What Do We Do With Fred Phelps & The Westboro Clan?

This is the third post in this mini series of “Reflecting on the Newtown Tragedy at Christmastime.”

As if we couldn’t loathe the behavior of Fred Phelps and the Westboro Clan enough, the news of them planning to protest the Newtown funerals had most of us saying, “Enough already, something must be done.” In fact, it accounted for a new set of headlines and another wave of anger and frustration in already emotionally charged scene. Fortunately, they didn’t show up. Still, we wrestle with the question, what can we do about them?

First a few thoughts on Fred Phelps and the Westboro Clan. Personally, I never apply the terms Baptist or Church to them. While Baptists come in all shapes and sizes, I won’t recognize them as such because I simply do not recognize the as a church in the Christian sense and I never use the term in a non-Christian sense so they won’t get that honor from me. And they are actually located in Topeka. Really, they are a “clan” from  Kansas. Most of them are related to each other and those that are not blood-related seem to share some type of bizarre connection.

Here’s the 101 if you don’t know too much about them. Fred Phelps calls himself a lawyer (though he’s been disbarred) from [Read more...]