Bil Browning

Westboro "church" members to commit mass suicide?

Filed By Bil Browning | April 24, 2009 4:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Fundie Watch, Media
Tags: cult of personality, Fred Phelps, Jim Jones, religious cults, Shirley Phelps, Westboro Baptist Church

Gossip has spread like wildfire today that rabidly anti-gay Westboro Baptist church members may be planning a mass suicide after Gossip Boy found a cryptic blog entry on the hate group's website. WestboroChildren.jpgAcross the liberal blogosphere, both readers and writers have rejoiced.

Phelps' "church" has never been more than a personality cult for he and his daughter Shirley. Would I be sorry to see Fred and Shirley Phelps feeding worms? Not in the least. Couldn't happen to nicer people. But those children? I still have hope for them and I'm not willing to say, "Good riddance." These younguns don't deserve to be killed because they're cult leader is bankrupt, elderly and in poor health.

I can see that the cult leadership would be worried and considering going out Jim Jones style. Once old pa is gone, the money is dried up and the multitude of children start being exposed to the real world and ostracized by general society, the dynamic would change dramatically. As the children leave the cult in favor of friends, education and a social life, it'll be lonely for poor deluded Shirley Phelps. Whenever you follow a charismatic leader in a personality cult, you're always second best and the group usually falls apart.

I'm not sure that the hate group is planning a mass suicide though. Quotes after the jump. What's your opinion?

While several sites have offered little snippets of the incredibly long rant on the site, it seems appropriate to include more of what they've written. Once you have more context it seems less like a suicide manifesto and a general purpose Apocalyptic end-of-days rant.

Because no matter how silly we think they are, there are plenty of people out there who believe the Bible so literally they think the end of the world is upon us. People have fallen for this for centuries now. Even former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin believes in Armageddon and the whole "Left Behind" philosophy of religion...

You can read the entire post on the hate group's site if you'd like, but I tried to keep most of the quotes people are freaking out over in context. What do you think?

We have to be here. Right at these locations where Doomed americans worship their dead. The time when God has dealt his most severe blow to a person, or a family, or a community, or a nation - He has slain their children and their great men. That is the way God gets the attention of a rebellious people - if only for a moment! So that's where we must be.

Listen, you Doomed american rebels. You have to hear these words. We're supposed to make you hear the words and get really, really angry at us - because our words are mixed with God's cup of wrath being forced down your slimy rebellious throats! Look at the words, you rebels!

Jeremiah 25:15 For thus saith the LORD God of Israel unto me; Take the wine cup of this fury at my hand, and cause all the nations, to whom I send thee, to drink it. 16 And they shall drink, and be moved, and be mad, because of the sword that I will send among them.

We are particularly urgent about it, because the time is shortly to come when we will grant you your wicked wish, Doomed america! Your smart-assed pundits and foul-mouthed politicians have for years told us to pack up and leave if we don't like this filthy little cancerous boil on the butt of the earth. You all think you're so clever that you can come up with such cutesy little quips. You're collectively so Bible dumb that you don't know what you're saying. So let me help you out.

Look at the examples in scriptures when a nation - or world - of Godless rebels cry out at God's patient Saints to get the hell out! Noah got on the ark and God shut the door - then the entire population of the world was wiped out. YAY!

Lot tried to get his sons-in-law to listen and leave Sodom with him - but they liked their country and told him he was crazy. He left. They were toast! YAY!

Before God wholly wiped out the greatest army in history, he had to get his people to "come out with great substance". (Genesis 15:14) YAY!
God's people in existence in every age are the very pillars that the earth stands upon. That is to say, without the presence of God's people in a place - there is nothing left in that worthless location to spare it any longer, so God will gladly wipe it out!

