I’ve posted previously about Westboro Baptist Church, but in the past I’ve never quite known what to make of them. As documented on that five-year-old item, I did a mental double-take when I first encountered them, trying to figure out if they were real or a parody, and eventually concluded that they must be real. But it still felt vaguely off to me. Well, not just vaguely, way off. That one person would be pathological enough to twist Christianity in that particular way and to that particular extent was depressing, but not that surprising. But that his whole extended family would enthusiastically participate? And that they’d stick with it to the degree that they have, doggedly getting their protest signs in front of news cameras at event after event, year after year? It was just… weird. Something didn’t add up.
Fast forward to last week, when someone from Westboro Baptist (presumably) posted a faux threat against the church on AnonNews. Lots of media outlets apparently took the bait, reporting on how Anonymous was going after Westboro, and I confess that I found the notion intriguing: What would happen if the unstoppable force of Anonymous’ droll abusive dickliness met the immovable object of Westboro Baptist’s twisted religious bigotry? Which would win?
Alas, we won’t get to find out (at least not yet). As subsequently mocked at AnonNews: Message to the Westboro Baptist Church, the Media, and Anonymous as a whole. This was blogged about by Cory Doctorow at BoingBoing, which led me to this item: Fred Phelps is a con man.
Fred Phelps does not believe what he is doing. This is a scam.
It’s a business. They travel the country, set up websites telling you exactly when they’ll be there, and using the most inflammatory statements all over the place, just to get someone to violate their rights for profit. Then they sue the military, the police force that was to protect them, and everyone that is around them for money. This is a sham, and it is a trap to get people sued. Every member of his family is an attorney. Phelps does not break the law. What he does is try to make you break the law by trying to punch your sensibilities about everything you hold dear, and then sue you and everyone municipality around him to the max.
This is a scam.
Finally, it all makes sense.