Fred Phelps and the Westboro Baptist Church: Whom does the hate hurt the most?

I've been thinking a lot about it. I've been losing sleep over it. It's made me sick to my stomach. And the more I think about it, the more sleep I lose, the more my guts tie themselves in knots, the more sure I am that I have no idea what the solution is. Well, I'm not sure what the right solution is, I suppose. I've dreamt up all kinds of potential solutions, usually involving bullets, poisons, elaborately planned apparent accidents, and so on. Though I'm not sure any of these would please the Lord, one thing I'm growing more certain of is that the Phelps family needs prayer.

After hearing a number of interviews with his children, including ones who have defected from the Phelps clan, as well as the venom that flows so effortlessly from the tongues of his grandchildren, I see that they have been deceived by their wretched devil of a 'father.'

Ol' Fred, as far as I am concerned, is an evil man. He has enslaved his family as his army of hate. He has taught them of a god who laughs as he casts his children into hell and loves only those who do their best to hate the world as much as he does, expecting nothing less from his children then their immediate and boundless allegiance in his hateful destruction.

I've noticed that it's difficult to see a boundary where Phelps ends and his god begins. It seems to me that the god of Phelps is a mystical projection of himself. He has warped and deceived his family into worshipping…him. Phelps is described by his estranged son as a 'rageoholic' who is addicted to anger. He has abused (emotionally, mentally, spiritually, and physically) his family into serving and fueling his addiction.

So I think about who has been harmed most by the un-reverend. The list is a long one, to be sure. And it includes so many who have been truly and deeply affected by Phelps and his slave army. They include, very obviously, the homosexual community who need the love of Christ (and deserve His love and grace as much as I do), not the hate of Phelps; the families of the fallen American heroes whose funerals have been desecrated by the Phelps clan, the Christian community at large who is working to earn a reputation of love and service, the citizens of Topeka who deserve a single quiet day, the people whose ears are treated like toilets by the putrid bile spilled out by Phelps lips, God Almighty whose name and nature are being spat on and trampled under the feet of these hateful people. The list, heart breaking-ly, goes on.

But I think that those who have it worst are the Phelps progeny. They need our prayers and our love. (I'm less sure about Phelps, himself -- and find it difficult to have sympathy for him and his soul. Perhaps that's something for me to work on.) His family never had a choice. They were brainwashed and abused by a hate-filled megalomaniac into doing the devil's work in God's name. It's hard to imagine what could be worse than this. To earn hell by doing 'god's' work…to think that you are securing yourself a place in the Kingdom only to hear, "I never knew you! Depart from me…" 

I don't know how to end the whole Phelps "God Hates XYZ" nonsense. If anybody figures it out, I'm all ears. In the mean time, though, I'll pray morning, noon, and night for the Phelps family and do my best to trust the Lord to deal with them as He sees fit. Join me…?
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