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Fred Phelps' Trip to Oregon: An Update

An update on our previous post. There are two military funeral protests by the Phelp's clan--not just one. Four hundred "Patriot Guard's" from seven Western States are riding their motorcycles to Oregon to shield the Westboro Baptist Church protesters. More information below.

Rev. Fred Phelps and his followers will be coming to Oregon on Thursday, July 29 and Saturday, July 1st, to protest at the memorial services of Spc. Robert Jones of Milwaukie and Pfc. Thomas Tucker of Madras. Jones was in his second tour of Iraq when he was hit with mortar and died instantly in Baghdad on Friday, July 16. His memorial will be held at the New Hope Community Church in Clackamas. Tucker was one of two American soldiers kidnapped by militiamen in Iraq on June 16. His body, along with the body of fellow soldier Kristian Menchaca, was found on June 20. The soldiers had been tortured, mutilated, and booby-trapped. Private Tucker's memorial will be held at Deschutes County Fairgrounds Expo Center in Redmond.

“Veterans understand personal sacrifice and the US military tradition of defending our freedoms. Sadly, some abuse our freedoms and Reverend Phelps does so in the most un-American of ways”, said Frank Dixon, Basic Rights Oregon Board Member and a gay Army veteran.

Fred Phelps and the Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kansas have become notorious in recent years for criticizing public figures as varied as Ronald Regan, Fred Rogers, Reggie White, Cindy Sheehan, and Mathew Shepard, all due to the church's belief that America is too tolerant of homosexuality. The group's primary tenet and slogan is "God Hates Fags," which is also the name of their website and expresses their belief that all of the world's woes result from society's increasing acceptance of homosexuality. The protestors typically hold signs outside of military funerals with such slogans as "Thank God For IEDs," "Thank God For Dead Soldiers," "Thank God For 9/11," and "Fag Soldier In Hell."

Phelps and the church have come into opposition of groups not always associated with advocating for sexual minorities. One such group is the Patriot Guard, motorcyclists who surround the protestors at military funerals in an attempt to block grieving family members from exposure to Phelp's group. According to Becky Groves, Pvt. Tucker's cousin and the president of PFLAG Central Oregon, over 400 Patriot Guard members from seven western states will be in attendance and the funeral on Saturday. "It saddens me that my family must endure their hateful protests at a time that is excruciatingly painful," says Groves. "Fortunately, the Patriot Guard has been following the Phelps clan. I am deeply grateful for what they have been doing."

See more about this story on our previous post.

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By Anonymous Anonymous, at June 29, 2006 9:26 PM

When the day comes, I hope millions of gay Americans will go to Fred Phelps funeral, and offer him, his family and his followers forgiveness for the hate they espouse. Perhaps then they will realize that love always conquers hate.    



By Blogger ESH, at June 30, 2006 8:32 AM

Sadly, they probably won't even realize it then.    



By Blogger Mark, at July 01, 2006 6:39 PM

Fred Phelps and his associates are wrong to link their protests to the funerals of those who died to protect our nation.

Homosexuality is wrong, but bringing further grief to hurting families is not the way to respond.    



By Blogger Mark, at July 01, 2006 6:40 PM

Fred Phelps and his crew are wrong to protest at the funerals of servicemen killed defending our nation.

Homosexuality is wrong, but this is not the way to express your opposition.    



By Anonymous Anonymous, at July 01, 2006 6:46 PM

Mark -

So you are saying that the message that Fred Phelps carries around on his signs is OK - you just have a problem with him bringing that to military funerals?

That's a sad way to think. "Homosexuality is wrong" is something that a bible thumper would say so I assume that your beliefs are based on religion.

Do you agree then with the stance of Phelps and his crew that, in his words, "God Hates Fags" or "AIDS is God's Cure for Homos"? Those are just some of the disgusting words that the Phelps clan brings to the table.

Do you then agree with this message?    



By Blogger Mark, at July 11, 2006 6:16 AM

Sorry to keep you waiting for a response. I have been away from the computer for a while.

No, what I am saying is:

1. Homosexuality is wrong.
2. And, that Phelps and his crew are wrong to use funerals as a platform for proclaiming their opposition to homosexuality.


To answer your other questions, I do not agree with Phelp's message that God hates fags or that God is punishing the US through the deaths of those in the military.

But one can point to the error of homosexuality without going down the road that Phelps is.

I note that you express disdain for those who embrace the teaching of the Bible. Do you believe that generalizing by referring to them as "Bible thumpers" is any more appropriate for them to call someone a fag?

I think the name calling demeans the entire conversation.

I hope that helps...    



By Anonymous Calin, at October 08, 2007 12:27 AM

I believe that the bible is a guideline for life (If you believe in it.) When you say that homosexuality is wrong, that is your oppinion to live your life by. But just because you do believe in those things it is not your place to preach them. I do infact belive in the teachings of christ. I am not perfect and do on occasion have a hard time holding myself to these guidelines. For example... I don't have premarital sex, I am not a homosexual and I don't drink or do drugs. I also do not preach to others about why I do the things I do. I respect people for their own decisions and let them live their own lives. " Love thy brother." Right? If everyone would respect eachother the world would be a much better place. Everyone would get along and never fight over these silly battles.

I have several gay friends and I have never preached to them about my beleifs. Same with my friends that drink and whore themselves if you will. They all know what I stand for and why I stand for it. Weve never had proplems with our friendship.

Mark is right in that Fred should not bring greif upon the familes of service men and women. But by saying that, Fred should also not be able to act the same way twords family members of homosexuals.

When you get down to it Fred Phelps is the leader of a hate cult that opperates under the name of Westborow Baptist Church. This is not the way other Baptist Churches teach the word of god. This is the way one sick man can make himself feel better by denouncing other groups of people. This is the same way the KKK the white nationalists and the black seppratists spread their hate. This makes them feel better and they think that they are superhuman because of it.

Somehow the US needs to find a way to keep radical groups like WBC from demonstrating in public places. Even though it is their right, not very many people will agree that it is a good pratice. Weve given rights away for our safety. Isnt it time to try to do the same for peace and decency?    



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