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Discussion Forum : News and Current Events : Nate Phelps -- Son of Fred -- Kicks Off Pittsburgh Pride

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 Nate Phelps -- Son of Fred -- Kicks Off Pittsburgh Pride

The 51-year-old estranged son of anti-gay Baptist preacher Fred Phelps says that his childhood was marred by episodes of intense violence, and says that the laws should be less "curiously blind" to child abuse that is perpetrated in the name of religious faith.

Nate Phelps has been speaking to the media recently about his father’s church, Wesboro Baptist Church, which is based in Topeka, Kansas, and made up chiefly of Fred Phelps’ children and grandchildren. Fred Phelps has 13 children; two of them, Nate and his brother Mark, are estranged from their father and from his faith.

The Westboro congregation has become famous for picketing military funerals, the funerals of gays, Jewish houses of learning and worship, and schools where student productions of The Laramie Project take place. That play is based on the murder of Matthew Shepard, an openly gay young man whose brutal slaying shocked the nation. The Phelps clan picketed Matthew Shepard’s funeral; the group’s colorful, often offensive placards have often made reference to Shepard, saying that he is burning in Hell for being gay.

The clan has also picketed the funerals of fallen U.S. servicemembers. The Phelps congregation claims that military casualties and natural disasters are the result of God’s displeasure with America for not doing more to persecute gays. The church’s placards have also made the claim that President Obama is the Antichrist.

Nate Phelps, who currently resides in Canada, left home at age 18 and kept quiet about the abuse he now says characterized life in the Phelps home. But he has started to speak up on the issue, telling the media that the Phelps congregation "fit[s] the description" of a cult and warning that the Westboro church could easily "turn to violence" under his father’s direction. To date, the congregation has staged loud and offensive demonstrations, but they have never been physically violent.

Nate Phelps addressed a gay rally for the first time on June 4, on the occasion of Pittsburgh’s Pride week, reported Pop City on June 9.

In an interview that appeared June 10 in the Pittsburgh City Paper, Nate Phelps explained a little of his family’s brand of theology. When asked whether the Phelps clan understand how they are viewed by the wider world, Nate Phelps responded, "I think they do, through their own prism. They see it as a positive thing. That the world hates them, that the world reacts the way they do to them, is evidence to them that they’re on the right track. We’re taught as little kids that you better be in opposition to the world, that’s what God says. So they use that as proof they’re on the right track."

Moreover, Fred Phelps’ obsession with homosexuals stems from a conviction that a "choice" to embrace a gay "lifestyle" is contrary to God. "He’s always preached that homosexuality is the ultimate sin," explained Nate Phelps. "It’s also a front-burner issue in society, so I think that’s the lynchpin to the whole thing."

In an April 24 his address in Topeka, Nate Phelps talked about his father and early home life, referring to Fred Phelps as "combative, angry, hateful, destructive," and urging those at the rally to remember that the children in the Westboro Church need their compassion, rather than condemnation, reported local newspaper the Wichita Eagle on Apr. 26.

During an April 4 appearance on Canadian television news program The Standard, Nate Phelps told host Peter Klein that his father "demonstrates the characteristics of someone who is a sociopath. He has a complete lack of empathy for others, and is extremely self-focused."

Nate Phelps described life at home with Fred Phelps as an existence dominated by an autocrat who was convinced that some people are "born saved," while others never have a hope of spiritual redemption. In the Phelps household, "What was a dead giveaway" of someone who was not saved "was if anyone defied [Fred Phelps’] interpretation of the Bible." Nate Phelps also described how is father would subject his children and his wife to beatings and verbal abuse, sometimes for hours on end.

When asked by Klein if the Westboro church were a cult, Nate Phelps responded, "The short answer is yes.... They fit the definition." Nate Phelps went on to add, "I’ve said for years that that all it would really take is if my father made the decision, found the right justification in the Bible, they would turn violent."

Asked by Klein about his sister Shirley Phelps-Roper, who has become the "standard bearer" for Westboro as the aging Fred Phelps declines, Nate Phelps averred that Shirley had been his father’s "favorite," and added, "she was the kind of person who... insinuated herself into situations where she would gain the most authority and attention from him." Added Nate Phelps, "There’s no original thought unless it comes from my father... she’s the most effective at parroting what she’s heard from our father."

 2010/6/20 9:36
ChrisJD
Member



Joined: 2006/2/11
Posts: 2895
Philadelphia PA

 Re: a grotesque caricature of Truth

'When asked whether the Phelps clan understand how they are viewed by the wider world, Nate Phelps responded, "I think they do, through their own prism. They see it as a positive thing. That the world hates them, that the world reacts the way they do to them, is evidence to them that they’re on the right track. We’re taught as little kids that you better be in opposition to the world, that’s what God says. So they use that as proof they’re on the right track."'




Caricatures of persons or things are often distortions of their true likeness. Broad, wide, loud, even obnoxious exagerations of a nose, a face, ears, or mouth can give a distorted and even grotesque impression to the viewer of a person or thing's real likeness.



Satan hates the beauty of God and the truth of His Word and Gospel, especially since he can no longer have any real and lasting beauty of his own.

And one of his chief strategems to make the beauty and truth of God disgusting in the eyes of the world are his diabolical caricatures of God, His people, His Word, and His Gospel.


_________________
Christopher Joel Dandrow

 2010/6/20 11:54Profile





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