Talk:Fred Phelps/Archive 3

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Archive 1 Archive 2 Archive 3 Archive 4 Archive 5 Archive 7

changed in collusion with to in conjunction with

Page stated that Phelps' recent activities were "in collusion with" the Westboro congregation. "in collusion with" seems inflammatory/POV, so I changed.

Good call.Steve Dufour 13:31, 13 August 2006 (UTC)

childhood picture caption - My vandalism sense is tingling

I noticed that the caption under Phelps childhood picture says that his father was a "hooligan" and "sodomist" who regularly engaged with Phelps sr. It also states that today Phelps engages in sodomy with the male members of his family...Guys, I have a pretty good sense of smell towards vandalism, and this is one huge stinker of a plop that I smell. If its not gone after i finish writing this, i am removing it. -


All unsourced or poorly sourced negative material about a living person needs to be deleted on sight. I would suggest to involved editors, to review WP:BLP and proceed with cleanup as soon as possible. ≈ jossi ≈ t@ 03:33, 30 August 2006 (UTC)

What is this?

This is from the top section:

...arguing it is their sacred duty to share their views with others. When criticized, Phelps' followers say they are protected in doing so by the 1st Amendment.

Is anyone trying to take away their right to protest? Steve Dufour 07:52, 12 August 2006 (UTC)

Steve, Yes, see Respect_for_America's_Fallen_Heroes_Act. By the way, I think that this article should be removed from the featured article status because of the unsourced negative sentiments that I tagged ("cynical") and that you removed. Andries 07:58, 12 August 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for the information. (BTW I don't think the law is a good thing; freedom of speech is too important a principle in our country -- no matter how offensive that speech is.) Steve Dufour 15:40, 12 August 2006 (UTC)
An encyclopedia isn't a place to make new arguments; I'd suggest that if that's their response to criticism, then that's what we report. Our duty is to relay facts in a neutral tone so that readers can decide on their own. Regards, Luna Santin 08:01, 12 August 2006 (UTC)

It's an Americo-centric view, actually: in Europe we are working towards a position of being safeguarded from hate-speech. In plain words that no-one may be denigrated in his being by the hate-speech of someone else, publicly. We all may wonder which is the better course, but we may not deny that there are, in liberal democracies, at least two courses which may be followed. MacMurrough 02:11, 17 August 2006 (UTC)

External links cleanup

I just went through and did some cleaning up of the external links section according to the guidelines at Wikipedia:External links — it needed some major work. Some of my changes were as follows:

  • Added a hidden note in HTML markup asking editors to refer to WP:EL before adding new links - Most won't, but they can't say we didn't ask them to when spam gets reverted.
  • Remove list of WBC websites - These belong at Westboro Baptist Church.
  • Removed "Further Reading" subcategory - This was a miscellaneous collection of links; the essential ones needed to go into the other subcategories.
  • Removed "Supporters of Phelps" - Non-notable unless there's a significant relationship between the two (which would merit mention in the above article and thereby make this section unneeded anyway).
  • Shortened "Critics" and "Parodies" - There are hundreds, if not thousands, of links that could fit into each category. All that is needed is two or three which are a representative sample; Wikipedia is not a collection of external links. If they have the ability to find the Phelps article here, they can find plenty more on Google. Additionally, many of these were sloppy or otherwise poorly-created sites. Finally, many of these sites were critical of Westboro Baptist rather than Phelps specifically. While few would argue that Phelps speaks for Westboro, there are two seperate articles and the links need to be distinguished according to which one they're primarily targeting.
  • Added a link to Westboro Baptist Church#External links - See above.

For the editors who read here before adding new links — and thank you for checking the discussion page first — please make sure that they add something new, unique and significant that is not already covered by the other links. There are a TON of pages critiquing Phelps, a TON of interviews, and a TON of parody sites. Is the new link going to add something essential to this encyclopedic article that isn't already here? Could you instead add said content and use your link as a reference? Tijuana Brass¡Épa! 22:00, 29 July 2006 (UTC)

I understand why mine was deleted, but I have to ask you a question: Was mine sloopy or poorly-created? --Darkdan 02:06, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
No. Looked pretty slick, actually. How about we add it here - - so if another editor picks up on it and agrees that it adds something unique, significant and encyclopedic to the article, they can add it. I'll recuse myself from doing so, since I was the one cleaning everything out. Tijuana Brass¡Épa! 20:15, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

Protect Article?

