By Diane Silver
I'm not linking to their site because the Phelps clan gets enough publicity already. True to form they are using the tragedy at Virginia Tech to preach hate.
The family's main spokesperson, Shirley Phelps-Roper, argues that because our entire nation does not agree with the Phelps' nasty version of Christianity, the students who died at Virginia Tech are not innocent. Shirley says it was God's judgement that they should die. This material is in their "Featured" section in "Dear Shirley."
Where to begin with this insanity?
The Westboro Baptist Church in neighboring Topeka, Kan., is largely made up of the Phelps family and a few others. The latest estimates I see are place the size of the church at about 70 members. While not being an overwhelmingly liberal place, Topeka largely loathes the Phelps.
Here's the bottom line of the Phelps' theology: You can't understand God's love until you understand God's hate. To them, God is a horrible, violent creature, a kind of ultimate abusive father who must be placated at all cost or else he will destroy you.
They thrive on attention, and I'm sorry to say that I've given them more of that.
Like a child throwing a temper tantrum, they escalate their outrageous behavior if people don't pay attention. Hence, when folks started ignoring their picketing of the funerals of AIDS victims, they picketed the funerals of troops killed in Iraq.
They thrive on hurting others, claiming they do it in the name of God. (That's a twisted God for you.)
My feeling has always been that the only thing worst than being picketed by the Phelps would be to be them. Can you imagine growing up with such hate and living with it every day?
The best place to start in understanding Westboro and the Phelps folk is probably at From Kansas: Who the heck is Fred Phelps? You can also scroll through all of our Phelps and Westboro commentaries. These include numerous links to other sources.
Hat tip to the anonymous person who pointed me toward Shirley's post.
And, of course, Shirley has now just posted a comment on my previous post.
Wrong Phelps. That's Margie who just posted a comment.