Fred Phelps, the founder and leader of the Westboro Baptist Church, has been placed in a care facility. According to a March 16 report by the Washington Post, Fred Phelps is currently in a care facility in Shawnee County, Kansas. There was no additional information about his condition.
The news of the Westboro Baptist Church's leader being sick has sparked reactions from all sorts of people from different walks of life. In interviews conducted on March 16, many of those people spoke out, expressing their opinions.
“If he dies, I wonder what God will have to say to him,” Mike Miller, a Baptist from Oklahoma City, said. “I'd love to know. I'm sure he will get a long talking to. God doesn't approve of what he is doing. I'm a real Baptist and we don't believe the hate they spew.”
The Westboro Baptist Church has been picketing funerals for years. They hold signs that read “Thank God for dead soldiers” and “God hates f**s.” There is currently a petition to make the Westboro Baptist Church a hate group.
“I'm praying he gets right with God before he dies,” Devon Lincoln, a Pentecostal mother of three from Warr Acres, said. “It won't bother me to see him die, but I don't want anyone to go to Hell.”
The cult-like “church” consists mostly of members of the Phelps family. It is believed there are less than 50 members in the Westboro Baptist Church. They are based in Topeka, Kansas, but travel all around the country picketing funerals, protesting at churches and telling the world how God hates everyone.
“I'll go picket his funeral,” Don Sanders, a truck driver from Oklahoma City, said. “It wouldn't bother me at all. Give his so-called church a taste of their own medicine. They worked so hard to make it legal, let me exercise my rights too.”
A Supreme Court decision ruled that it is legal to protest at funerals. Such actions are protected under the First Amendment. Despite that, many areas have created laws that limit where and when a funeral can be picketed.
“I wonder how sick he is and what is wrong with him,” Cassie Whitmore, a cashier from Mustang, said. “It can't be dementia. He and his family and church have been demented for a long time. There is no medication for what they have.”
At the time of publication, the details about Fred Phelps' condition were unknown. The exact location of the care facility where the Westboro Baptist Church leader is was also not released.