This topic has suffered a lot of vandelism, regardless of Fred Phelps views or affiliation is it a good idea to lock the topic so that people who are just finding out about Fred Phelps can make there decision for themselves instead of having a vandels message preached at them?—Preceding unsigned comment added by Equlibrium (talkcontribs) 22:37, 15 December 2006 (UTC)

Please don't remove other people's comments to talk pages unless they are vandalism.
(restored) Which "thread"? It's not really possible to lock a section of a talk page, only to protect, or semi-protect, an entire page. Argyriou (talk) 22:44, 15 December 2006 (UTC)
This page isn't suffering that much vandalism - 15 incidents of vandalism in 9 days really isn't that much. Go look at the page history for Republican Party (United States) or Neoconservatism or George W. Bush to see articles which get a lot of vandalism. Argyriou (talk) 23:31, 15 December 2006 (UTC)

Please people, this page is constantly being picked apart

I have no doubt that Phelps or one of his family members are savvy enough to edit this page. Each time I come here, there are "citations needed" or they have been removed. Someone is playing around here. All of the citations in the article are directly verifiable through the references and external links. Can we please semi-protect this page so people who are partial to Phelps stop adding a 'FACT' tag to every sentence that they disagree with? BadMojoDE

One way of dealing with that would be to have more of the citations go to each individual sentence they are citing. In this case, I reverted you because it wasn't obvious to me which of the sources in question were supporting the statements in question. JoshuaZ 00:13, 5 February 2007 (UTC)

Phelps' 'people' are on here, somewhat.(somewhat annon)


Is anybody able to tell me if this guy is serious or not?

Looks like a spoof.
I think he's serious. No one takes the time to write all of that just as a joke. Then again, that thing about Fundamentalist Christians was kinda fishy. Don't take him seriously. Christians who hold themselves above others because of their beliefs are hypocrites(Acts 10:28).

Very true, but look at Landover Baptist.

Well, considering that at the end, it states that you will go to hell for driving a Mercury and cites Ex. 23:13...

I looked up that Bible verse. They're confusing Mercury the car with Mercury the Romen god. That alone is sign of a spoof.

Phelps is very much for real. And he is very much a nut job. Landover Baptist is a satirical website. Beatdown 20:05, 19 August 2006 (UTC)


I go away for just a little bit...

1) Phelps has 13 kids, not ten. Mark, Nate, Margie, Fred Jr., Jon, Tim, Abigal, Shirley, Rebecca, Katherine, Dot(Dorothy), Elizabeth, Rachel,

2) Someone claims to live in Westboro, then calls it a cult, and you respect their edits? The fact that the sentence "the majority of whom are not related to Phelps" has been allowed to stay in for more than a day boggles the mind.

3) As much as I would love to believe that Phelps was caught with another dude... I don't. Show me some proof.

4) Although he's hung up on "fag," Phelps does say "homosexual" a lot of the time. He doesn't "refuse" to use any other word. 16:54, 1 March 2006 (UTC)

He named his kid dot? Well i guess there are other things to complain about this awful man, but dot is a really bad name. Avenged Evanfold 22:30, 3 July 2006 (UTC)

She's gotten her named changed, it's Dorothy Bird, but she moved away and is a private lawyer in Topeka. Dev920 23:48, 11 August 2006 (UTC)


With the talk page growing so large, I've archived discussions that did not originate this year (or have active conversations which were still ongoing). I also refactored the content after moving it to remove edits that did not seek to improve the article (i.e. "Phelps is going to hell! Pray for him!") for the sake of readability. Please feel free to restore any deleted content on the archive page if you feel that the deletion was not appopriate. Tijuana Brass 16:35, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

And due to the fact that this Talk page was 101 kb when I came to it, I've archived everything that had no comments past July of this year, in the hopes of trimming it down a bit. :) You can, of course, find them at Talk:Fred Phelps/Archive 2. (By the way, people, PLEASE time-stamp your posts and PLEASE put new posts on the bottom where they're supposed to go, it makes it easier to archive them later!)Runa27 22:52, 9 September 2006 (UTC)

Religious Hate Group

The description of Phelps' WBC as "a religious hate group" was deleted by a known vandal here, and was not replaced when the user's other vandalism was reverted. Unless there is a ban on the phrase "religious hate group" in Wikipedia, I can't think of any group that is more deserving of this description. I'm restoring that descriptive phrase, but will bow to the general consensus if it is thought it is POV. JimmB 22:13, 4 August 2006 (UTC)

The phrase was again deleted without comment by User:MacMurrough talk, along with the phrase "based out of his home", which I believe is material to establishing his (lack of) credibility. Rather than get involved in an edit war, I leave it to others to fight this. JimmB 00:15, 5 August 2006 (UTC)
There is nothing to be fought; most of these edits occur without discussion or search for concensus. This language should remain. If it is changed, it should be reverted unless there is an explanation provided here. Editors would be kind to read what featured article means, and stop second-guessing work that has already undergone thorough review. --Chuchunezumi 19:28, 5 August 2006 (UTC)

Reversion of edits

This page has already undergone extensive review. To make changes that drastically change the content and message of this article without consulting those who have already worked hard enough to bring it to feature article status through discussion on the talk page is unreasonable. I reverted the changes, and before anyone reverts, there should be thorough discussion here. Furthermore, the changes made were not constructive. They actually obfuscated the facts. These were mostly done (it seems) by anonymous users, so hopefully this won't be a trend. --Chuchunezumi 19:41, 5 August 2006 (UTC)

  • Just FYI, I did return the CLDS to those targeted, as this wasn't part of the unconstructive changes made.

