Leader Blues

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

FROM THE PUBLISHER >> More words from Kansas grim reaper

BY GARRICK FELDMAN
Leader publisher

Jonathan Phelps, who was in Beebe last week demonstrating at the funeral for a local soldier who died in Baghdad two weeks ago, was picketing Monday in front of a hardware store in Topeka, Kan.

Phelps said he and his group from Westboro Baptist Church, who demonstrate every day in many parts of the country, were picketing in their hometown because the hardware store was selling vacuum cleaners from Sweden, which tolerates homosexuality, like this country.

That’s why he was in Arkansas last week, picketing outside First Baptist Church of Beebe, where the funeral services for Army Specialist Bobby West were about to get underway.

In his mind, America’s tolerance of homosexuals has brought God’s wrath down on this nation and is the reason U.S. soldiers are dying in Afghanistan and Iraq. You can get more information from his Web site godhatesamerica.com.

We asked him, “What is your evidence that soldiers dying in Iraq is linked to homosexuality? If it is in the Bible, please cite the verse(s) and phrase(s). If it is a direct link to God that you have, please specify date, time and place in which you received “the message.”

Phelps’ e-mail response: “Pur-suant to my never-ending quest to NOT reinvent the wheel, and because you’re a lucky duck today, I cut and pasted for your immediate reference a ‘Dear Margie’ response hot off the press, touching upon what you mockingly refer to as ‘a direct link to God.’ (We receive hundreds, if not thousands of e-mails a day, with questions similar to yours; some of which we respond to.)”

The ‘Dear Margie’ response includes this sentence: “We have the unspeakable privilege, unique among all humankind, of being God’s mouth on earth in the Last Days, which is Our Day.

“I can read (the Bible),” Phelps added.

Most church members appear related — his father, Fred Phelps, runs the church, and Jonathan’s brother and sister and children also demonstrate at funerals. They usually drive long distances when they find out about military funerals.
“The members of Westboro Baptist Church are employed full-time, many working enough to equal the hours of two full-time positions,” Phelps told us. “The church members pay their own way to conduct open-air preaching, a/k/a protesting or picketing.”

But why protest at funerals?

“This particular platform—soldier’s funerals, a/k/a patriotic pep rallies, has been created by an apostate nation who have exalted idolatry to an art form in the manner in which they worship the dead, and while they draw close to God with their lips, their hearts are far from Him. Matthew 15:7-8: ‘Ye hypocrites, well did Isaiah prophesy of you, saying, ‘This people draweth nigh unto Me with their mouth, and honoreth Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me.’”

“But God has promised terror to a nation like America: Leviticus 26:14 — ‘But if ye will not hearken unto me, and will not do all these commandments; 15 And if ye shall despise My statutes, or if your soul abhor My judgments, so that ye will not do all my commandments, but that ye break My covenant: 16 I also will do this unto you; I will even appoint over you terror, consumption, and the burning plague, that shall consume the eyes, and cause sorrow of heart: and ye shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemies shall eat it. And I will set my face against you, and ye shall be slain before your enemies: they that hate you shall reign over you; and ye shall flee when none pursueth you. 18 And if ye will not yet for all this hearken unto Me, then I will punish you seven times more for your sins. 19 And I will break the pride of your power; and I will make your heaven as iron, and your earth as brass. 20 And your strength shall be spent in vain: for your land shall not yield her increase, neither shall the trees of the land yield their fruits.’”

When we asked him why he was so angry and if he might consider cooling his rhetoric, he replied, “What you and every eternity-bound soul needs to concern yourself about is the anger of the Lord. See, for example, Jeremiah 23:20: “The anger of the LORD shall not return until He has executed, and till He has performed the thoughts of His heart; in the latter days ye shall consider it perfectly.’

“That’s what is wrong with this evil country, they have no fear of the Lord, and so they’re dirt dumb.” Phelps continued. Job 28:28 ‘And unto man He said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.’

“Therefore, we deliver the following message to this country: Proverbs 1:27-28: ‘When your fear cometh as desolation and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you, then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek Me early, but they shall not find Me.’ And not only does God not answer these evil American people when His calamities strike them at His hand, such as killing their young children in this bloody war, He laughs and mocks them when He visits them in wrath.”

Let’s hope there are no military funerals in your town. That way you won’t have to see Phelps and his grim entourage.