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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 12/20/12

Fred Waldron Phelps Sr: Is He Now The Most Hated Man In The World?

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Latest Media Opportunity For Westboro Baptist Church May Be Their Final Downfall
For those of you who do not recognize the name Fred Waldron Phelps Sr, he is the founder and leader of the Westboro Baptist Church (WBC) which was established in 1955 and is located in Topeka Kansas. Phelps family and his hate group of men, women and children, is best known for showing up at the funerals of U.S. Military members, gay pride gatherings and high political functions to picket under the disguise of doing God's work. Their alleged plight is to "warn others of God's anger" by disrupting public and family gatherings while chanting hate quotes and holding signs with writings that include:
"Pray For More Dead Soldiers," "Thank God For Aids" and "God Sent The Shooter." 
Up until last Friday, Phelps and his band of wayward souls have only been held in strong discontent and hatred for their open stance against organized groups like the military and our government. Laws have been passed restricting their ability to protest at funerals and organized groups. In fact, more and more citizens across the country have made it their duty to show up at events that the WBC plan to disrupt and provide both security and support against the Westboro Baptist Church members.
Now, with the tragic shootings that occurred in Newtown Connecticut last week claiming the lives of innocent children and adults, Fred Phelps and his congregation have unleashed an unstoppable eruption of hatred from around the world after announcing their intentions of picketing those funerals and other public gatherings related to the school shootings. Already there have been cyber-attacks that have both disrupted or disabled their ability to conduct online services. And a rumbling of violence against the WBC is growing each day that their presence in Newtown is visible or the media reports their intent on disrupting ongoing funerals. 
Every decent person around the globe has now drawn a line in the sand against Phelps and his flock. What the WBC saw as a media and public awareness opportunity for their own gratification in Newtown may in turn be the catalyst to destroy the so-called church and literally send it into the depths of hell. 
Who Is Fred Waldron Phelps Sr.?
Phelps was born on November 13, 1929 in Meridian Mississippi. He is the elder of two children to Catherine Idalette Johnston and Fred Wade Phelps. His father was a railway policeman for the Columbus and Greenville Railway and his mother was a homemaker. At the age of 16, Phelps graduated from high school and was admitted to United States Military Academy in West Point, New York. After attending a Methodist revival meeting, however, Phelps decided to become a minister and chose not to attend West Point.
In August 1947, Phelps enrolled as a student at Bob Jones University, but dropped out after only three semesters. He then attended the Prairie Bible Institute for the remaining two semesters of his freshman year. In 1951, he earned a two-year degree from John Muir College. While at John Muir, Phelps was profiled in Time magazine for preaching against sins committed on campus by students and teachers that included... promiscuous petting, evil language, profanity, cheating, teachers' filthy jokes in classrooms and pandering to the lusts of the flesh. In October 1951, while attending the Arizona Bible Institute, Phelps met Margie M. Simms and married her in May 1952. He reportedly has 13 children and at least 4 of those do not associate with him. 
Phelps earned a law degree from Washburn University in 1964, and founded the Phelps Chartered law firm. The firm, staffed by himself and family members handled mostly civil rights cases. They also represented non-white Kansans in discrimination actions against Kansas City Power and Light, Southwestern Bell, and the Topeka City Attorney, and represented two female professors alleging discrimination in Kansas universities. In the 1980's, Phelps received awards from the Greater Kansas City Chapter of Blacks in Government and the Bonner Springs branch of the NAACP, for his work on behalf of black clients.
He was disbarred on July 20, 1979 from practicing in Kansas over his mishandling of a case in which he submitted affidavits from 8 alleged witnesses during a trial that were later found to be fake. In 1985, nine Federal judges filed a disciplinary complaint against Phelps and five of his children, alleging false accusations against the judges. In 1989, the complaint was settled; Phelps agreed to stop practicing law in Federal court permanently, and two of his children were suspended for periods of six months and one year. 
Phelps Religious Belief's 
He describes himself as an Old School Baptist, and states that he holds to all of the Five Points of Calvinism. Phelps particularly highlights John Calvin's doctrine of unconditional election, the belief that God has elected certain people for salvation before birth, and limited atonement, the belief that Christ only died for the elect, and condemns those who believe otherwise. Despite his claims of being a Primitive Baptist, he was ordained by a Southern Baptist church and is rejected and generally condemned by Primitive Baptists.
Phelps admires Martin Luther King and Bob Jones, Sr., and has approvingly quoted a statement by Jones that"what this country needs is 50 Jonathan Edwardses turned loose in it. Phelps particularly holds to equal ultimacy, believing that God Almighty makes some willing and he leads others into sin, a view he says is Calvinist. However, many theologians would identify him as a Hyper-Calvinst. 
Phelps is against common Baptist practices like Sunday school meetings, Bible colleges and seminaries, and multi-denominational crusades, although he attended Bob Jones University and worked with Billy Graham in his Los Angeles Crusade before Graham changed his views on a literal Hell and salvation. Phelps considers Graham the greatest false prophet since Balaam, and also condemns large church leaders such as Robert Schuller and Jerry Falwell, in addition to all current Catholics.
Political Beliefs
Phelps has run in various Kansas Democratic Party primaries five times, but has never won. These included races for governor in 1990, 1994, and 1998, receiving about 15 percent of the vote in 1998. In the 1992 Democratic Party primary for U.S. Senate, Phelps received 31 percent of the vote. He also ran for mayor of Topeka in 1993 and 1997.  He supported Al Gore in the 1988 Democratic Presidential Primary but turned on him in 1992 denouncing him as a "famous f*g pimp". In 1998, Westboro picketed the funeral of Gore's father, screaming vulgarities at Gore and telling him, "your dad's in Hell". 
Phelps believes that President Barack Obama is the Antichrist and that he will form an Unholy Trinity with the Catholic Church and Satan.
Phelps And Saddam Hussein
In 1997, before the fall of Saddam Hussein during the Iraq War, Phelps wrote a letter to Hussein praising his regime for being, in his opinion, "the only Muslim State that allows the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ to be freely and openly preached on the streets." Furthermore, he stated that he would like to send a delegation to Baghdad to "preach the Gospel" for one week. 
Saddam granted permission, and a group of WBC congregants traveled to Iraq to protest against the U.S. The WBC members stood on the streets of Baghdad holding signs condemning both Bill and Hillary Clinton, as well as anal sex. But, when Hussein died in December 2006, Phelps stated in a web broadcast that Hussein was in Hell along with Gerald Ford.
In closing"
Phelps, his family and followers appear on the surface to be nothing more than hate mongers who are hiding behind the first amendment and the sanctuary of his alleged Westboro Baptist Church. Some people believe that even though their actions are despicable and that they are spewing a message of hate, the law protects them.
With this recent plan to picket and protest the funerals in Newtown Connecticut; the WBC may have unleashed God's true wrath against themselves instead of their intended victims.
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I am the publisher of an online news website and blog covering local, state and national news since 2007. Author of 4 cold-case murder books in the "Who Killed?" series published by Rooftop Publishing Company. Retired from mainstream media in 2007 (more...)
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