--I do think the article is going a bit downhill and needs to be cleaned up a bit. For example, all the small sections outside of his biography on reaction to Phelps, what's being down about funeral protests and who he has targeted should either be combined and condensed, moved to one of the various WBC pages or both. Though they should be mentioned, they clutter up an already very long (but otherwise great) article.

  • Oh, I wasn't suggesting there is no room for improvement, merely that there should be discussion first. Cheers! --Chuchunezumi 17:00, 6 August 2006 (UTC)

Hate Group Biased

Change religous hate group. It is biased. This is wikipedia not some chatrooom.

I just want to say thank you to Ohnoitsjamie for changing hate group. You may not have agree with my edits but you found a solution anyway.

Mrld 00:13, 11 August 2006 (UTC)

Yeah, even though I can't think of any people or organizations who don't think of them as a hate group (except for themselves), it's best to stick with the facts. The remaining content in the intro describes some of his positions, so folks can judge for themselves. Cheers, OhNoitsJamie Talk 00:26, 11 August 2006 (UTC)
I have to quibble with this. Most "hate groups" don't actually have the word "hate" as part of their name or slogan. I think any group called "God Hates..." can rightfully be called a hate group.Carlaclaws 19:32, 5 March 2007 (UTC)

meaning of "choked"?

In the section on early career/marriage it says:

When one of the missionaries choked during a question and answer session, Phelps responded by attacking the questioner, sparking a near riot.

I had trouble opening the link. Anyway, does "choked" mean he couldn't answer the question? If so wouldn't it be better to change the wording? Also does "attacking" mean verbally? If so could that be added? And what is a "near riot"? Steve Dufour 06:17, 12 August 2006 (UTC) p.s. I'm guessing that the missionary was a Mormon but that is not made clear.

Childhood picture

I find this kind of an odd thing to put in the article. There is almost something offensive feeling about it, to me, although I can not exactly define why. Does it add any information for the readers? Steve Dufour 06:21, 12 August 2006 (UTC)

Would anyone object if I remove it?Steve Dufour 17:09, 12 August 2006 (UTC)
I see nothing wrong with any pictures in the current version of the article, for the record. Runa27 22:52, 9 September 2006 (UTC)

Personally, I find the earliest picture of him quite eerie for some reason... The_Irrelevant_One 16:28, 12 September 2006 (UTC)

Covert Aggressive

I read a book recently about covert aggressive personality disorder. It's similar to the narcissistic personality disorder, but much more actively aggressive. Mr. Phelps fits the description well. Type 'covert aggressive' into your google search engine, click on the top link, and you can see a description of what I'm referring to. I'm surprised 'covert aggressive' doesn't have it's own page on here. Anyway, Phelps at least has a severe case of narcissism. Look at the bullets on Wikipedia's description of narcissistic personality disorder. With the amount of time he's spent in court, has a psychologist ever been called in for testimony? If yes, what did they say about Mr. Phelps? I also have to agree with the previous poster that he likely couldn't care less about God. It's all a money-making scam which he's dragged his children into. Narcissists prefer to make their livings through manipulation of others. Just look how he used his own kids to make money selling candy. The guy is a con-artist. By the way, there is literature out there on how to deal with people like this, if to your grave misfortune you ever find yourself entangled with one.

Ralphie01 03:58, 17 August 2006 (UTC)

I searched the net to see if I could find any article regarding Phelps ever being diagnosed with a personality disorder, but couldn't find one. I did find a lot of discussion which included a plethora of speculation about his psychological condition. One that seems worth a look at is antisocial personality disorder, which is described on Wikipedia. Unfortunately I could find no evidence that he ever recieved professional evaluation.

Ralphie01 20:38, 18 August 2006 (UTC)

Judas Goat theory

Though the reference to my column has been deleted, I'd like it noted that it was my 2004 column which suggested that Phelps and family are actually trying to make Christians look like fools. I would like it known that I am a LIBERTARIAN writer, not a conservative, and certainly not "extreme right." Please don't mislabel me again -- Keith Wood, "The Critic-at-Arms"

2nd Paragraph

2nd para of the intro began as something like this: Phelps came to nationanal attention because of his anti-gay stance at funerals of American servicemen. Simply not true. I don't even live in the presumed country, but I had heard of Phelps long before that. Phelps came to national media attention with Shephard; other devolpments, obviously, came after. But don't play down his beginnings, just because where he got to hurts you more. I can't work how to send a direction to gay-bashing in the article. Tried awful hard, but can't get there. If you can help nicely, I'd be delighted to know. MacMurrough 00:59, 30 August 2006 (UTC)

Article badly violating WP:BLP

I have removed almost the entire text of this article, as it is badly violating Wikipedia:Biographies of living persons. As explained in detail by various people in this talk page above, a large portion of this article is written based on Addicted to Hate, which is an unpublished manuscript and which is a totally unreliable source. There are dozens of references to Addicted to Hate, and rather than try to figure out which of the text does and doesn't come from it, I've simply removed almost the whole thing. Any text which meets WP:V can be put back. --Xyzzyplugh 15:03, 31 August 2006 (UTC)

