Sickening anti-gay protests at GI funerals

Posted by: ST on August 28, 2005 at 9:23 pm

A few readers and a commenter noted this story about the militant anti-gay activities of one Rev. Fred Phelps and members of his flock who have taken it upon themselves to protest against the gay lifestyle in the most shameful of ways:

SMYRNA, Tenn. (AP) – Members of a church say God is punishing American soldiers for defending a country that harbors gays, and they brought their anti-gay message to the funerals Saturday of two Tennessee soldiers killed in Iraq.

The church members were met with scorn from local residents. They chased the church members cars’ down a highway, waving flags and screaming "God bless America."

"My husband is over there, so I’m here to show my support," 41-year-old Connie Ditmore said as she waved and American flag and as tears came to her eyes. "To do this at a funeral is disrespectful of a family, no matter what your beliefs are."

The Rev. Fred Phelps, founder of Westboro Baptist in Kansas, contends that American soldiers are being killed in Iraq as vengeance from God for protecting a country that harbors gays. The church, which is not affiliated with a larger denomination, is made up mostly of Phelps’ children, grandchildren and in-laws.

The church members carried signs and shouted things such as "God hates fags" and "God hates you."

About 10 church members protested near Smyrna United Methodist Church and nearly 20 stood outside the National Guard Armory in Ashland City. Members have demonstrated at other soldier funerals across the nation.

I’ve got a message for you, Reverend Phelps:  You’re despicable.  Not just to America, but to Christianity as well.  God did not and does not "hate gays."  God loves everyone, including disagraceful  human beings like you who take His name and attach it to your pathetic little ‘crusades.’  Remember "love the sinner, hate the sin?" You have a right to feel what you want, you have a right to say what you want, but your exercising that right at the funerals of our fallen soldiers (men and women who have died for you to enjoy that right) coming home from Iraq is unquestionably reprehensible in the purest sense of the word.  As I have stated before, with freedom in this country comes responsibility and just because you have the right to say something, doesn’t make it right to say!  It’s no wonder your ‘congregation’ is so small:

The church, which is not affiliated with a larger denomination, is made up mostly of Phelps’ children, grandchildren and in-laws.

With moronic protests like the ones you initiate, it does give me some measure of satisfaction in knowing that your congregation is small, and not just small in terms of numbers, but small-minded as well.  YOU, as a Christian, *know* that God loves all people, including gays, including adulterers, including people who stray from His teachings, etc.   As a Christian, your responsiblity is to help spread the word of God and encourage people to turn to Him, to grow with Him, and accept Him into their hearts as their savior.  His love is not limited to any color, sex, race, disability, or anything else.  He may not be tolerant of sin but He is loving of the sinner.  You should be ashamed for even daring to think you speak for God when you preach the hate that you do, and you express it the way you do.  It’s a shame you even express it at all but even more shameful is you doing it during the funerals of our fallen men and women who deserve the be buried with the dignity and respect they deserve.

I am against gay marriage, and I support the Boy Scouts not allowing gay men to serve as Scout leaders.  But I do NOT support the hate you are spewing, and I especially do NOT support the venues you have chosen to express it.  You are a sick person, twisting the word of God to try and make it fit in with your narrow, perverted worldview, and the disrespect you show our fallen soldiers, as well as their family and friends is an unconscionable act.  You do an extreme disservice to our fallen heroes, to America, to Christians, to conservatives, but most of all to God.  You are not acting in His name nor mine, nor any other level-headed Christian in this country.    This should be something that both liberals and conservatives in this country agree on.  

Shame on you, Rev. Phelps.

Related: Dean Esmay notes a liberal media bias angle to this story (hat tip: Rob at Say Anything).

RSS feed for comments on this post.


  • protein wisdom trackbacked with BECAUSE OF THE HYPOCRISY, 43! (UPDATED)
  • 21 Responses to “Sickening anti-gay protests at GI funerals”


    1. Sloan says:

      Preach it, sister! 🙂

      Usually I can’t help but feel a certain amount of pity for people like this, because a proper Christian worldview is so much broader and more joy-filled than what they’re experiencing. But any pity I had for them evaporated when they showed up at A FUNERAL. And especially a funeral for a soldier. Good grief, what an utterly contemptible thing to do.

    2. ArizonaTeach says:

      See, that is such a PRIME difference…when fools like this shoot of their mouths they are IMMEDIATELY condemned by the Right. Robertson, this twit…from the President through most church leaders, through the blogosphere, universal disgust. But how many times does someone say something dispiscable on the left and it’s APPLAUDED by the left.

      It just ticks me off…I read a post on the Straight Dope where the joker was asking smugly if the President was going to condemn Pat Robertson’s remarks…he alrady did, nimrod. It’s not the right side that lets fools speak for them. Dang, but it makes me angry.

    3. sam says:

      “Remember “love the sinner, hate the sin?””

      Is that like ‘support the troops, not the mission’?

    4. Melissa in Texas says:

      This lunatic Phelps has been at it for quite a while unfortunately.
      It matters not to him, whom the soldier may be that is being buried, just as long as he gets a chance to disrupt the funerals of our fighting men and women.
      It appears to be his mission in life and he takes great satisfaction from his own acts.
      It is really quite disgusting that he and his family are allowed to protest at these funerals. Here we go again with the freedom of speech thing!
      Some of the police and others have been coming up with creative ways to obliterate the groups blatherings.
      At one funeral, any time Phelps spoke up, the bagpipes were played to drown him out.
      At another, 18 wheelers were brought in to block his side of the street from view of the mourners.
      He believes that 9-11 was punishment from God and they applaud evry military death.
      It is really quite sickening what this man does in the name of God. I do not know if we are speaking of the God that I happen to know. The one that wants ALL men to come to him. Wherever they are, whatever their circumstance.

