Westboro church pastor's son to face off against dad's picketers at atheist rally

WOW!  Now I really wish I could go to the Reason Rally.  Looks like the Addams family--I mean, the Westboro Baptist Church (the ones that picket gay hate-crime victims and soldiers) are going to be part of the lineup of entertainers at the Reason Rally according to this article

I hope security is tight at the event!

Westboro church pastor's son to face off against dad's picketers at...

Recovering from Religion

Nate Phelps, son of the pastor of Westboro Baptist Church, is a self-described atheist.

It may come as no surprise that members of Westboro Baptist Church, an extreme Calvinist sect notorious for its fire-and-brimstone picketing, are planning to protest at the upcoming Reason Rally — a national gathering of atheists. But at this event, they will also be picketing one of their own, rally organizers said.

In the speaking lineup at the March 24 rally in Washington is Nate Phelps, one of 13 children of Westboro Pastor Fred Phelps. The younger Phelps, who split from the family when he was 18, is a self-described atheist who advocates for gay rights and on behalf of abused children. He charges that his father abused his children in the name of God a

nd uses his church as a vehicle for his rage.


Nate Phelps, 54, lives in Calgary, Canada where he works for the Center for Inquiry, and only in 2010 began to speak out about his family and his beliefs, according to a biography on his web site. He is writing a book on his upbringing and is a board member for the nonprofit organization "Recovering from Religion," which supports people who leave religion despite the pressures of family and culture.

At the rally, Phelps will join a lineup of celebrities in the secular orbit — author Richard Dawkins, Discovery Channel "Mythbusters" host Adam Savage, comedian Eddie Izzard, the band Bad Religion and others.

"Nate Phelps brings a powerful voice and story to the rally," said Reason Rally organizer David Silverman, who is also president of American Atheists. "He shows us all that if you can come out as an atheist in that family, it's possible anywhere."

One of the sponsors of the Reason Rally, the National Atheist Party, sent a letter inviting Pastor Phelps to the rally, according to organizers.

The Scranton Atheism Examiner reported that the letter was answered by Megan Phelps-Roper, one of the pastor's daughter's, on Twitter:

"The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God” Ps14:1 Here's lookin' at you, @ReasonRally!Your [unwarranted] pride is your destruction. Dear @ReasonRally: How gracious of you! We accept your invitation & will picket your parade of fools 3/24. Love,WBC."

The Phelps' Westboro Church based in Topeka, Kansas is most famous for picketing the funerals of fallen U.S. soldiers with signs declaring "God Hates Fags" and "Thank God for Dead Soldiers."

The Westboro Baptist Church has picketed hundreds of other events and organizations — including other churches that take positions sympathetic to homosexuality, institutions that pay tribute to Jews and to Holocaust victims, and the funerals of famous figures, such as Michael Jackson. Westboro has likened the Roman Catholic Church and Islam to devil worship.

Courts have dismissed lawsuits against the Westboro clan, ruling that their protests are protected free speech.

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If I ever manage to go to Comic-Con, I'll make sure that the WBC will be there. My plan is to dress up as the Spy from Team Fortress 2 and I'll bring a paper mask of Fred Phelps, put it on, have a sign that says "GOD HATES SPIES" and just hang around them.

This is Going to be fun! Hope to see y'all there.

I saw 'reverend' Phelps once at a Chicago Gay Pride parade.  He's kinda pale and scary :) he reminds me of the puppet from the 'Tales from the Crypt' show.

Am I the only hoping they lay down some cardboard and have a 80s style break dancing battle?

I think they invited themselves.

probably to add visibility to the rally: it's easier to avoid a corporate-media blackout if wbc shows up.  remember, occupy didn't even get covered for more than three weeks: it took massive human rights abuses, rampant police brutality and arrests of peaceful demonstrators before corporate-owned media even covered Occupy, who's to say the same won't happen with a one-day atheist rally?

Not saying it may get violent, just saying media may not WANT to cover it except if there's controversy or sensationalism.  It's important that people understand that atheists are a politically-minded minority, especially with this being an election year.  Thats the point of the rally and this is a huge affront to the powers that be and to the consensus that mass media has been trying to build for generations: that atheists have no place in politics, that you have to fear the god of the bible to be elected and electable.  This hypnosis dies with atheist political power.  I do think we need all the visibility we can get this year.

Sounds like a circus.  To be honest, I don't like being on the same continent with these evil hatemongers.  The last thing I would want is to go to a freethought rally and see them there.  Still, they probably  would be going anyway, and anyway, I can't go to the rally.  So most likely, the press will concentrate on the circus, displaying images of evil clowns and the people who they engage.  Nate has been a member of Nexus, but doesn't appear active currently. He must have a life  :-)




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