Fred Phelps of Westboro Baptist Church reportedly near death.

Submitted by Charlton “Chuck” Stanley, Weekend Contributor

180px-westboro_baptist_church_in_new_york_by_david_shankboneFred Phelps son, Nathan Phelps, has reported on his Facebook page that his father, Fred Phelps, Sr. is near death in a Topeka KS hospital.  Nathan himself has been estranged from his father and family for some time, and was “excommunicated” from the Westboro Baptist Church.  What few people knew, apparently, was that Fred Phelps himself was excommunicated from the “church” he founded in August of last year.

The immediate family, in their usual mean-spirited style, will not let Nathan and other former members of their “church” have a last visit with the old man. Of course, all or almost all, current church members are immediate family themselves, so they are keeping his son and other descendants from seeing him before he passes.

Nathan reported the news last night on his Facebook page.

Nathan posted this:

Nathan Phelps

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.

12 hours ago near Chestermere, Canada

Lauren Drain, who joined the “church” at age 15 when her father joined, was indoctrinated into their hate group, but was thrown out of the “church” about five years when she began to question their beliefs and behaviors. In an interview, she described a confrontation with Fred Phelps. Drain says that at some point, Phelps wanted to join the military and even started to attend West Point, but “something happened.”

“All I know is that he said he went to West Point, then all of a sudden he had a religious experience, and now he wanted to preach against sexual immorality, preach against the military, and ever since then things have kind of progressed.”

Drain went on to say that she thought his reaction to being asked by the media if he was gay himself was suspicious, in that it was particularly extreme.

“I never understood why, when [he was asked by the press], ‘Why are you so against the homosexuals? Did you have a homosexual experience? Do you have homosexual tendencies?’ And he would get so mad, he would shut down. And he’d be like, ‘I can’t talk to this person anymore, they’re stupid.’

“His reaction to that was stronger than any other question you can ask him. So I always wondered that — why does he get so mad? If I’m not gay, I’ll just say I’m not gay.”

Both Nathan and Lauren have become pro-LBGT activists. Lauren has posed for pictures and has become active in the NOH8 Campaign.

The primary source of news so far has been Nathan’s post to Facebook. As of this writing, there is no mention of Phelps’ condition on the church’s website, Twitter feed, or blog. Obviously, under HIPAA regulations, Midland Hospice House cannot release any information. Hemant Mehta has talked with Nate by phone, who confirmed his post to Facebook was legitimate.

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42 thoughts on “Fred Phelps of Westboro Baptist Church reportedly near death.”

  1. Westboro Baptist Church Protest Met With ‘Sorry For Your Loss’ Sign
    Daniel Strauss – March 22, 2014

    Westboro Baptist Church members were met with a notable counter-protest at their first protest since the group’s founder died: a sign that read “sorry for your loss.”

    Counter-protesters held up the sign at a Westboro Baptist Church protest of a Lorde concert in Kansas City, the first protest by the group since founder Fred Phelps died. More than 20 Westboro Baptist Church members were protesting the Lorde concert.

    “We realized that it wasn’t so much about antagonizing them but sending out the countered safe that we are here for people who need that message and need that positivity” Megan Coleman, who helped make the sign, said according to Kansas’ KSHB.

    The message didn’t get across to all Westboro members.

    “I don’t even know what they’re saying,” Westboro Baptist Chuch member Steve Drain said.

  2. A Tale of Two Freds: Happy Birthday and Go To Hell
    Fred Phelps, the hatemonger who picketed Mr. Rogers’ funeral, died on Mr. Rogers’ birthday.
    By Tom Junod
    March 20, 2014

    I only had one encounter with Fred Phelps and the Westboro Baptist Church. It was, of course, at a funeral. The funeral, of course, was for a man in whom the Reverend Phelps discerned either a sympathy for—or simply an insufficient hatred of—homosexuals. And he, of course, managed to turn it into a scene, a mockery of the purpose for which it was intended.

    The funeral in question took place eleven years ago, in downtown Pittsburgh. Phelps was still new to the national awareness. American soldiers had just begun dying in Iraq, and Phelps and his congregants had just begun the task of profaning their funerals. I still remember the sense of near panic their presence inspired, and most of all the confusion: Wait a second, I’m at the funeral of a beloved man, and there are people across the street protesting because “God hates fags,” and he didn’t…?

