Ed Driscoll

Fred Phelps Assumes Room Temperature

“Fred Phelps, Founder of Westboro Baptist Church, Dies at 84,” the New York Times reports, and astonishingly, actually does Name That Party for once:

A disbarred civil rights lawyer who had once been honored by the N.A.A.C.P. and who ran for office repeatedly, and unsuccessfully, as a Democrat, Mr. Phelps seemed to accept the criticism if not relish it.

He believed that the United States was beyond saving, and he devoted his life to traveling with a small band of protesters to highlight what he saw as America’s sinfulness and damnation. His church’s website maintains a running tally of “people whom God has cast into hell since you loaded this page.”

He was highly litigious and employed crude language to call attention to his cause. (The slogan “God Hates Fags” appeared on the church’s picket signs and remains in its web address.) He sued President Ronald Reagan for establishing diplomatic relations with the Vatican; denounced the Rev. Jerry Falwell, who called Mr. Phelps a “first-class nut,” and picketed the funerals of Al Gore’s father and Bill Clinton’s mother.

Mr. Phelps began protesting the funerals of people with AIDS in 1991, and in 1998 attracted global attention and condemnation when he picketed the funeral of Matthew Shepard, the gay 21-year-old Wyoming college student whose brutal beating death led to a national debate over hate crimes.

In 2006, Mr. Phelps explained his thinking by describing his analysis of the terrorist attacks of 2001.

“We told you, right after it happened five years ago,” he said, “that the deadly events of 9/11 were direct outpourings of divine retribution, the immediate visitation of God’s wrath and vengeance and punishment for America’s horrendous sodomite sins, that worse and more of it was on the way.” He added: “God is no longer with America, but is now America’s enemy. God himself is now America’s terrorist.”

Numerous Obama worshipers in 2008 would have “unexpectedly” concurred with that last quote, proving that Blair’s Law — “the ongoing process by which the world’s multiple idiocies are becoming one giant, useless force” — is still very much the law of the land.

Perhaps in multiple planes of existence as well:

 Update: “Shoutout to all the journalists who, for the sake of discrediting Christianity, became Fred Phelps’ willing publicists.”