Sunday, February 24, 2008

Where's Keith Olbermann when you need him?

I recently found this interview in Bosnia's independent magazine, Start with Shirley Phelps.
I had to rely on a mediocre (as most are) online translator; but my understanding is that the basic gist of the interview was Ms. Phelps claiming that 'God hates Bosnia!', and I'm sure according to their world view, Croatia, Serbia, Slovenia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Albania and Kosovo (apparently God already hates the U.S., Canada and Sweden). Really, I'd take it as a compliment.

Phelps belongs to the so-called "Westboro Baptist Church"; calling them Baptists is an insult to Baptists everywhere. There are only about 100 members, and most of them are related to each other, which perhaps is explanation enough. They have been making a name for themselves protesting the funerals of famous and ordinary citizens who died well publicized deaths. Thus, they protested the funeral of gay bashing victim Matthew Shepard, the college students killed at Virginia Tech and nearby NIU, and American soldiers killed in the current Iraq war, etc. They were going to protest the funeral of Heath Ledger, but luckily their version of God has not heard of frequent flyer miles and they stayed stateside.

If the Phelps were in Serbia, there is no doubt they would have protested at the funeral of Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic. Almost five years after his assasination; taking a page out of the Phelps' playbook, a reporter on Russian State T.V. praised his murder.

Now it looks as if Bill O'Reiley has some competition for "Worst Person In The World."


Kirk Johnson said...

I don't have any links right now--maybe when I have some time I'll try to track them down--but it's important to know that Shirley Phelps, like many other members of the extended Phelps clan/Westboro Baptist Church membership (they are essentiall one and the same), is a lawyer.

This isn't an accident--they know the law very well, for a couple of reasons:

1) At all times, they want to make sure they have the law on their side. They always know exactly how far they can push their harrasment, hate speech, inflammatory commentary, and public appearances. And then they push to the limit. And they know exactly what YOU can do to THEM, and when they can cry "foul." They work the system.

2) While you don't really need a bunch of lawyers in the family to do the above, you do for this--they frequently shakedown companies and corporations. While they loudly promote their public appearances outside churches, funerals, and so forth, they are very quiet and circumspect about the places they agree NOT to appear at, in exchange for a monetary settlement. The companies that pay them off (usually targeted for gay-friendly practices, of course) naturally have no interest in publicizing these agreements either, so the public is usually none the wiser.

But I do believe it has been investigated.

Daniel said...

Shirley Phelps and her family have a Church which promotes hatred against American Government, Homosexuals, Muslims, etc, and they regularly attent funerals of the falled U.S. soldiers and verbally attack their families and celebrate killings of Americans. They are the most hated family in America.

While I despise Christian (and Muslim/Jewish religious) extremism, Shirley Phelps should not be confused with majority of Christians who are peaceful. Shirley Phelps does NOT represent American Christians. In fact, vast majority of Christians disagree with Shirley Phelps.

Phelps family is trully retarted. Just watch videos about them on YouTube. They are trully sick people. I am sorry for their children... they raised them to hate. And no child is ever born to hate, they are born innocent. But when you have parents like Shirley Phelps, you are bound for disaster.

I hope her children realize that hate is wrong. While one might disagree with the war in Iraq, only an idiot can laugh at fallen US soldiers. There is nothing to laugh about when you see 19 year old guy killed in Iraq.

Shirley Phelps suffers from dillusional mental disorder. She needs help. All Phelps family needs help.

Kirk Johnson said...

The children, unfortunately, seem to have been thoroughly poisoned by the "faith" of their elders. The entire clan are rather proud of the reactions they trigger.

Their protests are a family affair; having children mixed in with them almost ensures that nobody will ever attack them by, say, driving a car right at them.

They're also a publicity-seeking pack of cynical extortionists. Ignoring them is the best strategy.

Shaina said...

There was a BBC documentary on the Phelps "The Most Hated Family in America" ; which I haven't seen but here's an interview w/ the film maker:

What I find really interesting, is that Fred Phelps, who is the patriarch of the family, apparently was a civil rights crusader during the 1960s and in 1980 even won a citation from the NAACP-and now look at him.
I understand that being tolerant in one area (or even at one time in your life being tolerant); doesn't necessarily extend to others. But, I guess my point is-there is such a huge gap between being a civil rights advoctate in the 1960s, into the attention seeking man endorsing such horrific views; and teaching his children & his grandchildren those views.

I think for them, the attention they get *is* the main focus. I remember after those 7 Amish girls were killed in their school in PA they actually wanted to protest at their funeral for their cause. Anytime, there is an event with media coverage-particularly a funeral-they protest. In case of the PA school killing a local radio host offered them 1 hour of air time in exchange for them not protesting at the funerals.
From my understanding, Fred Phelps has a *very strong influence on his family. It would be interesting to see how his grandchildren and greatchildren react when they become adults.
One can only hope that they will be able to move beyond what they were taught growing up.

Daniel said...

Off topic but important:

US Intelligence Chief Says Belgrade Allowed Attack on US Embassy

Shaina said...

Dan, thanks for the news article

Yakima_Gulag said...

Those bastardas came to the Yakima Gulag before my escape and they protested at the funeral of a local soldier who was killed in Iraq with their God hates America because there's gay people in America govno. Anyway the local anti war in Iraq people got blamed. Which pisses me off because none of them would ever disturb the funeral of a man even if they don't like the war, and Sean Hannity spread that around and never got around to appologizing for his statements, which caused rancor locally.
These people are sick inbreeds who if I ran things, I would probably commit me some war crimes to get them out of our way. At very least I'd stick them on some sort of rezervation and never let them out.

Yakima_Gulag said...

Sorry for the double post but I LOVE BiH Start and Dani, both very good publications. Dani has Aleksandr Hemon as a regular columnist and he is a really good writer.