ONTD Political

Ex-communicated Fred Phelps near death

9:20 am - 03/16/2014
TOPEKA, Kan. — Anti-gay extremist Fred Phelps, founder of the Westboro Baptist Church and the “Gods Hate Fags” fundamentalist movement, is near death in a local hospice, according to a Facebook post Saturday night by his son Nathan Phelps.

The younger Phelps, who left the church and his family’s compound in 1976 when he was 18-years-old, writes:

“I’ve learned that my father, Fred Phelps, Sr., pastor of the “God Hates Fags” Westboro Baptist Church, was ex-communicated from the “church” back in August of 2013. He is now on the edge of death at Midland Hospice house in Topeka, Kansas.

I’m not sure how I feel about this. Terribly ironic that his devotion to his god ends this way. Destroyed by the monster he made.

I feel sad for all the hurt he’s caused so many. I feel sad for those who will lose the grandfather and father they loved. And I’m bitterly angry that my family is blocking the family members who left from seeing him, and saying their good-byes.”

Nathan Phelps noted that he is “not clear” as to why his father was ex-communicated. “I only have hearsay on the reason, and two different versions, so I won’t comment at this point other than to say he was moved into another house and watched over so he wouldn’t harm himself.”

Fred Phelps, 84, founded the Westboro church in 1955, but it has been involved in actions against gay people since at least 1991, when it sought a crackdown on homosexual activity at a local park six blocks from the church.

The group came into the national spotlight in 1998, when it picketed at the funeral of Matthew Shepard, an openly gay student at the University of Wyoming who was tortured near Laramie, Wyo., in October 1998, then tied to a fence and left to die.

In 2011, the church stated that it had about 40 members.

Nathan Phelps was the seventh of 13 children who left the Westboro church, which is largely made up of Phelps’ family members.

He is a vocal LGBT advocate, and speaks out against the dangers of religion and child abuse.

The Westboro church has made no public acknowledgement of Fred Phelps’ current condition.

Source has mixed feelings on this. How pathetic and yet appropriate is it, that his legacy of hate has resulted in him spending his final days alone? Abandoned by the family/cult he has built around himself, having been cast out for reasons we may never know.

What can I say? Sometimes Karma takes a while to come around, but it always does in the end.

ETA: Fred Phelps dead at 84. What an utterly pathetic waste of a life. May his cult continue to come apart at the seams, and more and more of the younger generation flee to sanity and safety until his legacy vanishes.
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bnmc2005 16th-Mar-2014 04:00 pm (UTC)
A completely hateful and abusive fuck dies alone? Not one bit surprised.

Notice this didn't come from the active "Church" members— they're probably not even going to acknowlege his death. And I would be VERY shocked if a funeral is even announced— cowards and sanctimonious bullies they are.

Not ONE once of empathy for this man. NOT ONE.

I hope the GLBT community comes together on his death- they don't have to celebrate his death but there needs to be a mass catharsis and re-celebration of the value of OUR LIVES in the GLBT community in Kanas and rigth about now is a great time to do it.
astridmyrna 16th-Mar-2014 04:11 pm (UTC)

Say hello to George Carlin for me.

I’ve learned that my father, Fred Phelps, Sr., pastor of the “God Hates Fags” Westboro Baptist Church, was ex-communicated from the “church” back in August of 2013.

Waaaaaait, what? How? Why? How in the fuck do you get excommunicated from a church you started.
pachakuti 16th-Mar-2014 04:14 pm (UTC)
A church essentially based entirely around your own special personality cult.

How... how does that happen?
lisasimpsonfan 16th-Mar-2014 04:31 pm (UTC)
I wonder if they will picket Papa's funeral?
bnmc2005 Some more info... 16th-Mar-2014 04:34 pm (UTC)
I just got off the phone with Nate and he confirmed what he had written. The rumors had been flying for several weeks, he said, but after a conversation with some of his fellow “excommunicated” family members, he found out that the rumors were true. He elaborated on that final line, too, saying that the Phelps family is now blocking anyone who is no longer with the church from seeing him, including Fred’s sons, daughters, nieces, and nephews.

