Fred Phelps is the minister of the Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kansas and an arch-homophobe. He is also the owner of the www.godhatesfags.com web site.
He likes to travel the country "protesting". Recently we had him here in College Park, Maryland. This was taken from a flyer at UMCP "WBC to picket fag-infested Univ. of Maryland at the football game vs. North Carolina State, The Laramie Project fag play, and 5 queer-friendly pseudo churches -- Nov. 8-10 schedule below -- in religious protest & warning: 'God is not mocked!' God Hates Fags! and Fag-Enablers! Ergo, God hates Pres. C.D. Mote, Jr., his administration, staff, faculty, alumni, and student body!"
Well, my son does stage crew and this did not fly with him so we/me (I'm the internet researcher in the house) did some digging to try to come up with counter slogans to the "God sent AIDS to Kill Fags" genre of posters. So sad, we were really looking for some awful tragedy to mock but it seems the worst that God has done to Topeka is cause droughts and floods, killer winter storms and killer summer heat...."God sent hot and cold to kill your corn and soy beans" just didn't have the right ring. Topeka has more emergency preparedness information but less emergencies than I could have imagined. We are sorry Topeka, we were not good people that day. We couldn't find a catchy counter slogan, this is probably a good thing.
We talked to a friend in Kansas City, Kansas. Peggy says Phelps goes everywhere protesting and the people in Kansas hate his actions. He even protests at funerals - that of a doctor in Kansas City who worked with the poor and that of Matthew Shepard were two examples she gave us. She said the Kansas police who are familiar with Phelps and Friends make them hold the line but when they go places where they are not known they frequently push past the legal physical line that protestors are not supposed to cross. It may help to for your police to know this ahead of time if Phelps and Friends come to your town.
Some other URLs found in our search:
all satires...which are well and good when one needs the humor to defuse the anger but when one needs a bit of sustenance there is also
www.godlovesfags.com (Thanks to cbustapeck for pointing out this overwhelmingly positive website.)
and www.blank.org/addict/orig.addict.html "Addicted to Hate" chronicling the life and times of a Fred Phelps lawsuit - amazingly icky stuff.
But all are not so evil as the "Rev" Phelps: In a reference to www.godhatesfags.com another minister said. "If you want hate, you will find it there. These self proclaimed “Christians” stand and condemn homosexuals, not accepting that they are children of God, loved by God as each and every one of us are. Rev. Phelps says, “It’s too late to rescue Matthew Shepard from the life of sin and shame to which he was lured by the perverted, depraved and decadent American society into which he was born. All who say, ‘It’s o.k. to be gay.’, have the blood of Matthew and millions more on their hands.” Rev. Phelps is the one who organized members of his congregation to go by bus from Topeka, Kansas to Laramie, Wyoming to protest at Matthew Shepard’s funeral, to condemn him and all gays. Rev. Phelps said Matthew Shepard’s blood is on our hands if we show any understanding or acceptance or love for those who are gay." This was a part of the Children’s Sabbath sermon preached by the Rev. Walter Boris on 10/18/1998 as he encouraged his congregation to become "open and affirming"; "a congregation that welcomes gays and lesbians, bi-sexual and transgendered people, as children of God, deserving of their love" www.kccucc.org/sermons/1998/1998-10-18.htm
I am happy to say I just peeked at the web page and the Kirkland Congregational Church now proclaims themselves to be an Open and Affirming Church on their splash page of http://www.kccucc.org/. This came from Rev. Boris's rejection of Fred Phelps! Good from evil...you know...look at the bright side and all.
We never did find a counter slogan we liked but it is over here, Phelps has left Maryland. Beware, he may hit your town next. /msg me if you come up with something catchy to share (but not so mean to the innocent people of Kansas. We were mad and spiteful that day).
SOME IDEAS /MSGED TO ME ON STRATEGIES TO COUNTER PHELPS
unperson says I wanted to do something against Phelps, but in the end I decided ignoring him was probably the best course. He seems to feed on conflict, and since at the university his view is clearly not prevalent, I
decided it was best to emphasize how irrelevant and uninteresting it is.
I think the best ideas against it, though, were the ones that used his protests to raise money for gay advocacy groups. I also found the godhatesfigs website, and I really wanted to print the pamphlets they had and go stage a mock
protest complete with anti-fig signs.
The thing is that he has no real rational arguments or coherent message, just irrational hate. There is no rational counterpoint to that, but you can show how ridiculous it is.
Jet-Poop says Y'all could try what's been used against the KKK a few times: Collect pledges for every minute that the protest goes on, with all contributions going to anti-hate organizations, AIDS charities, gay rights organizations, etc. If someone pledges a dollar per minute, and Phelps goes on for a half-hour, that's $30 in the bag. And it's important to set up a large clock where he can see it, so he'll know y'all are keeping track of how long he's going and how much his efforts are benefiting his opponents.
Also, the guy thrives on other people hating him, so it's best if he sees either lots of smiling faces or, perhaps better, no one paying real attention to him at all...
But Lady Midnight says "Interestingly, the idea that Jet-Poop poses that you have at the end of your Fred Phelps w/u is now mentioned/detailed on the godhatesfags.com site.
I checked this out and it is indeed correct. See:
cbustapeck says I find the best solution is to just be happy around such people.... they just don't get it.
Radar says re Fred Phelps - It's an old joke, but I might have an anti-Phelps poster slogan for you. "Q: What's the difference between Fred Phelps and God? A: God doesn't think he's Fred Phelps".
12/24/02 I was also told the Associated Press had "
something about Fred Phelps the other day that said that he always has people videotaping his protests, so if anyone touches him, he can sue them. So Freddy should always be treated as 'hands-off'."
Poor God, with such a "representative"