Why I support Fred Phelps

[This post has been moved to Thinking-Critically.com]

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About Jeff Randall

Jeff Randall is a frequent volunteer for free-thought organizations, including the Center For Inquiry – DC. Having been blogging since January 2008, he decided that a community of bloggers would be an interesting new experience (or at the very least a fun way to annoy his friends into reading his posts more frequently). Since finding out about about the existence of, and then joining, the atheist/skeptic community in 2007 he has been committed to community activism, critical thinking in all aspects of life, science, reason, and a fostering a secular society.
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26 Responses to Why I support Fred Phelps

  1. Great article, freedom of speech is likely our greatest liberty, standing right with the 2nd amendment.

    • Jeff Randall says:

      Thanks a lot :-)

      In my opinion Freedom is Speech is our most important right under the Constitution and should be the most protected of all rights.

      As for the 2nd Amendment, we’ll have to agree to disagree on that one.
      I understand the purpose of it during the country’s founding and during much of the history of the country. But it has become obsolete IMO.
      As I understand, the primary purpose was to give the people the ability to rise up and “take back” their country if the government “went too far”. In this day, with the military as strong as it is, if the citizens tried to take on the government, they would lose (despite their right to bear arms)… I’ve mentioned a few other issues I have with guns / gun laws: http://potomac9499.wordpress.com/2009/07/07/these-things-i-believe-gun-laws/

    • jenny schmitz says:

      I feel quite passionate about Fred Phelps. I think his daughters have been thrown into this fight, unwillingly. Katherine, Margie, Shirley, Rebekah, Elizabeth, Dartha, Rachel, and Abigail are stuck in the middle of this mess.
      I believe his sons do not have much help or hope at all : Fred, Jr. , Mark, Nathan, Jonathon, and Timothy do not have any guidance that pertains to the world.
      For the sake of Fred Phelps children, I hope that his children are able to live a good and holy life. I have no doubt that they will do that. One “bad seed” does NOT contaminate the whole orchard.
      We have plenty of orchards left to grow. Fred Phelps multiple children are welcome here.
      cheers, jenny schmtiz

      • Jeff Randall says:

        “unwillingly”
        Clearly you have not seen Shirley very much. She is every bit the evil bastard that Fred is…

      • Anonymous says:

        you know how fairy tales they have many evil people in them like wore locks olgers huntsman well you understand and get my point witches evil stepmothers and how good always defeat evil well in fairy tells there are trolls and in realty we have Fred Phelps i support my troops so should you and if you do but i see you dont since you think the way you do maybe you should think about this they have also protested hospitals thats a children s hospital with cancer victim who where to young to even grasp why they have it who are dieing telling them all from 1 month to 16 god hates them and they deserved to die so as for as im concerned screw Fred Phelps and his whole family freedom of speech thank troops for i can truely say fuck fred phels and all who sopport his sorry ass

      • Anonymous says:

        OK, the truth should be known. I deliberately tried to “bait” Phelps followers in order for them to reply to the semi-kind entry. I thought that if Phelps followers read this entry, they would reply to it, thinking there was a kindred spirit among them.
        Yeah, it was a manipulative thing to do. I have previously wrote fred phelps “Praising him for his ‘good work'”
        The only way I’ll get someone from the Phelps camp to write me back in the full “honesty” of what they believe is to pretend I’m one of them.
        Desperate times, positions on religion, politics, and personal rights call for desperate measures.
        so, that’s me.
        jenny.

  2. Pingback: Beyond The Broken Spectrum » » Why I support Fred Phelps

  3. writerdood says:

    Freedom of speech is paramount, but if a plane full of shit flew off course and accidentally dropped it’s load all over Fred and his buddies, I’d be happier about it.

    • Jeff Randall says:

      I’d prefer him to die in obscurity with no media attention what-so-ever… But I can see the appeal of a massive pile of shit landing on his head…

      • writerdood says:

        Maybe if it fell from a great height and came down as frozen spears of liquid shit, it could pierce his brain and he could die that way. You know, you would have to admit that the karmic justice in this would be difficult to explain from a logical point of view.

      • Jeff Randall says:

        Like I said, I can see the appeal…

        But I also have a hard time wishing for the death of anybody, even somebody as repugnant as Phelps…

  4. Kris says:

    One time I would have agreed with this argument but more and more I think Phelps does not have a case.

    No one is denying him his free speech. He is free to say what he wants on his website, his pulpit etc any time he wants. So that alone shows his free speech has not been violated.

    This is a more specific question, does a person have free unlimited speech regardless of time and location. And the paramount issue here is time.

