Westboro Baptist Church: The Inside Story
Some stark insights into the Westboro Baptist Church via Libertarians Concerned. As many of you know, a cell of the infamous hacker group Anonymous has declared war against the fundamentalist Christian Westboro Baptist Church after the cult announced their intention to protest at the funeral of the children murdered at the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy in Newton, Connecticut.
A member of Libertarians Concerned reviewed the results of the hacker group’s attack on Westboro church’s website in which Anonymous revealed the personal information of the religious organization’s members on a website:
If the information published by Anonymous is correct then we have an interesting situation regarding the deeply offensive Westboro Baptist Church. These have to be the most disgusting individuals in the United States today. This tiny personality cult is mainly made up of one family, the children of Fred Phelps and their spouses and children. Phelps has had decades to beat them into line—and according to testimony from the children who escaped him, we are talking about literal beatings.
They pretty much all live in a compound surrounding the church itself and their income supports the hate campaign of the sect. But what is the source of their income? How many business are actually willing to put people like this on the payroll.
The Phelps cult hates the US government and says God is judging it because it isn’t willing to incarcerate gay people, perhaps even execute them. So God is judging America.
In the Phelps cults everyone does what daddy Phelps does. And he was a lawyer so his kids have to be laws as well. Law firms tend to worry about their client base. But not when it comes to the Phelps as they seem to be government employees in one way or another.
Abigail Phelps works as a lawyer for the Kansas Juvenile Justice Authority. Considering her religious views on what amounts to justice this seems like a bad fit, but the Kansas state government hired her. Her tithes to the church are salaries paid to her by the taxpayers of the United States—the agency receives state and federal funding.
Brent Roper-Phelps is the husband of the acting church leader, Shirley Phelps-Roper. He works in human resources for the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. This is an agency created by the “elected or appointed state government officials who along with their departments and staff, regulate the conduct of insurance companies and agents in their respective state or territory.” This agency is funded by membership fees from the members which includes the states. In other words, it is tax supported.
Elizabeth Phelps, another daughter of the cult leader, is a manager at a state funded organization called Sheltered Living, Inc. Fred Phelps, Jr. is the son of the leader. He is also on the state payroll working for the Kansas Department of Corrections. LeAnn Phelps-Brown is employed by the Shawnee County Sheriff’s Department. Margie Jean Phelps is employed by the Kansas Department of Corrections as well. Timothy Phelps is employed by the Shawnee County Department of Corrections.
So, all those people are living off the taxpayers and their income goes to the cult to keep it alive. Another handful of Phelps family members work at “Phelps Chartered” which is a Phelps-owned and operated law firm. They have another way of tapping into tax funds.
The church looks for situations, such as the wrenching incident at Connecticut, or the funerals of American soldiers. They look for situations where there is a lot of emotional feelings and grief. They they show up at those places and intentionally incite people with their hateful language, obscene signs, dragging the American flag on the ground—just about anything they can think of to intentionally rile up individuals. And, they make sure they have taxpayer funded police protection so they can get away with it. They inflict millions in costs on local communities to protect them from the mobs they intentionally try to create.
Some communities try to find ways to prevent the Phelps cult from invading the private moments of grieving families and pass regulations regarding protest permits, etc. The Phelps law firm then sues and generally wins under First Amendment protections. And who pays for that? You do, again. Under the Civil Rights Attorney’s Fees Award Act of 1976 the Phelps law firm can then get paid by the federal government.
What is missing from their funding, if Anonymous sources are correct, is any substantial private income to the family that runs this cult. I couldn’t find a single family/church member whose entire income was privately sourced. All of them either are government employees directly, work for government funded organizations, or are members of the law firm that collects “civil rights” fees from the government to represent the cult.
I should also note that the fundamentalist polygamous Mormon towns in the United States are heavily funded by taxpayers as well. They get “school” funds, police funds, highway funds, federal grants, etc. They also have a large number of “single mothers” (plural wives) who receive various welfare benefits. Millions in tax funding go into these towns every month.
Who is funding the hate of Fred Phelps? You are, thanks to the various the federal, county and state governments. Pass this along and share the information.
There you have it. Not only does the church enjoy tax exempt, non-profit status but many of the church’s members are employed in government jobs and collect fees from lawsuits the group wins against governments that try to restrict the Westboro’s activities. As the above comments point out, your tax dollars subsidize Westboro Church’s work in multiple ways. It makes sense for Westboro to have their tax status revoked since the church is nothing more than a personality cult whose head is Fred Phelps.
I do not approve of what Anonymous does and they are equally as wrong as Westboro despite the fact both group’s activities are different. Anonymous is a group driven by a false sense of justice grounded in nihilistic anarchism while Westboro is a group driven by religious anger reflecting the true nature of Christianity and whose main goal is false sense of salvation of souls.