Dear CNN et al.: Stop calling the Phelps family a "Church."

I’m not going to bother pitting Fred Phelps and his brainwashed family. He’s fucking crazy and a repressed homosexual, blah blah, scum of the earth, we’ve done it before.

But can news organizations please, please stop saying a “Church” is doing this? Yes, I know they call themselves a “church.” Yes, they probably have some sort of tax-exempt status. But it’s ONE FUCKING FAMILY. They can call themselves a “Church” but granting them that term confers a legitimacy and an implication of size that they don’t deserve.

Calling themselves a church doesn’t make them a church. I can call myself King Rick but that doesn’t make it so. Nobody’s gonna call me Your Majesty, and nobody should call the Phelps family a church.

The headlines should read “Phelps Family to Protest Funeral,” or whatever. That’s much closer to the truth.

What are the minimum requirements for being a church?

Most churches have loathsome and stupid stances. Phelps is vocal, but quite a few Christians agree that god hates homosexuals.

“Phelps Cult to Protest Funeral.”

How are they not a church? I’m not aware of any definition of the term that requires the members not to be related to each other, and while they’re certainly a small church, there are smaller ones out there.

It seems to me that your primary objection is that they endorse beliefs and practices that you find disagreeable. But by that standard, I could argue that the Catholic church isn’t a church, either. And that would be silly.

It’s a church. You may not like that but it doesn’t change the facts.

Is there some definition of church you don’ think the organization meets?

Non-family are involved and invited. They have weekly sermons anyone is welcome to attend.

They are a church with approximately 70 members according to a recent court case, your majesty.

That’s still no reason to call them a church. It’s not like CNN is objective, anyway. The least they could do is call them “a group of crazed fucktards.”

Can* one* person call hi/rself a church? I, the Church of Dougmatism, believe in the power of prayer to turn the head purple. Tax exemption, come to papa.

Well I’d prefer they use that designation for the Tea Party groups.

I don’t have many examples of CNN’s usage, as I don’t watch cable news. The name of the hate group is the Westboro Babtist Church. I have no issues with CNN calling them such.

I’d love it if the news simply ignored them rather then feeding the trolls.

Sure, but it would be equally valid to call them the Church of Crazed Fuctards.

The word “church” suggests legitimacy?

That’s highly debatable. :wink:

I think a better solution would be for CNN to not offer them a headline at all.

As satisfying as that would be, the Phelps’ asswipes would have a field day suing CNN for slander.

I’m reminded of how frequently I’ll hear from one denomination or another about how the other denominations aren’t really Christians because they don’t believe in this or that. Come one. If someone calls themselves something then just leave it at that.

I used to attend a church smaller than 70 people, and a lot of them were related. The only thing you can do is try to parse out exactly what meets your criteria for a church, but we all know you are just objecting to their ideology. It’s not like these people are difficult targets to discredit anyway without flat out denying they are a church at all.

Whether or not these clowns warrant news coverage is a debate that may be worth having. But the nomenclature is not the issue here. Please try again.

What if CNN reporters made the “air quotes” gesture every time they said “church”. Good enough?

Technically, it would be libel.

and has the defense of truth. :smiley:


Seriously though, there may not be a technical membership threshold that qualifies something as a church, but when you hear the term, do you think of something that has more than 70 members?

The rules

No. Most of the churches I went to growing up were around that size.

I’d rather the Phelps clan simply not be talked about at all rather than quibble over if they are a church or not.