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Westboro Baptist Church founder Fred Phelps said to be on his deathbed

Fred Phelps, the founder of the Westboro Baptist Church, is said to be on his deathbed.
Fred Phelps, the founder of the Westboro Baptist Church, is said to be on his deathbed.
Margie Simms

On march 16 CBS News reports that Nathan Phelps, the son of Westboro Baptist Church founder, Fred Phelps, claims that his father is on his deathbed.

Nathan Phelps has been estranged from his father for over 30 years, but claims that family members have told him that his father is dying in hospice care, and has been ex-communicated from his church as of August 2013.

Fred Phelps got his claim to fame when he founded the Westboro Baptist Church, which many claim is a hate group. The church pickets funerals, hates homosexuals, and pickets funerals of military personnel and celebrities. His discrimination has lead to two federal and several state laws that prohibit picketing against military funerals.

On his Facebook page, Nathan says that he isn't sure how he feels about his father dying, but he does find it ironic that the same devotion to his god is what is ending his life in a horrible fashion. He feels badly for all the hurt that has been caused by his father, and he's upset that the family that has remained by his father and participated in his hateful messages are blocking those that have left from returning to say their goodbyes.

A spokesperson for the Phelps family says that he won't say whether or not Fred is actually dying, but his health is in decline because he's old. Old people get sick.