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Fred Phelps and Hate: Does God Hate Gays?

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Hatred paralyzes life; love releases it. Hatred confuses life; love harmonizes it. Hatred darkens life; love illumines it.
– Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (1929-1968)

I will permit no man to narrow and degrade my soul by making me hate him.
– Booker T.Washington (1856-1915)

I generally try to live a life free of stereotyping and hate for the reasons King articulates. Both can indeed cloud judgments and lead one to inaccurate conclusions. This is true whether it is stereotyping about the media, about evangelicals, or about soldiers. Every person is different and should be treated accordingly.

This is a difficult feat to accomplish and I admit to sometimes failing. Perhaps it is fitting that the one group I find it most difficult not to stereotype, generalize and, in the case of Topeka minister Fred Phelps Sr., hate, are Christians who hate gays.

I oppose discrimination in any form and that includes bigotry of gays and lesbians. Many organized religions shun those who are gay but Phelps takes everything a step further. Phelps is the kind of extremist that even Pat Robertson or Jerry Falwell consider a nut job, with Falwell even calling Phelps “insane” during one television broadcast. Phelps has contempt for Falwell and Robertson, saying they are not preaching God’s message about Gays.

To me God is about love. To Phelps, leader of the Westboro Baptist Church, God is about hate. Phelps is the freak, evil idiot – see how he brings out the worst in me? – who travels the country to try to ruin the lives of people who are gay or, in his opinion, not sufficiently anti-gay.

The Topeka Capital-Journal did a good job of chronicling Phelps ministry of hate up until about 1995. Phelps, or a Phelps supporter, could often be seen at public events with signs bearing the upsetting slogan, “God hates fags.” With the growth of the Internet, he took out his own Internet site. Just as anarchists and violent protestors besmirch the legitimacy and credibility of those protesting for civil and gay rights, so does Phelps do the same thing for the religious rights.

There are good, ethical, moral reasons held by some people who oppose gay rights. Jon Stewart, during a recent interview with author/politician William Bennett, recently summarized some of those arguments and then shot them down with a double barrel of ethics and fairness. You can watch it at the Crooks and Liars Web site

And then there are people like Phelps who preach hatred. One example should suffice: Phelps showed up at the funeral of gay murder victim Matthew Shepherd and announced that Shepherd, and everyone attending his service, were going to hell.

By Phelps own account, his group has picketed 25,000 events since 1991, including the funeral of Coretta Scott King, (Mr.) Fred Rogers, Frank Sinatra, Barry Goldwater, and the miners who died in the Jan. 2 Sago Mine disaster. They picketed Falwell twice, as well. Why protest King? Phelps says, "I'm mad at them for turning that movement over to the fags."  

I hesitate to even mention Phelps at Blogcritics because giving any press or exposure to this jerk is exactly what he wants. On the other hand I think it important for people to speak out against him. 

Regardless of your position on gays and gay rights, Phelps’ tactic in recent years has people of all faiths and belief systems up in arms.  Phelps and members of his group have gained notoriety and, yes, more hate, because of their practice of attending and interrupting the funeral services of soldiers killed in Iraq. 

No matter your stance on the war, and the decisions leading up to it, it is hard not to be shocked and disturbed that, at these services, Phelps makes the outrageous suggestion that God is killing these soldiers because America is accepting of Gays.

Phelps has made the same claim about those who died in the September 11th attacks and Hurricane Katrina.  State laws, as well as a recent federal law, have been passed, limiting how close people of Phelps ilk can get to a service. 

In recent weeks, the family of one service member whose funeral was disrupted in this ugly way filed a lawsuit against Phelps and his church. Phelps has announced plans to file a countersuit.

Essentially the family says Phelps intentionally disrupted their funeral and made a difficult time even harder.  Phelps is trying to take a free speech stance. This leaves open the possibility that we might have a civil liberties group like the ACLU supporting someone like Phelps. 

Freedom of speech does not extend to hate speech at funeral services. My sincere hope is that a court judgment will do to Phelps what lawsuits by the Southern Poverty Law Center did to racial hate groups: Shut them down by driving them into bankruptcy. 

I have been thinking about Phelps in recent days, wondering who in the world would belong to such a group and where they get their funding. So I did a little digging and according to Wikipedia, 90 percent of the members of that group – numbering about 100 – are related to Phelps by blood or marriage. So I guess it sucks to be part of his family, but at least that suggests there are fewer fools outside of his family believing his hate then might be normally suspected. 

