This so called “preacher” made it to our parish bulletin this week. Father David (our pastor) gave us a “Heads Up” on an upcoming demonstration which will be in front of our church.
Immaculate Conception Church, along with other churches in the city in proximity to the Durham School of the Arts, have been designated as sites for protest next weekend, May 7/8. Fred Phelps is the preacher at Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kansas. He runs two websites: **God Hates America **[/"]www.godhatesamerica.com]](“http://www.godhatesamerica.com) and **God Hates Fags **
[/”]www.godhatesfags.com]]("http://www.godhatesfags.com) . Rev. Phelps and his congregation (largely composed of family members) preach hate towards almost everyone, but the brunt of their malevolence is towards homosexuals.
The Westboro Baptist Church Gang has protested at the funerals of Matthew Shepherd and Al Gore, Sr.They frequently visit towns across the country to picket churches and communities, carrying signs that carry hateful phrases.
The Durham School of the Arts is performing a play centering on the life and the brutal death of Matthew Shepherd. This is the reason for the Rev. Phelps and his parishioners to be in Durham. The Durham police department phoned the parish last week alerting us to this protest. The protesters cannot come on church property, nor are they permitted to block access to the church. They will occupy the public sidewalk in front of the church. Confrontation with these people is not recommended. Fr. David**