Anti-gay church sets its sights on Jews

WASHINGTON (RNS) The 7-year-old boy in the red hat and hooded sweatshirt seemed like any other child playing in the street, except for the sign Luke Phelps-Roper was carrying: “God Hates Fags.”

For more than a decade, Westboro Baptist Church has raised a ruckus with that message, posting itself outside government buildings, college campuses and even the funerals of American soldiers. But in recent months, the Topeka, Kan.-based church has been moving toward other targets, predominantly in the American Jewish community.

Westboro Baptist members came to Washington this week (Nov. 2-9) to protest speeches by President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the Jewish Federations of North America conference. Members of the Phelps family have been to other, less high-profile sites as well, targeting synagogues, Jewish community centers and Hillels on college campuses.

The change in focus has caught Jewish leaders by surprise. While the group has always had anti-Semitic tendencies, it had largely stayed away from Jewish sites until this year.

As the young Phelps paced in front of a Washington hotel Monday (Nov. 2), his aunt, Margie, balanced several signs targeting Jews, Israel and the Obama administration. One read “Rabbis Rape Kids,” another said “God Hates Jews.” Margie Phelps’ T-shirt read “Jews Killed Jesus.” She argued with men and women passing by, warning them that God will soon send the Jews to hell.

“I don’t care what you claim, chosen wise,” she said. “Obedience is the standard.”

Read more: religionnews.com/index.php?/rnstext/anti_gay_church_sets_its_sights_on_jews/

These people need some serious psychological help. What a shame for the children. :frowning:

Miz

I don’t get why everyone gives these people what they want. In reality, they don’t care about gays, jews, the military, etc. It’s all about publicity and outrage.

This is news? They say God hates everyone except members of their church. So, basically, God hates everyone but the Phelps family and we’re all going to hell, they’ll be the only ones in heaven. I’m just waiting for Fred Phelps to declare himself the Messiah and the inevitable mass murder and suicide at the compound.

In Christ,

Ellen

I don’t think this counts as a church. This is a vile cult. I think they’re satanic!:mad::mad::mad::mad:

You know the sad thing about this group is that they help give Christianity the bad reputation it has. Aside from the fact that they don’t go around bombing synagogues, public buildings, and other churches with whom they disagree, I don’t see them as any different than the radical Muslims that preach hatred and death to infidels.

I truly believe there are going to be a LOT of so-called “Christians” who are in for a rude awakening after they die.

They would if they thought they could get away with it. Believe me Christian on non-Christian crime happens a lot and I know a few that would kill me for being a Druid and the only thing stopping them was literally an episode of CSI they saw (i.e. they’d be caught) thankfully they don’t make Christians in my area like they use to, that is unafraid of being jailed and martyred for the faith.

Personally I wish these guys would be shut down I mean there has to be enough data to call them a hate group and terrorist org.

I think you’re taking this group way too seriously(which is what they want). What they preach is almost satirical. They don’t evangelize. They don’t have any real ideology. They don’t pose a threat to anybody. The only thing they are good at is getting attention.

Just the opposite really. They don’t give Christians a bad name, because all Christians find them to be anti-Christian sickos, and say so at every possible opportunity. Only anti-Christians with an anti-christian agenda anyways would fail to take note how the Phelps cult has been ostracized by Christians of all stripes.

Literally every Christian that one encounters in life will express the same disdain and contempt for the anti-Christian message of the Phelps family. Nary a one of us, of any denomination, has an affinity for this message at all. Nary a Christian outside of the Phelps clan will express any sympathy for what they are teaching, their methods of getting their message across, and every Christian categorically states that this message has nothing to do with Christ or Christianity.

This is not even like Moslems and leftists who may disagree with the methods of the Islamic terrorists but who understand why such people are acting as they do.
There isn’t any Christian here, there, or anywhere, that wants anything to do with the Phelps cause.

Well I agree the vast majority of Christian denominations disagree with these people, whether about their beliefs, their methods, or both, I definitely don’t hear a strong outcry about it in the mainstream press anymore than I do when the same thing happens in the Muslim faith. A large Christian group generally releases a statement condemning it, but on a lot of radical conservative websites you still have people saying, “Well, they shouldn’t have been so mean - but at least someone’s pointing out that gays are an abomination to god” or whatever.

There’s still some sympathy sometimes - and I actually see that the biggest problem most people have with them is the despicable soldier’s funeral thing. It’s a lot harder to support someone attacking the enemy (loosely used - I mean non-Christian values etc.) when they’re also attacking “your own.” It’s the same way Muslims are probably more likely to condemn suicide bombers who blow about Iraqi kids getting candy from US soldiers.

I think there are a lot of Christians who agree with a lot of what they say, but not the soldier thing, which is sad. The same thing with “pro-life” terrorists - many Christians do understand them - I even understand them and I’m prochoice. I get to an extent the desperation and frustration that leads people to commit acts of anger and terror, but I don’t think it’s okay by any means. We need to understand and address instead of just yelling and taking sides over such events in order to prevent them. Simply blaming “Christians” or “Muslims” is such a large categorization it’s just silly - we need to look at what really motivates small groups of radicals and and focus on them.

It would be far more frightening to be the kind of person Phelps approved of.

They are a hate group and nothing more. They should be ashamed of themselves.

No, but he is about as despicable as you can be without physically hurting someone. The psychological harm he has caused some people is pretty real.

I have no idea what neo-nazis and their websites are doing, nor do I need to. They are mainly irrelevant, although in Britian, they may be making a bit of a come back.

I’m not talking about neo-nazi sites, I’m talking about sites somewhat favored here (wordnetdaily type sites, fox news)

the lunatic fringe of the lunatic fringe will support sympathy of course. There is nothing even near mainstream. You already know that or you would be providing examples.

The same in Islam - only the radical fringe is hoping for more suicide bombings.

Yup, that is what it takes to stop many Moslem from naming their kids Osama, as what happened in the wake of 9/11 when there was a spike of such names in places such as Nigeria for instance.

I don’t know much about that - if that’s true, it’s disturbing. But if it wasn’t a spike and the levels just stayed the same, I don’t see why Muslims should be expected to not call their kids Osama. After the Manson thing did no one name their kid Charles? After OK City did no one name their kid Timothy? It’s a very common name.

Nobody supports Phelps except his cult. I have yet to here one person say anythign good about him.

Not here, but on other places I’ve seen people not support the soldier thing, but support his “truthfulness” about homosexuality etc.

Mainstream Christians condemn such murders first and foremost.

I saw a fairly significant amount of sympathy for that guy on these boards and on Fox News.

I don’t think you have disproved my point in any way that any Christian anywhere supports Phelps. The rare exceptions, wherever they may be, only prove the rule.

Radical Muslims are also rare exceptions when you take into consideration how many mainstream Muslims there are.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.