And where do they get their money? Wikipedia has a thorough and very disturbing profile of Phelps, explaining not only his ethical and moral failures, including encouraging his flock to beat their wives, but also his legal problems. It seems the money came from his family members selling candy and, in later years, robbing and defrauding businesses. Those who came home without enough money were beaten. 

If there is any other good news to result from this man’s actions it is this: He inspires much opposition. A number of motorcyclists have formed the Patriot Guard Riders and they serve as a volunteer non-violent buffer to Phelps’ supporters, trying their best to stop Phelps from disrupting the services. And if anyone is truly doing God’s work and spreading love instead of hate, it is not Phelps and his ilk, but those working to stop them. 

Never hate your enemies. It will cloud your thinking.
– Michael Corleon, Godfather III

If you hate a person, you hate something in him that is a part of yourself. What isn't part of ourselves doesn't disturb us.
– Herman Hesse

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About Scott Butki

Scott Butki was a newspaper reporter for more than 10 years before making a career change into education... then into special education. He has been doing special education work for about five years He lives in Austin. He reads at least 50 books a year and has about 15 author interviews each year and, yes, unlike tv hosts he actually reads each one. He is an in-house media critic, a recovering Tetris addict and a proud uncle. He has written articles on practically all topics from zoos to apples and almost everything in between.
  • It is amazing and sad that so many people presume to know what God thinks and feels, and then speak for God and not for themselves. With so many people speaking, yelling and acting for God, its a wonder they haven’t noticed that the message is contradictory, and usually anti-life (and anti-humanistic). I guess some people need to hate in order to feel better about themselves and justify their existence.

  • Nate Phelps

    Fred Phelps has abused every person in his life. He physically and mentally abused his wife and children until he couldn’t anymore, then he abused his clients and colleagues in the legal profession until they kicked him out…this is just the latest iteration of an angry, hateful, cruel man…it has absolutely nothing to do with God or gays…that’s just an excuse. I agree that it serves his purpose to keep talking about him in the media but I also think he gives us all an opportunity to look critically at our attitudes toward gays and see what the ultimate unjust prejudice toward them looks like in this group.

  • I’m going to go out on a radical limb here and say that I see some value to what Phelps does. Not that anything he believes is correct or acceptable, but having him out there behaving as he does is valuable for defining the limits of discourse in this country. So long as Phelps is out there everything else is put in perspective. The traditionalist reluctance of Falwell or Robertson to accept alternative lifestyles looks like the relatively mainstream and commonplace position it is when looked at in the context of how Phelps behaves. It makes it hard to paint them as real villains – which they aren’t for the most part – when you have a REAL villain standing on the streetcorner shouting REAL hate to use as a point of reference.

    He’s also valuable for defining our willingness to tolerate free speech, and he makes us look good. Much though everyone hates him, our legislators weren’t willing to shut him up, they just enforced reasonable property rights to limit his ability to cause a disturbance. That reflect well on our government – for once – and on all of us as a result.

    So be glad for Phelps. Without him YOU might be the lunatic fringe.


  • I guess in a way you’re right Dave, after all look what Archie Bunker did for blacks and jews and Pollocks.

    He made everyone realize what asses they were making of themselves.

    On the other hand though by Phelps making Robertson and Falwell look normal, it also makes them acceptable, and that’s dangerous.

    Solus mei sententia

  • Actually, Jet, I think Archie helped to humanize bigotry in a way which had never been attempted before. While he may have made people realize what asses they were, he also made the meatheads of the world realize that the older generation was human and not necessarily out to get them, just kind of well meaning but backwards.


  • Point taken

  • I predict that the next attack on traditional moral values will come from nudists, who will demand the right to “come out” of their own closet by walking around in public naked, and not have to be discriminatorially “segregated” into camps.

  • Rob Layne

    I watched an interview with his daughter on youtube.com and she has these ridiculously high Religious standards for Americans alike. Apparently, if you don’t picket innocent Soldier’s funerals screaming hate unimaginable to the average human, you’re not living up to God’s standards and you’re condemned to Hell. Hate will never lead us to any solutions; it will only worsen them. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. spoke to those he opposed with love and understanding. All great minds do. Phelps only speaks with hate and scripture.