And, to further explain, here's a quote from WP:BLP: "Unsourced or poorly sourced negative material about living persons should be removed immediately from both the article and the talk page". The Addicted to Hate references in this article accuse Fred Phelps of various crimes, such as beating his wife, his children, other family members, shooting a dog while drunk and high on drugs, etc. This material all needs to go, the article needs a complete rewrite based on reliable sources. --Xyzzyplugh 15:20, 31 August 2006 (UTC)

Thank you!! As the article is repaired/created/edited/ can we PLEASE use RELIABLE SOURCES for ANY material that is added? What a NOVEL idea! Leave you emotions and agendas at the door and lets create an article that meets Wiki policy guidelines, the most important being WP:OR and WP:RS, imho. Thanks! --Tom 15:36, 31 August 2006 (UTC)

In response to a reversion, I have gone back and instead simply removed all the content which appeared to be based on Addicted to Hate, as well as a bunch of unsourced content. There still remains a lot of unsourced content in this article, but I particularly focused on taking out the critical or controversial unsourced content. And, I consider that it would have been better to have removed the entire article and started from scratch. My hacking out portions of text from all throughout the article surely must have left it in sad shape.--Xyzzyplugh 23:01, 31 August 2006 (UTC)

Is the claim that Addicted to Hate does not meet WP:RS? JoshuaZ 23:03, 31 August 2006 (UTC)
Addicted to Hate is an unpublished manuscript, which has been posted on a website. It claims to have been included as an exhibit in a court case. The webpage also claims the court documents on this case are now sealed. This means that, first of all, we have no idea who even wrote this. Secondly, even if we can verify who wrote it, it is unpublished. Supposedly this was written by a journalist who was originally planning on publishing it as a book, but that never happened. An unfinished, unpublished, unverifiable manuscript taken from a webpage is not remotely a reliable source. --Xyzzyplugh 23:10, 31 August 2006 (UTC)
Hmm, so this isn't even really a BLP issue this is a simple WP:RS issue really. Unless we can find other sources for that material it needs to stay out. JoshuaZ 23:12, 31 August 2006 (UTC)
ok, this is REALLY REALLY FRUSTRATING.... Almost every paragraph has FACT and CITE requests on simple statements that can be found off SINGLE LINKS ON WBC'S HOME PAGE.
And then, there is a request to cite that gay rights groups and christian denominations have denounced him. How many would you like? A google search turned up 30 or 40 I could have cited on the FIRST PAGE. (That is, original denouncements, not just journalisitc citations of the denouncements....) The standard you're using here is INSANE.
I've lived less than three blocks from Phelps for my entire life. I went to school with his kids. NONE of the allogations that were removed were even "extreme." The extreme stuff was never here. But of course, my observations of the kids coming to school with massive bruises is original research, can't post that, my observations of old man phelps pushing his kids to run during his running kick are original research, and you won't LET me cite addicted to hate, and the local newspaper is AFRAID OF THE ASSHOLE, and won't publish. nevermind, I'll do this, but the standard you're upholding is insane in this case. Rick Boatright 00:57, 1 September 2006 (UTC)
First of all, I didn't add the FACT and CITE requests. If the sources for these sections of the article that have them are easy to find, then simply find the sources and list them and remove the FACT and CITE requests. Now, as to the rest of what you said - yes, wikipedia forbids original research. It's one of our core policies, and is part of what makes wikipedia an encylopedia, rather than just a bunch of people typing whatever they want. There are many reasons for this, and Wikipedia:No original research and its talk page would be the place to read about them. The No Original Research standard goes for all articles, not just this one. --Xyzzyplugh 06:15, 1 September 2006 (UTC)
I'm going to second Rick here. Phelps' lifestyle and penchant for lawsuits have prevented most reliable information on him, save for what he himself generates, from reaching the public. ATH is the best we have to go on. Some exceptions need to be made for cases such as this wherein the individual has engaged in criminal or possible criminal activity the nature of which circumvents standard Wiki policy. 04:50, 1 September 2006 (UTC)
An addenendum: Where were all of you people when this article first got FA status? Now you complain, go in, hack it to bits, remove information that isn't even biased simply because it came from ATH (I doubt even the most ardent Phelps supporter would complain that we mentioned he was in the school band, a good boxer, worked for the newspaper, was considered a good houseguest, etc). You're ruining the article and punishing others because you never stepped in during the writing process to voice your complaints in the first place! 04:50, 1 September 2006 (UTC)
I personally was not a wikipedia editor yet when this article achieved FA status. However, it wouldn't have mattered whether or not I had been. No wikipedia article is ever finished, they're constantly being rewritten, and as time goes by wikipedia's standards and policies have changed as well. And, there have been hundreds of newspaper and magazine articles on Phelps and his church, so the claim that we must use unreliable sources to write an article about him just doesn't hold water. --Xyzzyplugh 06:23, 1 September 2006 (UTC)
Ah, yes, there are hundreds of articles about him, and roughly 95% of them say the same thing, and of that 95%, about 97% pertain to his activities within the past ten years or so, and are almost strictly about the church's picketing. 19:50, 1 September 2006 (UTC)
Fine. _ALL_ the biography stuff, birth, early childhood photo, etc all are replicated in the 1994 Capital Journal article which ATH is an extension of. Soon, God willing very soon, Fred will cease to be a subject of "Biographies of living people" and some of this will be easier. Fine. Now. Here's my question. Does "no original research" mean that the letters to to the Topeka Capital Journal by his estranged children citing childhood abuse can not be used? or, that since they are LETTERS and not "articles" by the paper, they are not a "reputable source" ? I want to put the child abuse stuff back. Will we have an argument about that? Rick Boatright 04:10, 4 September 2006 (UTC)
Are these letters to the editor? Letters which were quoted in an article? Either way, I would think that they would qualify as a source... but not as a source of fact. That is, we could say, "Phelps' child so and so accused Phelps of blah blah in such and such a letter", but we couldn't state, "Phelps did so and so" if all we had was the letter as evidence. We can assume that if the newspaper stated the child wrote a letter, this letter was really written, whereas we can't trust anything coming from "Addicted to Hate" as it could all be fiction for all we know. --Xyzzyplugh 14:06, 6 September 2006 (UTC)


