The Hatewatch blog is managed by the staff of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights organization.

Vicious Kansas Gay-Bashers Finally Find a Friend

By Sonia Scherr on April 21, 2010 - 2:35 pm, Posted in Anti-LGBT

Westboro Baptist Church, a Kansas-based group notorious for turning tragedies into gay-bashing opportunities, is pretty much universally reviled. Even an Arizona-based Ku Klux Klan group forcefully (if ungrammatically) rejected the group in a “disclaimer” published on its website. “The Ku Klux Klan, LLC, has not or EVER will have ANY connection with The ‘Westboro Baptist Church,’” it said. “We absolutely repudiate their activities.”

Not the Dove World Outreach Center, a Gainesville, Fla., church that has used similar tactics to attack both gays and Muslims. “We support Westboro who [sic] came to Gainesville because of its ‘Gay’ reputation,” the church states on its website.

In fact, Dove became virtually the only group in the history of Westboro’s anti-gay and anti-Jewish campaigning to join forces with the Topeka, Kan., church. Dove enthusiastically took part in Westboro’s Sunday protest against Gainesville’s tolerance of homosexuality. About 30 members of Dove World Outreach Center joined fewer than 10 Westboro representatives outside Trinity United Methodist Church in Gainesville, according to the Gainesville Sun. Many of the Dove protesters wore their signature “Islam is of the Devil” T-shirts — a message they’ve also promoted on signs outside the church.

The Independent Florida Alligator, the University of Florida’s student newspaper, reported that Dove and Westboro members sang variations of “This Land is Your Land” (“This Land is Going Straight to Hell”), “I’m Proud to Be an American” (“I’m Ashamed to Be an American”) and “God Bless America” (“God Hates America”), among other tunes. “I think their church is willing to stand up for what the whole Bible says,” Dove pastor Wayne Sapp said in a video of the event shot by the Alligator. “Most churches like to preach part of the Bible. Westboro Baptist Church talks about these are things we need to turn away from: accepting homosexuality, accepting perversion, accepting adultery, accepting that that’s just how people are. That’s not the truth.”

But Dove, like Westboro, goes beyond asserting that the Bible condemns homosexuality. In March, it erected a sign outside the church that proclaimed “No Homo Mayor” — a reference to Gainesville City Commissioner Craig Lowe, who was running for mayor. (Lowe, now mayor-elect, spoke to dozens of people at a counter-protest in downtown Gainesville on Sunday.) The church later changed the sign to “No Homo” after Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, a Washington D.C.-based advocacy organization, complained to the Internal Revenue Service that Dove was violating the ban on political campaigning for tax-exempt groups.

For its part, Westboro — which has pilloried soldiers killed in Iraq, schoolchildren killed in bus crashes, Nobel Peace Prize laureates and others for supposedly tolerating homosexuality — is heading to Colorado tomorrow to continue its picketing. This time, presumably, it won’t have any help.

  • James Smallwood

    They have a lot of work ahead of them, this pathetic Westboro group.It must be difficult being Straight in a Gay Oriented world. The more bashing the uglier they look, and perhaps they will slowly dwindle and die as a goup because that intense a level of hatred and intolerance will not be sustainable . Pathetic to be such imbeciles

  • Heavyiron

    All these fake christians remind me of the passages that are in the bible. “There will be many false prophets.” Well, we are definately seeing them. Problem is, some of them are good and get a good amount of following. I don’t know what’s worse though. The false prophets, or the sometimes ignorant people that follow them right on to the cliff. Regardless, if you apply the ten commandments, it should be enough to clue you into knowing that you are following a hate group vs. a real, moral, christian group. The moment you see political, racial, or sexual orientation rant; you should turn around and run as fast as you can. Otherwise you are contributing to the problem.

  • MrsCaptJack

    @ Dakotahgeo ~ Aminal sacrifices! Now that brought a chuckle or two! Where I live, the churchs are of three minds regarding GLBT ~ don’t ask, don’t tell; open and accepting; and condemnation. Since the poplulation here is almost fifty percent GLB with a growing transgender population it’s hard for most churches to be outright condeming without loosing family members who have GLBT relatives or friends. I’m glad to say that I live in a primarily accepting area but it’s a shocker when I leave here and travel even fifty miles in any given direction.

  • mountaingirl08

    WBC is vile. How ironic that it’s pal is an outfit whose name begins w. the word “Dove.” As in peace.

  • Neuroticfish

    @ MG Steve,
    The main problem with that is that they’re protected (partially) by the right to free speech. In WBC’s case I know that’s what they would say, as well as the evil government is targeting them for being ‘gods chosen people’ or something.