  • Scott Butki

    Great conversation. I’m glad to have helped spark this.
    This column was sparked when Phelps’ folks protested at a local funeral. At that point I felt I had to write something that had been building up in me for a while as I read about him.

  • Rob Layne,

    There’s the rub: “I watched an interview with his daughter on youtube.com and she has these ridiculously high Religious standards for Americans alike.”

    This from people who follow a man who…

    a. allegedly abused his wife and children
    b. used drugs
    c. committed fraud
    d. posts indecent images to his websites (see priestsrapeboys.com — if I were in law enforcement, I’d arrest the man)
    e. desecrates the flag (I doubt St. Paul would have desecrated the emperor’s standard!)

    Let’s get past one thing: these people are NOT moral. In every way possible, they display a level of immorality that is just obscene–and then they say they are the moral ones?

    Check out: Is Fred Phelps a pornographer?

    If Phelps wants to hate, let the man. But if he wants to preach morality, let him demonstrate it first.

  • In my experience of homophobic people – which, growing up in Salt Lake City Utah, is extensive – they are usually: a) Not comfortable with their own sexuality or afraid of what they don’t understand, b)Are gay themselves and denying it OR c)have been taken advantage of by someone when they were young and as a grownup don’t understand the difference between a pedophile and a homosexual.

    If he is as violent as is claimed maybe for him it’s C and this is his way of hiding it. Children who have been abused frequently grow up to be abusers so that fits the profile.

    heart hasn’t really accepted Christ into his life, heart and soul. Christ is supposed to be about love and forgiveness, not hate and redemption (See even us atheists understand what Christ is supposed to represent). He can never have experienced real love in his life and I certainly cannot hate someone who has never loved or been loved.

    He is already living in his own hell.

    By the way good article Scott. Very thought provoking.

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem


    The title of your article asks, “does G-d hate gays?”

    Then you appear to use Phelps as a straw man for “G-d” hating gays – a straw man you then knock down.

    The most extensive source of what G-d thinks (at least for Jews) is the Hebrew Bible. I saw lots of quotes in your piece, but not one from the Bible.


    Speaking as someone who reads the Hebrew Bible on a regular basis, but as one who is a mere ignorant Jew rather than a Biblical scholar, I rely on the Bible rather than on an idiot such as Phelps for my guesses at to what G-d thinks.

    Let’s look at a slightly different question.

    Does G-d hate?

    The standard Christian answer is “G-d is love.”

    That’s arguable. Chapter 14 of the Book of Numbers (chanted in synagogues world wide this week along with Chapter 15) deals with “the sin of the spies,” a pretty big religious concept in Judaism.

    To make a short story shorter, G-d suggests to Moses that he send out twelve spies to scout out the land of Canaan. Two come back saying “there are fortified cities but we can conquer them!” So far, so good. The other ten say “the cities are fortified and the land is inhabited by giants and we can’t handle it at all.”

    The Children of Israel, a rebellious lot and pack of ingrates if there ever was one, want to turn around and head back to Egypt rather than die as carcasses in the desert or fall to the swords of the inhabitants of Canaan. They believe the majority of the spies.

    It is about at this point that G-d appears on the scene. And He is ready to go ballistic. For the second time He suggests to Moses that He wipe out the children of Israel and start over again with Moses and his descendents. He is thoroughly disgusted with a people who refuse to have faith in Him, the essential sin, and with a people who reject His gift of a land, the second sin.

    Moses talks G-d out of the idea – that’s why I’m even able to write this – but G-d decides that all those who feared becoming carcasses in Canaan will die in the wilderness and never see the land. Their children will. The name of this book in Hebrew is “In the Wilderness.”

    As for the ten spies, they die on the spot from a plague.

    Chapter 15 is instructions from G-d to Moses to bring libations with sacrifices when the people will have settled in the land. So Moses is teaching these laws to people who will never live to do them. Part of the punishment is that the people aere reminded constantly that they will die in the wilderness and their children will inherit the land.

    Elsewhere, twice in the Hebrrew Bible, the Children of Israel are commanded to wage perennial war against Amalek and to wipe their names from the memory of man.

    Now, look at the question again. Does G-d hate? Yes.

    Scott, if you want to raise the question of what G-d feels, at least quote His sources.

  • Josh

    Scott, if you want to raise the question of what G-d feels, at least quote His sources.

