It is headed by Fred Phelps and consists primarily of members of his large family; in 2011, the church stated that it had about 40 members. The church is headquartered in a residential neighborhood on the west side of Topeka about three miles (5 km) west of the Kansas State Capitol. Its first public service was held on the afternoon of November 27, 1955.
The church has been involved in actions against gay people since at least 1991, when it sought a crackdown on homosexual activity at Gage Park six blocks northwest of the church. In addition to conducting anti-gay protests at military funerals, the organization pickets other celebrity funerals and public events that are likely to get it media attention. Protests have also been held against Jews and some protests have included WBC members stomping on the American flag.
The WBC is not affiliated with any Baptist denomination. The Baptist World Alliance and the Southern Baptist Convention (the two largest Baptist denominations) have each denounced the WBC over the years. The church describes itself as following Primitive Baptist and Calvinist principles.
|Westboro Baptist Church|
|Theology||Primitive Baptist & Calvinist|
The Westboro Baptist Church originated as a branch of the East Side Baptist Church in Topeka, established in 1931. In 1954, East Side hired Phelps as an associate pastor, and then promoted him to be the pastor of their new church, Westboro Baptist, which opened in 1955. Soon after Westboro was established, Phelps broke all ties with East Side Baptist.
Protest activities begin
Westboro Baptist began picketing Gage Park, Topeka in 1991, alleging it was a den of anonymous homosexual activity. Soon their protests had spread throughout the city, and within three years the church was traveling across the country. Phelps explained in 1994 that he considered the negative reaction to the picketing to be proof of his righteousness.
In 2011 the BBC’s Louis Theroux reported that Westboro was in a state of “crisis” and documented the departure of several young members. Since then, two more prominent members have left the church.
Phelps and his family picket approximately six locations every day, including many in Topeka and some events farther afield. On Sundays, up to 15 churches may receive pickets. By their own count, WBC has picketed in all 50 U.S. states.
The group carries out daily picketing in Topeka and travels nationally to picket the funerals of gay victims of murder, gay-bashing or people who have died from complications relating to AIDS; other events related or peripherally related to homosexuality; Kansas City Chiefs football games; and live pop concerts. As of March 2009 the church claims to have participated in over 41,000 protests in over 650 cities since 1991. One of Westboro’s followers estimated that the church spends $250,000 a year on picketing.
The pickets have resulted in several lawsuits.
In 1995, Phelps Sr.’s eldest grandson, Benjamin Phelps, was convicted of assault and disorderly conduct after spitting upon the face of a passerby during a picket. In the 1990s the church won a series of lawsuits against the City of Topeka and Shawnee County for efforts taken to prevent or hinder WBC picketing, and was awarded approximately $200,000 in attorney’s fees and costs associated with the litigation.
In 2004, Margie Phelps and her son Jacob were arrested for trespassing, disorderly conduct and failure to obey after disregarding a police officer’s order during an attempted protest. In response to pickets at funerals, Kansas passed a law prohibiting picketing at such events. In the autumn of 2007, the father of a Marine whose funeral was picketed by the WBC was awarded $5 million in damages. The award was later overturned on appeal by the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in a decision upheld by the Supreme Court in Snyder v. Phelps.
In June 2007 Shirley Phelps-Roper was arrested in Nebraska and charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor. The arrest resulted from her allowing her eight-year-old son to step on the American flag during the demonstration, which is illegal under Nebraska law. The defense contends that the child’s actions were protected speech, and that the state law is unconstitutional. The prosecution claimed the demonstration was not intended as political speech, but as an incitement to violence, and that Phelps-Roper’s conduct might also constitute child abuse. Prosecutors later dropped charges against Phelps-Roper.
On two occasions, the church accepted offers for radio air time in exchange for canceling an announced protest.
The group came into the national spotlight in 1998, when it was featured on CNN for picketing the funeral of Matthew Shepard, a young man from Laramie, Wyoming who was beaten to death by two men allegedly because of his homosexuality.
Since then, the church has attracted attention for many more actual and planned funeral pickets.
Westboro Baptist Church praises Arizona wildfires that killed 19 firefighters, vows to picket their funerals
- The hateful church sent out multiple tweets thanking God for the fire
- The group’s website lists all planned protests, but the firefighters’ funerals are not listed
- Arizona has a law making funeral protests a criminal offense
On October 5, 2011, Fred Phelps’ daughter, Margie, announced via her Twitter account that the church would be picketing Apple Inc. founder Steve Jobs‘ funeral. CBS News and The Washington Post noted the irony in the fact that Margie used an iPhone to create the tweet.
