Fred Phelps: Excommunicated and Near Death


The very best funeral would be if nobody showed up at all.
My guess/suspicion is they excommunicated him to avoid paying his medical costs.
If Mr. (ex Rev.) Phelps is in hospice, he probably has organ failure, and it won't be much longer for him to survive.

I am borderline in any such protest at Fred Phelps's funeral. I think it serve as an example that his enemies are better than him and batshit insane family, if no one protests it. However, there is part of me that wishes everyone who had their traumatic time violated by the Phelps family have a right to give back to the Phelps as they are in mourning of their dingbat patriarch...

Some people have suggested that his excommunication may be more directly related to his ailing health than @2 surmises. Phelps claims that God kills people for sin and being wicked, so if he is dying, he must be sinful and wicked, and therefore excommunicated.
Maybe they excommunicated him because he finally revealed that WBC is a parody religion intended to make all hateful Christians look bad.
I can't be bothered one way or another on whether or not his funeral is picketed. Sure, it would show us to be better than WBC, but two things:

1) People outside the WBC already know that the rest of us are better than they are. It's next to impossible to actually stoop to their level, and I don't think it's at all hypocritical to feel less sorrow at the death of horrible people than at the death of good or random/anonymous people.

2) That church is so far gone that they themselves wouldn't get the message that we're more forgiving than they are. They would view it as weakness, since "cruelty" vs. "weakness" is the only dichotomy they believe in.

So really, I'm apathetic on this. I couldn't care less if some isolated cult in Kansas thinks everyone else is "weak" because we showed them some mercy and didn't picket their funeral. I also couldn't care less whether or not we stoop a little closer to their level by making them feel shitty at this chump's funeral. It doesn't make us like them even if it's not a very useful thing to do.
@2 He would be on Medicare, and this is where much of Medicare's costs go to, end of life care. The WBC may have some secondary insurance, but Medicare would take up the costs for Hospice, given it doesn't cost that much compare to Intensive Care ward at a hospital, which would run in the tens of thousands a day.
In my theatrical imagination, I'm seeing a ring of people, dressed as devils, holding torches, or pitchforks, surrounding the Phelps funeral. No signs. If any members of the Press ask what they're doing, the protesters are to simply answer, "Professional courtesy," or "Welcoming his soul home."
WBC are trolls. Just like on the internet, they shouldn't be fed.
I keep reading comments on other sites and on facebook about how people shouldn't be so hateful and angry, but rather feel compassion for this guy and his awful family. Fuck that. As a lesbian, and the daughter, granddaughter, niece, cousin, sister and friend of soldiers, I am especially disgusted by him and his ilk and feel no sympathy for them whatsoever. Save it for the people they hurt, not for the bullies.

Once he is dead, I will only say what Bette Davis said about Joan Crawford when learning about her death. "My mother told me never to speak ill of the dead. [Fred Phelps] is dead. Good."
Go ahead and picket the shit out of it. This is not a situation in which rising above is possible, considering the nature of those particular individuals.
I have to say that if our side picketed his funeral I would be extremely disappointed. I want to see a full blown pride parade at that shit!
I don't care about his funeral, but I sure hope his death is slow, agonizing, and sentient.
Why picket his funeral? I think maybe we should move the gy pride parade on that day instead. We shouldn't picket his funeral, I'm happy that he is dying. We should celebrate.
I had hoped that when he died, WBC would die, too. But since he's been excommunicated since 2013 and yet WBC continues its vileness, I don't see his individual death as cause for the celebration I once thought it would merit.

I echo emma's bee's sentiment about the nature of his death, but I don't think WBC should be acknowledged, which includes protests at his funeral. Although I understand the impulse.
I won't be able to attend his funeral and celebrate one less hateful Christian bigot in the world. I will add to my bucket list pissing on his grave while singing "It's Raining Men."
Ding dong....
I certainly understand the impulse to give these horrible people a taste of their own medicine but, like two year old children, they thrive on attention even if it's negative. The best thing is to ignore them entirely. If a bigot shrieks hateful slogans and nobody hears them, do they make a sound?
When I think about his funeral, I think it'll be more a spectacle to watch his children who left he church argue and fight with the children who stayed with the church. I'd love to be a fly on the wall for that rather than the GLBTC picketing his funeral
The excommunication is consistent with their beliefs.

They've long held that disease and death is God's punishment for sin - their whole HIV/AIDS is punishment for the gay is only one example of this.

When Phelps came down with a fatal illness, he could no longer be considered to be in God's good graces, and his excommunication was all but assured. Ironic, eh?
According to one article, "Nate Phelps, who broke away from the church 37 years ago, told the newspaper that church members became concerned after the vote that his father might harm himself and moved him out of the church, where he and his wife had lived for years. Fred Phelps was moved into a house, where he "basically stopped eating and drinking," Nate Phelps said."