    The Bill of Rights is useful as it restricts the government using the people to it’s own advantage but it also has loopholes that also causes it to protect hate because even they are Americans too, whether or not we want them to be.
    I’m just jealous of the UK’s ability of banning them from entering lol..but then again I live in Oregon so they don’t really come here at all.

  • http://Yahoo!Mail Sherri

    I like your idea MG Steve. These organizations can use all the “volunteer” help they can get. It might even teach the offenders something about tolerance, though it’s a long shot.

  • MG Steve

    Our government has been making so much noise about terrorism. So much has been spent and so many people have died in our government’s efforts to fight terrorism. We need to start at home and begin putting our own terrorists, fundamentalist or other in prison. Or perhaps it would be better to sentence them to work for PFLAG and other organizations that are the targets of their hatred. They should at the very least lose their tax-exempt status for violating the separation of church and state.

  • Dakotahgeo

    Ohhhhhhh, fantastic!!! Count me in on that!!! Thanks, Marlene!

  • Janbytheshore

    Marlene, I love it!! What a GREAT idea, not only for these jerks, but for every hate group out there! I’ll be passing the idea along as appropriate. Fabulous!

  • Marlene

    One way of getting rid of these bigots quicker is to have a coalition of people announce publicly that there’s going to be pledges made to a local LGBT center for each minute the Phelps cult protests.

    Have a *huge* sign that totes up the amount of money raised by their bigotry. You can bet they’ll be out of there quicker than they can sue someone for a perceived slight or insult.

  • marco rosas

    Well, I thank God this guy Phelps has not come to Mexico to picket the funerals of gay people or to protest against the Mexico City government that has legalized same sex marriages. I wonder why? he has gone to Canada but he has not come to Mexico. I wonder if the guy is too lazy to learn Spanish because most people here will not understand a word of what he is saying.

  • Dakotahgeo

    That’s good old Shirley, the circus tent lawyer. Yes, she’s a big mouth which is why she doesn’t get many court cases. She must do a lot of tax preparations to stay afloat.

  • Elaine

    Is that older woman with long hair still with them that use to be a lawyer? She was so cocky & thought she was so smart. She would make you sick to your stomach just to look at her much less speaking at the same time.

  • Dakotahgeo

    I’m not sure, but I’ve watched preaching videos of their “church sanctuary” in the basement of their home. Nothing but a room with chairs and a plywood altar. (I haven’t made up my mind if it’s where they eat after aminal (sic) sacrifices or not).
    At any rate, they’re a hoot and a half. What an act… and only one ring at that!

  • Sherri

    I think Phelps can be compared to the suicide bombers who beleive they are killing in the name of God when in truth killing has nothing to do with the worship of any God. Hard to phantom that his following can be even remotely considered a “church”.

  • Dakotahgeo

    senzuri, you are spot on the mark. These heathens are a cult, and not a church. The funny thing is, they may be tax exempt as a church, but I’ll bet you a dime to a doughnut hole, they don’t even support themselves financially, lolol. How ironic!! De’ jus’ be doin’ the lord’s work! (Small L with malice, lolol).

  • senzuri

    Even calling them a “hate group” is almost giving them too much credit. It would be more accurate to call them a cult of people held hostage to a psychopath.

    Do a google search on “Addicted to Hate” and read the full story about Fred Phelps and his family. People tend to conflate “bigotry” and “hate,” and while the two go hand in hand, they’re not exactly one and the same. Fred isn’t so much a “bigot” as he is a pure hater, plain and simple.

  • Dakotahgeo

    Janbytheshore, the numbers are about 25-30 members for this wicked cult. Shiley Roper-Phelps works for the State of Kansas Dept of Corrections (isn’t that a hoot?) and if I am not mistaken, she is also a lawyer. I think there may be another sibling who is a lawyer, but basically this troup is a rag-tag group of misfits that simply didn’t evolve comrrectly..
    BrendaL, thank you x 10 for a new and perfect description of a very fanatical group, the Talibangelicals, lolol. And yes, they have moved the GLBT movement forward by lightyears! And they’re still not done with their helping hands, lolol.
    Thank you, BarbG…right on the mark!
    Dakotahgeo, M.Div. Pastor/Chaplain (Ret.-sort of, heh heh)

  • Barb Ginsburg

    This is not a church – as the commenter called Kevin above said so clearly – it is a sociopolitically motivated right-wing hate group. I’m curious how they feel about Glen Beck, and he about them? They agree – yet don’t agree. Strange bed-fellows – like a cheap reality drama.

