Dear Shirley …

I make no apology for returning to an old soapbox on the valid grounds that if people are going to behave badly I’m going to continue challenging them. This is likely to be a long one, so some of you might want to go and put the kettle on. It’s also aimed at a very specific audience.

I state again, for the record, that I am not anti-christian – or anti-muslim, anti-hindu or anti-enter-your-religion-here. I absolutely do not care if you worship god, the devil, mother earth or the great green arkleseizure. How you lead your life is your business,  but if you set yourself up to preach to me about the way I should lead my life then I WILL have a go at you. I WILL challenge your beliefs and, more to the point, your behaviour.

Earlier today someone tweeted an interesting verse from the bible – “And the daughter of any priest, if she profane herself by playing the whore, she profaneth her father: she shall be burnt with fire.” (Leviticus 21:9, King James.)

The tweeter aimed this very precisely at one person – Shirley Phelps-Roper, daughter of the egregious Fred Phelps of Westboro Baptist Church (WBC). Fred is the lunatic who thinks god has given him the right to trample over the feelings of ordinary people by claiming that the deaths of their loved ones are god’s punishment on mankind for tolerating homosexuality. Complete bollocks, I know, but what’s worse is that this sick bastard thinks that it’s morally acceptable to do this at a funeral. I have yet to find anyone outside his very limited circle of adherents that agrees with him!

Shirley Phelps-Roper is Fred’s frothingly rabid cheerleader. She conducts the singing and  the placard waving on the picket lines and is quicker than a rat through a sewer pipe at finding opportunities to spout her twisted filth whenever a TV crew appears. She is a media whore of the first and worst order.

Here she is in action. Be warned. It’s not a pretty sight!

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Shirley’s also a whore in another very real sense.

WBC like to remind us all that we’re destined for hell unless we obey god – or more accurately conform to THEIR interpretation of obeying god. Their stock-in trade is beating everyone over the head with bible quotes, often taken out of context, and bent to their twisted view of the world. Well, what’s sauce for the goose … … …

You’ll find quite a lot about sex in the bible, in fact it’s riddled with it. Here are just a couple of carefully selected quotes:

“For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things;  That ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well.” (Acts 15:28-29)

Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; adultery, fornication, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, strife, jealousy, wrath, selfishness, divisions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revelings, and such like: of which I tell you beforehand, as I have also told you in time past, that they who do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.” (Galatians 5:19-21)

Seems like Shirley might be in for a bit of a rough time when she carks it. During the filming of a documentary on the WBC in 2007 Keith Allen (Lily’s dad) extracted from Shirley the admission that her eldest son Sam was born out of wedlock, i.e. in 1979, four years before she married Brent Roper.

This is the woman who bases so much of her argument on Leviticus 18:22 “You shall not lie with a man, as with a woman: it is abomination.” Well Leviticus 21:9 says she should be burnt at the stake, but I don’t hear Fred hollering at his flock to start collecting firewood. The Phelps sorority lines up in defence of Shirley and says that she was very remorseful, but it’s not as if she wouldn’t have known that having yo-yo string instead of elastic in your knickers was a definite no-no. Fred was thumping his religious tub long before she was born and, given the accounts of Mark and Nate Phelps about the medieval punishments handed out by Fred, you would have thought she’d have been scared shitless of his reaction, let alone god’s!

Brent Roper ought also to have said something on his wedding night. “But if this thing be true, and the tokens of virginity be not found for the damsel: Then they shall bring out the damsel to the door of her father’s house, and the men of her city shall stone her with stones that she die: because she hath wrought folly in Israel, to play the whore in her father’s house: so shalt thou put evil away from among you.” (Deuteronomy 22:20-21)

And as for poor Sam, don’t run away with the idea that he’ll be missing his mommy when he’s up there on a cloud, strumming a harp and preening his wings. Through no fault of his own he’s going downstairs, with her. “No one of illegitimate birth shall enter the assembly of the LORD; none of his descendants, even to the tenth generation, shall enter the assembly of the LORD.” (Deuteronomy 23:2)

Now, Shirley will probably have an answer to this. In fact, I think she thinks she’s got an answer for everything – and if she hasn’t got one she’ll just yell “Obey god” and call you a dummy. She is ne plus ultra at the “insult you through a megaphone” style of debate.

