Westboro Baptist Church Pastor Fred Phelps is Dead at 84

 Phelps

Westboro Baptist Church pastor Fred Phelps Sr. died late Wednesday night, WIBW reports:

"Timothy Phelps, son of former Westboro Baptist Church leader Fred Phelps, told WIBW that his father died before midnight."

Phelps had been reported "on the edge of death" by his estranged son Nate earlier this week. Reports subsequently emerged that  the "God Hates Fags" pastor had been excommunicated after an internal power struggle at Westboro in which a board of elders – Steve Drain, Timothy Phelps, Jonathan Phelps, Samuel Phelps-Roper, Charles Hockenbarger and Fred Phelps Jr – also took down Shirley Phelps Roper from a position of authority.

Following the news that Phelps was near death, Lucien Greaves, the leader of the New York-based Satanic Temple, promised to hold a "pink mass" over Phelps' graves and turn him posthumously gay.

UPDATE:

Westboro Baptist has posted a statement in response to Phelps' death. Read it HERE.

Comments

  1. joel says

    It’s a terrible thing to feel glad when another human being dies but since he was a reptile that’s not a problem. One less hater in the world, it’s too bad he trained some of his children too be equally loathsome since unfortunately his organization won’t collapse now.

  2. Reggie777 says

    When your legacy is hate, when the only mark you made on the world is one of hate, it should not come as a surprise that your death is met with rejoicing. How sad. But well deserved.

  3. Tom says

    Burn in hell you ass hole. Now you can greet each of your cult members as they follow you down there. The best news I have heard in a long time. God must have finally got enough of his BS and decided to write him off. I love it.

  4. gregorybrown says

    Too bad this sorry and tormented man veered of from his early work as a defender of civil rights and descended into the madness of his vile fanatical obsessions. We mustn’t gloat. Relief at his absence is enough. Let him face whatever judgment might await him in whatever place he believed he would go.

  5. Chadd says

    It takes a special kind of man to be hated by both the gay community and conservative military families. Great legacy Fred. Only your daughter is crying while the rest of the world rejoices.

  6. Seattle Mike says

    The amount of pain this man has caused is immeasurable. Unfortunately it will continue in the poison that he planted in the minds of some of his children and his followers.

  7. Freddie says

    He’s already been reinacarnated as a gay male. Whatever persons you hate in life, you will be reborn as in order to teach you a lesson on the futility of prejudice. God I love my brand of spirituality.

  8. MajorTom says

    I think we should let this condescending self-righteous hatemonger fade into the obscurity he so richly deserves. Don’t protest his funeral, don’t discuss him or his life, and when anyone mentions him just reply “Who?” as LUCCA just did. To borrow the words of The Who: “Let’s forget you better still.”

  9. says

    It always amazes me when people live their lives with such hate for others in the hope that they will be saved by some gawd. If people were taught that we really only have this one life to live, I wonder how that would change things. Would we stop hating each other and hurting each other because we know how precious life is? Makes me just feel sorry for him and all the people like him…

  10. simon says

    I can’t remember this guy doing any interview on TV to advance his hate agenda. Brian Brown and Tony Perkins are actually more dangerous. So is Timmy Dolan.

  11. Robb says

    I know many people are celebrating now and wishing him an eternity of the same hellfire he wished on so many of us. But I’m not one of them. I want to THANK Fred Phelps for his life and his work– because his actions were so extreme, so hateful, and so over the top nasty that they helped us win many battles for the hearts and minds of straight America. He was so hateful that he became our unwilling ally. We couldn’t have hired a better actor to personify our bogey man, even if we had tried.

    He happily embraced the role of the anti-gay bigot, making it impossible for the average person to pretend that homophobia and anti-gay sentiment don’t exist. His unconscionable theatrics unified us, helped us find our kindness for others, and made even the most disinterested straight person see that hate is real.

    He became an unlikely civil rights hero by giving voice to the hatred that many people feel but don’t express. In doing that, he probably did more to advance our rights than many of our most supportive activists. I hope the irony of that fact is not lost on him now.

