Thursday, March 20, 2014

Anti-Gay Bigot Fred Phelps Passes Away!

One more right wing extremist bites the dust.

That doesn't stop the Westboro Baptist Church from protesting at funerals of those in the LGBT community, suicidal teens and military officers who died in battle.

Although they've lost a leader, a father and social conservative, the anti-gay Phelps family will at least get a moment of clarity.

In his 84 years, Fred Phelps and his family have protested the funerals of what they've called an all out war against traditional marriage. They believe the "gay agenda" has ruined America.

So the Phelps family would congregate upon nearby roads near schools or funeral homes to rally for GOD.

They would say GOD HATES FAGS or GOD HATES AMERICA every time they've shown up at an event.

While some may agree with their sick views, others have taken them to task.
Margie Phelps and Shirley Phelps-Roper.
While they protest their anti-gay bigotry, the counterprotesters would often block their attempts. Some of these attempts have gotten violent when family members rush the Phelps family.

Phelps and his followers frequently picketed various events, such as military funerals, gay pride gatherings, high-profile political gatherings, university commencement ceremonies, performances of The Laramie Project, mainstream Christian gatherings and concerts with which he had no affiliation, arguing it was their sacred duty to warn others of God's anger, leading a group of motorcycle riders to form the Patriot Guard Riders to provide a non-violent, volunteer buffer between the protesters and mourners.

Of course, the racist right would love to tag this nutjob to the Democratic Party. Although he's was a perennial candidate for higher office, Phelps would make it no secret he's no fan of the Democrats.

Meghan Roper, the granddaughter of Fred Phelps left.
He tried to run for the U.S. Senate as a social conservative.

He was known for the slogans that he and his ministry used against people he deemed 'sinful'; his church is built around a core of anti-homosexual theology, with many of their activities stemming from the slogan "God hates fags", which remains the name of the group's main website. Gay rights supporters denounced him as a producer of anti-gay propaganda and violence-inspiring hate speech.

The church is considered a hate group and monitored by the Anti-Defamation League and Southern Poverty Law Center.

He takes pride in one victory during his pathetic life/ He managed to win a Supreme Court case in which he and his family protested the funeral of fallen solider, Marine Lance Corporal Matthew A. Snyder.

Synder who died in combat in Iraq on March 3, 2006.

The Snyder family sued Fred Phelps for defamation, invasion of privacy, and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

On October 31, 2007, WBC, Fred Phelps and his two daughters, Shirley Phelps-Roper and Rebekah Phelps-Davis, were found liable for invasion of privacy and intentional infliction of emotional distress. A federal jury awarded Snyder's father $2.9 million in compensatory damages, then later added a decision to award $6 million in punitive damages for invasion of privacy and an additional $2 million for causing emotional distress (a total of $10.9 million).

The organization said it would not change its message because of the verdict.
Bitter to the end, Fred Phelps became a maytr of the racist right.
The lawsuit named Albert Snyder, father of Matthew Snyder, as the plaintiff and Fred W. Phelps, Sr.; Westboro Baptist Church, Inc.; Rebekah Phelps-Davis; and Shirley Phelps-Roper as defendants, alleging that they were responsible for publishing defamatory information about the Snyder family on the Internet, including statements that Albert and his wife had "raised [Matthew] for the devil" and taught him "to defy his Creator, to divorce, and to commit adultery". Other statements denounced them for raising their son Catholic. Snyder further complained the defendants had intruded upon and staged protests at his son's funeral. The claims of invasion of privacy and defamation arising from comments posted about Snyder on the Westboro website were dismissed on First Amendment grounds, but the case proceeded to trial on the remaining three counts.

An appeal by WBC was heard on September 24, 2009. The federal appeals court ruled in favor of Phelps and Westboro Baptist Church, stating that their picket near the funeral of LCpl Matthew A. Snyder is protected speech and did not violate the privacy of the service member's family, reversing the lower court's $5 million judgment. On March 30, 2010, the federal appeals court ordered Albert Snyder to pay the court costs for the Westboro Baptist Church, an amount totaling $16,510.
The Phelps family would protest at funerals of dead soldiers.
A writ of certiorari was granted on an appeal to the Supreme Court of the United States, and the oral argument for the case took place on October 6, 2010. Margie Phelps, one of Fred Phelps' children, represented the Westboro Baptist Church.[

The Court ruled in favor of Phelps in an 8–1 decision, holding that their speech related to a public issue, and was disseminated on a public sidewalk.

Phelps had long been estranged from family members who left the Westboro Baptist Church. One of those family members, son Nathan, reported that Phelps was in very poor health and receiving hospice care.
Nathan said that Phelps had been excommunicated from the church in August 2013.

The church's official website said in response that membership status is private and did not confirm or deny the excommunication.

Phelps died of natural causes shortly before midnight on March 19.

Phelps' daughter Shirley has stated that a funeral for her father will not be held because Westboro does not "worship the dead."


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