Nate Phelps on his experience in the Westboro Baptist Church

If you’ve never heard of the Westboro Baptist Church, they are the guys who picket the funerals of soldiers with placards that say ‘God hates Fags’ and other hate speech. The patriarch of the family is a man by the name of Fred Phelps, Nate’s father. The following is a speech he gave at the American Atheist convention in Atlanta, Georgia. It’s some really stirring stuff, so if you have a few minutes, take the time to read what he said. Here are a few passages I found interesting:

Anyone who claimed to be a believer, but didn’t subscribe to my father’s interpretation of the scriptures, was quickly declared to be excluded from God’s grace for any number of flaws in their doctrine. For example, the Lord’s Supper was to be performed with unleavened bread and wine only. If you used grape juice, you were going to hell. If the loaf wasn’t a single loaf, unleavened, broken by hand, you were guilty of desecrating the body of Christ. If you had ever divorced, had sex outside marriage, married a divorced person, felt empathy for a gay person — or simply crossed Fred — you were the enemy…

I must admit, there are few careers more suited to my father’s temperament and abilities than the legal profession. His intellect and fiery oratorical skills compel people to stand up and take notice. Early on in his legal career he discovered an untapped gold mine in the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This new federal act was basically an empty shell waiting to be filled. He was up to that challenge. Filing an unprecedented number of civil rights suits earned him a reputation in the region for championing the rights of the black man. In spite of his personal and theologically based disdain for the black community he was able to sway juries, with his passionate rhetoric, to pay large judgments and even convinced the NAACP to honor him with several awards.

I always wondered how Fred Phelps went from being a Civil rights lawyer to a religious nut. Now I know he just did it for the money while obviously secretly hating blacks. Talk about a hate filled man!

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