family want a fight. They want us to picket his funeral so they can be self-righteous. Don’t give them that satisfaction. Don’t shine the spotlight on them ever again. The worst thing that can happen to them is for us to ignore them. Make them irrelevant. Let God take care of the rest in the after life.

    • Brad, I understand what you are saying and I do agree with you on most of what you said. I, too, think many who say they want to picket Phelp’s funeral with “Love” are actually angry; I, on the other hand, think to picket his funeral because one is angry is totally legitimate, and Under the circumstances is justifiable. Unfortunately, I live abroad at the moment, but if I were Stateside, I would have no problem to picket his funeral because of anger. Anger is not hate. I am a believer, but I don’t think we have to let God do everything for us. We have the capacity to act,and in such cases I think action is warranted.

  72. Pingback: How Should Gays Eulogize Fred Phelps? - Slate Magazine (blog) 2014

  73. first of all , let me say we all are gods creatures we were created in his image . we are givin this little thing called free will ,and upon bein givin this it is our responcibility to use it in the way it was ment to be used .first of all Sodom and gamorha wasn’t just destroied because of homosexuiality it had ALL MANNER OF SIN IN IT ,KILLING STEALING , MEN RAPED WOMEN AND MEN THE LUSTFUL DESIRES OF THOSE PEOPLE WAS NOT IN LINE WITH GOD AND WHAT HE WANTED FOR US . we were created to worship him and do with our lives what he wanted for us to live . second of all the bible does state about homosexual sin it does not call it that .it talks about men bein abusers of themselves with mankind ? going after strange flesh unnatural use of the body effeminate ,drunkards ,revelers ,exstorstionist and liar thieves SHALL NOT INHERIT THE KINGDOM OF GOD . we as a world today have gotten so far away from the truth of the word and our Christian heritage and roots. we as a society will except any and all things in todays world and not think twice about them . im not saying the the lgbt does not have a right to be happy . or to live or the rights to have what ever and whomever they want , all though there are consequences to these actions from free will that will have devastating effects on their lives now on earth and in the here after I believ that god will take all manner of sin and cast it into the lake of fire the word says hell enlarge itself everyday . let for a moment see it the way the bible does and really think anout it would god condone two men sleeping together and two women ditaling themselves together and so on .NO GOD WOULDNT CONDONE SUCH SEXUAL IMMORAL ACTS PEOPLE ABUSE THEMSELVES WITH EVERYDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! .did you ever see a marriage in the bible that was a gay wedding NO YOU DINT > did you see a gay couple produsing babies
    .or a family. NO YOU DINT there is no where in the word that god condone any sexual immoral acts . he wanted us to be clean and as pure as we as humas could be in his love , grace ,and mercies for we all have sinned and have come short of the glory of god .we all have to repent (me as well ) we all have to live our lives according to the scripture as best as we can . I do not condone the gay life style I believe in Corinthians chapter 6:9-10 should exsplain it well . and to those who believe the bible is a flock of flying pooping geese over our heads I can not change your thoughts or make you see it as I do or in a way that you would understand where I am coming from . many believe that the bible has been perverted and rewriiten and this taken out and thisd put in and so on . but he that thirst after rightouesness shall be filled . we have to take the love that god gave us and appliy it to all people and things just because you don’t agree with whom aver don’t make them bad now the fred phelps mess is not what god is about and would never see god protesting in this way . we need to take things and the way we perceive themand really think about them and how they would do when spoken out loud ,we are to up hold truth and righteousness .and to shun things that are not godly ( things here is the key word , not people ) we are to love all as Christ loved us that he would lay his life down for us all not just a group of people or this one or that one . we all deserve to die and be cast in the sea of forgetfulness never tobe thought of by god again but in act chapter 2:38 then peter said unto them repent and be baptized in the NAME OF JESUS CHRIST for the remission of sin and ye shall receive the gift of the holy ghost verse 39 states , for the promise is unto you and to those that are a far off even as many as our lord and god shall call . there is a eternal place for all to go to and I for one do not plan on spending it in hell if I have made mysekf right in the eyes of god . if you don’t believe in heaven or hell then I charge you to provr it and show me that its all a bunch of mumbo jumbo . other wise if it is real then we have no chance to err in the eyes of Christ

  74. Pingback: Fred Phelps Was An Unlikely Progressive Hero | Official Socialist Webzine

  75. Pingback: Fred Phelps Was An Unlikely Progressive Hero

  76. Pingback: sac coco chanel

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Current ye@r *