Going through this hideously butchered version of the former FA, I noticed something: There were once sites for Phelps' exchanges with Fidel Castro. I put them there personally, after a period of individuals asking that it be cited, along with a comment on the edit history that I was perturbed that it was left "unsourced" when I was able to find a credible reference in a matter of seconds with a simple Google search. Now the reference is gone, a cite is once more being asked for, and it serves to help undermine the credibility of the article. This is not the only section in which I see this occurring. Intentional or not, someone is seriously undermining the credibility of this article by removing legitimate citations. 04:57, 1 September 2006 (UTC)

Yeah, I've given up on this article. It's become an unwieldy mess plus your concerns. It looks like someone has deleted everything he did with his kids, too.

Anti-semitic Category?

Is there any reliable source for this? Or are people just assuming he's anti-semitic just because he's anti-USA and anti-gay? Jews and semitism don't seem to be mentioned anywhere in this article. I don't know a thing about him, so please correct me if I'm wrong. 07:24, 3 September 2006 (UTC)

The WBC article has sufficient information on Phelps' anti-semitism (which includes his calling the Holocaust a "miniscule" event and claiming that all Jews are insane). It used to be linked here, but the edit-mongers hacked that out in their ludicrous attempt to "NPOV" the article. 21:57, 3 September 2006 (UTC)

ADL website

Problem with Lead-in

These two lines, which begin two separate paragraphs within the lead-in, sound very similar:

Rev. Phelps gained national attention for interrupting the trial-process and funeral of Matthew Shepard, a young gay man who was beaten and then murdered in Laramie, Wyoming, in 1998

Phelps rose to national prominence in 1998 when he and congregants from Westboro picketed the funeral of gay murder victim Matthew Shepard...

I believe that the latter should probably be removed, along with the rest of that short paragraph, as it basically just restates, with the same degree of clarity, the same thing that the earlier one said. Thoughts?

Sorry, forgot to sign my last one. Still, any thoughts on the lead in repetition? Ninja Joey 07:52, 6 September 2006 (UTC)
I suppose that's my fault. I thought the substance belonged in the intro. So I put in the former sentence, and didn't think to remove the latter. Remove the latter, I'd say. MacMurrough 23:01, 6 September 2006 (UTC)

changing first paragraph (again)

I think it is important to remark in the opening paragraph (to international readers who might not be aware of the intricacies of christian denominationalism) that WBC is a christian church. Therefore I returned an earlier edit (by me, I admit) which stated this plainly. (I agree WBC might not act in what people would consider a christian manner, but nevertheless it seems to conform to the necessary requirements of being a christian church.) I removed the helpful parenthesis to "fag" which said "(gay people)" -- in my country "fag" is an Americanism, but I believe the meaning is well understood in the English-speaking world. If people don't know what the word "fag" means, then the link is there to inform them. I say this because it is not our business to make knowledge polite. (I might be wrong about this, and I'll be open to correction.) I reverted the formula "insufficiently homophobic" to "insufficiently anti-homosexual" because in this context homophobia might be thought pov. MacMurrough 23:35, 6 September 2006 (UTC)

Oh, and by the way, is there some distinction in American usage between "based out of" and "based in"? "Based out of" sounds odd to me. Why would anyone be based out of a place, rather than based in it? I ask because a previous edit of mine was characterized as quasi-vandalism because I had changed "out of" into "in". On the good side, aren't we learning a lot about ourselves? MacMurrough 23:46, 6 September 2006 (UTC)
"Based out of", to me, would seem to imply that someone or some group is based in a certain location, but tends to travel out of there to various other spots. I'm not sure my understanding of the useage of this term is accurate, though, might be best to ask others who speak American to see if I'm right on this. --Xyzzyplugh 13:24, 8 September 2006 (UTC)
That's an accurate estimation of the phrase, but probably not necessary in the opening paragraph. "in" should suffice there for clarity, we talk about him ranging far and wide deeper in the article. -- nae'blis 16:35, 9 September 2006 (UTC)