    They say that at the end he was excommunicated from the church he founded because he advocated treating former church members with a measure of kindness. His sons disagreed. I hope this means that as his life neared its end, he reconsidered some of his hateful stances and found a measure of peace.

    So thank you for your work on my behalf, Fred Phelps. I won’t forget you or the great strides our movement made as a reaction against your hatred. I hope that if there is an afterlife, you were warmly welcomed into it. I still don’t like you, but I do hope you see the error of your ways now and can appreciate the positive impact that your negative behavior helped foster.

  12. Chadd says

    @Robb: well said. He is/was one and the same as Tony Perkins and company (too many to list), he just wasn’t as clever about hiding his bigotry or was proud of it. It is easy for people to react against a screaming extremist, but much harder for people to recognize a smooth talking bigot who smiles and lies. Too bad many people don’t see Fred’s allies for who they really are.

  13. anon says

    According to his religious philosophy, his death is a result of his sin. If you don’t sin, you don’t die. Yes, that’s basic Calvinism when you reduce it down. All bad things are a punishment from God for sins you may or may not remember.

  14. says

    While this man was pure evil who spread hate across the world, we should not judge him. During her near death experience, Betty J. Eadie had to review every action in her life and feel the physical and emotional pain and consequences of those actions. This was done in the presence of Christ, who had to comfort her to help her cope with her overwhelming guilt. Fred Phelps will have to judge himself in the afterlife and will have to endure the horrific pain he inflicted on countless gay men and lesbians in order to grow spiritually and fully comprehend his wrongdoing.

  15. says

    While this man was pure evil who spread hate across the world, we should not judge him. During her near death experience, Betty J. Eadie had to review every action in her life and feel the physical and emotional pain and consequences of those actions. This was done in the presence of Christ, who had to comfort her to help her cope with her overwhelming guilt. Fred Phelps will have to judge himself in the afterlife and will have to endure the horrific pain he inflicted on countless gay men and lesbians in order to grow spiritually and fully comprehend his wrongdoing.

  16. Mike says

    And now will some not be satisfied with the pink mass and feel that they have to protest at his funeral? In a strange way, (that somehow surprised even me) I hope not. That would bring us down to his level . . .

    Lets throw joyful FRED PHELPS PARTYS away from his relatives instead!

  17. Ann says

    He did many evil things. Hard NOT to judge though the Bible says Judge not lest ye be judged. ( and yes, he did MORE than his share of judging ) Man proposes God disposes. And so He did.

  18. Sign Sign Everywhere a says

    @ Mike – Couldn’t agree more. I hope no one shows up with awful signs for this bigot’s funeral. I’ms sure some will say some exception applies. It doesn’t.

  19. Karma says

    Should we go to his burial and do for him what he has done for so many by protesting it and making his followers feel what they are doing to others?

  20. Dan says

    This man was vile and a hateful. This man taught his children and small congregation to be vile and hateful and almost all are. He has lost this war that he started against us but we should not gloat or hate like he hates because that brings us to his level. We must remember to always rise morally above those who still hate us and those who will hate us in the future. Please let’s not hate on these sad scared people or wish them death or ill-will. That just gives them justification in their small minds that they are correct and also gives them ammunition against us with their misguided and misinformed followers. We are on the correct side of this issue and should be humble as we continue to move toward greater understanding and equality in this country and around the world.

  21. Fulchalin says

    Following the news that Phelps was near death, Lucien Greaves, the leader of the New York-based Satanic Temple, promised to hold a “pink mass” over Phelps’ graves and turn him posthumously gay.

    Why does this make me laugh out loud

  22. momsold says

    didnt make it to spring renewal…for a reason I would guess. may his rest be peaceful, his life wasn’t, it was filled with hate for everyone. so, May God have forgiven him.

  23. Dawson says

    I was raise to never speak bad against those who are suffering. Sorry mom but I can’t stop smiling. Soon to be join by Billy Gramham. Hope they enjoy hell.

  24. says

    This good man put the will of his religion and the beliefs of his people before the world. His ideas may have been skewed from our point of view, but every man, woman and child is allowed redemption and salvation (Read Ephesians) and receives it, rightly so. Those others with angered ideas and expressions should read the 15th chapter of Matthew for an understanding of these words.

