It’s not as if I find the extreme-Left, America-hating, anti-war loonies any less despicable than I always have. But, I think there’s someone who could just possibly be even worse. His name? Fred Phelps.
The fire-and-brimstone preacher, who laughably calls himself a reverend and claims he’s a Christian, is obsessed with homosexuals. He damns all to Hell who even dare to stick up for homosexuals. Like our troops for defending America — “fag nation” in “Rev.” Phelps’ eyes.
Phelps and his congregation at the Topeka, Kansas-based Westboro Baptist Church have praised 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina as punishment for a nation that, according to him, enables gays. He delivered an obscenity-laced sermon to praise the fatal beating of gay teenager Matthew Sheppard. His supporters regularly attend the funerals of those killed in Iraq, mocking the dead and their families for fighting for America. According to Phelps, if America wants to bring its ideas of freedom and democracy to Iraq, then Iraq will turn into a “fag nation” as well.
It would be wrong to assume, as a knee-jerk liberal would, that Christians have embraced this toxic-brained lunatic. It is simply not true. Even Jerry Falwell has spoken against him.
In his earlier days, Phelps tried to convert Mormons, insulting them in the process. He lived in Canada for a while. After blessing the U.S. with his return, the former pugilist continued to advocate beating as a patriarch’s right. He once delivered a sermon at the Eastside Baptist Church in Topeka denouncing a female member of his congregation for being a whore when he learned that she was pregnant. While still in the employ of this same church, he punched his own infant son, Mark, several times in the face when he dared to squirm during one of his sermons. Now, as much as I hate the likes of al-Zarqawi or bin Laden, I doubt that even they are sub-human enough to beat up babies.
Phelps consumed large quantities of drugs and alcohol, terrorized his family, and may even have been involved in the death of a young woman. You get the point. He’s a dangerous bastard.
Reading about his guy’s past is painful. But even scarier than that is that this low-life is still around, still preaching, putting America down, insulting soldiers’ families, and advocating violence against gays.
Phelps’ hateful zealotry, masquerading as religious fervor, reminds me of another class of people: the Islamofascists. Phelps is definitely in their league. Ergo, shouldn’t this guy and his followers be considered potential terrorists, as such a comparison would merit?
The last I heard, Congress was considering federal legislation against Phelps and the Westboro Church. It can’t come fast enough. If we could hound the reclusive Branch Davidians — who never bothered nor hurt anyone but their own community — into killing themselves, then why leave the Westboro Baptist Church alone? If any cult in the country deserves to be surrounded by tanks and FBI agents, it’d be them. Hell, I’d even love it if the jackbooted boys of the ATF moved in on them; for once in my life, I’d cheer them on.
In the early 1990s, Congress expanded the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act to include hate crimes. So, why, damnit, is Phelps and his congregation not being targeted under this law’s statutes? If they are free to protest, then obviously nothing is going to bring them into line with the law.
Spare me the diatribe about the test of a democracy being how we tolerate the most odious, scummy people to shout whatever garbage they like. If that’s true, then why clamp down on fiery Islamic clerics as they have been doing in Britain? Exactly right, because their words lead to terror. And, God only knows when the 150-strong congregation of Westboro will turn their own hateful words into action. We are dealing with people who have lost all sense of reality. In my opinion, Phelps and his flock are capable of anything. Laughing at and hating them is not enough.
So here’s what I suggest: A flamboyant Mardi Gras-style gay pride parade should roll past the church headquarters in Topeka, followed by a patriotic “Proud to be American float,” complete with military brass bands. It would look like an odd combination, sure. But I firmly believe that gay activists and conservatives should act together to cause as much trouble for Phelps as is possible. This would be the much-needed 1-2 sucker punch that the pugilist “pastor” needs.
Either that or throw the whackjob into a padded cell for life.