    So what exactly makes the Hebrew Bible a legitimate source, Ruvy? What exactly makes it any more legitimate than the Christian scriptures? There is no proof for any of it — keep in mind, I’m not saying it’s untrue. Maybe it is, maybe it isn’t. All I’m saying is that your citations are altogether meaningless. They only mean something to you because you are Jewish, not because they have some sort of universal legitimacy.

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem


    Scott could have quoted the Christian book, the Qur’an, the works of the Hindus or Buddhists in his article, and I would have been just as happy.

    But if I’m going to quote my sources of what G-d feels, I’ll use the Hebrew Bible because that is what I know. I’d make a total idiot of myself trying to quote the Christian book.

    If Scott wanted to write a piece on how hateful this idiot Phelps is, all fine and well. But if he uses for a title “Does G-d Hate Gays?” he should at least use a source of what G-d allegedly feels – one that he is comfortable with. Otherwise, he shouldn’t drag G-d into the matter.

  • Scott Butki

    Ruvy, I don’t feel I “dragged God into this” so much as that Phelps drags God into his own agenda to say hateful things about Gays.

    I intentionally did not quote any “holy books” because of three reasons:
    1) People – including people of all political spectrums – can and do quote the bible to fit whatever stance they want. I don’t want to be one oof those people selectively quoting the bible.
    I’ve done that before and the problem with that cam through to me most clearly when I debated the death penalty in college and both sides quoted the bible to prove their point.
    2) As Josh asks: what makes the bible or other holy books a more legitimite source than another?
    3) There are people who spend their whole lives studying the bible and I do not want to pretend to know more about what it says then they do.

    But I can speak to what I think God is about. And yes I think God is about love.

    You want a religious quote? How about “Love thy neighbor?”

    It is not “love thy neighbor unless he or she is gay in which case you should not love them in the literal or figurative sense.”

  • Scott Butki

    Nate nails my dilemma with this piece when he writes:
    “I agree that it serves his purpose to keep talking about him in the media but I also think he gives us all an opportunity to look critically at our attitudes toward gays and see what the ultimate unjust prejudice toward them looks like in this group.”

    Dave, you raise an excellent point which I would phrase this way: It is through looking at extremists – of all types – that we can better get a sense for what is more common or normal or mainstream.
    The problem with that argument, I think, is that it can also skew the thinking.
    Compared to Phelps, Robertson may sound common when he calls for the assassination of a leader but that does not mean Robertson’s comments or any more responsible, just that he’s less crazy.

    A.L., Thanks. You raise some excellent points.

    Ruvy,I struggled with how to end this, at one point considering suggesting that if God hated anyone it would be someone like Phelps who seems to be focused more on spreading hate and bigotry rather than love.

    But I stopped short mostly because of this question: Who am I presume or conclude that God hates anyone, let alone Phelps?

  • Scott Butki

    Interesting that you mention Archie Bunker because I came across a quote about him while doing some research for this piece:
    “I’m not playing him to make people hate him for his
    attitude or make them like him. I’m just playing hisattitude as truthfully as I know how.
    –Carroll O’Connor (1924-2001)

    And I just went to find a link and found some more great comments from that show. That was one show which I appreciated only after it was done and may have to go back and watch on reruns sometime. Growing up I could not tell if the show was criticizing bigotry, glorifying it or something in between.

    The concept of an anti-hero was foreign to me then.

    I have to admit I still wonder if people understand what the show was about.

    But if nothing else it got people thinking about bigotry.

    I have to admit I thought of Ruvy’s comments as I read this exchange at a collection of quotes from the show:

    Archie Bunker: Now, no prejudice intended, but I always check with the Bible on these here things. I think that, I mean if God had meant for us to be together he’d a put us together. But look what he done. He put you over in Africa, and put the rest of us in all the white countries.
    Sammy Davis Jr.: Well, he must’ve told ’em where we were because somebody came and got us.

  • Ruvy, you know I love you, you know I’d never say anything to injure your feelings, but could you just ONCE post a comment without sounding like an entire chapter of a textbook????

    I know there’s a human in there somewhere!

    Solus mei sententia

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem


    Maybe I should be in the textbook writing business.

    The ideas that I want to express here are complicated, going far beyond what Scott originally intended for his piece – one that I generally agree with – except for the title.

