Monday, August 29, 2005
"God is America's Terrorist"Alerted by this piece in salon.com's WarRoom (a daily must-read for me), Tell us again how Cindy Sheehan is disrespecting the troops?, I immediately began smurfing around to find our more about the Rev. Fred's attendance at funerals of GI's killed in the Iraq quagmire. It's been going on for a while, it would seem, certainly it's been happening as long as Ms. Sheehan's vigil in Crawford, all through the month of August. You are probably aware of Fred Phelps and his Topeka, Kansas house of God, the Westboro Baptist Church? You know, the one whose website is called "godhatesfags.com?" (I warn you that if you visit the site you better have some time for a scrubdown with lye soap as soon as you finish.) The ones who rejoiced at young Matthew Shephard's hate murder in Wyoming a couple of years ago; the ones who put up a memorial to his entrance into Hell?
So, yeah, Phelps and his poisonous offspring are attending the funerals of military personnel like Spc Edward Meyers in St. Joseph, MO on August 5th, Staff Sgt. Asbury Fred Hawn II, in Smyrna, TN, and Spc. Gary Reese Jr., in Ashland, TN last Friday. The Westboro churchmembers are not going to these funerals to pay their respects to the sacrifice made by these dead, no no, they're there because their leader, the Rev. Fred "contends that American soldiers are being killed in Iraq as vengeance from God for protecting a country that harbors gays."
Yep, you did actually read that right - these maniacs are protesting this war because America is a country that harbors homosexuals, excuse me - fags - and Almighty God has decided to bring this war upon the heads of the soldiers fighting in Iraq as some kind of cosmic punishment to this country. So the Phelps family gathers itself up into its ratty buses and cars, loads up its signs - GOD HATES FAGS - GOD HATES YOU - and some new ones just for these military personnel - GOD SENT THE IED - THANK GOD FOR IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices) - and more, and journeys to the churches where grieving families are saying their final farewell to people much too young to be having funerals.
Phelps has been doing this at the funerals of homosexuals for quite some long time now, showing up with his inbred descendents, his hateful signs and his vitriol against the dead, their families and loved ones. If you haven't experienced these people in person, you can have no idea how simultaneously pathetic and terrifying they are. I encountered them when they picketed a conference I attended in Dallas some years back. That experience was ghastly enough. If it had been at a funeral for a friend or family member it would have been utterly unbearable.
The members of this "church" are mainly children and grandchildren of Phelps and their extended families. It is not, I say with gratitude, a church that has attracted a large body of congregants. Okay, these people are clearly way out in the deep waters of lunacy. They do not represent mainstream Christianity by any stretch of the imagination. They do represent the places that unchecked religious mania can, and does, take people. I'm willing to believe that they believe they are actually doing God's work, as they see it. If you visit their website you will see that they have another visit planned for Sept. 1, to the funeral of Brian Morris. They also plan to be in attendance at the Sept. 11 "Freedom Walk" held by the Pentagon. The flyer for that event is a doozy.
Here's what I'd like to know from any of you who visit more right wingnut sites than I do (I have a weak stomach) have you yet heard any outcry from the likes of Drudge, Coulter, Limbaugh, et al, against this undeniable disrepecting of soldiers and their families? If not, why not? Cindy Sheehan has been dragged through every mudhole and hogwallow that the wingers could possibly locate. What do they have to say about the Rev. Phelps?
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No subject for immortal verse
That we who lived by honest dreams
Defend the bad against the worse."
-- Cecil Day-Lewis from Where Are The War Poets?
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