  • BrendaL

    Fred Phelps has done more to HELP the lgbt cause than anyone else on the Talibangelical end of the spectrum. He shows clearly what the others only speak out of earshot. I hope he gets tons of publicity for his hatred, because this stuff will eventually educate most people how evil and empty the hatred message is.

    Dude has nothing to do with Christ…

  • Janbytheshore

    Despicable cretins. I wonder where the Westboro “Church” gets the money to traveling the country.. my understanding is that it has very few members, it’s mostly a small (12?) related/familial group of… thugs…. Who employs them? Where do the funds come from? Curiouser and curiouser….

  • tommytoons

    Rev. Phelps and his clan need to be prayed over to get the devil out of them and their message of hatred. These folks simply just amaze me on the depths of their ignorance in subverting Christ’s message of love.

  • Dakotahgeo

    I forgot to add that Phelps and his ilk are FAR, FAR removed from Christianity and the Christian church. They use the Bible, but only as a weapon. They have no understanding of the basics of Christ’s teaching(s). Dakotahgeo, M.Div. Pastor/Chaplain

  • Dakotahgeo

    Robert McLernon said,
    on April 22nd, 2010 at 2:23 pm
    “Phelps is not far removed from the Christian Church, which
    is very nasty in its homophobia….” To a point, I agree, Robert. You have to, however, not paint with too broad of a brush the entire Christian church. I think, and hope that you mean the christian churches that live on hate and bashing. As a retired Pastor/Chaplain I can attest that there are wonderful, supportive GLBT churches out there. I am myself a member of a wonderful, positive Christian church. I have never been so warmly accepted, and they are gaga over my young partner, lolol. Please do not castigate all churches in one pile. As TRUE Christians we can and must do everything in our power to turn this anger and hate into acceptance and understanding. We are called as true Christians to do that. Good Luck, my friend!

  • http://none Robert McLernon

    Phelps is not far removed from the Christian Church, which
    is very nasty in its homophobia, in fact, it is where homophobia comes from. They spread it far and wide.
    They combat the homosexual agenda. They spread this hate, to the point where people are being killed.
    “Thou shalt not kill,” but if someone is accidentaly
    murdered while being beaten up with a baseball bat,
    Liberty and justice for all! Gays are tired of being second
    class citizens in a country that calls itself a democracy.
    Liberty and justice for all. When you make exceptions,
    you don’t have liberty or justice for anyone.

  • Elaine

    Why can’t these people just live their own lives & leave others alone? I do not understand people that want to hurt good people & call themselves Christians? They will answer to God for this.

  • Dakotahgeo

    Hi Kevin… let me assure you, no Baptist convention would touch the Westburro anti-gay church with a ten foot pole! They are an embarrassment to the Christian church, to Kansans in general, and I am positive that Christ is crying many tears because of these fools! One does not have to be GLBT to anger this mob. They’re not happy with anyone, any cause, and most of all, they are not even happy with themselves. The makers of Raid would do well to find a spray to do away with people such as the Westburro bugs! A terminal pox on them all.

  • John Lane

    what is their beef with school kids killed in bus crashes??

  • Terry Washington

    Earlier this year, Rev.Fred Phelps was quoted as condemning singer Lady Gaga to Hell( well as she’s a Catholic- a”papist” -as well as being bisexual, he would, wouldn’t he?”). Speaking personally i’d rather be in Hell with Lady Gaga than in Heaven with the likes of Rev Fred Phelps!!!

  • saddened

    As a believer and follower of the teachings of Jesus, the actions of Westboro (and groups like them) saddens me greatly. Speaking words of hating and encouraging others to do the same is not what Jesus taught. I pray that members of this church will truly do some soul searching and awaken to the errors of their ways.

  • Marisa

    ANOTHER worthless bunch of haters posing as Christians.

  • Kevin

    I am just baffled that, as a so-called Baptist church, the Westboro Baptist Church has IRS tax-exempt status, because they don’t act like a church, they act like a sociopolitically motivated right-wing hate group. Hopefully, Americans United for the Separation of Church and State will also complain to the IRS about the Westboro Baptist Church.

  • majii

    They have plans to come to 7 areas in the greater Atlanta area within the next few days. According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, some of the students at the schools where they will be are organizing counter-protests through Facebook. I’m pretty certain that there will be some in the area who will gladly join the Westboro group though.

  • Jeffrey Imm

    See also Westboro Baptist Church Hate Group Cheers on Oil Rig Explosion in Louisiana

  • Difluoroethane

    Tom Petty is from Gainesville. Maybe he should write an anti-Dove song.