      His sons have turned away from him and their roving bands of idiots.
      There are plenty of websites that categorize and detail his lunacy, as well as his son’s letters to him.
      Phelps’ original website is here:
      The ADL has a site that details his acts:
      the Baptists are denouncing his behavior and rhetoric here:
      It goes on and on.
      I fear that someone is going to take that man out one of these days.
      Apparently one of his son’s inlaw is an attorney. If anyone touches him, they are tied up in court with one lawsuit after another.
      Pretty pathetic!

    5. TomR says:

      Good summation by Melissa.

      Phelps is an iman in his own way. If he is stomped somewhere along the way, his son-in-law may sue, but he better dread a jury trial.

    6. CavalierX says:

      Phelps using the funerals of fallen soldiers to draw attention to his hateful “cause” is just as disgusting as the Bush-hating protesters who do the same.

    7. iRob says:

      Wow! I think I heard a thunderclap as I was reading that.

    8. CavalierX says:

      The amusing part is…the part these Libs keep missing… is that Phelps is a Democrat. Ran for office on the Dem ticket. They also keep “forgetting” that he’s a rabid anti-war loon who sent love notes to Saddam Hussein. So, yes, Liberals, please keep on talking about this hate-filled sicko.

    9. Sloan: Amen, amigo.

      AT: I can totally identify with your anger and frustration. There is this double standard out there that conservatives should condemn their own (like Pat Robertson) when they get out of line yet when a liberal like Michael Moore starts chirping on with his usual nonsense, it then becomes about his “right to say” it and how some of them support “the sentiment” behind what he’s saying.

      Melissa: Wow – thanks for the links. It appears that Phelps *wants* an altercation with someone to occur so he can sue. This man is lower than low.

      Tom: Good points.

      Sam: No.

      iRob: Welcome to th ST blog :)

      Cav: I was surprised to learn this. You won’t find it very many places – if any, in the media. Surprise surprise.

    10. CavaleirX says:

      >I was surprised to learn this

      You have to look hard, but info is out there…

      The Democratic tent includes the Rev. Fred Phelps Sr., the state’s best known anti-gay advocate. Phelps is a registered Democrat who ran unsuccessfully for the party’s gubernatorial nomination in 1990, 1994 and 1998 and for the U.S. Senate in 1992.

    11. sam says:

      “The Democratic tent includes the Rev. Fred Phelps Sr., the state’s best known anti-gay advocate. Phelps is a registered Democrat who ran unsuccessfully for the party’s gubernatorial nomination in 1990, 1994 and 1998 and for the U.S. Senate in 1992.”

      A lifelong democrat. Just like Zell Miller!

    12. GodBlessAmerica says:

      Wonderful news!

      So we have alot of religious quacks like Phelps and Robertson. Religious extemism in America is nothing new.

      We also have others that have reason, compassion and rational minds. Others than endeavor in their lives to true ideals of liberty and justice.

      Below is a link to a great story about that endeavor for true liberty.


    13. Melissa in Texas says:

      If you keep digging, you will find that Phelps used to work with Al Gore’s campaign!
      How do you like THAT one?

    14. Melissa: You’re kidding! I’ll have to read up more on that … I did get a link from a reader this evening that told me a bit more about Phelps, too. In fact, I’ll post it before I log off.

    15. newton says:

      I wonder, guys, if someone has infiltrated his “church”. I suspect that, behind the facade of a “church”, exists a very well-organized extortion enterprise, with family and in-laws as beneficiaries.

      I wonder if someone has… I really wonder… If evidence is ever brought to light of it, that would bring that man so down, he’d be no more different than Osama hiding in some stinkin’ cave.

    16. Melissa in Texas says:

      Here is a link to :

      A Letter From a Son Who Left

    17. Newton: Welcome to the ST blog! Nice looking blog you have there.

      Melissa: Thanks for the link – glad to know at least one Phelps family member came to his senses.

    18. K.T.Sapp says:

      As a gay man I normally don’t visit sites like this! Not becouse I feel that what is said really means anthing to me. But when It comes to invading on such a private thing as the Death of some one child,brother,sister,mother or father. Simply becouse they were gay in life.And missed in death by those who know that being gay is of no importance when you love some one.Is such a waist of a persons time. And our time here is so short.I dont think that Mr Phelps understands that what he does renforces the gay world as a whole. He really forces gays to look in the mirror and question the life they lead.And I for one have found that questioning my self makes me a stonger person as well as a stronger gay man. And the thing that amazes me the most. Is how through his insanity he has opened the minds of so many straight people. Who before hand would have prefered us to burn in hell.It is as God says hate the sin Love the sinner> I speak to god often. He was there when I was a young boy discovering that I was gay! He was also there when my childern where born, And he is with me now As on open Gay man.
      With Love

    19. Stoo says:

      Mr. Sapp,

      What does your personal orientation have to do with visiting a site generally populated by rational people, disussing subjects in a mostly civilized manner?