Fred Phelps, Sr. (November 13, 1929 – March 19, 2014) was an eccentric old man and, incidentally, the head of the Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kansas. He took charge of Westboro in 1978 after the church's founder, John Wayne Gacy, was arrested for abducting, sodomizing, and murdering young men. Phelps carried on Gacy's legacy by marrying his ex-wife and preaching Gacy's "tough love" message to homosexuals. Phelps relies on religious blackmail and mind control rather than murder to silence his victims, usually by appearing at high-profile events such as military funerals and holding signs reading "God hates fags" and "If you tell, you'll burn in Hell". Westboro Baptist church now has 13 members, all named Phelps, including his adopted daughter whose brainwashing was accomplished by daily beatings; but she now smiles in a rather disturbing manner and has become a thespian.
Phelps first achieved international notoriety when he picketed the crucifixion of Jesus, holding signs reading, "Jesus is going to Hell", "God Hates Jesus", and "Jesus=Fag Enabler". "He's promoting tolerance of that filthy lifestyle," Phelps said at the picketing, "With all this nonsense and hogwash about 'Love thy neighbour' and all that stuff. He's preaching the fag agenda, and we need to inject some Bible truth into these doomed Christians." He couldn't stay for the whole crucifixion, having to make an appointment to have semen pumped from his stomach.
Phelps was born on one cold, damp morning in the Phelps Cave in Sodomy, Mississippi. According to Phelps' official biography, his mother chose the name "Fred" because "it best represented the sound of shit hitting the side of the toilet". During his infancy, his parents tried to train him as a champion pooperanger, but he failed to medal in competition. He explained later, "throwing shit just wasn't offensive enough."
In first grade, Fred befriended both John Wayne Gacy and his future wife, Ima Beard. Together they learned the basics of the world: up is down, the Qur'an is false, and you can't always trust gravity. After Gacy and Phelps were expelled from high school, they set up a household together and planned their future. To make a living, they decided to start a church which would provide unlimited tax-exempt income through donations from suckers, with no need to work and plenty of opportunities for both of them to perform "youth counseling" on troubled young men. Westboro Baptist Church was born, with Gacy as minister and Phelps as choir director. Phelps began to attract media attention around this time with his flamboyant picketing antics, which often included flashing and prancing in a pink tutu.
A Great White Religion is conceived
In 1955, Fred Phelps received a vision from God. The Lord admonished Phelps, saying unto him: "Yea, for in the eyes of the Lord God fags are no good at all, and He hates fags, and thou must condemn the fags to eternal hellfire for thy sinful buggery." Phelps took the message to heart, and set out to form a new ministry to spread God's word. However, having only a precious few words from the Lord from which to make a covenant with the Lord, Phelps parsed the most valuable lesson the slow-witted public could wrap their minds around: "God does not like fags in the least." But this had too many words, and eventually became "God hates fags."
From this inspired wellspring of divine inspiration, Phelps became a lawyer, then a mass-marketer, but then seemingly missed a golden oppurtunity by not becoming a televangelist. This would have easily allowed him to reach a wider audience and enlighten more people with his simplified-yet-accessible interpretation of God's word, but Phelps clearly lost out on a marvelous chance to make himself and his ministry even more widely-beloved.
His tiny ministry established firmly in the basement of his modest Topeka home, Phelps set out to erase any trace of dandy dalliances and married a beautiful wife, who would bear him upwards of nine glorious childrens from which would come the primary "numerical" expansion of his ministry.
The Gay '90's for Westboro
Sometime in the late 1980s, Fred Phelps looked into the mostly empty pews of his ministry and realized no one except for his own children were coming to hear his fascinating and deeply intellectual sermons. Then, as if on cue, the Angel Conveniently Made Up appeared before him and said:
|“||Fred, taketh brightly colored signs with words written upon them and use them to spread thy wisdom to those who can read! Picket! Picket in the name of Our Lord! Do this at places such as the funerals of fags, or funerals of non-fags, or businesses that have some Kevin Bacon-like connection with fags, or anywhere, really, just so long as it pisses someone off, hopefully fags.||”|
Thus charged by God, Phelps executed his mission with flair, taking his family hither and yon, seeking out events that one would not normally consider picketing, such as groundbreaking ceremonies ("God hates fag ground breakers!"), the opening of public buildings ("God hates fag libraries!") and funerals of newborns ("God hates fag anabaptised children!"). Though his cult was not very widely liked, they attracted much attention at several national history museums when they caught wind of the discovery of the human ancestor Homo erectus ("Fag cavemen in Hell!").
However, Phelps' critics point out that fags (which they call homosexuals) continued running around pretty much the same as they had done before. In 1999, Phelps, undaunted by the hollow idiocy and clear failure of the entire undertaking of "fag-picketing", made a sign that read, "God hates my fag wife" and picketed his wife for several weeks. It is not known if this picketing was successful, as she remains in her Homeliness by his side, a good and dutiful beard.
As leader of the Westboro Baptist Church, Fred Phelps did not allow members of his church to marry people outside of it. Since his church consists only of his family, this led to many cases of incest and inbreeding, which might account for some of their behavior.
A new beginning
Subsequently, the malaise towards Westboro with which the public had been stricken at the turn of the century gave way to more of a furious, fist-swinging anger, as the grief of familial loss combined with the sight of a dozen or so braying Midwestern jackasses with nonsensical, ludicrous signs proved too much for most to take.
To this end, Phelps and many members of the Church have suffered cuts, bruises, abrasions, Indian burns, wet willies, broken bones, dislocated shoulders, lost teeth, tittie twisters, gouged eyes and even curb-stompings. And sometimes these wounds are the result of people outside of the Phelps family. Though externally the repeated beatings (which are tacitly allowed by law enforcement across the country) seem to be dampening the malicious spirit of the Westboro Baptist Church, Phelps continued to preach his special, pointless brand of religious hatred to anyone who will listen, which by 2010 was entirely his own family.