    Phelps is free to protests before the funeral.

    Phelps is free to protests after the funeral.

    However I think decency permits us telling him he cannot protest during the funeral itself. And I think his has precedent in law.

    Consider the following:

    I cannot walk around with a placard protesting anything on the middle of interstate during rush hour.

    I am free to protests at a courthouse but I cannot do it in the middle of a court case.

    These are legally understand limits on free speech.

    So yes I think Phelps should be told he has to be quit for however long the funeral is. Cause that has not violated his free speech.

    I hope the Supreme Court puts the original verdict back on Phelps.

    • Jeff Randall says:

      I cannot walk around with a placard protesting anything on the middle of interstate during rush hour.
      That is jaywalking. You’d be violating a law that has nothing to do with your freedom of speech.

      I am free to protests at a courthouse but I cannot do it in the middle of a court case.
      You can protest outside the courthouse during a trial. Inside I’m not sure about though…
      Phelps’ demonstrations take place outside the funeral home/church/cemetery…

      —–

      I just can’t justify allowing censoring him or anybody else because of what they are saying.

      If somebody wanted to hold up a sign in support of troops outside the funeral of a slain soldier would anybody want to create a law to stop them?
      Of course not, and to me, that proves this is about censorship, and nothing more…

      • Anonymous says:

        grow up dude i would protest that along with every patriotic person in this country but he should shut his mouth and stop being an ass and to preach that god hates anyone give me a break he loves the person but hates the sin so grow up all american douchbag Fred Phelps oh yeah thank for the right to freedom to not pee on Fred if he was on fire lmfao

  5. poietes says:

    I agree with you that the First Amendment is sacrosanct. I also agree that Fred Phelps and his merry band of hate-mongers have the right to protest anything that they want to protest. My argument is similar to Kris’s statement above. I think that time and location are the key issues here.

    Consider: If I saw Phelps and his group on the side of the road protesting something, it is very likely that I would park my car and go stand next to them with an impromptu sign of my own. That is my right, and that is their right. The anti-abortion whackos who regularly protest down the road have a space limit, as in they must be x number of feet away from the building. As long as they abide by that and no longer crowd the door as they used to, they have the right to protest, and I have the right to shoud obscene things at them from my car window as I drive by on a Saturday morning.

    My issue is with the fact that they are protesting during the funerals. Do I think that the law should be changed because of that? No. I do think, however, that Phelps and his cronies could show a bit of common decency. I also wish that money would rain down from the sky. Neither thing will happen in my lifetime.

    All of that being said, I don’t believe that Mr. Snyder should have to pay the legal fees. He had the right to go to court. Phelps had the right to go to court. Each pays for his own costs.

    And as a p.s. I know that O’Reilly offered to pay the costs, but I just couldn’t give him the props because just typing his name kind of makes me shudder all over . . .

    • Jeff Randall says:

      I think that time and location are the key issues here.
      I agree his choice of time and place are disgusting.
      But he is after publicity, and doing it at another time or place would not get him the media reaction he is after.

      The best thing we can do is to start ignoring him and his whole group. If we do that (and ALL media outlets must abide by this for it to work) he will eventually go away…

      If I saw Phelps and his group on the side of the road…
      Yes, you have the right to counter-protest, but I believe that it is a bad idea. It plays right into what he is after, which is attention.

      do think, however, that Phelps and his cronies could show a bit of common decency.
      Don’t hold your breath…

      All of that being said, I don’t believe that Mr. Snyder should have to pay the legal fees.
      Here I actually hate to disagree. If I sue somebody and I lose because my suit was frivolous, I don’t think they should be out of $ because I was a douche.

      I know it seems harsh.
      I know it seems unfair.
      Unfortunately, Phelps and his clan are very smart when it comes to this type of thing, and they are typically on the right side of the law.

      And as a p.s. I know that O’Reilly offered to pay the costs, but I just couldn’t give him the props because just typing his name kind of makes me shudder all over . . .
      I know what you mean, but after agreeing with Phelps, it wasn’t quite as hard as I’ve had expected…

      • poietes says:

        I agree that publicity is what he is after, in any way, shape, or form. And I try not to rise to the bait, but sometimes it’s so frigging hard. I realize that stopping to protest next to them would only feed into their insatiable need, but sometimes, a counter protest is called for.

        I’m afraid that we will have to agree to disagree as to the court costs. I don’t view the suit as frivolous. Rather, I see it as the Snyder family’s own protest against WBC insanity.

        As to expecting them to do the right thing, proverbial hell could freeze over. I know.