The church announced on December 16, 2012, it would be picketing at the funerals of the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings.
On April 15, 2013, the church posted a press release to its Twitter account in which it thanked God for that day’s Boston Marathon bombings, and announced its plan to “picket the funeral of those killed”. Pointing out that the federal government is classifying the bombings as a terrorist attack, yet is being unclear about whether it is of a “domestic or foreign nature”, the release went on to claim to answer the question with, “Here’s a hint — GOD SENT THE BOMBS!
How many more terrifying ways will you have the LORD injure and kill your fellow countrymen because you insist on nation-dooming filthy fag marriage?!”
By early the next morning, nearly 4,000 people had signed a We the People petition on the White House website asking for the banning of such demonstrations by the church at victims’ funerals. Additionally, a posting that same day on a Twitter account affiliated with the hacker group Anonymous warned that Church leaders would be targeted if they made good on their threat to picket the funerals.
Leaders of the controversial Westboro Baptist Church today vowed to “quadruple” the number of protests at military funerals around the country following a Supreme Court ruling that the displays are protected under the First Amendment.
“We are trying to warn you to flee the wrath of God, flee the wrath of destruction. What would be more kind than that,” a fiery Margie J. Phelps, the lead legal counsel for the church and daughter of pastor Fred Phelps, told reporters. “We have not slowed down and we will not.”
Phelps and other members of the Topeka, Kan., church have picketed outside many military funerals holding signs with offensive messages such as “God Hates You” and “God Hates Fags.” The church believes military deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan are God’s punishment for U.S. tolerance of homosexuality and a sign the nation’s destruction is imminent.
Protests against Jewish institutions
A protest against Jews, held by the Westboro Baptist Church.
In 1996 Phelps led a protest at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., proclaiming:
Whatever righteous cause the Jewish victims of the 1930s–40s Nazi Holocaust had (probably minuscule, compared to the Jewish Holocausts against Middle Passage Blacks, African Americans and Christians—including the bloody persecution of Westboro Baptist Church by Topeka Jews in the 1990s), has been drowned in sodomite semen. American taxpayers are financing this unholy monument to Jewish mendacity and greed and to filthy fag lust. Homosexuals and Jews dominated Nazi Germany … The Jews now wander the earth despised, smitten with moral and spiritual blindness by a divine judicial stroke … And God has smitten Jews with a certain unique madness … Jews, thus perverted, out of all proportion to their numbers energize the militant sodomite agenda … Jews are the real Nazis.
~~MESSAGES OF HATE~~
Meaning of “God Hates Fags”
“GOD HATES FAGS” — though elliptical — is a profound theological statement, which the world needs to hear more than it needs oxygen, water and bread. The three words, fully expounded, show:
1. the absolute sovereignty of “GOD” in all matters whatsoever (e.g., Jeremiah 32:17, Isaiah 45:7, Amos 3:6, Proverbs 16:4, Matthew 19:26, Romans 9:11-24, Romans 11:33-36, etc.)
2. the doctrine of reprobation or God’s “HATE” involving eternal retribution or the everlasting punishment of most of mankind in Hell forever (e.g., Leviticus 20:13,23, Psalm 5:5, Psalm 11:5, Malachi 1:1-3, Romans 9:11-13, Matthew 7:13,23, John 12:39-40, 1 Peter 2:8, Jude 4, Revelation 13:8, 20:15, 21:27, etc.)
3. the certainty that all impenitent sodomites (under the elegant metaphor of “FAGS” as the contraction of faggots, fueling the fires of God’s wrath) will inevitably go to Hell (e.g., Romans 1:18-32, 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, 1 Timothy 1:8-11, Jude 7, etc.).
The only lawful sexual connection is the marriage bed. All other sex activity is whoremongery and adultery, which will damn the soul forever in Hell. Heb. 13:4. Decadent, depraved, degenerate and debauched America, having bought the lie that It’s OK to be gay, has thereby changed the truth of God into a lie, and now worships and serves the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed forever.
Amen! Rom. 1:25. But the Word of God abides. Better to be a eunuch if the will of God be so, and make sure of Heaven. Mat. 19:12. Better to be blind or lame, than to be cast into Hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched. Mk. 9:43-48. Abstain, you fools.
Westboro Church Official Website: http://www.godhatesfags.com/
OFFICIAL Video: Russell Brand Interviews Westboro Baptist Church
We ALL are ONE!! We ALL fight the fight!!