Meet Eric Phelps, a man with a vision: a vision that will have a section of Pennsylvania – Lebanon County – declared a no-go area for anyone who’s Hispanic, African-American and Catholics or gay.
According to this report, Phelps, 62, heads the Reformation Bible Puritan Baptist Church, the county’s only organisation plotted on the Southern Poverty Law Center’s map of hate groups.
Easy to see why.
While he insists he isn’t hateful, Phelps is a proud and active advocate of racial separation and anti-Catholicism. His goal: a community that secedes from the United States and Pennsylvania and will be populated only by white heterosexual Protestants. Oh, and Jews, whom he quite likes.
His new Lebanon will introduce the death penalty for “doing dope,” and will outlaw homosexuality and adultery.
These Hispanics and these blacks that commit crime everywhere – they have reduced Lebanon to nothing but a savage war zone, for the most part.
And who is to blame for this sorry situation?
That’s all done by the Pope — he brought them in here. If I can’t have (racial separation) in Lebanon, I’ll move to another county where we can do it, but we have to go to a white county that’s historically Protestant.
Raised a Catholic, in the 1970s, he spent five years in the Air Force before dropping out after becoming convinced that it “was no place for a white man” because African-Americans were allowed to cut in line and take over the basketball court.
Four years in Bible college from 1977 to 1981 helped him appreciate the Reformation, and he gradually developed the conviction that Jesuits and secret societies like the Freemasons are behind many of the world’s most sinister schemes.
Phelps now believes the Jesuits control presidents and presidential candidates, from Franklin Roosevelt to Donald Trump. The Jesuits murdered fellow Catholic John F Kennedy for resisting their plans and more recently poisoned Antonin Scalia for supporting gun rights, he said.
They gave Phelps himself metallic poison about 15 years ago, but he survived symptoms of a high temperature and a rapid heartbeat, he said.
The one thing Phelps doesn’t do, he said, is teach people to hate. He loves all races even though he believes they should be separated, and some of the people that he mentors are of other races and they also advocate racial separation, he said.
He also supports Jews and wants them in his country.
He is not related to and does not support the radically anti-gay Westboro Baptist Church in Kansas, founded by the late Fred Phelps.
I take them on. I call them a bunch of horrible, terrible bigots. God does not hate the homosexual – he doesn’t hate anybody. He hates the sin.
Phelps said his church was targeted by the Southern Poverty Law Center because one of the SPLC’s leaders is loyal to the Catholic Church, but SPLC senior fellow Mark Potok provided a more objective list of criteria.
Groups must have ideologies that malign an entire group of people to be included on the map, and they must be actively promoting their ideas and attracting a larger audience than a single person, Potok said.
Most of the groups – probably the vast majority – do not engage in criminal violence.
Nationwide, the number of hate groups grew 14 percent in 2015, fueled by increases in both Ku Klux Klan and black nationalist groups, the SPLC said in a recently released report.