        Having said all of that, I would still fight for anyone’s right to protest, regardless of how much I find them to fall into the douche bag category. Coming from a journalism background, 1st amendment freedoms run deep in my blood, and no, we cannot be selective about it no matter how much it would be preferable.

      • Jeff Randall says:

        I agree with the idea of a counter protest, somewhat. But I’d argue that the best type of protest is to ignore them…

        If people MUST counter protest, I’d say the best type of counter protest is in a separate area of the city or town where Phelp’s clan is located…

        As for the court costs; emotionally I agree, it’s insane that this family must pay Phelps.
        But intellectually, it makes sense. Let’s say that I sue the catholic church for something idiotic. Should they have to pay to defend themselves against a frivolous lawsuit?
        Let’s say somebody sues you for something frivolous. Should you be out the money it took to defend yourself because somebody tried to abuse the court system?

        Having said all of that, I would still fight for anyone’s right to protest, regardless of how much I find them to fall into the douche bag category. Coming from a journalism background, 1st amendment freedoms run deep in my blood, and no, we cannot be selective about it no matter how much it would be preferable.
        Here I agree with you 100%.
        I think freedom of speech means nothing unless it’s applied equally to everybody, no matter their point of view…

  6. Pingback: Why We MUST Unite Against “Blasphemy Laws” | Rodibidably

  7. Pingback: Why I support Fred Phelps | Thinking Critically

  8. No Pot To says:

    Date: October 6, 2010

    To: Open letter to Rev. Fred Phelps

    From: No Pot To
    nopot22@gmail.com

    I suppose I should hate you : but I don’t. I am a combat veteran of the US Army, as well as a religious Jew. I should be opposing your philosophy : but I cannot.

    Please bare with me here for a little bite. I am going to say a few things you will not like, but then it gets better. I wish to give you the ‘old’ teaching from the Jewish tradition—one so old no Rabbi speaks of it today. In the Old Testament the rule against homosexuality is quickly followed by the rule against cutting the corners of the beard. It is indeed strange that you choose to enforce the rules again gays, yet have a clean shaven face. One begins to question just what it is you really do—follow the word of God or just concern yourself with homosexuality.

    Old testament Hebrew has gender indicators that modern English does not have. Translation therefore is a little off. The rules against homosexuality were always applied to the male gender never the female. This indicated to the ancient Rabbis that the these rules applied to men only and not to women at all, thus eliminating the need of 50% of the world population to observe them. Secondly, the rules were always applied to Jews, never to the gentiles. Since the Jewish population of this world is less than 1%, the old Rabbis never applied rule against homosexuality to 99% of the world. In reality that rule involves only one half of one present of the worlds population today (.05%). I do not speak for Jewish Law now, and you will never get a modern Rabbi to tell you this. However, neither you nor any member of your congregation is Jewish, therefore I absolve you of any need to follow Jewish Law. You are free to go and become gay if you so wish.

    With that said, I must admit I whole-heartedly support your philosophy and your actions even though they seem designed more to ‘wound’ than to ‘teach.’ Yes! You are right! God hates homosexuals Yes, you are right. 9/11 and dead soldiers are God’s answer to the degradation he sees in this country today. No one who voluntarily wishes to follow the word of God as taught by the Jews can denie this.

    After 9/11 I watched on TV as members of the US Congress stood on the steps of the Capitol Rotunda and sang, “God bless America.” I ask you, just what ‘truck’ does that pack of scoundrels and thieves have with God? Why should God listen to them? For that matter, why should God bless America? Name one thing America has done since the Viet Nam war that would beget the Grace of God? Don’t think too hard. There isn’t a thing. I watched as President George Bush became the high-priest of the nation, saying prayers and blessing the troops as he sent them off on their holy mission. That seems to be very appropriate. A corrupt, career politician and an unrepentant drunk became the high-priest of this country. I watched as solders entered Afghanistan and said to the local population, you can listen to music now. And they would turn-up their ghetto-blaster to hear Little Steve Wonder singing, “Let’s do it in the road…” The Moslem’s in a religiously oriented country don’t want to hear that. Hell, I don’t want to listen to it. Those GI’s didn’t have a clue what brought them there to begin with. The American went to Afghanistan fighting for oil, trade routes, and the rule of law. But as for Al Qida, after watching their society being slowly beaten down for decades with American smut, debauchery, and pop-culture, Al Qida began to fight back. They were fighting for morality! Common human decency! God!