    Just remember: God (whichever one you believe in) is always there for you, no matter if you are young or old, rich or down-trodden, sick or healthy. God is there for you, and all you have to do is believe.

  25. Gregoire says

    Wow, look at all the school marms with their rulers out today — don’t celebrate his death, don’t protest, you’re as bad as he is!

    This man disrupted thousands of lives. If people want to spend their time creating Fred Phelps effigies to burn, let them. If people would prefer donating to charities, even better! Outside of violence, there is no ‘right’ way to react to this situation.

  26. Tyler says

    I respect anyone who speaks their mind and stands up for what they believe. Who are we to judge him? I am not going to condemn this man for preaching the truth as he understood it.

  27. Daniel Arpin says

    The greatly anticipated death of thingy Phelps was met with great enthusiasm from MANY communities: may his poor, wretched soul rest in peace.

    He MUST have been GAY TO BE SO HOMOPHOBIC. Can you imagine if he hated gays SO MUCH, just how much he hated HIMSELF?

    Since there is no heaven or hell, I wish him to come back as a GAY PERSON and have to face someone like himself in his next “existence” …

    ♫ ♪ DING, DONG, THE WITCH IS DEAD!! ♫ ♪
    ♪ ♫ The wicked witch, the big bad witch!! ♫ ♪

  28. Daniel Arpin says

    The greatly anticipated death of thingy Phelps was met with great enthusiasm from MANY communities: may his poor, wretched soul rest in peace.

    He MUST have been GAY TO BE SO HOMOPHOBIC. Can you imagine if he hated gays SO MUCH, just how much he hated HIMSELF?

    Since there is no heaven or hell, I wish him to come back as a GAY PERSON and have to face someone like himself in his next “existence” …

    ♫ ♪ DING, DONG, THE WITCH IS DEAD!! ♫ ♪
    ♪ ♫ The wicked witch, the big bad witch!! ♫ ♪

  29. Donna says

    Good riddance to him and his hate. I’m ok with his not liking homosexual thing(his right) but picketing soldier’s funerals and somehow linking them together…. total wrong.

  30. jon stevenson says

    Just think,of all the time and effort he spent on negativity and hate.If he had used his efforts for something positive,he more than likely would have been a widely respected person.Oh well!

  31. TOMMY CHICAGO says

    Fred Phelps may have actually done us all a favor by default.

    He proudly shined the light of hatred and bigotry,
    brighter and foul-er than any other fool.
    Now, the world knows what haters true colors are,
    and how to identify a real monster.

    Mind you,… Fred’s heinous caustic spawn are NOT DEAD yet.
    Watch and wait…they will soon erupt again.

  32. eve says

    I hope a BIG bunch of gays attend his funeral, after reading how much he helped them to gain approval by showing his religious intolerance to them. lol

  33. SFshawn says

    One less hate filled person on the planet.
    This is FANTASTIC NEWS!
    I guess by the logic that his hate created tolerance and acceptance towards gays then are we saying Jesse Helms, Dictator Putin and all the other UNEDUCATED, Hateful, Bigoted world leaders(really Despots?) from Africa, Asia, India and the United States should get a ‘pass’ on their ugliness since they really are ‘helping’ GLBT folks?
    I call B.S! God doesn’t exist and these haters don’t deserve any more dignity than they give into the world.
    Good Riddance to bad rubbish.
    I’m glad he’s dead.

  34. brooklyn says

    Still he was a person, and I use that litely. Its not our place to judge his actions and post nothing but hate about him…then we are no better than him. I’m not defending him, but I will say he does not answer to us! Hope his views are “nicer” in the afterlife.

  35. Derrick From Philly says

    Fred Phelps isn’t important. What is important is God’s Word, the Bible. Can we agree to not focus on Phelps but instead focus on God’s son, Jesus Christ? The Bible is very clear that Jesus Christ is the only way to heaven. Narrow is the path to salvation, wide is the path to destruction.

  36. ladysings says

    May he be in purgatory being treated to the same vile, poisonous acts and words that he delivered here on earth. He forgot “do unto others as you would have done unto you”.

