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Wicked, and Not in a Good Way:

Michael Fumento posts a photo taken by Ron Rotunda, here.

Goober (mail):
Fred Phelps sure is a jerk.

It's not exactly a new tendency; his website had a "God Hates America" post, if I'm not mistaken, shortly after September 11, 2001.
9.15.2005 2:02pm
Adam (mail):
Ahhh. The Fred Phelps gang. The lucky residents of Topeka, Kansas get to see them pretty much every day. I used to drive by their "compound" every day on my way home from school. One of the daughters works in the Washburn Law Library by day and walks around with fag bashing neon signs in her free time. She also ran for the Topeka City Council, but didn't make it through the primary.

As far as calling them "wicked" and "evil," I think that is a bit much. I would say they are way more ridiculous than evil, and much more pathetic than wicked, but that may just come from seeing them all the time.
9.15.2005 2:09pm
Justin Kee (mail):
That made my head hurt. Like this did,

http://nytimes.com/2005/09/15/national/15seminary.html

(Note: You may need to register to read the NY Times article.)
9.15.2005 2:24pm
Scipio (mail) (www):
Wow. Stay classy, Amerikkka.
9.15.2005 2:26pm
Burt Likko (mail) (www):
You mean that photograph isn't photoshopped? Hard to believe.
9.15.2005 3:42pm
Russell Wardlow (mail) (www):
Eh, I have to say the focus on Phelps and his ilk (which number, what, about 20 people, IIRC?) by Instapundit and others seems a little misplaced. Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE hates Phelps. Even people who would self-describe as "fag-haters" hate Phelps, yet it seems (to me, at least) like there's this feeling of need to denounce him from the more conservaitve-oriented folks, as if it were somehow necessary to distance oneself from the loon.
9.15.2005 4:01pm
Frequent Reader:
If I may make one request - would it be possible to warn people ahead of time that the content at that link is not work safe? I know the whole point of the post is the exact opposite of what the picture depicts, however at the same time I wouldn't exactly relish the opportunity to explain to a colleague at work why I had that kind of photo up on my computer.
9.15.2005 4:28pm
Goober (mail):
I disagree: I think if you'd warned us what was at the other end of the link it would have ruined the surprise. How dare you, Frequent Reader!
9.15.2005 4:36pm
Anonymous Jim (mail):
I have no problem calling these people "wicked" and "evil". However, I am not sure the caption ("The Wickedness of 9-11 Protesters") acurately describes how marginalized these protesters are. I was not at the walk, so it is possible that these were the only protesters but I doubt that.
9.15.2005 4:54pm
TNugent:
Damn. The things you see when you don't have a gun.
9.15.2005 5:29pm
Eugene Volokh (www):
Scipio: Jeez, after what you did to Carthage, I don't think you're entitled to complain. I mean, destroying a city and then sowing salt into the ground -- "God Hates Fag Enablers" is small stuff compared to that. Have you thought of hooking up with the Cato Institute, by the way?

Eugene
9.15.2005 6:06pm
Tom Perkins (mail):
"Have you thought of hooking up with the Cato Institute, by the way?"

Heh.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, &pfpp
9.15.2005 6:11pm
Swimmy:
From a Wikipedia article:

"A Topeka resident identified as 'Berger' was involved in a street fight with WBC members in 1993, and, has since gained weight, prompting Phelps to proclaim that Berger gained weight and developed heart problems because he 'shed the innocent blood of God's beloved.' However, several of Phelps' children and in-laws suffer far greater obesity than that witnessed in Berger (Jon Phelps and Deborah Kay Hockenbarger are both in excess of 270 lb or 120 kg), and Phelps himself nearly died at the weight of 300 lb (135 kg) after a drug overdose."

Wicked, yes, but also so insane that they're laughable. No serious Biblical scholar or even casual Christian could classify homosexuality as the "worst" sin.
9.15.2005 6:44pm
Phil (mail):
What is most disturbing, at least to me, is that other than a hatred for the nation, it is hard to figure out exactly what is going on:
"Thank God for Sept. 11" "Thank God for dead soldiers" and "Thank God for IEDs" seem to be statemetns that would fit in better on the left while "God hates fag enablers" nad "United you'll fall" seem more like crazed right-wing stuff. Maybe their goal was simply to offend as many people as possible. If so, my guess is that they succeeded
9.16.2005 8:08am
Swimmy:
Note that Phelps is a Democrat, though Westboro Baptist Church is often criticized for representing the evils of gay-hating Republicans.

That they defy political classification is unsurprising. Their central political message is that homosexuality is the most evil of evils, and that all national problems stem from support, acceptance, or tolerance of homosexuals. Since neither sane conservatives nor liberals adhere to this view, those that do will be hard to lump with any mainstream thought. What they are is full of hatred. It's a shame that any political messages born from such intense hatred resemble stereotypes from either side.

That's something we should... work on.
9.16.2005 4:07pm
arbitraryaardvark (mail) (www):
Phelps' followers are his extended family. They were raised in an atmosphere of physical and emotional abuse. I don't know what Fred's own upbringing was, but one could say that he has issues. These more extreme cases can show us something about ourselves - what was the process by which we learned to hold the values we hold? Are we, at any given time, acting rationally, or are we caught up in acting out childhood weirdness? How do we reach across these divides e.g liberal and conservative, GOP v Dem, and figure out the emotional aspects of what seem to us as stupid public policy choices?
9.16.2005 7:13pm