Doug Patton really tears into the teachings and actions of Democrat activist and pseudo-Christian cult leader Fred Phelps in a column today.
Fred Phelps calls himself a Christian minister, but his actions resemble a self-styled hatemonger with no room in his heart for the love of God or the forgiveness taught in Christ’s Gospel.
Phelps has been a preacher (defrocked), a lawyer (disbarred) and a Democrat politician (never elected). Now, at age 76, his “church” is a congregation consisting of his 13 children and 50 grandchildren in a tiny compound in Topeka, Kansas. He is also the epitome of everything the elitist secular left would love to believe about every Christian conservative in America.
Phelps first foisted his annoying presence onto the national consciousness when Matthew Sheppard, a young homosexual, was beaten to death in Wyoming in 1998. Phelps and his “followers” protested outside Sheppard’s funeral service with signs that read “God Hates Fags.” That, in a nutshell, is Phelps’ entire message. Google those words and you will be taken right to the website of Phelps so-called church, Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka. That is actually the website address of the church: www.GodHatesFags.com.
On the home page of the web site, you will be treated to a tab labeled “Love Crusades,” wherein this sick soul lists the upcoming funerals he intends to picket. Over the years, the Westboro weirdoes also have found reasons (apparently somehow relating to homosexuality) to picket the funerals of Frank Sinatra, Ronald Reagan, William Rehnquist, Coretta Scott King and Mr. Rogers. They have even protested at meetings conducted by Christian leaders like Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson and James Dobson because they do not share Phelps’ hatred of homosexuals.
Phelps once wrote to Saddam Hussein and Fidel Castro, praising both for their intolerance of homosexuality and even offering to travel to Baghdad and Havana in support of their tyranny on the issue. Fidel declined the offer, but Saddam accepted and must have been amused at this crazy, white-haired, Mississippi-born American preacher standing on Baghdad street corners ranting against “fags.”
Now Phelps and his ilk have stuck their picket signs into a hornets’ nest. They are protesting at the funerals of American soldiers. At the recent service for a fallen young hero killed in Iraq, these deluded individuals showed up in Lincoln, Nebraska, with signs that read “Thank God for IEDs” (a reference to improvised explosive devices being used to kill American troops in Iraq) and “Don’t Pray For America.” Why? Because in Fred Phelps’ twisted worldview, God is punishing America for tolerating homosexuality.
This kind of paranoid hatred, focused like a laser beam on a group of people whose sin is no better or worse than that of you, me or the self-righteous Mr. Phelps himself, reminds me of a story I heard once about a group of newly converted Christians in China. Because of the Chinese government’s intolerant policy toward Christianity, each of these new believers tore a single page from the only Bible they had to share among them. They meditated on that page of scripture and committed it to memory. In time, as they were scattered among the population and had no further contact with the Christian brothers and sisters who had the rest of the puzzle, they came to believe only in what their page of scripture taught them. Eventually, cults sprang up based on one page or even one passage of the Bible.
In the Chinese example, they had an excuse. They had only a small sliver of scripture to guide their faith. Fred Phelps has the entire Bible from which to discern the truth, and yet he has chosen to focus his attention on a few passages that clearly speak against the sin of homosexuality, while ignoring everything else, including the cleansing blood of Jesus Christ, which scripture clearly teaches can wash away the sin of any and all believers.
Amen, Brother Patton.