Let us see how that is shortly now to play out, my angry little sodomite-loving friends. It's about time for us to leave this place. The prophets said it would have to happen ... and we have learned from a whole lot of years of up-close and personal experience that we should listen to the prophets. "Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come." (1 Corinthians 10:11) We are that happy little group of souls "upon whom the ends of the world are come." YAY! Check it out now.
And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities." Revelation 18:1-5

How freakin' awesome is that? We gotta go, peeps! We gotta go! And when we do, it's time for this filthy nation to receive of all the plagues that your Creator has promised. The reason there is such urgency in those words ... such passion in the irresistible call from our Saviour, Husband, and Friend ... is because when that time comes for this rebellious nation... it is going to be very fast and very violent, such that all mankind is utterly and simply amazed. Check out the words, fools ... it's all about the words!
"For in one hour so great riches is come to nought. And every shipmaster, and all the company in ships, and sailors, and as many as trade by sea, stood afar off, And cried when they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, What city is like unto this great city! And they cast dust on their heads, and cried, weeping and wailing, saying, Alas, alas, that great city, wherein were made rich all that had ships in the sea by reason of her costliness! for in one hour is she made desolate." Revelation 18:8-19

Can you say "McWowsers"? How friggin' cool is that? How specific and articulate is that? How amazingly and gloriously refreshing is that? The whole world has become linked to this nation's prosperity through an umbilical cord - and the spontaneous reaction all will have at your utter and complete and astonishingly rapid destruction will be to simply weep and wail at the reality of it all.

But we will be long gone by then! We're expecting it to come soon. The indicators, that the cup of the iniquity of this vile and irreversibly-doomed nation is almost full, are everywhere!. A few more puzzle pieces will need to fall into place - the wholesale casting off of anything decent. Through legislative action, executive enforcement, and judicial interpretation the best this nation has by way of laws will be neutered. There will be nothing of any honor or prestige left - just 24/7/365 pursuit of lust and sin at any cost to any resource.

So when you see us drop in, tell you about why God has begun your march to destruction, and then get out - it's because the time is short. We have a job to do, and very little time to do it.

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Two thoughts...

First, as much as I absolutely hate the behavior of Fred and kin, and as much as I feel that some of his behavior should be subject to legal sanction (picketing funerals does not strike me as "protected speech...and I am pretty absolutist about about the First Amendment) I would not wish him, or his cohort, physical harm. To do so would lower me to his level. I would love to seem him come to realize just how wrong he is.

Second, I could be wrong, but I think they are referring to the "rapture." They are expecting to be removed, alive, by God. It is possible that they could do a Jonestown, but I doubt it.

IF it happens, I'll be standing there holding my sign - "God Hates Quitters"

(sometimes I'm in a dark mood)

What bothers me about this is the joy that so many are expressing at the prospect of this cult doing a horrible thing to themselves and to one another.

Normally suicide is horrific and I would never celebrate it. But good riddance! I hope that there is a hell, and that they all end up there, stunned.

Or maybe they can be reincarnated as livestock on a factory farm.

I don't like Westboro Baptist Church, what they stand for, or the way they protest. But I do not wish death on their members or leaders. That anyone could is disturbing.

Rejoicing in someone else's pain cheapens our own sorrow.

My guess is that they're thinking they will be raptured soon. But I fear for what may happen if they're disappointed.

I'm already concerned for their mental and physical health. I would be very sad if this church were to end in suicide rather than being restored to wholeness.

Restored to wholeness? Are you freakin' kidding? These folks established this as it is and it reflects what happens when religious fundamentalists run wild just as clearly as Islamic fundies. There is no essential difference.

Now how cool would it be if ole Saint Pete met them at the gates with a sign that says "God hates Phelps"?

Another explanation is that like Lot, they will leave the land to escape "God's wrath"

Not sure where they'd go that would be inimical to them, perhaps Poland or Russia, or even Nigeria....or even Jamaica..

Lynn David Lynn David | April 25, 2009 2:09 AM

I think all they are talking about is the Apocalypse... and like so many others they will be disappointed when it doesn't come.

But there is another problem on the horizon... the coming death of cultmeister Fred Phelps. Knowing him, I would imagine he wouldn't want any of his followers to go on living without him.

I really don't care, although the people of Topeka would be glad to see them commit hara-kiri. If the Phelps Phreaks die out, they'll be replaced by others of their ilk. What good is Batman, if there's no Joker or Riddler to vanquish?

that was another george who left a comment earlier.

i'm aghast when i see people cheering as if at a pep rally. in no way ought any of us condone human suffering; and suicide is definitely in that category.

fred phelps is a fool, and a nasty one at that. but to wish death on him? as gregc said in his comment, "rejoicing in someone else's pain cheapens our own sorrow." i agree.

