One thing you've got to say about Fred Phelps, the "pastor" of the infamous Westboro Baptist "Church": He's an equal-opportunity hater.

This notorious, unhinged and laughable-but-dangerous bigot managed to attract a few hundred Cro-Magnan followers with his original "ministry," devoted to the non-Biblical teaching that "God hates fags." He has since added to his empire of prejudice with campaigns and websites devoted to other holy causes: JewsKilledJesus, BeastObama, PriestsRapeBoys, AmericasDoomed, and now, GodHatesIreland. You can read about why the Emerald Isle has wound up on the list of the condemned here, not that it's all that different from his central message of hatred that all evil in the world can be directly traced to homosexuals and anyone who preaches acceptance, understanding, or even tolerance.

Phelps may call himself a Baptist, but he's about as much a Baptist as he is a human. In fact, true Baptists treat him like a house on fire: The Westboro Baptist "Church" is not affiliated with any known Baptist associations, and is universally rejected by all conventions of the church. Indeed, when Phelps committed one of his most-shocking demonstrations -- picketing (complete with "God hates fags" signs) the funeral of Matthew Shepard, a 21-year-old gay student at the University of Wyoming who was tortured and murdered in 1998 -- even Baptist minister and Moral Majority founder Jerry Falwell said Phelps was "a first-class nut."

It probably won't surprise you to hear that Falwell's funeral in 2007 was also picketed by Phelps and his lunatic crew.

The "teachings" of Phelps are jaw-dropping, mainly for their sheer scope of vitriol and universal prejudice. Here's a short list:

At Camp Lejeune, followers of the Phelps Church of Hate chanted 1-2--3-4, God hates the Marine Corps -- one of many such protests against the Armed Forces for an almost-unreal variety of reasons. His merry band of madmen also found time to picket the funeral of children's television icon, Fred Rogers, Coretta Scott King, and many others.

According to Phelps, the Catholic Church is a "fag" church, and that a third of Catholic priests are active homosexuals, seducing helpless children and women. His apostles refer to priests as "vampires" and "Draculas" who suck semen out of children's genitals in the way mythical vampires sucked blood from their victims.

As for conservative Pope Benedict XVI, he is "The Godfather of Pedophiles" and the "Pervert Pope." The WBC also opposes any veneration of the Virgin Mary, who was just a "vessel" for the birth of Jesus Christ.

Islam? The founder of the giant religion, the prophet Mohammed, "was a demon-possessed whoremonger."

Judaism? Well, his "JewsKilledJesus" movement should give you a hint, but at a protest at the National Holocaust Museum, the WBC said: "Whatever righteous cause the Jewish victims of the 1930s–40s Nazi Holocaust had, (probably minuscule) ... it has been drowned in sodomite semen."

Hinduism? Phelps also has found the time to support a GodHatesIndia website, and as for its billions, of followers in the world's largest democracy: "A country full of idolatry inevitably results in a nation full of fags and fag-enablers. Stop going a-whoring after other gods!"

Enough of this wholly un-Christian nonsense! In a way, I regret even writing about this pale imitation of a human being, as he revels as much in dispensing hatred as he does in receiving it.

If there is anything Christian to be learned from this rebrobate, it is that all hatred is the same. If we let it enter our hearts, against any of God's Dear Children, it will make its home there. And it will grow there.

In that spirit, I can say with an honest mind and heart that I do not hate Fred Phelps.

But I hate everything he stands for.

God bless you all!

-- Father Tim

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