Why was he kicked out of his own church? Did he have a change of heart near the end of his life? There’s no definitive answer to that and Nate has heard different things (so any explanation is pure speculation right now).
In any case, it appears that Fred Phelps doesn’t have much longer to live. While some may rejoice at that, Nate’s tone over the phone was anything but happy. He’s losing his father. A father who dedicated his life to spreading hatred and made the lives of so many others so miserable, but a father nonetheless.

What will become of Westboro without him? While I would like to say it’ll disappear entirely, that’s unlikely, at least in the short term. My guess is that Fred Phelps, mostly due to his age (he’s 84), hasn’t been an integral part of the church’s activities for quite some time. Those responsibilities have long been delegated to other members of the church, mostly to daughter Shirley Phelps-Roper. But without the founding figurehead in place, we can at least hope Westboro becomes less relevant and eventually obsolete.

If there’s any solace to be found in this story, it’s that many of Fred’s thirteen children and extended family members have escaped from his indoctrination — 20 of them have fled since 2004, according to one report, with three-quarters of them under the age of 30. It’s uplifting, in a way, to realize that even people who grow up under the most vile of belief systems can end up respectable and tolerant and kind and wonderful.

Indeed, several of those former church members, including Nate, are LGBT-rights activists.
As of now, there’s no mention of Fred Phelps’ condition on his church’s site, blog, or Twitter feed.
In the meantime, we’re all left debating whether it’d make a larger statement to picket his eventual funeral or ignore it and turn the other cheek.

qara_isuke Re: Some more info... 16th-Mar-2014 05:23 pm (UTC)
Thanks for sharing.

I can definitely understand a little how Nate feels, in that even if your father is the shittest human being on the face of the planet.....he's still your father. And I think most people, deep down inside, do have that sadness for what could have been and/or that longing for that relationship with an estranged parent.

At the end of the day, he's still a father and a grandfather. But the ugliness inside him, that he encouraged in his family, has destroyed them. The ones that stay are monsters, and the ones that get kicked out or leave are left to pick up the pieces. It's so incredibly sad.
sio 16th-Mar-2014 04:40 pm (UTC)
personally, i could care less that the fake Reverend is close to death. his brand of disgusting bullshit has caused countless innocent people pain and he deserves every bit of it thrown back in his face a billion times over.

(as i believe) he's going to have a lovely, nasty surprise waiting for him when the moment comes and he finds out that his hypocrite brand of hate earned him a one-way ticket to Hell.

i'd like to hope that with the snake's head dead, the rest of the cult will eventually collapse, but i suppose we will see after it happens.
spyral_out 17th-Mar-2014 09:27 pm (UTC)
I read a story in an AP English class called "The Jilting of Granny Weatherall," in which a devout Catholic dies and realizes she's completely alone and has nothing to look forward to now that she has "passed on." I was raised Christian, and it startled me at the time that there could ever be nothing after death. It just wasn't even an option in my mind then; it would be one or the other.

Now I'm an atheist, and I wish for nothing more for him than that he'll die and nothing will follow. Not even hell. Just nothing. Though I hope he is conscious enough for long enough to realize that his vitriol was all for naught.

Edited at 2014-03-17 09:28 pm (UTC)
rhysande 16th-Mar-2014 05:13 pm (UTC)
I can't celebrate the death of any man, but I absolutely can't feel any sympathy for the such an evil man's family. He's done so much harm and taught the succeeding generations of his family and church members to be a continueing force of bigotry and hate. It's too bad he's been excommunicated; I'd prefer he were still such an integral part of his church that he takes his church with him when he finally kicks the bucket.
nesmith 16th-Mar-2014 05:14 pm (UTC)
I am pleased. Seriously; I hate this fuck so much that his death will bring me nothing but relief. It just pisses me off that other members of his fucked-up family will continue his disgusting crusade.
redstar826 16th-Mar-2014 05:21 pm (UTC)
personally, I think everyone should just ignore this. He isn't worth our time, and quite frankly I'm not looking forward to the straight cis people who are going to pat themselves on the back for hating WBC (big deal, you hate something that everyone else hates too) but who don't actually do anything meaningful to help lgbt people.
lady_borg 17th-Mar-2014 01:36 am (UTC)
I'm not looking forward to the straight cis people who are going to pat themselves on the back for hating WBC