    His defense of his title shows a lot of what is wrong and fundamentally false about what is called “Judaeo-Christian” culture. That term is a bigger oxymoron than military music.

    But I’ll stay away from the textbook for the time being. If you have the time, read the comments of Eugene Narrett on the subject…

  • I know you don’t mean to, but sometimes you come off like you’re talking over everyone else’s head. I know that’s not true, but that’s the perception you give.

    Sorry if I offended…

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    I’m not offended, Jet – just warned. Thanks.


    If I could only get paid for talking over people’s heads, I wouldn’t give a rat’s ass…

  • Actually, with his mystical space being riffs and his delusions about Israel’s future history, I often find Ruvy talking UNDER my head not over it. Apart from that he’s really nice though!

  • Oh, as to the topic of this article, if there was a god, which there almost certainly isn’t, how could it hate creatures it created in its own image?

    Clearly this “god” had a great pluralistic sex life, straight, gay and lesbian.

  • Since there’s only one that brings up the question of hermaphodites too…

  • Scott Butki

    I thought I
    would get more comments questioning the suggestion that free speech does not apply inside a funeral service.

  • Ruvy from Jerusalem

    I was looking ovdr all the Blog Critics e-mail that had piled up and found your comments on planning to write this article. Had i seen them, I probably never would have commented on the title at all…


    Once you’re dead, you can say anything you please – even at your funeral. You have total freedom of speech. The problem is getting other people to listen. A lot of live folks have a similar problem.

  • Scott Butki

    Let’s put it this way – you are leading a funeral service when you start hearing people nearby shouting derogatory comments about the deceased.
    Is that free speech?

  • Ruvy from Jerusalem


    I would view a funeral as a private event, not a public one. The cemtery is private land, and the public is invited to honor the deceased – not to spit at his memory.

    From my point of view, this is a fairly cut and dried case, but my knowledge of first amendment law or similar problems (my legal research paper was on a California case of free speech in a shopping mall) is a bit rusty. My argument about the mall, that the respondent demonstrators had freedom of speech under article 1 of the California constitution, if not under the first and fourteenth amendments of the federal constitution, was the precise argument the respondent lawyers made to the federal supreme court. It turned out to be what the supreme court bought.

    So in that vein, one can argue that the purpose of the cemetery is a private purpose, the honoring and burial of the dead, and the invitation to the public is a limited one, for a specific purpose, that of honoring the dead, as opposed to the unspecific invitation to the public to come to the mall and browse and see what they want to buy…

    In short, having some burly football types throwing the bums out would be entirely in order.

  • RabbleBabble

    Does anyone know if this guy’s “church” is tax-exempt?

  • Scott Butki

    Good question but I don’t know the answer.

    New quote:

    “We have just enough religion to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another.”
    – Jonathan Swift

  • Scott Butki

    This just in from Wonkette:
    “Attention Godless Sodomites
    From the Fire and Brimstone Desk: Westboro Baptist Church Pastor Fred “Kooky” Phelps, also known as the man who single-handedly keeps the “God Hates Fags” sign industry in business, has set his sites on hellbound Jon Stewart and “hooligan sidekick” Stephen Colbert for their little Emmy skit.

    Phelps gets the ball rolling in his latest video sermon with this little gem:

    “Comedian Jon Stewart and his hooligan sidekick Stephen Colbert of the Comedy Central TV network are two mockers and scoffers that like to blaspheme God and Westboro Baptist Church. At the Emmy Awards nonsense last week, Colbert began his silliness by bellowing out at the audience, ‘Good evening, Godless sodomites.’ America has become a nation of Godless sodomites, who mock and scoff about their Sodomite sins, thereby demonstrating that America is a nation of fag-enabling fools, because only fools make a mock at sin. Prov. 14:9″

    While we don’t condone directing bandwith to the Church’s URLs, we were lucky enough to find the rant on YouTube:”

  • Scott Butki

    Here’s the latest
    Phelps seeks dismissal of defamation lawsuit

    “The antigay Kansas church whose members show up at military funerals claiming God is killing troops in Iraq to punish the nation for its tolerance of homosexuality is asking that a defamation lawsuit be dismissed, on the grounds that they are merely expressing an opinion. “There can be no falsehood when mere opinions are stated,” attorneys for the Westboro Baptist Church said Monday in a motion filed in U.S. district court.
    Albert Snyder, of York, Pa. is suing the Reverend Fred Phelps and his Topeka, Kan.–based church after church members demonstrated at the funeral of Lance Cpl. Matthew Snyder, and posted pictures of the protest on their Web site. Snyder was killed in March. Snyder’s lawsuit, filed June 5, alleges church members violated the family’s right to privacy and defamed the marine and his family at the funeral and on the church’s Web site. ”

  • Nancy

    Wouldn’t it be nice if the courts did for Phelps & his church what they did for that White Supremacy compound & awarded all Phelps’ & the church’s assets to the Snyder family. Now THAT would be divine justice.

