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Old 11-20-2009, 11:20 AM
 
Location: Houston
3,567 posts, read 3,831,776 times
Reputation: 931

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Quote:
WASHINGTON — For more than a decade, Westboro Baptist Church has raised a ruckus with the message that God hates gays, posting itself outside government buildings, college campuses and even the funerals of American soldiers. But in recent months, the Topeka, Kan.-based church has been moving toward other targets, predominantly in the American Jewish community.
Westboro Baptist members were in Washington this week to protest speeches by President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the Jewish Federations of North America conference. Members of the Phelps family have been to other, less high-profile sites as well, targeting synagogues, Jewish community centers and Hillels on college campuses.
The change in focus has caught Jewish leaders by surprise. While the group has always had anti-Semitic tendencies, it had largely stayed away from Jewish sites until this year.
In Washington, Margie Phelps balanced several signs targeting Jews, Israel and the Obama administration. One read "Rabbis Rape Kids," another said "God Hates Jews." Margie Phelps' T-shirt read "Jews Killed Jesus." She argued with men and women passing by, warning them that God will soon send the Jews to hell.
"I don't care what you claim, chosen wise," she said. "Obedience is the standard."
Westboro and its leader, the Rev. Fred Phelps, first garnered national attention a decade ago, when members protested the funeral of Matthew Shepard, a Wyoming college student murdered because he was gay. Since then, they have angered many by protesting at funerals for American military killed in Iraq and Afghanistan, holding signs reading "Pray For More Dead Soldiers."


The church says it has conducted more than 40,000 protests since 1991, all in an effort to warn Americans against accepting gay rights and to fight the "modern militant homosexual movement."
Taking a break from yelling at passersby and singing homophobic lyrics to the tune of the Jewish celebratory song "Hava Nagila," Margie Phelps explained the change in tactic. "We've protested this nation's love of f**s for 20 years," she said. "And Jews have been carrying the water for the homosexual agenda."
"This is more about generating ink and outrage than it is about attacking Jews per say," said Mark Potok, director of the Southern Poverty Law Center's Intelligence Project. "But their language is absolutely Hitler-esque. They talk of filthy Jews and Jews murdering Christ."
Since April, Westboro members have protested more than 200 Jewish institutions and sent thousands of anti-Semitic faxes to American Jewish officials. "I guess they felt it was a successful tactic," said Deborah Lauter, the national civil rights director for the Anti-Defamation League.
The knee-jerk reaction from many Jewish groups has been to counter protest, and some Hillels and Jewish organizations have formed elaborate programs to drown out Westboro's cries. But because the church's protests are often small and short, Jewish leaders have suggested organizations ignore them instead.
"They're doing this to try and provoke, so we don't believe it is in the community's best interest to engage with them," Lauter said. "We believe it's just giving them too much attention."
But sometimes it is hard to fight the urge.
When church members came to the University of Oklahoma on a Friday afternoon, Hillel leaders chose to close their offices early and begin preparations for Shabbat, rather than taking on the protesters. But that didn't stop several hundred students from standing across from the Westboro protesters with alternative messages.
"It wasn't the Jewish students," said Keren Ayalon, the Hillel's executive director. "It was the broader campus community that came out to protest."
Indeed, many Jewish groups have found a Westboro protest has opened doors for dialogue and interfaith engagement. Several weeks after they came to Hillel, Ayalon coordinated a large campus rally for peace. She had heard from many students, and leaders of faith groups, who wanted to speak out.
"It was a learning experience," she said. "It showed how not to react and think about what they're doing and do something more constructive."
Potok said a side-effect of the Westboro protests is it has brought together religious leaders from the far left and far right, all of whom deplore the Phelps' tactics.
Westboro members targeted several Jewish organizations last month on a statewide tour of New Jersey. Their visit to Washington included a protest in front of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.
"We look at it as a teachable moment for the visitors and the public," said Andrew Hollinger, a museum spokesman. "The museum is about anti-Semitism and hate, and when they come to the museum, people can see that hatred still exists in 21st century America."
Just gotta love the church, don't you think? Spreading hate against everybody. Don't have anything else to do, apparently. Today is one of those days where I am proud to be an Atheist. Wondering how they get away with this Hitler-like talk. Oh wait... Now I know. Must be the freedom of (hate) speech.
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Old 11-20-2009, 11:21 AM
 
Location: Austin
1,477 posts, read 1,361,789 times
Reputation: 435
God hates Westboro Baptist.
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Old 11-20-2009, 11:25 AM
 
Location: 38°14′45″N 122°37′53″W
4,152 posts, read 9,596,743 times
Reputation: 3398
Ah, the Christian lunatic fringe....Nobody does EVIL like Westboro Baptists!
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Old 11-20-2009, 11:40 AM
 
7,022 posts, read 5,785,380 times
Reputation: 6968
There's too many cults masquerading as churches nowadays it's no wonder everybody's turned off from religion nowadays. The USA should revoke Phelp's church status just as they did with his lawyer license. They're as much a church as Scientology.

Read this -
Fred Phelps is a Con Man
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Old 11-20-2009, 12:22 PM
 
1,561 posts, read 1,608,978 times
Reputation: 1038
I strongly suspect the whole thing is an act and he's a closet democratic operative. He has ties to Al Gore.

Either that or he's just a wingball.

These were the stains that protested/celebrated at several funerals for fallen soldiers. How they have not been attacked yet I'll never know.
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Old 11-20-2009, 12:56 PM
 
Location: Houston
3,567 posts, read 3,831,776 times
Reputation: 931
Quote:
Originally Posted by dubyanumberone View Post
I strongly suspect the whole thing is an act and he's a closet democratic operative. He has ties to Al Gore.

Either that or he's just a wingball.

These were the stains that protested/celebrated at several funerals for fallen soldiers. How they have not been attacked yet I'll never know.

Yes, this is totally outrageous! I don'tthink it has anything to do with Democrats, though.
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Old 11-20-2009, 01:03 PM
 
900 posts, read 516,575 times
Reputation: 299
I'm pretty sure the Democrats are behind this! We should ask Sarah - she'll know!
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Old 11-20-2009, 01:05 PM
 
Location: Springfield VA
4,037 posts, read 7,869,644 times
Reputation: 1485
I don't let them bother me they're a joke. They were in DC protesting Obama's daugthers' school. I will admit that saying those horrible thing in front of kids isn't cool but again the best thing to do is ignore crazy people like that.
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Old 11-20-2009, 02:28 PM
 
Location: Neither here nor there
14,810 posts, read 13,584,002 times
Reputation: 32926
Quote:
Originally Posted by renault View Post
There's too many cults masquerading as churches nowadays it's no wonder everybody's turned off from religion nowadays. The USA should revoke Phelp's church status just as they did with his lawyer license. They're as much a church as Scientology.

Read this -
Fred Phelps is a Con Man

That is a very revealing article, renault. I had wondered as to the source of funds for WBC to travel the country, protesting as they do. The WBC seems to be in the lawsuit business and unless there are nefarious groups giving money to them, this would appear to be their primary source on income.

Albert Snyder won an $11 million settlement from them in 2007. Hopefully, the judgment will be upheld, once the case has worked its way through the appellate process. But that will take years.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_9dD9v2cIMU



(Where's a suicide bomber when you need one?)
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Old 11-20-2009, 02:34 PM
 
8,287 posts, read 11,497,579 times
Reputation: 4938
got to love religion and the loonies!
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