Arizona Shootings & The Westboro Baptist Church
Posted by Kyle L. Varnell (+3747) 11 years ago
These people have no shame.

Arizonans Rally to Prevent Westboro Church Disruption of Shooting Victims' Funerals
http://www.foxnews.com/po...-funerals/
Top
founder
supporter
Posted by Amorette Allison (+11810) 11 years ago
The shooter was ill. These folks are just sad and disgusting.
Top
supporter
Posted by Levi Forman (+3714) 11 years ago
It's nice that these people exist just so we can all agree on something.

BTW, there is a pretty good documentary about them on Youtube. Here's part one but be warned that it's an hour long so don't start it thinking it's only 8 min long.

Top
supporter
Posted by Wendy Wilson (+6166) 11 years ago
I just finish reading Jon Krakauer's Under the Banner of Heaven which examines the mechanisms that can give rise to religious extremism. He focuses on polygamy and the Lafferty brothers' heinous crimes in 1984 but the general principles can be applied to all other religions. Growing up in a religiously fervid household with overly strict and even violent parents, finding similarly minded folks who reinforce one's notion of being outside the society's mainstream and the notion that God is talking to you personally all contribute to crazy religiosity. I suspect the poor Phelps children are just doomed.
Top
supporter
Posted by Steve Craddock (+2733) 11 years ago
I understand a few of the children, upon reaching adulthood, have escaped the influence of their wacky grandfather and lesser relatives. And I'm sure at least a couple of the kids who are still in his grasp are just counting the days. I've seen some horrendous parents in my day, and yet oftentimes those same people have the greatest kids in the world.

I'm sure social workers and teachers will back me up when I say:

Never underestimate the power of a child to overcome his/her parents concerted efforts to screw them up.
Top
supporter
Posted by Wendy Wilson (+6166) 11 years ago
Well, let's hope so.
Top
Posted by J. Dyba (+1339) 11 years ago
It's all a fake and contrived persona to justify lawsuits that fund their lifestyles.
Top
supporter
Posted by Bridgier (+9224) 11 years ago
You read this http://kanewj.com/wbc/ as well?

[This message has been edited by Bridgier (1/12/2011)]
Top
supporter
Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr. (+14970) 11 years ago
I have wondered for quite a while why some Baptist organization, say the Southern Baptist Convention, doesn't file a lawsuit to force them to drop "baptist" from their name. Surely, they could show harm.
Top
founder
supporter
Posted by Amorette Allison (+11810) 11 years ago
I doubt anyone holds the trademark to the word "baptist."
Top
supporter
Posted by K.Duffy (+1812) 11 years ago
Bob L.: What are the betting odds on ole Grampa being found to be a Pedo?
Top
supporter
Posted by Steve Craddock (+2733) 11 years ago
Maybe it's time all good Baptists and other Christians make a pilgrimage to Topeka and show the Westboro cult members how they feel. I'm not talking about picketing - but surely there is some activity that could shame this group of whackos into behaving a bit more rationally.

Oh wait a minute. These are folks who demonstrate at the funerals of soldiers killed in action and little girls slain down in cold blood. I guess "shame" isn't something they're capable of feeling.

So sad.
Top
supporter
Posted by Levi Forman (+3714) 11 years ago
Personally, I don't buy the idea put forth by Josh and Bridgier's link that they are just cynical money grubbers. If you watch the documentary I linked, they are not living a life of wealth and privilege and a family with that many lawyers could certainly make a lucrative income completely legitimately. They are a good old fashioned cult with a charismatic megalomaniac at their head (the old man is being replaced by his daughter Shirley it appears). It just so happens that the people that they choose to brainwash are their own family. That said, I don't doubt that they support themselves through lawsuits since standing on corners with signs screaming hate speech doesn't pay that well and flying around the country to do it isn't cheap.
Top
supporter
Posted by Mike Wallick (+163) 11 years ago
Maybe it's time all good Baptists and other Christians make a pilgrimage to Topeka and show the Westboro cult members how they feel. I'm not talking about picketing


Careful there Steve. Sounds an awful lot like some violence promoting rhetoric there.
Top
supporter
Posted by Buck Showalter (+4462) 11 years ago
Why don't people just picket in front of them with blank signs or something inspirational like, "The people behind this sign are idiots."
Top
supporter
Posted by Steve Craddock (+2733) 11 years ago
Mike - I guess I should have been more specific. When I directed my appeal to Baptists and other good Christians, I assumed violence was automatically off the table and even picketing would be considered too extreme. I guess I forgot about the Crusades, Spanish Inquisition, etc.

What I have in mind is some good old-fashioned (Baptists love that phrase, right?) Christian do-goodin' type things that would demonstrate (no pun intended) to the Westboro dudes what they could be doing to spread God's message of LOVE instead of hate, hate, hate.

Did you know that the OFFICIAL website URL address for Westboro Baptist is GODHATESFAGS.com??? Show me any other tax-exempt organization that actually puts HATE in their official name and I'll show you one sick group of people.
Top
supporter
Posted by Mike Wallick (+163) 11 years ago
Levi,

I watched. Yuk. All 7 available parts. What a great documentary about a disgusting group of people. I firmly believe that Fred Phelps is a closet homosexual trying to compensate for his inner torment and self-loathing by targeting this subject in such an overblown ridiculous fashion.

All I know for sure is, I wouldn't want to be in the restroom stall next to him at the Minneapolis International Airport.

Isn't it amazing what some people can and will do in the name of their god?
Top
supporter
Posted by Kelly (+2717) 11 years ago
Being the pinko commie liberal of Miles City, may I say that while I find there message distasteful, I believe in their right to speak such message.
Top
supporter
Posted by Steve Craddock (+2733) 11 years ago
As do I, Kelly. But that same right applies to those who disagree with their message. We have the right to speak up and speak out against them. Otherwise who knows where it goes. At first ax-wielding Carry Nation was considered a laughable oddity to most, but her "moral" mission appealed to a small but particularly ardent segment of the population. The next thing you know - prohibition. So, you never know....
Top
supporter
Posted by Wendy Wilson (+6166) 11 years ago
Arizona has banned picketing at funerals, just yesterday, I think, in response to these people. Also, the Phelpses have agreed not to picket in return for some radio airtime.
Top
supporter
Posted by Steve Craddock (+2733) 11 years ago
So I've heard. It seems crazy for a radio station to give them airtime just to keep them from doing something just this side of criminal. It rings of bargaining with terrorists. On the other hand, it will be interesting to see what they say and how well (or horribly) they handle this situation. If I was the gamblin' kind, I'd bet that this thing blows up in Phelp's face.

Remember the peacenik poster in the 60s that asked What if they gave a war and nobody came? Well, wouldn't it be cool if word spread throughout Tucson for everyone to "boycott" that station during the broadcast? And even the news outlets agreed not to mention a single word about it in the paper or on the air? That's what I'd like to see happen.
Top
supporter
Posted by Mike Wallick (+163) 11 years ago
I don't think you have anything to fear with this message getting airtime. It is a hate-filled, extreme interpretation of a fundamentalist teaching that damns everyone to an eternity in hell except for the Westboro members. The more people that see them and hear them, the less mystique they have. All that is left is an isolated, hate filled cult with a closet homosexual for a leader.
Top
supporter
Posted by Steve Craddock (+2733) 11 years ago
Very good point, Mike. And just to be clear, when I said "boycott" above, I meant boycott Phelps - not the radio station. I think the radio station did a good thing... it's just a crazy situation, and crazy situations sometimes call for crazy solutions.
Top