  37. Dan Cobb says

    I have ZERO belief in the bible or the notion of “god”… but IF there is an afterlife as this man apparently believed… he should know that his bible says that no “REVILERS” will see the kingdom of heaven. Mr. Phelps was the king of all revilers in the USA. There is no way –according to his beliefs– that he could ever get into heaven.

  38. Derrick from Philly says

    @ “Narrow is the path to salvation, wide is the path to destruction.”

    LOL. Rick, you are f.cking silly. You should know I’m still at work and can catch your stupid comments posted with my posting name.

    LOL. We can say wide is the path if you have enough KY Jelly.

  39. Dan Cobb says

    FREDDIE: there is a great deal of evidence that this man was a self-loathing homosexual himself. Apparently he had sex with all his male children and that is why some of them left the fold. He seems to have been an intensely self-loathing homosexual himself. Very sad that some people are brought up in religions that teach them… even before they know they’re gay… that being gay is evil, evil, evil!

  40. Robbert says

    It’s never good to hate someone who has dedicated his life to hating others and leading a group of other idiots to hate since non of them have any education to think for themselves… but THANK GOD his gone. who’s going to protest him? Now that he is up in “his Heaven” maybe he can have all the boys he really wanted. Hahaha

  41. Heather says

    A little something I wrote on the passing of Fred Phelps as I struggle, like so many others, to feel feelings I can live with.

    IT WOULD BE SO EASY

    It would be so easy to feel happy. To express joy and relief. To talk about victory and vindication.

    It would be so easy to smile, on behalf of the men and women, on behalf of the families and friends of the men and women, who are shamed and silenced simply because of who they are and who they love, because of what they fight for and what they believe.

    What’s hard is imagining. Imagining where hatred comes from and why and how it survives. Why and how, at the end of a life filled with limitless opportunities to contribute value to the world, hatred is the only thing that lingers, and the only legacy one can possibly manage to leave behind.

    What’s hard is hoping that lessons were learned, so that this kind of history will never, ever repeat itself.

    What’s hard is praying that, if true remorse is really possible, and genuine forgiveness can ever truly exist, the two somehow find each other in a place of peace and compassion that we in this life have yet to see.

    Because of all the things and people and beliefs one can possibly fear on this Earth, what’s hardest of all is living – and dying – without a soul.

  42. Mike C says

    Sad really. This guy did more to advance gay rights and tolerance than ANYONE else in 20th century history.
    Sure, he did it out of evil intent, but when more ‘sane’ bigots saw what he was doing, using the same couple of wishy washy bible passages they used it made them question and many ultimately reject that vile crap.
    So, I’m sort of glad hes dead, but sad we have lost an unwitting supporter.
    BTW, if he wasn’t a self loathing closet case then paint me pink and shove a chocolate bar up my ass (you can do that anyway).

  43. William says

    Dies irae! Dies illa
    Solvet saeclum in favilla:
    Teste David cum Sibylla!

    Quantus tremor est futurus.
    Quando iudex est venturus.
    Cuncta stricte discussurus!

  44. Angela says

    @GREGORYBROWN he IS NOT absent. He may be physically, but his hate and his legacy may live on for a long time. So If I’m happy that his physical body isn’t here to cause more pain on people who don’t deserve it, I WILL DO THAT!

  45. phil says

    Or he went straight to Hell where he belongs! Beyond all the judgement do you suppose he advocated for the poor?or more likely supported the elimination of social safety nets… matt 25.41. What will you say to the judge?

  46. Brian says

    It’s people like this jackass that proves my point of organized religion being a bad idea. A belief of God is fine, but when it gets out of hand like this scum sucking pig and his followers did is why we now need to abolish this senseless concept of organized religion.

  47. Dback says

    Thank you, Fred! Because of you, your inbred family, and your so-called “church,” millions of people who normally wouldn’t have considered themselves “gay friendly” now stand with us, rather than with you and your hate-spewing ilk. Your hatred helped make the modern gay rights movement the success it is! Bravo!

  48. Number 6 says

    I would urge everyone to do what Mr. Phelps was incapable of doing, hate the sin, but love the sinner. I find it very sad that he professed to be a Christian, but never seemed to understand what it means to be one.

