For years, the Westboro Baptist Church became known for its intense anti-gay messages and protests of not only military funerals, but also funerals and functions of non-military personnel. The parishioners of the church are often seen about the capital city of Topeka and throughout the United States holding signs that display their opinion of God’s distaste for America’s current value system.
Some of the most shocking signs seen by the church include those displaying, “God hates f**s”, “Thank God for dead soldiers”, “F** America is Doomed” and so on. The current plight of America’s economic and social problems are oft associated with escalating rights for homosexual couples.
Members of the church frequently protest at funerals of soldiers with signs containing messages like “Thank God for dead soldiers” and “Thank God for 9/11,” claiming the deaths are God’s punishment for American immorality and tolerance of homosexuality and abortion.
While the Westboro Baptist Church has shocked many people with its messages, in 2011 the Supreme Court reminded the nation that the small church did have its right to free-speech.
Other reports associated with the death of Fred Phelps, Sr., report that he may have been ex-communicated from the church. Speculation on various internet sites have included talk about him wanting ‘less conflict’ within the church leading to his ouster, at the behest of 33 church deacons, to more extreme theories that purport Fred Phelps may have admitted a sympathy for gay people. All of the speculation is unfounded and unconfirmed.
The family has purportedly asked for privacy during the passing of Phelps and his upcoming funeral.