Westboro Baptist Church Tries to Explain Why They Are Coming Here, Fails

![Shirley Phelps-Roper](http://blogs.pitch.com/plog/ShirleyPhelpsRoper.jpg "Shirley Phelps-Roper")
Shirley Phelps-Roper
I know there are varying philosophies on what to do when the Westboro Baptist Church–known for their vitriolic anti-Jewish, anti-American, anti-just about everything position, but probably best known as the “God Hates Fags” people–comes to town, specifically to picket outside Hillel this Friday at 8:10 AM. They’ll also be at Gunn High School earlier at 7:25. Some people think the best thing to do is to ignore them, others think it’s best to indirectly engage by uniting for “a peaceful gathering in celebration of our diversity and our unity as a campus community…in honor of our shared values of pluralism and diversity in the face of face of bigotry and hatred.” If you want to take part in that, follow up with shonkoff@stanford.edu.

Still, and maybe this is my curiosity getting the best of me, I can’t help but want to directly engage with them on their level. Maybe this is extreme naivete, but I want to know where these people are coming from rather than demonizing and dehumanizing them, which is inevitable when you don’t engage someone who has views so radically abhorrent to you. I don’t think it’s helpful to call these people “the worst fecal scum on God’s green earth” as Wyndam does at The Unofficial Stanford Blog.

The reason I can’t get behind that approach is that dehumanizing one’s opponents is (to me) among the most intolerable attitudes there is. If we can’t internalize thethe idea that we must treat everyone as a human being, it’s only going to be harder to stop the hate.

Having said that, I emailed the WBC people, asking if they would explain why they are coming to Stanford and if I could tag along with them throughout the day.  They responded within two hours, so I’m not sure if this is a form letter or if this was a completely new thing, you can judge that for yourself.

The author of this email is Shirley Phelps-Roper (email address: pio@godhatesamerica.com), who is the daughter of Fred Phelps, the WBC’s founder and pastor. The reference to “doing the Peter Pan” presumably refers to a rash of suicides in Palo Alto, and is a reference to the so-called “original Peter Pan,” Peter Llewelyn Davies who committed suicide. All spelling and grammatical errors are theirs. The letter is after the jump:

Dear Jordan Carr –

We would be happy to tell you what we are about and why we will be in your area.

We are going to be on the ground at Stanford. We are running – sprinting really, to and fro across this land, as the time is growing so very, very short!! We put forth a final call!!

We have a message for California, and especially for the young people of California who have been taught HORRIBLE, DESTRUCTIVE lies, all the days of their lives. Your parents and elders and all that have touched your lives have dreadfully dealt with you. They told you that God is a big fat liar.

God said homosexuality is an abomination and they told you “THAT IS A LIE, IT IS IN FACT OK to be gay!” God said NO adultery and Christ said if you divorce and remarry you are living in adultery. God said NO fornication and God said THOU SHALT NOT KILL! You were taught – ALL LIES those commandments – it is just fine to change your sex partners and spouses MORE often than you change your undergarments and if you produce a baby in the midst of all that filthy conduct, just kill it. Further, get over to foreign lands and MURDER your neighbors. Give some special names to that murder – unintended victims. Blah, blah, BARF!! You have done all these things against your own interest.

Two times your God in great mercy has cut the head off of your Fag Marriage Mess!! Two times. That fool mayor of San Fran had fags marrying on Feb 22 so many years ago, and your God, in his mercy put a stop to that. Then your goofy people had fags marrying again two summers ago. In great kindness and mercy, your God cut the head off of that, and then, he caused that Supreme Court, going against their normal leanings to say NO. So what do the foolish brutes of California do next? You get your filthy federal court to start up a trial to decide what God has already decided. God does not change!! It is the very starting of that trial that has brought the flood waters to wash away your filthy state. To cause great discomfiture to your people. Did you know that in YOUR CITY, Palo Alto, you have young people doing the Peter Pan in front of the trains. THAT ALSO IS A WORK OF GOD.

Your duty is to THANK GOD FOR ALL HIS WORKS. Your state has SPIT in the face of the mercies of God in stopping your iniquity relating to Fag Marriage. You daily flip him off!! YIKES!!

One more thing- did you know that there was only one other time in human history that Fag Marriage was a rather global event? Yes – it was the world that was destroyed in Noah’s Flood!! Yes – and Christ warned that such would be the condition of things on the ground when he returned. You would do yourselves a favor if you read Matthew 24, words of our Beloved about these last hours of the last days of all. Oh and one more thing he said – there will be earthquakes in diverse places. THANK GOD FOR HAITI

EARTHQUAKE!! We pray for so much more of these righteous judgments from the hand of our God. He invited us to do it, and so we do, and we know our God hears our prayers, as we are obedient to him and we have been faithful for these 19 years to report his word to this nation and this generation. So we are looking for many more and worse judgments from our God upon this nation before that final destruction.

The destruction of this nation is IMMINENT!! OBEY YOUR GOD!! That is your only hope at this hour.

Meanwhile, if you would like to visit with our people while on the ground in your city, please feel free to do that. If you need anything else, please let me know.

Thanks for asking.

Shirley Phelps-Roper


I’m still leaning toward trying to engage these people, and I don’t think ignoring them helps. Either way, there is truly nothing to fear in these people (they once picketed an appliance store for selling Swedish vacuums). Personally, I think the more people who know about this event and what the WBC is about, the better, and that rather than cowering, and letting them take over a small part of our campus, we should openly respond not with hate, but with some pity, or if you can’t muster that, mockery is a good alternative.

UPDATE: I’ve confirmed this is basically a form letter they send out. More on this story as it develops

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