    Ah… War is easier. It is easier to fight the boogie-man than it is to attack the real problems that this country faces in the 21st century. For instance in the State of Florida alone, there are over 20,000 names on the registered sex offender list. That is just one state. Add them all together and what do you get? Ah, but it’s easier to fight Al Qida than it is to deal with that problem—the real problem. George Bush went to world war III against Al Qida, but if you collect every member of Al Qida in the world together they wouldn’t even fill-up George Bush’s White House. If you collect all the sex offenders of the world together, there wouldn’t be enough room in the Sate of Florida to house them all. It is much easier for Americans to spend all their time, money, and ambition swatting flies while they ignore the ‘elephant in the living room.’

    Reverend Phelps, your cause is just! Your reasoning is sound! Your mission is clear! Your motives may be a little suspect, but you are a lone voice in the wilderness shouting for the Laws of God. You are to be commended for these actions. I urge you to keep going; keep trying. To save just one soul is to save an entire universe. Good luck. May God go with you. I only ask that you widen your scope just a little. Include all sexual deviations and hypocrisy.

    • Jeff Randall says:

      No Pot To,
      I responded to your comment on the blog which this post moved to. I’d welcome (and hope for) you to reply, as a few of your ideas were quite confusing…

    • SC says:

      This may well be the single most insightful, honest, and accurate post I have read on any blog or forum, on any subject, in the last five years. It really surprised me to read something so intellectually honest with respect to why America is hated in the Middle East, and also learned a good bit about the intricacies of historical Jewish faith, as well. Very enlightening. Thank you.

      it always has pained me to watch as the left in America (in devout denial) vainly tries to court and mollycoddle Muslims, and others who despise them. And yet it is that same American left’s values (or, shall I say lack of values and virtues) which is *exactly* what they hate the most about America. It astounds me even more that almost 100% of Americans cannot (read; WILL not) look into the mirror, and face this fact. It is a tragic, and what should be a very clear sign, of sickness and weakness. I have often wondered why it is that America sees fit to trample under foot every last tenet upon which it was founded, and which made it great. I often see polls indicating that a large majority (70% – 80% ) of Americans consistently seem to think the country is “heading in the wrong direction”. Yet they continue to march on, in that same direction. Into an abyss. Towards extinction.

      Thank you for your insight. It’s nice to know there is indeed still life out there, with actively-firing neurons, no less.

      Good Day.
      -SC

  9. jenny schmitz says:

    I am all for freedom of speech!! We should be able to say what we think, whether it is fact of fiction. It’s our God given right. For instance, I have tried to get Rev. Phelps help with his sexual abuse from his parents (when he was a young child). But, that’s just my opinion of what would help him. Others may think there’s another way to help the good Reverend. But, as sure as I believe he was sexually abused, I believe that there is someone out there that could help him.
    Childhood sexual abuse is hard to overcome. Although, I don’t know for sure if I have the facts straight, I have the right to speak my mind. I have the freedom of speech, it’s what makes America!

  10. First of all, I support and will fund any plane of shit that happens to land on the closest person to the devil that I’ve ever met!!! When Phelps dies, it will be big news. He will get “full press.” That really sucks.
    How many of us have lost loved ones to war, cancer, illness, violence, ect?
    Phelps. Everyone is going to know when that mo-fo dies. Phelps has always been about the press and he’s always gotten their attention.
    Yes, even I was surprised to find him in my county celebrating the fact that a few folks from Nelson County died in Mumbai. Phelps tried to get his crew to protest at the end of the driveway/ community where those persons who died had lived. Phelps followers were moved to a public location at the intersection of Rt 6 and Rt 151.
    My town, Nelson County, or Nellysford, Va isn’t on the map. I have had a bad temper in my past. But, it has been over a decade since my temper has “reared it’s head.” I listened to the reports of the folks coming into the hardware store (general store in our county). I listened to more and more persons saying, “Have you SEEN those crazy persons out there on 151? ”
    More importantly, those folks were holding signs against most religions, homosexuality, different faiths and denomonations than Phelps religion.

