One of the most despicable hate mongers in this country, Fred Phelps, the founder of the Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kansas, who died on Wednesday. He was 84.
Phelps and his followers, most of them family members, were particularly noted for spewing their anti-gay venom and messages of hate at the funerals of members of the armed services. But Jews were also a favorite target for their hate.
Phelps and his followers carried signs like "The Jews killed Jesus," God hates Jews," Israel is doomed" and "God Hates Israel." He also had two websites –GodHatesFags.com and JewsKilledJesus.com. to spread that message. One declared, "Israel is a savage hypocritical nation of filthy sinners before God, disproportionately engaged in sodomy, abortion, pornography and idolatry, while claiming to be the chosen people. "
Phelps came to national attention when he and his followers began showing up during the Iraq war at the funeral services for fallen service members and saying their deaths were deserved. The group claims to have held demonstrations at more than 400 military funerals and more than 50,000 other events to rail against homosexuality.
"Led by Phelps, church members thanked God for roadside explosive devices and prayed for thousands more casualties, calling the deaths of military personnel killed in the Middle East a divine punishment for a nation it believed was doomed by its tolerance for gay people," according to Huffington Post
The Southern Poverty Law Center called Phelps' church "probably the vilest hate group in the United States of America."