Nate Phelps, an estranged son of Fred Phelps, has spoken out about his father’s Westboro Baptist Church’s picketing of funerals, especially military funeral. The following article is in today’s Topeka Capital-Journal. Topeka is my hometown, and also, regretfully, the place Freddie lives.
About the two links here, to read them you have to register at the website, sorry, but it’s free.
Nate reaffirms his allegations that Fred beat his kids. “When I watch what he’s doing now, I see shadows and visions of who he was when we were growing up…When we were kids, he could vent his rage and anger on us. Now, I’m seeing the same kind of vicious rhetoric and cruelty, it’s just that he can’t beat these people up.“ Some of his siblings who remain loyal deny the beatings. One of his sisters , in the article, dismisses his allegations, saying “he had a heritage, he was entitled to be right here with us, and he despised it”
Good for Nate, I say. That’s no heritage a sane person would want.
All the same I hope Nate’s allegations are true and not just a black-sheep trying to discredit his father for whatever motivation he may have to do so. Not that Phelps needs much discrediting – he has already proven that he’s a world-class asshole with exceptional precision. Still, a history of being a child abuser might take a bit more wind out of his sails, and the world needs nothing more than to shut the likes of Fred Phelps the hell up.
Nate’s brother Mark supports the abuse allegations.
Two of Fred’s daughters are also out of the family. One of the youngest, Dortha, went so far as to change her name from Phelps, so as not to be associated with the family. She described her exit from the family as an escape she planned in advance, setting things up so she’d have a place to go. I knew Dortha’s oldest sister, Kathy, when we were in junior high. (Late sixties) The family was known as wierd even then. Kathy told me she wanted to cut and style her hair, but her father forbade it, citing Biblical references.
Sorry about the registration, I did mention it in the OP. It really is worth it to read the story though. And there are other cites as to Fred’s cruelty. Try googling “Phelps” and “Addicted to Hate”.
Like Amp says, child abuse allegations won’t do a thing to slow the Phuckers down. Hell, the congregation consists of Phelps kids primarily, anyway. Nobody with even a modicum of self-respect would touch them with a ten foot pole.
That said, though, I’m always glad to see someone who experienced Fred firsthand speak out against him. Too bad that more of his kids didn’t run screaming into the night. If nothing else, it would have cut down on members of his church.
Fred Phelps Sr. has thirteen children. Nine are more or less still with the family. Same mother for all. There are a few other people in the church, two families, or parts of them, named Hockenbarger and Roper. There are actually great-grandchildren of Fred now.
BTW, they were picketing my church again this morning! I gave a little wave. K have many, many pictures of their picketing, from my salad days in the early nineties, doing counter-picketing with several groups.
I’ve been close enough to Fred, on a picket line, to touch*.[Shudder]* He once tried to have a cop arrest us for laughing at him, claiming the noise was “disturbing the peace” Cop just laughed at him.
Yeah . . . It’s hard for me to read Addicted to Hate without tearing up a little bit inside. Those poor bastards. They never really had a shot.
That said, GL, I’m actually optimistic whenever I see ex-family members speak out against Phelps, because it brings that much more attention from the outside down on his fucked-up little church.
If you think about it, yes, Phelps and his merry band of phuck-ups have been pulling this shit for a long, long time, but for most of that time, they were living in obscurity. They only achieved national attention eight years ago when they picketed Shephard’s funeral. Even then, they really didn’t get everyone’s eye until after 9/11 when they picketed the NYFD and later when they started picketing funerals. That’s when they started showing up on CNN, and a large part of me doubts that they’re 100% ready to handle that.
They wanted attention to their cause? Well, they got it, but attention is a double-edged sword. When the eye of the nation is upon you and your tiny little family just waiting for you to fuck up legally, it doesn’t matter how close-knit you are, that’s a powerful and stressful situation, and there are signs that the family’s beginning to feel the heat.
I looked at the Hannity and Colmes video with Shirley Phelps-Roper. I don’t remember what was said, but what I do remember was the look in Shirley’s eyes. I remember saying to myself “Hoo-boy, that woman is feeling the strain.” And she’s the spokesperson for the group, the one who’s always in front of the cameras. Just imagine what the others are feeling?
Take a bunch of psychotic people. Put them under the microscope, let them know you’ve got your eye on them, and what do you think is going to happen eventually? Sooner or later, one of them is going to fuck up.
It is the opposite. It is saying if you don’t discipline the child (if you spare the rod) you will spoil them (they won’t learn how to behave in a civilized manner). While there is a grain of truth in the saying, it is used all too often as an excuse to be way too strict and over-discipline the child. Especially since it says “rod” in the saying.
i’ve read interpretations that deny that the “rod” is something you whack children with so as to teach them how to act. Those favoring this interpretation insist that the “rod” is the shepherds staff, or crook, with which he guides the sheep in the path he wants them to take.
When Phelps finally shuffles off, I hope there is a massive picket of his funeral. Massive. I would be more than happy to participate in and organize such a thing.
There are way more gays, gay supporters, liberal minded people, military servicemen’s families, bikers, and normal humans in America than there are Phelpses. Nothing would make me happier than to see 200,000 protesters at his funeral.