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Fred Phelps, Sr.'s Estranged Son Releases Powerful Statement Following Death

Fred Phelps, Sr.'s son, Nate Phelps, initially announced to the world this past weekend that his estranged father was near death. Now following the death of his father, Nate, who is also estranged from the Westboro Baptist Church and now serves on the board of Recovering From Religion, has released a statement

See what Nate Phelps has to say:

Fred Phelps is now the past. The present and the future are for the living. Unfortunately, Fred’s ideas have not died with him, but live on, not just among the members of Westboro Baptist Church, but among the many communities and small minds that refuse to recognize the equality and humanity of our brothers and sisters on this small planet we share. I will mourn his passing, not for the man he was, but for the man he could have been. I deeply mourn the grief and pain felt by my family members denied their right to visit him in his final days. They deserved the right to finally have closure to decades of rejection, and that was stolen from them.

Even more, I mourn the ongoing injustices against the LGBT community, the unfortunate target of his 23 year campaign of hate. His life impacted many outside the walls of the WBC compound, uniting us across all spectrums of orientation and belief as we realized our strength lies in our commonalities, and not our differences. How many times have communities risen up together in a united wall against the harassment of my family? Differences have been set aside for that cause, tremendous and loving joint efforts mobilized within hours… and because of that, I ask this of everyone — let his death mean something. Let every mention of his name and of his church be a constant reminder of the tremendous good we are all capable of doing in our communities.

The lessons of my father were not unique to him, nor will this be the last we hear of his words, which are echoed from pulpits as close as other churches in Topeka, Kansas, where WBC headquarters remain, and as far away as Uganda. Let’s end the support of hateful and divisive teachings describing the LGBT community as “less than”, “sinful”, or “abnormal.” Embrace the LGBT community as our equals, our true brothers and sisters, by promoting equal rights for everyone, without exception. My father was a man of action, and I implore us all to embrace that small portion of his faulty legacy by doing the same.

What do you think of Nate Phelps' message, Instincters?

 

(H/T: Patheos)

Comments

Nate,

I do not speak religion but faith to you.  I has been really hard reading all the judgment, pain and anger in these comments. Understanding the Mercy of our God and Creator I ask you to forgive us the additional pain we are causing you and your family.  We are the family of God even when we cause each other pain.  We are all imperfect and God has promised to transform us into His image and likeness.  When that day comes and the Lord calls us home there will be judgment and then transformation for those who wait on the mercy seat that is the Cross.  It is all Jesus and even when we do not do that which the Lord has called us to do, or when we do that which we have been told not to do.  There is mercy in and through Jesus.  This is the Good News of the Gospel.  Salvation does not depend on me or you but on Jesus and He is able to Keep that Which we have committed unto Him.  I trust in Jesus that this also means your father.  There will be a time of reconciliation and joy. 

Nate, I am extremely moved by your statement. Since your father's passing, I have had a mixture of many feelings and thoughts...from visions of his own funeral being picketed to a much softer view of him as a misguided human being. In my own spiritual community, we pray for those who are misguided, even those who rain hatred and loathing upon us or others. I am proud of the path you have taken. Estranged or not, your parents raised a wonderful and loving son. May you and your family find comfort and solace in the time to come.

As a homosexual male I could care less about being accepted into "the church."  I'm not trying to join and I don't even believe in god for that matter.  So why should the church have a say who I love?  Equality for all is a legal issue not church.  I don't understand why the church cares so much about what I want legally.  I want access to my constitutional rights not what you believe.

Bill Maher said last night (3/21) something like: If there is a God lets hope this is him waiting at the golden gates for Fred Phelps.  The photo that came up was a shirtless Freddie Mercury wearing chaps.

Interesting... I had not thought about all the good that came from this man's hatred. Nate is right... it did bring many of us together, and it did bring this conversation to the front pages. When they say God works in mysterious ways, I had no idea that it could actually be through Phelps. Phelps said it was, but he was incorrect in the manner.

Well.......at least hes dead :)

Can I just say that God loves you no matter what bad decisions you make. I believe being gay is due to a deep rooted confusion about gender roles. And I do think it is wrong. But other Christians and I sin every day. Who are these people to say that one sin is greater than another. If God loves us He surely loves gay people too, because no one is perfect. A person who holds up a sign saying "God Hates Gays" is committing the worst sin of all-blasphemy.

You missed the point but nice try.

Seriously, the bible is full of enough verses to make a point one way or another on just about everything.  I can use the bible to justify slavery if want to, so your attempt to denigrate gays is pathetic at best.

Your religious viewpoint and what constitutes sin is your point of view.  It's not a fact that what you've described as sin is sin, and even if it were, it doesn't mean that being gay should be a crime.

What we demand is to have our constitutional rights respected irrespective of your religious opinions.

1. If you're sinning then you don't have the right to call yourself a Christian. Being a Christian means to be Christ-Like and Christ didn't sin. 

2. God doesn't hate anyone, he hates sin. This includes adultery, fornication, lying, cheating, stealing, homosexuality, etc... 