synekdokee 16th-Mar-2014 05:25 pm (UTC)
I'm just really glad that someone whose father is/was something as reprehensible as Phelps grew up into what sounds like a really decent human being.
wrestlingdog 16th-Mar-2014 06:01 pm (UTC)
I feel guilty about being happy about anyone's death, but in this case? Well, as my mother used to say:

 photo 000byqs7.gif

(Also, I missed that he'd been excommunicated.)
rkt 16th-Mar-2014 06:27 pm (UTC)
considering he's been exoommunicated for 5+ months? and nobody on the outside knowing the wiser, i'm pretty sure the church will go on without him, sorry2say
ladycallie 16th-Mar-2014 07:00 pm (UTC)
Karma man, Karma.

"I shall allow no man to belittle my soul by making me hate him." - Booker T. Washington

sorchekyrkby 16th-Mar-2014 07:04 pm (UTC)
Couldn't happen to a nicer guy.
mrasaki 16th-Mar-2014 07:09 pm (UTC)
In general I don't like to say this about anyone, but the world is better off with him dead.

castalianspring 16th-Mar-2014 07:20 pm (UTC)
And nothing of value was lost.
crossfire 17th-Mar-2014 07:28 pm (UTC)
Came here to say exactly this.
mingemonster 16th-Mar-2014 07:36 pm (UTC)
It makes sense that they'd excommunicate him. IIRC, they used his longevity as proof that god favoured them, while the people who went against god died. If he would die while in the church's grace, that would disprove that idea. This way they can keep thinking the righteous are magically kept alive even though he dies.
redstar826 16th-Mar-2014 08:40 pm (UTC)
Yeah, they are pretty extreme Calvinists and are really big on signs that they have been chosen by God
nextdrinksonme 16th-Mar-2014 07:48 pm (UTC)
Saw this on FB earlier. Made me chuckle.

Honestly, I think, as others have mentioned, it would be best to just ignore all of this and not even bother acknowledging his impending death or funeral. Show how little we care about his organization by showing how little we care about him. Though I would not at all fault any one, especially soldiers, who show up with signs.

As it is, I'd love to see the look on his face when he gets to hell.
aviv_b 16th-Mar-2014 07:49 pm (UTC)
I'm getting out my world's smallest violin.
ennifer_jay 17th-Mar-2014 04:18 am (UTC)
I can't find mine because it's too small oops
deadwillwalk 16th-Mar-2014 08:44 pm (UTC)
I had a good chuckle, the fucker deserves every ounce of pain he gets.
tabaqui 16th-Mar-2014 08:54 pm (UTC)
Do not care. Good riddance to bad rubbish. I hope the cult loses more members and collapses under it's own ennui.
redstar826 16th-Mar-2014 09:24 pm (UTC)
and now #FredPhelpsLastWords is trending on twitter, chock full of obnoxious jokes about how he must have been secretly gay. blechhhhhh.
zinnia_rose 16th-Mar-2014 09:26 pm (UTC)
zinnia_rose 16th-Mar-2014 09:25 pm (UTC)
Hmm, nope, not shedding any tears over this. It's times like this when I sort of hope I'm wrong about not believing in hell.
callmetothejedi 16th-Mar-2014 09:27 pm (UTC)
Honestly? IF this isn't a hoax, and IF he actually is near death, I am going to throw a fucking "Ding Dong the Witch/Fred Phelps is Dead!" party. Fred Phelps is probably the only person whom I have actively wished death on for years.
spiritoftherain 16th-Mar-2014 09:55 pm (UTC)
They should do at his funeral what people at Laramie did at Matthew Shepard's funeral to block out his voice: Surround him, dress in giant angel wings, and sing "Amazing Grace" towards him.

A message of compassion and redemption, AND a take-that from the LGBT community!
yamamanama 16th-Mar-2014 11:36 pm (UTC)
When I saw this, I was like "he's still alive?"
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