Fred Jr. & Senior conflation

For the first time I had a quick glance through this article and noticed in the Political section of this article, that Fred Phelps Jr. and Phelps Sr. appear to have been conflated into a single person. I have removed a paragraph about Jr's support for Al Gore from the article- it would be appropriate to have in Jr's article, but not Senior's. Senior appears to have not had strong feelings regarding Gore until Gore spoke out on gay rights, which is detailed later in the political section. --Kuzaar-T-C- 15:29, 15 September 2006 (UTC)

There is no evidence that I can find that Phelps, Sr. was an outspoken supporter of Gore. The only thing provided in the opinion piece references is that Phelps, Sr. allowed Jr. to use his office as a campaign center. --Kuzaar-T-C- 15:31, 15 September 2006 (UTC)
No. You are engaging in censorship. Have you ever lived in Kansas?? Have you ever lived in Topeka??? Did you attend Washburn Law School? Do you know anything about the Phelps?? You are censoring information from the article that is negative toward Al Gore and I will not you let you get away with it. Fred Phelps built the law firm Phelps Chartered and every single one of his sons and daughters that graduated from law school worked for him. Al Gore's state campaign office was in the basement of Fred Phelps Sr. and Jr.'s office. Period. There is no way around that you. You are only at this article because you follow me around. You can't tell me that you really know much about this topic other than what you just read. Also, why is it ok to put in the article about Fred Phelps Sr. information that is negative about Fred Phelps Jr when it has nothing to do with Al Gore, but if Al Gore is kissing and hugging on Fred Phelps, Jr. then you want to remove it. Also, Al Gore invited Fred Phelps, Sr. to the Clinton'siInaugural, not just the son. You aren't going to censor the article--just for political reasons.--Getaway 15:39, 15 September 2006 (UTC)
Please see Wikipedia's no personal attacks policy. Comment on content, not on the contributor; personal attacks damage the community and deter users. Note that continued personal attacks may lead to blocks for disruption. Please stay cool and keep this in mind while editing. Thank you. Gamaliel 15:42, 15 September 2006 (UTC)
Whoa! There are no personal attacks here. So let's end that discussion now. I pointed out facts. Fred Phelps, Sr. and Fred Phelps, Jr. were law partners in 1988. Fact. Kuzaar, incorrectly stated that there is no tie between Al Gore's kissing and hugging of Fred Phelps, Jr. but that is not true. They were kissing and hugging in Fred Phelps, Sr. law office. It will state in the article. I only asked questions about Kuzaar's knowledge level of the situation. I did not comment on it. They were valid questions. Now, I would ask that both Kuzaar and Gamaliel stop giving me warnings about a non-existent personal attack. It violates Wikipedia is a couple of ways. You are warning me on the talk page, as Kuzaar has pointed out in the past, is not acceptable. Also, it is not a personal attack and you are using the tools of Wikipedia to attempt to gain an uphand in a POV dispute. This discussion is about whether the Al Gore hugging and kissing should stay in the Fred Phelps, Sr. article, a POV dispute, and the warning is an attempt to use the Wikipedia warning to intimidate and control the debate.--Getaway 15:53, 15 September 2006 (UTC)
You have accused another user of censorship and political bias. Please tone it down and confine your comments to article content. Gamaliel 15:55, 15 September 2006 (UTC)
The article provided as evidence does not cite reports from a reliable reporting organization. If an issue like this is going to be claimed in the article, it should be attributed to a reliable source. For example, a reporter for Reuters would be thoroughly acceptable. I'm going to remove the reference and do my best to find a reliable source for this. As it stands, there is no evidence that the Georgia Log Cabin Republicans' reporting is subject to independant scrutiny or editing. --Kuzaar-T-C- 16:05, 15 September 2006 (UTC)
There is a Mother Jones article and several others sources that back it up--even though Log Cabin Republicans is a reputable source.--Getaway 16:11, 15 September 2006 (UTC)
As WP:RS says, exceptional claims require exceptional evidence. I am going to see what I can turn up on this- if it's true, it's a pretty shocking allegation. --Kuzaar-T-C- 16:13, 15 September 2006 (UTC)
No. That won't be necessary. I have already found the Mother Jones article. It is located right here: [1].--Getaway 16:16, 15 September 2006 (UTC)
I've added a reliable (worldnetdaily) link that claims a direct link from a photograph displayed on the site, of the article's subject (Sr.) to Gore. If you'd like to add the Motherjones article in as well, it appears to be a reliable source also. --Kuzaar-T-C- 16:25, 15 September 2006 (UTC)
I added the Mother Jones article and CNS and I left your WorldNetDaily and the Log Cabin Republicans. Let the reader review them all. --Getaway 16:28, 15 September 2006 (UTC)
I agree with you in principle. The only concern I have remaining is whether the tangential information about Phelps, Jr. should be listed here or at his article. --Kuzaar-T-C- 16:30, 15 September 2006 (UTC)
First, I did not personally attack you. You and I, for better or worse, keep running into each other in Wikipedia. We should learn to give each other good faith benefit, as we have discussed before. Second, I am from Kansas. I did attend Washburn Law School. I attended it with one of Phelps's daughters, Maggie. I know this topic forward and backward. The article is a mess, but I think that is an outgrowth of Phelps's horrible view of the world. He makes enemies of both conservaties and liberals. I was practicing law in Manhattan, Kansas when I went to see the former Governor of Kansas, Joan Finney, at a small town meeting in Grantville, Kansas when Brownback was still just Sec. of Ag. Phelps showed up with his whole family in tow and the picked Finney, a Democrat and a so-called friend of Phelps. It was ludicrious because Finney was a Pro-Life Democrat. She was, and still is after her death, a hero to the Pro-Life movement--even though she is a Democrat. But Phelps was there holding up horrible signs about how he hoped that Finney would just die, etc. Nasty, nasty, stuff. This was many, many years ago, before Phelps landed on the national stage for his pickets of soliders. Anyway, Phelps preaches hatred and no one wants to be tied to him and I understand your desire to pull the Fred Phelps, Jr. stuff out, but that would not be fair. Jr. works for and with Sr. every single day. At that picket in Grantville, Jr. was there standing right next to Sr. Read more articles about Sr. All of the activities of Jr. are intertwined with Sr. They are a team. Sr. worked on Gore's campaign, just like Jr. did. What do find to tangential?--Getaway 16:46, 15 September 2006 (UTC)
This is guilt by association. Should we dump all of the content of Ken Griffey, Jr. into Ken Griffey Sr.? --Nlu (talk) 16:47, 15 September 2006 (UTC)
Well, I think that it might be worth mentioning in both articles. The World News Daily source I found claims that Gore basically worked both of them to try to garner political support, and has some fair evidence. If the two are as intimately linked as Getaway says (in that they both worked under the same banner, politically), the claim that goes one way can just as easily go the other. --Kuzaar-T-C- 16:52, 15 September 2006 (UTC)
Thank you for your input. By the way, I don't think you personally attacked me, but we could indeed both learn a little more about WP:AGF. I had no idea of some of the background of this guy, and it looks like they're more intimately linked than I thought. This guy is so filled with malice, I can't believe how many people seem to flock to his cause. I think that people from both sides (as a quick google shows) are repuled by some of the bile-filled things he advocates, and I find it a real mark on Gore's record that he moved to try to get Phelps' political support. --Kuzaar-T-C- 16:50, 15 September 2006 (UTC)