    It didn’t make any sense, so I crossed the street. I was not alone; there were the counter-protesters who became a regular part of Phelps’ dismal theater of outrage, and they gathered in front of Westboro’s picket line and confronted them. The police moved in, out of fear that the confrontation might escalate into the violence that Phelps apparently craved. (What I heard, even then, was that he made his living filing lawsuits against those he’d provoked into some kind of physical response.)

    But there was no violence. There could be no violence, at this particular funeral, and all the counter-protesters did was sing the song indelibly associated with both the deceased and with American childhood—because the deceased was indelibly associated with American childhood. “It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood,” they sang, and I had a chance to talk to some of the people from Westboro, and to observe their own American children.

    I don’t remember anything they said. What I do remember was how their children looked, and the keen and nearly overwhelming sense of loss the appearance of their children elicited. There were so many of them, for one thing; the Westboro congregation turned out to be a young one, and even some of the lank-haired women holding signs and spitting epithets turned out be, on closer inspection, teenagers. And they were all so poor. I’m not speaking simply of their clothes, and their teeth, and their grammar, or any of the other markers of class in America. I’m speaking of their poverty of spirit. Whether they were sixteen or six, they looked to be already exhausted, already depleted, with greasy hair, dirty faces, and circles under their eyes that had already hardened into purplish dents. They looked as if they were far from home, and didn’t know where they were going next. They looked, in truth, not just poorly taken care of, but abused, if not physically then by a belief inimical to childhood—the belief that to be alive is to hate and be hated.

    It was the condition of those children that was the true profanation of the funeral of Fred McFeely Rogers, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in 2003, and it is eerie symmetry that the day of Fred Phelps died is also the day Fred Rogers would have turned 86. I am tempted to call it karma, and to crow that such coincidence offers indisputable proof that in the mind of God, the good Fred wins. But hey, it’s Mister Rogers’ birthday, and so I can only do what he would do:

    Pray that now, with the Minister of Hate gone, some poor soldier can finally get his rest, and some poor child get her sleep.

  3. Nick

    I agree with everything you wrote about funerals, for everyone in this world: except fred phelps.

  4. Funerals are for grieving family and friends. The deceased has left this earth. I was taught by the Jesuits that the person who breaks the cycle of hate is the truest Christian. I used to have an angry heart. It damn near killed me. But, being a libertarian, do as you see fit. I think it is no better than Phelps. We simply disagree.

  5. Nick

    With all the damage and heart-ache he inflicted on countless families of vets and gay peole by his assault on funerals of those fallen, fred phelps deserves whatever protest his corpse receives. He is the one who called for such actions. Why not give him what he gave to so many others? After all he saw it fitting in his protests. Why not return the courtesy?

  6. Darren yes indeed, poetic justice. I’m sure some of the families of those killed in battle would volunteer. Or perhaps a Patriot Riders would volunteer.

  7. Protesting @ Phelps funeral would be just as vile as his protests. That thought shows an angry, vengeful heart. I would encourage gay people to attend the funeral, be empathetic to his family and friends, and show all that gay people are loving, caring people. That’s how you change people’s heart. Not w/ anger and tit for tat, but w/ love.

  8. Annie

    Yes, that would be poetic. With signs and chants of “God Hates Phelps”

  9. I wonder how much security will be surrounding his funeral? I don’t want to encourage anyone, but wouldn’t it be perfect retribution to have masses of gay people and veterans protest at his funeral?

  10. dave march16 @11:42pm

    never said it was true or false, just pointing out to the self professed christians that according to their dogma they would have him for all eternity.


    think reincarnation, maybe he’ll come back as a tapeworm. or a dung beetle.

  11. in a certain kind of irony i can understand phelps hatred of the military because every war we ever fought was based on lies.. but his total hatred of all homosexuals is a little to extreme.

    and yes i’ve read the stories about skull and bones and the rapes and sexual abuse at the military academies along with with the abuse at the camps.. especially westpoint….. maybe now the truth will come out

  12. All signs point to sexual molestation at West Point. Any “christian revival” is Phelps giving in to those circling buzzards after the fact. Even still it remains incredibly difficult to celebrate the silencing of any voice. One wonders if his schooling at West Point, had it occurred in the 2000s and not 1950s, the outcome would be different.

  13. Freddy makes me sad to be an atheist. If there really were a God as defined by the New testament Freddy would awaken on judgment day to a judiciary that would ask him. “When I was a stranger did you comfort me? When I was hungry did you feed me? When I was cold did you give me your cloak?” It would be fun to hear his response. The judgment would not be so pleasant, “That which you did for(to) the least of these you did for(to) me”

    It will be a better world here without him and that is all I can hope for in this life or the next.

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