3. To those who say being gay is genetic (gay genes have yet to be found) but for the sake of argument we'll say that is is. So what? It doesn't make it any less sinful. We are born predisposed to lie, but that doesn't make lying any less sinful.

4. A man having feelings for another man is not sin, a man having sex with another man is sin. (To all those who say they can't help who they have feeling for), that very well may be the case but unless your a dog in the street you can control your actions. That being said, even dogs know that males mate with other females not males :/

5. Unnatural: contrary to the ordinary course of nature; abnormal. Homosexuality is unnatural. The ordinary course of nature as seen in all the animal kingdom is male and female, sperm and egg. Theres a species of frog where a smaller male with trick a larger male into mating with him... Homosexuality right??!!! Wrong! The smaller male now has the opportunity to mate with the females!      

 6. Fred Phelps was sadly mistaken and unless he asked God for forgiveness in the final moments of his life the haven is not where is. God is love and he doesn't spread hatred. 

7. Am I spreading hatred?... No. I'm spreading truth. Know the truth, and the truth will set you free.

8. Go and sin no more. John 8:11.           

And how about you just go.  If you're trolling around on a gay website, you're probably gay yourself.

The Truth? Guess you'll find out just like he has- hope you ask for forgiveness in time.

This, then, is how you ought to regard us: as servants of Christ and as those entrusted with the mysteries God has revealed. Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful. I care very little if I am judged by you or by any human court; indeed, I do not even judge myself. My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent. It is the Lord who judges me. Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait until the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of the heart. At that time each will receive their praise from God. 1 Corinthian 4

You have stated the "Holiness Dogma" quite clearly.  I prefer to walk with Jesus and not the Dogmas and Doctrines of Man.  I say this because I recognize that I have sinned, I do sin and I will sin.  This is true of all human beings and is in its self a doctrine as set by the Book of Romans.  But Here is the difference Since I know of "My Sin" I also know and accept that Jesus paid the ultimate price in pain, suffering and death to redeem me from "ALL SIN" (Past, Present and Future) I strive by the grace of God not to Sin, not because of the "Holiness Dogma or Doctrine" but because I Love Jesus.  I cannot but shudder at the thought of causing Him Pain and yes I know I already did.  But in my love of Him and walking with Him I can escape many temptations and walk in confidence of His Grace.  I believe that love is the true power to walking in "Holiness" this is hard because in Holiness and expectations of Holiness we tend to judge our brothers, sisters, mothers and fathers.  Brother in Jesus our redemption is not of our own effort or absence of any sin.  Our Redemption is Jesus.  It is not for any of us to judge Fred or any individual.  Jesus will judge on that day and it will be true.  I walk with Jesus as a person of sin who has been redeemed and that gift is given freely to all who call on Jesus.  Walking with Jesus in not religion which is all credos or systems of worship created by man.  Walking with Jesus is a matter of walking in faith and what others think mean nothing.  Pleasing my God, Saviour, Lord and Friend is all that matters.  I do expect to meet Fred in Heaven and He will be a transformed person just like me and all who have accepted the Gift of the Cross (Past, Present and Future).  Judgment is very dangerous as when we condemn others we are condemning ourselves.

Being born gay It not about a "gay gene". Its about the level of testosterone and estrogen produced by mom during pregnancy. A woman hormones can be affected by stress. Please research it, before you type next time. 

I'm not sure where you get your information from. But I'm sure you've heard this before: homosexuality exists in over 400 species on this planet. Homophobia exists in only 1. What seems unnatural now?

Thank you for posting your opinion on this matter.  If you would get out from under that book you wouldn't be narrow minded.  We already know that God doesn't spread hate, it's people like you and a large percentage of Born again Christians spreading all the hate.  That book you referenced?  It has caused more hate and pain and intolerance than anything else.  It's a book that too many people are too scared to step out from under and experience the world and think for themselves.  Stay in your paper prison and enjoy it.  

“We're all mad here.” 
― Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

Homosexuality is a sin against one's own body, that's why God warns people against it.  As any loving parent would warn their child.

And God said this himself?  Oh, you must be referencing that book again.  I choose to believe that it's not a sin, as I choose to believe that the bible is not the word of god, it was written by humans, people, governments, who wanted to keep us in line.  It's all bull.  

Like any loving parent would do, I'm going to warn my kids that idiots like you exist

I've told my daughter many times, I'd rather she be in a loving, gay relationship, that a painful, abusive, strait one! 

And let he among us who is without sin throw the first stone

Hypocrite in religious robes

ur a moron...when u get to jesus and his father...THEY WILL JUDGE! not u or any man  or woman. deal with it and get over urself...GOD BLESS..u zealot

Alice, while it is good to see a Christian not hammering on gay people, even in your statement of 'love' you hold judgement.... believe me, there is NO confusion in being gay, only simple genetic reality. We are not sinners for being gay any more than you are for being straight. We are all humans who love, and who do not expect 'acceptance' but deserve total equality. Simple reality.

Being gay is due to deep rooted genetics. Not understanding this is due to deep rooted ignorance.

Very well said, Matt, thank you. I am tired of half hearted attempts at 'acceptance' from people that still call us 'wrong' and 'sinners'... I call bullsh*t on their ignorance. 

