Fred Phelps | Kansas | News | Shirley Phelps-Roper

Arsonist Targets Fred Phelps' Westboro Baptist Church


A fire broke out near a garage on the property of Fred Phelps' Westboro Baptist Church early on Saturday morning. In footage posted online, the church's anti-gay picket signs can be seen stacked in the garage. Phelps released a video later that day blaming the fire on "fags" or "fag sympathizers". Then he blamed it on the judges, the "unfaithful devils in black robes" who refuse to enforce the law when crimes are committed against the WBC. And don't forget the "filthy, fag-riddled military."

Watch the clips of the fire and of Phelps, AFTER THE JUMP...

A 91-year-old neighbor of the church says she believes it was an elaborate attempt by the Church itself to scare her into selling her property, which she says they've been trying to do for years.

Said Leona McQueen: “They keep claiming that this property is theirs, and it is not theirs. They keep wanting to buy me, but I don't want to sell it. I don't know if whether they are trying to push me out. I don't know."

Said: Shirley Phelps-Roper said: "It's a ridiculous accusation. The fire was started by someone as we slept. Thankfully the lord our god keeps us in all our ways. The noise that they made the fire was so big and voluminous the popping and cracking woke people up."


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  1. His church burned? I just feel terrible about that--really distraught.

    Also, as the partner of an active-duty airman, "fag-riddled military" is my new favorite phrase.

    Posted by: Timothy | Aug 4, 2008 12:00:44 PM

  2. We should all pitch in and buy the property and turn it into a gay mecca complete with a huge flagpole that flies the rainbow flag in the face of Fred Phelps.

    Maybe she'll sell to us.

    Posted by: Dan B | Aug 4, 2008 12:01:59 PM

  3. It couldn't have happened to a nicer group of people...

    Posted by: BILL T | Aug 4, 2008 12:23:03 PM

  4. Too much incendiary language in one place?

    Posted by: anon | Aug 4, 2008 12:23:16 PM

  5. I don't want to be mean, but...


    Posted by: KFLO | Aug 4, 2008 12:26:12 PM

  6. "Thankfully the lord our god keeps us in all our ways. The noise that they made the fire was so big and voluminous the popping and cracking woke people up."

    Jesus christ, religious people are so crazy.

    Posted by: JLS | Aug 4, 2008 12:32:51 PM

  7. I'm willing to bet that someone with the church set that fire, just maybe one of the kids or Shirley her self.

    Posted by: ecoralguy | Aug 4, 2008 12:42:40 PM

  8. Let them spew their hate. Many of the people they target are anti-gay, religious zealots themselves. It's the perfect opportunity to ask them how it feels when someone uses the Bible to hate. They are getting a dose of what gays endure every day.

    Posted by: David T | Aug 4, 2008 1:27:12 PM

  9. Very unfortunate, very misguided.

    To the best of my knowledge, the Phelps crew has never been violent, so someone has actually succeeded in sinking beneath them. Congratulations on the achievement to that wretched soul, whoever they may be.

    Posted by: thin mint | Aug 4, 2008 1:46:36 PM

  10. i don't believe for a second that it was set by anyone but a member of the phelps clan.
    if someone sets fire to your house, what do you do -- call the fire department or grab the video camera?
    also, the smoke had hardly settled before every media outlet on the phelps' fax list got a press release blaming fag judges, etc. for the fire.
    maybe in their next attempt to get attention, the phelpses will try self-immolation.

    Posted by: james | Aug 4, 2008 2:02:16 PM

  11. Oh come on, Thin Mint. WTF? Violence doesn't have to be physical. These people are among the lowest, most hateful lifeforms ever to disgrace the face of the earth. And you have no proof how or who started the fire. Almost any crime against these zealots is justified; their activities are criminal, as recently ruled in a case where they picketed a soldier's funeral. NO ONE can sink beneath them. It's simply not possible.

    That said, their absurd rhetoric has probably done far more to help than hurt the "gay agenda."

    Posted by: Paul R | Aug 4, 2008 2:04:15 PM

  12. Oh dear, this is so upsetting. Fuckers!

    Posted by: Tralfaz | Aug 4, 2008 2:58:10 PM

  13. "Too much incendiary language in one place?" - ANON = Best comment of the day!

    I don't think the old woman is paranoid in the least. I love that her surname is McQueen.

    Posted by: queendru | Aug 4, 2008 3:02:18 PM

  14. THIN MINT, their violence is their violent beliefs and preaching.

    Posted by: nikko | Aug 4, 2008 3:25:17 PM

  15. I'd bet money the Fredricka and/or the Swamp Monster daughter of his set this fire.

    Too bad they did fuck up and set themselves a blaze.

    Posted by: Tralfaz | Aug 4, 2008 3:47:18 PM

  16. And she complains about being told to leave!

    DUH! It's a crime scene, idiot. You're interferring with an investigation (which is illegal) and potentially destroying evidence (or is that on purpose so you can make your claims of apathy against the police and judges?).

    Oh...and did you turn over video evidence from the surviellence camera? Although, from the looks of things, it would have to have had night vision to be of any use.

    Posted by: AggieCowboy | Aug 4, 2008 4:02:27 PM

  17. Ah Paul R, Try reading Thin Mint's comment again, s-l-o-w-l-y. Make sure you note the negative disjoinder term 'but'. "[A]nyone but..." means that Thin Mint believes that the fire would have been set only by a member of the Phelps Klan. Your (justifiable) anger at the homophobic Phelps subverted your reading comprehension.

    Posted by: rudy | Aug 4, 2008 4:14:40 PM

  18. Yes, violence totally has to be physical. "Sticks and stones" you know.

    Rudy, I think you're referring to James' comment below mine.

    Posted by: thin mint | Aug 4, 2008 4:23:09 PM

  19. I couldn't help but laugh at "fag-sympathsizers...fag-riddled military". Are they for real? Honestly? Or are they actually an anarchist group of queers making an even loonier point about the rest of the religious right?

    Posted by: oblong | Aug 4, 2008 6:34:36 PM

  20. Let the mother f***er burn! This is the one and only time the firetrucks should have broken down.

    Posted by: RB | Aug 4, 2008 7:11:16 PM

  21. Oblong, I think what they primarily are is just self-promoters. Paris Hilton is a closer comparison than a real activist from any part of the political spectrum -- like her, Phelps and his crew understand that in this culture notoriety is a kind of power.

    Posted by: thin mint | Aug 4, 2008 7:56:19 PM

  22. Maybe Satan did it.

    Posted by: Chad | Aug 4, 2008 7:58:03 PM

  23. I honestly wish the whole compound would have burned to the ground with everyone inside. I would love to have seen the incinerated bodies of Fred and his daughter Shirley in a loving embrace.

    Posted by: Harry | Aug 4, 2008 8:31:36 PM

  24. Insurance Scam.

    Posted by: Weezy | Aug 5, 2008 1:22:00 AM

  25. Phelps is a pitiful self hating closet case!!!

    Posted by: William Miller | Aug 5, 2008 3:04:20 PM

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