Mass deletion

Out of curiosity, I just poked back through the edit history to see how the article has evolved. The July 28 version has large amounts of sourced material that have since been deleted. Particularly on his "pre-picketing years". I notice, for example, that it covers his university education. That's material that I independently added today; apparently there was no need for me to waste 15 minutes on that because it previously existed.

I am new to this page. Is there a reason for all this deletion? Or was it unnoticed vandalism? Derex 07:40, 20 September 2006 (UTC)

Hey Derex,
The info was apparently deleted because it cited "Addicted To Hate" which someone said cannot be a reliable source due to it not being published and it apparently violates the "Bio of living persons" policy. See this discussion for more details. I don't agree with it, but whatever. --Darkdan 13:16, 20 September 2006 (UTC)
See also Wikipedia:Featured_article_review/Fred_Phelps for the specific July 28th edits you're referring to. -- nae'blis 14:21, 20 September 2006 (UTC)

Disbarred on the Federal level??

There is a Wikipedian that keeps adding the claim that Fred Phelps is still a lawyer on the Federal level. However, there has never been any citation given for this claim. Phelps started all of the moronic demonstrations after he was disbarred for the last time. He is NOT an attorney in any jurisdiction. If the claim that he is an attorney on the Federal comes back in the article, then it needs to come in with a citation to back up the claim. If Phelps could sue in Federal court then he would and he would not use his daughter to represent him. That is a fact. Please provide evidence that Phelps is an attorney on the Federal level. The edit can be reviewed here: [2]--Getaway 22:16, 27 September 2006 (UTC)

If no citations are available either way, then the article should simply say that he was disbarred in the State of Kansas. If we don't know anything for sure about federal licenses, then we shouldn't address those at all. Derex 00:01, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
Well, that is my point.--Getaway 00:49, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
To practice law in the federal courts, you must apply for membership to each court's bar. Usually the requirements for a federal court's bar are being barred by any state and paying a fee. In other words, there is no "federal license" that can exist without a concurrent state license. And if a state disbars an attorney, the federal courts will turn around also disbar that person as well (as the underlying requirement, i.e., being barred by a state) is no longer true. -- 20:39, 13 August 2007 (UTC)

Education at John Muir can't be right

The bio mentions that Phelps received a 2 year degree at John Muir College in 1951 and then links to the college. On the college's page it places the school's founding at 1967. He couldn't have received a degree from a college that didn't exist till 16 years later. I'm removing the line until it is corrected. Hopefully this is the right protocol.

different school. this was in pasadena.[3] Derex 05:41, 29 September 2006 (UTC)

unbalanced tag

Who put it there and why? Putting a tag on an article without some discussion is not helpful. Is it supposedly tipping towards Phelps or away from him? How can it be fixed? The same principles that apply here towards adding a tag should also be a useful guideline for other such tags. Derex 23:41, 1 October 2006 (UTC)

Maybe it was just a warning label about Phelps himself. That critter is PROUDLY unbalanced. (talk · contribs) 02:59, February 3, 2007 (UTC)

The sickest thing you'll see all year.

