Fred Phelps, the founder of the controversial Westboro Baptist Church, is reported to be on his deathbed. Phelps, who was excommunicated from the Church in 2013, was admitted to Midland Hospice in Topeka Kansas. His estranged son, Nathan, confirmed Phelps condition in a Facebook Post, and added:
I’m not sure how I feel about this. Terribly ironic that his devotion to his god ends this way.Destroyed by the monster he made.I feel sad for all the hurt he’s caused so many. I feel sad for those who will lose the the grandfather and father they loved. And I’m bitterly angry that my family is blocking the family members who left from seeing him, and saying their goodbyes.
Phelps and Westboro Baptist Church made headlines by picketing the funeral of Matthew Sheppard, a University of Wyoming student that was left to die an agonizing death, tied to a fence after being tortured. Sheppard was homosexual, and Phelps and his Westboro Baptist Church held a strong opposition to homosexuality, earning the nickname the “God hates f*gs Church”.
WBC is a small congregation, with about forty members. The members traveled the country and picketed the funerals of homosexual soldiers, causing then President Bush to sign the Respect for America’s Fallen Heroes Act into law in 2006. Phelps was also personally sued by the family of Marine Lance Corporal Matthew A. Snyder, who was killed in combat.As Snyder was homosexual, Phelps and the WBC picketed his funeral. Phelps was found liable, and Snyder’s father was awarded a multi-million dollar settlement for for invasion of privacy and intentional infliction of emotional distress. The decision was reversed on appeal, and Snyder’s father was ordered to pay court costs. The court ruled that Phelps and WBC had a 1st Amendment right to picket the funeral as the protest took place not at the grave, but on a public sidewalk.
Phelps has personal feuds with Bill and Hillary Clinton, and the WBC congregation picketed a 1997 inaugural ball in Clinton’s honor. Phelps initially supported Al Gore in the 1988 primary election, but withdrew his support for Gore when the Vice President changed his position on gay rights. Phelps and the WBC picketed Gore’s father’s funeral, screaming obscenities. Phelps also supported Saddam Hussein, calling him, in a letter, “the only Muslim state that allows the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ to be freely and openly preached on the streets”
Phelps also feels that President Obama is the anti Christ:
“Barack Obama is the Antichrist, and is leading doomed america to her final destruction and the destruction of the world! We’re not talking some vague, nebulus postulation, we’re talking plain, straight Bible talk backed up by an overwhelming amount of real evidence – on the ground!”
Phelps is 85; the WBC has not commented on his health.