Topeka’s Westboro Baptist founding pastor Phelps dies

TOPEKA, Kan. (TAB, CNN) — Fred Phelps, the founding pastor of Westboro Baptist Church, Topeka, Kan., known for its controversial anti-gay protests at public events, died March 19. He was 84. According to CNN, Phelps founded Westboro Baptist (unaffiliated with any denomination) in 1955 and molded it in his fire-and-brimstone image. The church inspired a federal law and laws in more than 40 states that limit picketing at funerals, according to the Associated Press. Many members of the congregation are Phelps’ extended family and according to the church’s website, it has picketed more than 53,000 events, ranging from Lady Gaga concerts to funerals for slain U.S. soldiers. Typically, church members brandish signs that say “You’re Going to Hell,” “God Hates Fags” and “Thank God for Dead Soldiers” at protests. In a 2011 ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the church was protected by the First Amendment and could not be sued for “inflicting pain on grieving families.”


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State Baptist newspaper serving Baptists in Alabama, providing information, inspiration and interpretation as well as challenging readers to serve and find opportunities for ministry that further the kingdom of God.
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2 Responses to Topeka’s Westboro Baptist founding pastor Phelps dies

  1. digitalgranny says:

    I hope for change but in this evil man has probably trained many more to take his place.

  2. Great post! I am interested in what your opinion of mine would be. It is in a similar vien but not exactely the same approach. Here is the link. Let me know what your thoughts are:

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