Since the mid-1990s, Fred Phelps’ Westboro Baptist Church (WBC) has spelled out its core message in neon-rainbow picket signs that read, “God Hate Fags.” In a series of outrageous stunts, members of WBC have disrupted the funerals of servicemen killed in Iraq for supporting a “Fag-loving” country, protested a memorial for victims of the 2006 Sago mine disaster claiming it was God’s punishment on the US for tolerating homosexuality, and picketed the University of Wisconsin, where three students had recently died in a house fire, claiming the parents were to blame for “teaching them to be whores and bastards.”
Now WBC has turned its ire on the Jewish community, targeting synagogues and Jewish community centers with a new hate-filled taunt, “God Hates Jews.”
The Topeka, Kan., based church began picketing Jewish religious and cultural institutions in April of this year when they issued a press release that read, “Yes, the Jews killed the Lord Jesus…Now they’re carrying water for the fags; that’s what they do best: sin in God’s face every day, with unprecedented and disproportionate amounts of sodomy, fornication, adultery, abortion and idolatry!”
After years of bizarre, publicity-craving pickets of funerals aimed at gays and lesbians, why has the WBC begun to target Jews? Phelps’ daughter Margie told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that the Jewish community, and particularly its religious leaders, are “one of the loudest voices” in favor of homosexuality and abortion.
According to the group’s picket schedule, the WBC plans to protest Chicago and New York Jewish institutions this weekend. To one synagogue in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood WBC warns, “Men, take the covering off your heads. While you are doing that, you need to repent of the FACT that you Killed Christ!” This coming Sunday, in New York City’s Central Park, the Phelps clan plans to visit an Israeli tourism event, with a calendar entry that reads, “All the remainder can sit and stew in your own filth, remain filthy until the day God spews you out of the land and punishes you for never repenting from having killed Jesus. You will be destroyed at the hand of Antichrist Obama, and you will eat your little cute, chubby, Kosher babies.”
The WBC’s recent turn to rabid anti-Semitism is not something totally out of character for the group. The Anti-Defamation League notes that as far back as 1996, Fred Phelps wrote in a flier, “Fag Jew Nazis are worse than ordinary Nazis… .The First Holocaust was a Jewish Holocaust against Christians. The latest Holocaust is by Topeka Jews against WBC…”