So, if this is true, Fred Phelps attempted suicide after being rejected by his family and church.

So am I to assume that their belief boils down to: You'll live forever. If you don't, God doesn't love you anymore so we need to excommunicate you. Basically dying means God doesn't love you?

Human! You are human!!! Heathen!!!
Damn, and here I was looking forward to the whole bunch going full Jonestown when he kicked it. I guess Shirley Phelps-Roper decided she liked the look of the crown and didn't feel like waiting for it to pass to her naturally.

As regards the funeral, I have three words: silent gay orgy.
It doesn't sound like the son quoted here was a "toxic little shit".
I can't explain it, but picketing his funeral feels wrong to me. I know people have good reasons to do it, I don't even disagree.

It just feels wrong is all.
Don't picket, they'd love the publicity and confrontation. The next time you're in Kansas, drop by and piss on his grave.
I have never killed a man, but I have read many obituaries with great pleasure.
~Clarence Darrow

I will be pleased to read the official notice that Fred's reign of hate is over. If there were any justice, he'd take all of his loyal followers with him.
Dan, I'm sure you read this at JMG already, but I'm surprised you didn't take this approach to picketing:

"Over on Twitter, some are calling for a picket of Phelps' funeral, but Mehta and others suggest that the better response might be to ignore it completely. Rod Dreher writes at American Conservative:

Can you imagine having come to the end of your life, very nearly to the moment in which you will meet your God and be reckoned with, and all you have to show for it is … that? I’ve always thought the Westboro Baptist Church people were despicable, but there is something about the thought of that old man lying on his death bed, forsaken, the victim of his own sins, that makes me pity him. One tear of repentance from the vicious old preacher will open the floodgates of the divine mercy he spent his life trying to deny to others. I pray for that tear. And I hope no one pickets his funeral, giving to his family the mercy they do not deserve."

For those that thrived on attention and "to suffer the wrath of heathens", let him and his spawn waste away in obscurity and oblivion.
May Fred's final days allow for at least one good long sponge bath from a lesbian combat veteran, with the use of a cleansing steel wool loofah sponge & invigorating rubbing alcohol.
Considering the absolute control Phelps has wielded all these years, it is hard to imagine how anyone could step in as the Canaris to his Hitler while he still breathed.

Recall, this man is so poisonous that the only way he could get a congregation was to breed them himself.
I want to hate this man. At one point, I may have. I want to despise him and his progeny who have done so much evil. I want to picket his funeral like he and his hateful brood have done countless times. I want to jump up and down on his grave screaming at the top of my lungs "STAY DOWN!!! HOW'S IT FEEL, MOTHERFUCKER?!?!?

I want to, but I can't. I can't be like them. I WON'T be like them! And now, when it's almost over, I honestly only feel pity for that man. And for his family. He had the opportunity to be a great man, and was, for a moment, when he fought against racial discrimination. But at some point, he went off the rails.

I am sorry he lost his way. I am sorry his family has to deal with this. Most of all, I am sorry he will probably never get the big light bulb about what he was doing.

Trust me, I know it would feel good to pay it back to him and his brainwashed kids, but it will change nothing, and give them more ammunition. We are supposedly better than that. Here is our chance to prove it.

I won't hate him. I have better ways to waste my time. But I will pity him.

He ended up with a life filled with hate, and at the end, it seems it was all he had left.

May you all have better company in your final years....
I am against picketing his funeral for one simple reason.

It would send the message that Phelps mattered in some way.

He didn't matter. He was a miserable and insignificant creature and when he dies the universe, and all of us in it, will move on as if he never existed.

His death should get all the attention it deserves… none.

In truth the guy probably helped advance gay rights more than hindered them. He made the religious right look so bad that even people who probably agreed with him were reluctant about joining in.

He will be dead soon and that will be that.

I am reminded of the quote by Clarence Darrow: “I've never wished a man dead, but I have read some obituaries with great pleasure.”

I look forward to the obituary. And once I have read it I will forget this miserable waste of carbon ever existed.
Considering the comparative power and unholy deeds of the WBC and the Catholic Church bishops, it's hard to believe why anyone would spend one millisecond on the WBC.
Sayonara, mother fucker.
And one more thing regarding a protest... The opposite of love is not hate. It's indifference.

Hate is too good for that man. I nothing him. These are probably the last words I'll ever waste on that piece of shit.
Okay, so I am down with not picketing his funeral. But can I reserve the right, after he is cold in the ground, to take a big shit on his grave?
If I'm ever anywhere near Topeka, Kansas, I will make a special trip to piss on his grave.