On one of their numerous websites, blogs and twitter feeds a high school student called Amy asks some questions as she’s doing a research paper on hate groups. The following exchange takes place:

“Amy: I know this was addressed in your FAQ section, but I am slightly confused: what makes one sin worse than any other? For example, Lev.15:19- 24 sanctions selling one’s daughter into slavery. Exodus 35:2 demands that anyone who works on the Sabbath day should be put to death. Why not champion these ideals? What makes the Bible’s stance on homosexuality more important than any other long-ignored teachings?

 Westies: Those verses you put forth were done away with when Jesus Christ came as propitiation for our sins. Those laws that were ceremonial were done away with.”

Is that so? Then, assuming that the bible is the word of god, as Fred has been preaching for decades, what happened to “Every word of God is flawless; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him. Do not add to his words, or he will rebuke you and prove you a liar.” (Proverbs 30:5-6)

Or this: “warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book.  And if anyone takes words away from this book of prophecy, God will take away from him his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.” (Revelation 22:18-19)

Or even this: “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”

The exchange continues:

“Westies: Do you really think the following verses deal with “selling one’s daughter into slavery”??

Leviticus 15:19  And if a woman have an issue, (Cut for reasons of brevity. Amy HAD quoted the wrong verses, but you will find selling your daughter into slavery sanctioned in Exodus 21. A)

 Westies: How embarrassing is that for you?  Talk to someone about biology, dear.

The beautiful concept of one man, one woman for life as put so eloquently in Mark 10 by Our Savior is torn asunder by LBGT freaks, adulterers, pedophiles – (Oh, and Shirley Phelps-Roper, of course. A)

Mark 10:6 “But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female. 7 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife; 8 And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh. 9 What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.”

 This same glorious concept is a symbol of Jesus Christ and His Church also known as His Bride. All the filth substituted by brutes of this world as acceptable makes that concept out as something bad or wrong. God will repay for that.

Leviticus 18:22 Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.

Leviticus 20:13 If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.

Westboro Baptist church champions all the ideals of truth and judgment in these last of all days. (But only when it suits them. A) You’re not listening.”

Oh, yes we are, Shirley. Hypocrisy is so very unattractive, especially when wrapped up in specious and picky-choosey dogma.

Here is one bible quote I really CAN agree with – “Thou hypocrite, first cast the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.” (Matthew 7:5)

I’ve been following the disgusting antics of WBC for many years. Each year they get more strident, which is a fundamental problem when you live your life so full of hate and the people you are preaching to won’t accept your message. And, make no mistake, it is their hate, not god’s, that consumes them.

Here’s Fred in action. Be warned again – this aint too pretty either!

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You can see the pure venom in him. The man is consumed with his own personal hatred and to serve this he has twisted the bible to his own ends. (You can see it even more in the video he made about Billy Graham, but that might have been jealousy. Graham could fill a stadium, Phelps could just about manage a small village hall if refreshments were provided.) You can also see his frustration, but that is somewhat understandable. The man is a control freak and it must be immensely galling for someone who exercises such iron control in his own limited circle to be so derided, disliked and ridiculed by the rest of the world.

The Westies maintain that their only concern is to get the message across. Well, they’ve achieved that at least – although no-one really wanted it – but at what cost?

In human terms they have brought misery to hundreds of grieving families. They’ve cost the American taxpayer large sums through the legal and police systems. They’ve spent what must amount to millions of their own money on their soulless picketing and their mean and nasty campaigns of vilification. And for what? A world that either laughs at them or scorns them.

What wasted lives these people have led.