Westboro Baptist Church founder Fred Phelps is dead

Symbol of anti-gay Christian hate and bigotry, Fred Phelps, founder of the notorious Westboro Baptist Church, is dead. He was 84 years old.

His children, Tim Phelps and Shirley Phelps-Roper, confirmed to Kansas news outlets that Phelps died before midnight Wednesday, according to a report issued by TPM.

Phelps, founder of the notorious anti-gay (“God Hates Fags”) Westboro Baptist Church, made a name for himself preaching an obnoxious, hate filled gospel. Phelps blamed gays and lesbians for every evil, even going so far as to preach that the deaths of US military personnel were God’s punishment for the nation’s tolerance of homosexuality.

Indeed Phelps was well known for his protest activities, which included picketing the funerals of fallen soldiers.

However, before Fred Phelps became the face of anti-gay, Christian hate, he was a respected civil rights attorney who did some good work on behalf of African Americans.

Yet while Phelps may have once done some good work in the realm of civil rights, he will always be remembered as a preacher of a vicious and mean spirited anti-gay Christian bigotry that offended and shocked the nation.

While some may want to dance on the grave of this man who caused so much pain, and preached such an ugly message of hatred and bigotry, others prefer a more dignified response to the passing of this profoundly ignorant and confused man.

On his popular facebook page, George Takei, prominent actor and gay rights activist, left the following comment on Phelps impending death:

I take no solace or joy in this man’s passing. We will not dance upon his grave, nor stand vigil at his funeral holding “God Hates Freds” signs, tempting as it may be.

He was a tormented soul, who tormented so many. Hate never wins out in the end. It instead goes always to its lonely, dusty end.

George Takei on Fred Phelps via Facebook

Fred Phelps, dead at 84.

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