Where would America be without the Phelps clan? They give "hate" a face and make it ugly. Their presence definiately makes it harder for other anti gay religious groups to sell their "Hate the sin, but love the sinner," garbage. Every anti gay religious group that puts a saintly face to the public must be asked, repeatedly, "What makes your group any different from the Westboro church?"

If they go, we will loose the power of that question. So I hope they linger, but not grow, for long after their leader dies.

christophe | April 25, 2009 9:39 AM

I agree with nhs, Also, in a way this group actually makes other religious anti-gay groups censor their own comments about the gay community. These other groups fear that if they start too much anti-gay preaching that they will then be associated with the WBC, or at least it will be said they do. So in a strange way the WBC causes other anti-gay religious groups to think first before they speak.

From reading the above quote, I think they are not thinking of a mass suicide, but rather leaving either where they are currently based, or leaving the USA, but I wonder what Country would be even willing to take them if they did want to leave?

oh, Poland, Russia or Jamaica would take them...Nigeria would as well.
Just look for nations with regressive laws about homosexualty and exclude the Islamic ones, and you can come up with quite a list of new homs for the Phelps clan

My guess would be Jamaica, as it is an English speaking country.

I figure if they're going anywhere, they're headed to Uganda to show Rick Warren and his BFF Martin Ssempa how it's really done. I can't imagine the vitriol they've spewed at him since he tried to backtrack on his homobigoted history, lol!

Maybe they want us all to think that they are planning a mass suicide. Then, as Gossip Boy has suggested, that will justify a raid on the their little church/compound to get the children out and then they will sue the agency responsible - since they make their living by suing anyone and everyone who offends them.

I don't see suicide in their words. I think they are planning on abandoning their ministry and retiring from the world. I'm not sure if they necessarily plan to leave the US, though. They may just hole up on some semi-self-sufficient compound, perhaps even in Kansas.

Well, the Lord ordered Lot out of Sodom, so from a Biblican perspective, I think that they are planning an exodus.....

Question is: will Shirely Phelps-Roper turn around and be turned into a pillar of salt when they do go?

Kathy Padilla | April 25, 2009 11:59 AM

I have no idea what their intentions are - but if someone who knows them thinks they represent a risk to themselves or others - particularly the children - they might consider referring them to pre-screening.

Reserving a bed and Obtaining a statement from a Qualified Mental Health Professional
The two agencies listed below may provide guidance in pursuing involuntary commitment. If the patient is not in a treatment facility and you are unable to obtain a bed reservation, or the proper certificate, you must contact a screener at one of the following public agencies:

For a mental petition you need to contact a screener at COMCARE, 934 N. Water, Wichita, KS 67203, 660-7525

I still think they are referring to either being "raptured" or perhaps to the coming of the Apocalypse.

The biggest problem I have with either theory is that I don't know that such a view is consistent with the rest of their rather twisted theology. Phelps is part of the so-called "Primitive Baptist" movement, which holds extreme views of how God deals with humanity. Basically, they believe that God has chosen a few that He loves, that God hates the rest of humanity with a infinite passion. You have no real say in the matter. You are either on the chosen list (like Phelps, one would presume) or you are on the hated list (gays, lesbians being at the top).

The problem is, those who hold such views usually believe that the end will just come, and that God will just judge everyone somewhat sudddenly, with no drawn out "last days" as featured in the "Left Behind" series of books.

Then again, with a kook like Phelps, it is really hard to say.

tobyhannabill | April 26, 2009 2:09 PM

As a volunteer co-organizer of NEPA Pridefest here in Pennsylvania we were protested last year. The result was great newspaper coverage and this years event is proving to be twice the size of last years. Vendors have doubled their booth space and sponsors that would not even look at us last year have already been calling. Our event will be in August and we have reserved all of Kirby Park in Kingston, Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania this year. I hope they protest us again. We could not afford this type of advertising.
I would miss people like Rev. Phelps. His organization brings attention to my organization.