Skip to main content
  1. News
  2. Top News

Son of Westboro founder: Westboro Church founder's son says father is dying

See also

The son of Westboro Baptist Church founder Fred Phelps Sr. says his father – a widely despised figure for his organization’s hate-message picketing of military personnel and celebrities – is “on the edge of death.”

According to CBS News on March 16, Fred Phelp’s son Nathan Phelps issued a statement on his Facebook page, saying the senior Phelps, whom he has been estranged from for three decades, was “dying in hospice care” in Topeka, Kansas. Nathan said that his father had been ex-communicated from his own church in August of 2013.

Phelps Sr., an ordained minister, started the Westboro Baptist Church in 1955. In recent years, the church has come under extreme scrutiny for their picketing of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans and their outspoken, “God Hates Fags” messages against the gay community.

Nathan was candid about his feelings in the Facebook post:

I'm not sure how I feel about this. Terribly ironic that his devotion to his god ends this way. Destroyed by the monster he made.

I feel sad for all the hurt he's caused so many. I feel sad for those who will lose the grandfather and father they loved. And I'm bitterly angry that my family is blocking the family members who left from seeing him, and saying their good-byes.

Phelps Sr. was not always identified by his extreme positions and his organization’s ill-timed arrogance of picketing funerals with “messages from God.” The elder Phelps was once an award winning civil rights attorney before he found himself disbarred from the Kansas Supreme Court in 1979 and later was censured and lost his right to practice law in federal court.

The group connects war deaths with God’s disapproval of individuals who refusals to reject gays. Their boorish placards offend with phrases like “Thank God for IEDs,” “Fag soldier in Hell” and “Soldiers die 4 fag marriage.”

Westboro Church Spokesman Steve Drain declined to identify the facility where Phelps was receiving care or what his condition may be. He appeared to minimize Nathan's report that he is on the verge of death.

"I can tell you that Fred Phelps is having some health problems," Drain said. "He's an old man, and old people get health problems."

Advertisement

News

  • Baseball Hall of Fame
    The Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown welcomes six new inductees
    Video
    Video
  • 2012 do-over
    If we were to re-do the 2012 election, a new poll suggests Romney would win
    Politics
  • Boko Haram
    Boko Haram kidnaps the wife of the vice prime minister of Cameroon
    World News
  • Ceasefire breaks
    Israel's Benjamin Netanyahu claims Hamas broke another brief ceasefire
    Gaza
  • Close call with CME
    Scientists tell how Earth survived a giant solar flare back in 2012
    Space
  • Comic-Con
    What's going on at Comic-Con? Get all the latest updates here
    Comic-Con

Related Videos:

  • New York attorney fights for victims of medical malpractice
    <div class="video-info" data-id="517002803" data-param-name="playList" data-provider="5min" data-url="http://pshared.5min.com/Scripts/PlayerSeed.js?sid=1304&width=480&height=401&playList=517002803&autoStart=true"></div>
  • Urban Women
    <div class="video-info" data-id="518277781" data-param-name="playList" data-provider="5min" data-url="http://pshared.5min.com/Scripts/PlayerSeed.js?sid=1304&width=480&height=401&playList=518277781&autoStart=true"></div>
  • Pregnant woman chokehold
    <div class="video-info" data-id="518345504" data-param-name="playList" data-provider="5min" data-url="http://pshared.5min.com/Scripts/PlayerSeed.js?sid=1304&width=480&height=401&playList=518345504&autoStart=true"></div>