  • Nancy

    Wouldn’t it be nice if the courts did for Phelps & his church what they did for that White Supremacy compound & awarded all Phelps’ & the church’s assets to the Snyder family. Now THAT would be justice of the most divine sort.

  • Scott Butki

    He managed to stoop even lower – he wanted to attend the funerals of the Amish girls killed by the latest school siege:

    Check this out:

    HARRISBURG, Pa. – A Kansas church group that routinely pickets military funerals has dropped plans to demonstrate at funerals of five Amish girls fatally shot in an attack on their one-room schoolhouse.

    Instead, members of the Westboro Baptist Church issued a statement Wednesday saying a representative will appear on a nationally syndicated radio talk show.

    The Web site of show host Mike Gallagher indicated that the group was offered an hour of airtime on Thursday morning in exchange for dropping the planned demonstration. ”

  • byron williamson

    this country is built on different views and beliefs but when they are disrespectful to others and are in hurtful ways, that just fuel the fire of hatred…..whatever happened to love thy neighbor……….

  • Nate Phelps

    In light of my old man’s most recent blackmailing of this nations sensibilities with regards to the funerals of these little Amish girls, I wanted to share with you some comments I made recently to a radio personality:

    I have struggled with this First Amendment issue because as a rule I am opposed to any government infringement on my guaranteed Constitutional rights. Howeever, I ultimately come down in favor of limiting their activity.

    There is precedence for limiting free speech when public safety is at stake (yelling “Fire” in a crowded theatre), and when other individual rights are infringed on in the expression of your free speech rights. This second example speaks to the issue that I see here. With rights come responsibilities and a duty to respect the rights of others. While the issue of protesting at funerals has never been addressed that I know of (who could have ever imagined having to address it), I am not willing to just defer to the power of the Constitution without careful consideration.

    Is their right to free speech ultimately infringed upon by limiting the time and proximity of their speech in order to give due consideration to the right of grieving families burying their dead? It would be foolish to argue that their message has been stiffled. The whole country, heck most of the world, has heard this hate-filled rhetoric.

    The Constitution doesn’t preserve their right to insure maximum shock value in the delivery of their message, just the right to express it.

    I realize that ultimately the legal system is bound to consider precedence, but precedence is an ever evolving thing, changing as the need arises. In my humble opinion, the need has arisen.

    Let me reiterate…I don’t trust the government to selflessly look out for my interests any more then I trust my father…but this situation warrants restrained intervention.

  • Scott Butki

    A local newspaper has a good editorial on Phelps.

    Meanwhile I posted my piece over at Newsvine and it’s getting some interesting responses.

  • Matt

    I dont think God hates. I just cant fathom it. My entire life has been filled with love. Ive grown up in a tolerant caring enviorment. The church I go to is constantly preaching Gods forgivness and my highschool is extremly liberal. My assosiation with the scriptures have been qoutes like ” Juudge not so you will not be judged. Forgive so you will be forgiven” or “those without sin can throw the first stone. Ive heard stories of jesus sitting with those who were most hated in the society and loving them. Tax collecters leper you name it. he said that gods love was abundent. he told us to love our enimies. he said that loving your friends is easy. that doesnt prove anything. but to love your enimies is to love God. I dont presume to know what God thinks. But it seems to me that phelps message is exremly distorted. It takes a very one sided look at a very human message written by humans in a fairly intolerant times. Are there bad messages in the book? i think so. But i think the message of love especially in the new testament is more predominant. I have my whole life ahead of me. Im only 16 years old. i refuse to spend that time with hate in my heart. hate wears you down. It brings you grief. I cant believe thats what God intended. If it is? If thats really what God wants and Im wrong? Well then thats no god I would ever worship.