You really cannot state it any better than this. Thank You for your insightful comment.

All of you people wanting to protest a funeral that will not take place are no better than the Westboro bunch. Fred my no longer be on this earth but his legacy is alive and well in Topeka.

Don't lower yourself to their standards. The best thing would be to just let this all go, don't speak his name or the name of the bunch in Topeka they thrive on the publicity. Don't feed the animals in the cage.

On a side note, if you really want to do something and live in Kansas a number of the Westboro folks are employed by the State of Kansas with several being in the Dept. of Justice working with youth as probation/diversion officers. OUR tax dollars are helping to fund the efforts of this group through the paychecks they receive.

We need to get them all fired from their jobs. I detest knowing that I am aiding and abetting the efforts of these people.

If you want to protest... there ya go protest them being employed by the state.

Nate, thank you for stating what many of us are thinking. I can't imagine the pain of not being able to see your father in his final days regardless of who or what he was to the community, he was your father.

I am a firm believer in Karma and know in my heart that those who denied you access and continue to spew the hatred will get their just rewards in one way or another. 

As a country we need to revisit were we are in regards to compassion, empathy and love for our fellow human beings. There is way to much discord in the world and the civility of our nation is dwindling each day.

I wish for you only the best.

Thank you.  I am glad hate is not genetic.

He is the man his father CHOSE not to be.  The pain Nate went through pulling away from that fold?  It must have been tough.  Let's use these words and move on.  Fred is dead, love & forgiveness lives on. We are better than stooping to Fred's level with further vitriol about his death.

I want to know when his funeral is! I gotta message for them. :)

Where's the sign-up sheet for protesters with bullhorns, etc?

why?   so you can validate their message of hate?

I feel for him and his family.. But the world is better off with him gone now..

I believe God will do him justice... by tossing his vile soul into hell for condemning people... It's only

God who can judge... not man...

Humanity wins here. May Fred Phelp's God have mercy on his soul and may his children and followers find peace with themselves and the world around them. I sincerely hope they will all discover the error of their ways. And if they cannot find that peace, may the world around them demonstrate that peace the rest of their days. Hatred and bigotry cannot be fought with more hatred and bigotry.

Rest in peace, Fred Phelps!  I hope you found God!  (from a gay and loving soul).

Despite the fact that this man was brought up with such hate he managed to overcome. Please do not hate nor pass judgment for his relationship with his father. He wasn't asked to be born into that family and it is evident he did not walk away with their beliefs. Together we will all overcome and embrace our commonality. 

Wow younger Phelps that was truly a moving commentary and you hit a nail upon its head you said for over twenty years as we all know how long he spat out his vitriol his hate and animosity and it is after all this time you wish the LGBT community to do what exactly? Forgive the man? and forgive your brethren for the future vitriol that they will undoubtedly espouse? that's a mighty tall order sir are you going to try to convince your siblings not to continue the family business do you hold that kind of sway your family has built a legacy one of hate pure unadulterated prejudice and we are suppose to just allow this to continue I say no sir we will not we can not we shall not allow it to continue!

Forgiveness and social justice are not mutually exclusive concepts. 

clearly, you do not understand what "forgiveness" is.  refusing to forgive, as the sage said, is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.

do you know what happens to a person who refuses to forgive the adult that molested them when they were a child?  they spend a lifetime living with that person.  they trap themselves in a groundhog day where the relive the event over and over and over again.  do you know what happens to the adult that committed the crime?  they move on with their life and forget that person even existed.  so who is being punished by refusal to forgive?

forgiveness has nothing to do with the offender and everything to do with the victim.  it's not saying "it's okay" because it's NOT okay and it will never be okay - it's saying "this is the line beyond which i will not carry this burden any further".

but hey, if you want to keep fred phelps senior and the WBC alive and well in your life, that's the great thing about having a choice.

Well said, Threenorns!!

I don't think you have the right to speak on behalf of the LGBT community, when by "we", you obviously mean "I". Forgive and move forward. 

HIS SON PROVES DESPITE THE FACT HIS FATHER PREACHED HATE AND TRIED TO RALLY EVERYONE AROUND HIM.TO ME HIS SON IS AN AMAZING MAN TO NOT LET HIS FATHERS HATRED BE PASSED ON TO HIM.IT PROVES THE CYCLE CAN BE BROKEN.I THINK THERE ARE MORE GOOD PEOPLE IN THE WORLD THAN BAD.MORE GOOD PEOPLE NEED TO SPEAK OUT,YOU CAN HELP MAKE A CHANGE!

I think it's too little, too late. 

Estranged or not, the son could have countered the father in print long before he died. 

Had this been my father, saying and doing and standing for the awful things Mr Phelps stood for, I would not have waited until he died to let the world know that not all of his family thought that way. 

Just because you never read about it, doesn't mean it didn't happen.

He's been an outspoken critic of his father and the church for a very long time.

What an inspiring statement

What a decent man, you wouldn't think it possible with those genes!

Well said Nate! Hate will never accomplish a peaceful unity. Love and compassion for eachother and celebrating our commonality is the best way to move forward!

I applaud him. He loved his father but deplored his beliefs 

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