  49. Derek says

    Awesome. Let me know where he is buried so I can take a dump and piss on his grave. I wish I could’ve stood by my gay friends and laughed while he took his last breath.

  50. Daniel says

    Its sad someone died leading the life he did. Not repenting for his sins and hating for reasons only he and other tormented souls knew. He is gone and the world is a better place now that he is.

  51. kermit says

    Don’t gloat over this tormented individual. He must have been suffering greatly to behave the way he did. May he somehow find peace and healing in the next life.

    “Hatred never ceases by hatred,
    But by love alone is healed.
    This is an ancient and eternal law.”

    Buddha

  52. Ryan says

    Isn’t it funny though…a man hates and people hate him because he hates others. Its all still hate regardless. He was a messed up individual but all u do by being happy for his death is bring yourself down to the same level. I’ll let that marinate for a minute.

  53. mac says

    Following the news that Phelps was near death, Lucien Greaves, the leader of the New York-based Satanic Temple, promised to hold a “pink mass” over Phelps’ graves and turn him posthumously gay. bahahahahahaha brilliant!!!

  54. Wade says

    I understand that he was a vile man, but you shouldn’t wish him to hell, that makes you no better than him. It’s not your right to cast judgement, nor was it his.

  55. Cal says

    It is a shame that a mans death even one considered evil brings so much joy. Even if evil he was entitled to his view as is granted in the so called freedom of speech. SHAME to anyone who takes gleeful delight in another humans death even a bad one

  56. Ian says

    Amazing thing is that BOTH liberals AND conservatives alike seem to hate the WBC! .. . libs cause of their anti-LGBT antics and conservatives seemingly more on account of their protesting of soldiers funerals. THAT is something very rare and that I will definitely give them. When you can get both libs and cons to agree on something, either negatively or positively, THAT does say that your something quite exceptional!

  57. Fred Tate says

    A man who never really read the Bible; or forgot the parts about “Goodness and Mercy”. He also forgot the below:
    “Judge not lest ye be judged; for as ye judge others so will I judge you.”
    “Why beholdest thou the mote in thy brothers eye, while ignoring the beam in thine own eye.”

  58. Suzette says

    I agree with one of the other comments when I first heard about this group of demons my husband was fighting in Iraq and I watched them on the news blocking the sidewalk of a dead soldiers family home while they were trying to go to their sons funeral, and shouted and chanted at these parents despicable things and then followed them to the graveside to continue their hateful behavior…all while this family tried to mourn their child who died fighting for the freedoms these demons used against him..All I could remember thinking was what if my husband died over there how would I respond to these pigs, what would my children be able to understand about what they were doing..NO I DO NOT BELIEVE HIS DEATH SHOULD GO UN-NOTICED BY THE VERY PEOPLE HE TORMENTED..I DON’T ADVOCATE VIOLENCE, BUT I DO FEEL HIS FAMILY NEED TO FEEL WHAT SO MANY OF OUR SOLDIERS FAMILIES FELT

  59. Bill says

    @Suzette: Not too long after they started picketing soldiers’ funerals, a law was passed requiring them to maintain a minimal distance from a funeral, and they were very careful to comply with that law, regardless of how it seemed on TV.

    They stayed as close as lawfully permitted, possibly with the hope of being arrested by a police officer who mistakenly thought they were over the line. Many of them were trained as lawyers, so they could handle a false-arrest lawsuit themselves and then ask for compensation for legal costs, which would go to funding their “church.” What a scam.

    People are of course free to picket Fred Phelps’ funeral if they wish, but there are cogent reasons for gay-rights organizations to refrain from encouraging that – it would make them look as bad as the WBC, and anyone picketing Phelps’ funeral would look hypocritical if they had made negative comments about Phelps’ behavior.

    In this case, one should keep the feelings of all his children in mind, especially those who left the church and were basically disowned by Fred Phelps and the other members of that “church”. Being respectful towards them just might be more important that making fun of their father.

  60. Gay Guy says

    Hopefully his church will dissolve (or undergo radical transformation). I’m optimistic that the idea of picketing/protesting at funerals will pass with him.

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