Written by Janet
Recently we’ve heard in the news of the radical church group from Kansas, that has been in the news, and on tv, with their provocative protests at funerals of U.S. soldiers and their in-your-face rhetoric aimed at gays and Jews. Many have accused this church group of being a hate group. Ah but there’s one big difference – this group unlike most hate groups don’t pay taxes because of its status as a religious constitution.
The group’s actions according to many have crossed the line. They do know the law, so they know just how far they can go without overstepping the bounds. The group was founded by former civil rights attorney Fred Phelps. There are 80 members in the group, most are family members and lawyers themselves.
What makes this group so unique and a PITA, is the fact that they always target grieving families , and their message is that military deaths are the work of a wrathful God who is punishing the United States for tolerating homosexuality. They have also been known to protest nonmilitary events, such as Jerry Falwell’s funeral and the recent deaths of the 29 minors in West Virginia. They first got attention back in 1998, when members appeared outside the funeral of Matthew Shepard, the gay University of Wyoming student whose murder drew national attention.
But lately their targets have been Jews whom they accuse of killing Jesus. According to Phelps, the goal of the church is for the nation to hear the rod and he who has appointed it….many can’t understand how these radicals could form a church. The Mayor of Topeka, Bill Bunten says the city has challenged the church’s tax exempt status. Meanwhile, Westboro is not affiliated with any Baptist associations.