As horrible as he is, I don't like the idea of picketing his funeral. A pride parade, on the other hand, sounds like a fun way to celebrate his passing.
They're gonna have to cremate the fucker and spread his ashes in an undisclosed location, otherwise his grave is going to quickly get declared a Superfund site, what with half the civilized world making pilgrimages to piss on it.
@39....You are onto something. I'd already figured that they would never dare have any announced services of any kind, that they'd probably bar the members of the family that had left/been disowned/excommunicated. Then when I read that Fred had been tossed out of his own cult, I wonder whether it was a method to avoid paying for any of his end of life care and final disposal. If he ends up in a paupers grave, that is more than he deserves. Superfund site would be a real concern if his grave were marked... since pilgrims would come from near & far to mark it again & again. It would be a toilet...among graves of dead folks who deserve better treatment than to share the same leechfields.
well fuck all if this shit isn't ..ummmm... biblical.. or something. man of god, prophet if you will, starts out with intentions but becomes such an fervent enemy of the best parts of humanity - family , the ability to love and live in harmonious fellowship with community, affection and initmacy, AND the best parts of spirituality - grace, mercy, compassion etc. and fueled by greed, power, and self serving vengeance to be universally mocked and loathed by anyone who ever encountered him. it will be a wonder that the corpse doesn't rot, then wither all in the space of a final breath and not leave so much as a stain behind. THAT'S the kind of shit that happens to people in the bible.
The Phelpses, aside from Fred, run the WBC as a machine to provoke lawsuits and profit from them. Excommunicating Fred probably cuts him off from, say, donating the church's money in his will.
This is an old joke made by a stand-up comedian about Jesse Helms, but I think it applies here:

"You know how newscasters report when somebody dies, they always say it was an "untimely death"? When is it a good time to die? Unless we're talking about Jess Helms, of course. Then it'd be like "Senator Jesse Helms died this evening and it's about goddamn time."
I vote for the gay pride parade, with a special float of veterans playing very tiny violins.
Given the general trend among the most vehement, vocal anti-gay protestors, I would've thought it was obvious why he was excommunicated. The church finally worked out that he's gay.

Can't bring myself to hate him, people like that I just think it must suck to be that bitter & damaged all one's life.
I think Gays should attend his funeral (If it is at all announced, which it WON'T be since his church knows what a dog's breakfast it would become because of all the enemies he has.) I think Gay men and Lesbians should attend, well dressed, civilized, showing beautiful manners. And being as OUT as possible at the same time. Trans people should dress as they wish. Men and women should be holding hands (no PDA, please, it can be so vulgar) and just being what we are: OUT and Proud. It would KILL the likes of Phelps.
@1/9: Exactly. There's going to be plenty of idiotscum that'll miss the point entirely and throw a party, perpetuating this disgusting clan even further.
@46: So they all can be screamed at? Just ignore them and let them collapse under their own weight. They're already going to be lost without Fred.
That's gonna be one piss-soaked grave.
There should not be a picket line. There should be a parade, as loud and bright and gay as humanly possible considering Freddie Mercury and Liberace are no longer with us. There should be ball gowns, size 14 turquoise satin pumps, false eyelashes by the gross, enough hairspray to finally dissolve the ozone, free rainbow sherbet for all, free foot-long hot dogs with all the fixins, and a Judy Garland/Oz look-alike contest. I can think of no better way to celebrate this gentleman's demise.
I propose declaring Phelps' death day to be THE official date for a nationwide Pride Day. Start it off with a New Orleans traditional funeral march and when the music turns all happy jazzy, the black frocks come off to reveal rainbow colored costumes off all imaginable kinds worn by dancing and laughing revelers singing When the Saints Go Marching In followed by Halleluja It's Raining Men.
I have no personal knowledge of this (my background is Catholicism), but someone on another blog said that excommunication among Baptists is different. It's not about kicking them out of the church, it's about removing them from decision-making authority. Apparently he has become senile and they needed to formally remove his voting powers, or something like that. Again, I have no personal knowledge, just sharing what someone else said.
I say just put him in the ground and forget he ever existed.
The world will be better off without him. It's not like we'll suddenly run out of worthless Amalekites on whom I would not piss if they were on fire.
@50: Living a good life is much better than giving these idiots any more PR. Hating back, passively as that may be, only makes them happier.
So long, scumbag. I'm only sorry that it took so long.
@55 has it right. What a pathetic man, I'm just thankful his hateful run is over.
Are you kidding? These people are so afraid of getting as good as they gave, there's no way in hell they'll have a funeral.
Auntie Seattleblues are you paying attention?
Even his own church didn't want him.
What a loser.

George Vreeland Hill