    My friends, who run the free paper for this county , refused to take pictures, post views, or anything involving Fred Phelps. I think they became his worst nightmare—- a press that didn’t give a shit about him. … a press that didn’t give a shit about “Fred Phelps.”
    No one around here has ever heard of him. I’ve heard of him because I was stuck in his “home town” at one point in my life.
    I hate to say it, and I already know it— the headlines will read, “Today, Legendary Fred Phelps Has Died.”
    When he came to my county, nelson county, va, to rejoice in the death of Nelson County’s family in Mumbai, I realized just how low he was. I’m not sure that I could muster up the strength to celebrate anyone’s death—- even Phelps!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  11. First of all, I support and will fund any plane of shit that happens to land on the closest person to the devil that I’ve ever met!!! When Phelps dies, it will be big news. He will get “full press.” That really sucks because that’s exactly what he wants.
    How many of us have lost loved ones’ to war, cancer, illness, violence, ect? Perhaps we are the winners. For the most part, we are able to “mourn in peace.” If we’re lucky, Fred hasn’t shown up at the funerals we attend or hold. And if he does show up, that means he has no feelings, no friends, and / or nothing to do but “haunt” funerals.” Even I must feel bad for someone that is so desperate for human contact/ attention that he has to disrupt a funeral to say, “Hey, I’m alive! I’m right here! Pay attention to me!”
    Wow, it’s hard to imagine how sad, lonely, useless, and unimportant a person’s life can be. I suppose the worse thing is to be remembered for nothing at all. The thought that no one will ever think about you again, no one will ever remember that you existed, no one will even recognize a portrait of yourself is horrifying. You will be completely erased from time. You will be completely ignored by the papers, persons memories, persons horror stories, and anything that left a footprint on this earth.
    Fred Phelps, this is your last stop…… Oh, by the way, I’m deleting this within the next 24 hours. Even my yew logy (haha) will be obsolete by the time you die.
    Your biggest fear will come true: no one will remember you. You’ll just be a speck of dirt that we brush off of our sleeves. Why did you have to be so incredibly mean to persons on this earth?
    You will disintegrate. May God be with you.
    Fred Phelps.
    Everyone is going to know when that mo-fo dies. No one will know the folks that have been my friends who have died fighting for our country (REGARDLESS of what you think about the war!!!!!) Phelps has always been about the press and he’s always gotten their attention.
    Yes, even I was surprised to find him in my county celebrating the fact that a few folks from Nelson County died in Mumbai. However, a few different things happened at his protest here.
    First of all, the press collectively decided to ignore him (Phelps) completely. All of the press decided to let him parade around as long as he wanted to. Phelps wouldn’t recieve the publicity and press that he craves and feeds off of. Granted, covering Phelps would have sold papers, but the press around here decided they’d rather go broke than support a person like Phelps. God Bless THEM!!!!!!!
    Everyone has a weakness. Normally, I would suggest “search for that weakness, and then work on making it strong.” But, in this situation the only thing that can make Phelps really mad is to have no one notice him. If Phelps can make a “huge scene” and no one finds the need to report anything about him, it’s fulfilling his worst nightmare.
    Phelps tried to get his crew to protest at the end of the driveway/ community where those persons who died in Mumbai had lived. Phelps followers were moved to a public location at the intersection of Rt 6 and Rt 151.
    My town, Nelson County, or Nellysford, Va isn’t on the map. I listened to the reports of the folks coming into the hardware store (general store in our county) who said, “have you seen what’s going on down there at 151?? There’s a bunch of crazy people down there with a bunch of signs!”
    I said, “What do you mean?”
    “They’re happy that members of our County are dead. They believe that the folks that died deserved it…. and, come to think of it, jenny, you’re probably next on their list!!!!”
    In my defense, I waited a good hour or so before I decided I would figure out what was going on between that junction of 151 and 6.
    I was completely sober and of “sound mind.”
    By the time I flew into that intersection, Phelps had already been sent away. His clan made the mistake of stepping over the white line on the hwy, thus trespassing on state property. The local police in my Nelson County saw me coming and said, “don’t do something stupid.
    I was ready to do something stupid. I find myself in the odd position of thanking the local police for diffusing a situation that would have resulted in my having a lot of legal problems.
    I’ll be repeating myself, but this is a previous semi-journal entry.

    My friends who run the free paper for this county refused to take pictures, post views, or anything involving Fred Phelps. I think they became his worst nightmare—- a press that didn’t give a shit about him. … a press that didn’t give a shit about “Fred Phelps.”
    No one around here has ever heard of him. I’ve heard of him because I was stuck in his “home town” at one point in my life.
    I hate to say it, and I already know it— the headlines will read, “Today, Legendary Fred Phelps Has Died.”
    When he came to my county, nelson county, va, to rejoice in the death of Nelson County’s family in Mumbai, I realized just how low he was. I’m not sure that I could muster up the strength to celebrate anyone’s death—- even Phelps!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Fred Phelps. I wouldn’t ever have heard of him unless I was stuck in “his back yard.” I was in Topeka for a while. I road a bus from the airport to my destination, and we passed Phelps church. I had no idea what that church/person stood for.
    But, I can sleep better at night knowing that he won’t have any legacy on this earth. He won’t be remembered as some great scholar. He won’t be remembered as some great philosopher.

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