They were a planning a protest at the Amish girl's funerals. Normally, I'm not in favor of angry mob justice, but I'd make an exception here. [4] Derex 03:25, 6 October 2006 (UTC)

Here's what they have on there official website-

The Amish children from Pennsylvania are even now in hell. Stop spreading the lie that they were innocent. They were just as degenerate and deserving of hell as the pervert who killed them. You get what you deserve, America! You raised these murderous beasts and perverted their minds, and now you act surprised? As long as you people try to stop us, you will be punished, just as Pharaoh was punished when he would not let God's people go (Ex. 12:30). Gov. Ed Rendell brought this down on you, get mad at him, not us!


--Bentendo24 08:32, 10 October 2006 (UTC)

Well, if those Amish girls are doomed to eternity in Heck there likely isn't much hope for me. 13:15, 8 December 2006 (UTC)

Shouldn't this be covered in the "People targeted by Fred Phelps" section? And somebody on YouTube tried to associate the website "signsofthetimes" with the WBC.

[5] Is that site really a front for the WBC? DanTD 16:31, 15 December 2006 (UTC)

I hope there is a god

Even if Phelps is right about God hating homosexuals... I'm sure Phels will spend an eternity there as well for being an intolerant prick. He will probably understand sodomy extremely well after a couple millenia in his own private lake of fire.

May I just, say, since this is the discussion section, that this guy is missing something important that people are supposed to have. I mean, I'm not even gay and this guy makes me want to cry. I would here like to publicly offer to appear in court as a character witness for anyone who causes this man significant discomfort and/or a lapse in his faith, which is really what he needs. I mean, there's nothing more dangerous than someone who thinks themselves to be totally righteous. Explody 07:07, 24 March 2007 (UTC)Explody

Oh I hear you..I'm at a total loss on what to say about Fred Phelps. I can't believe he's a preacher. This is why so many people don't believe in God now. As christians it is not our job to judge people who are gay. God will deal with them. Its the preachers job to spread the word of God not spread the word of Fred Phelps. God hates sin. God does not hate gays. This really bothers me big time. I didn't realize how bad this is. For the Southern Baptists I would call this a hugh problem. But I can't worry about it or I'll get a headache. So I will leave it to God himself.


Okay, lets get one thing straight here. Phelps is a sadistic madmad who is only giving a one sided crap story. GOD DOES NOT HATE HOMOSEXUALS. It is said in the bible that "God loves all men equally". Phelps takes the bible completely out of context, his ideas a LOONY! As Christians, we have to band together and live how the bible says- I do not recall the bible saying anything about hating homosexuals, in fact, the closest God says to hating anything is "Hate the sin, Love the Sinner". Okay, so now that is out in the open, I just want to say one more thing. God DOES love you the way you are, blemishes and all, go down to your local church (that doesnt teach that people are evil!) and find out for yourself. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Dinobert06 (talkcontribs) 03:55, 22 October 2007 (UTC)

Al Gore

The cites used to source the Al Gore information are not unbiased- two are conservative news sites, one is a republican orginization. Is there any sort of mainstream verification of their dubious assertions? JBKramer 18:30, 23 October 2006 (UTC)

Wrong. I'm removing the tag. This has been discussed over and over again. Also, there are pictures of Al Gore with Phelps on the Internet and it has been covered by left-wing magazines like Mother Jones. Your actions are beginning to border on vandalism.--Getaway 20:16, 24 October 2006 (UTC)
Please provide additional sources that would lead me to believe the section is accurate. Thanks. JBKramer 20:20, 24 October 2006 (UTC)
As I pointed out before all of the information can be found in the Mother Jones article. The Man That Loves To Hate, Mother Jones, by Kerry Lauerman Now, the burden is on you to provide sources that contradict my sources--otherwise your complaints are just an attempt to censor the article. What are your sources which contradict the sources provided?? You don't seem to have any at this point?--Getaway 20:43, 24 October 2006 (UTC)
I dispute nothing that can be sourced to the motherjones article. JBKramer 20:44, 24 October 2006 (UTC)

Let's keep the tone moderated, please. JBKramer, the Mother Jones article ought to cited. I have previously vetted the section in great detail, removing quite a few inaccuracies or interpretations. I personally am satisfied that Phelps supported Gore. What I'm not satisfied about is the relevance of that. To me, it seems to violate undue weight, as his support for Gore doesn't seem like a terribly significant part of his notability. It's fairly clear that the section is intended to tarnish Gore, at least if you had seen the original that would be clear. As it stands, I think it's accurate but has little notability besides an attempt to smear by a weak and one-sided association. Derex 20:47, 24 October 2006 (UTC)

I am concerned that the statements that cannot be sourced to motherjones are of questionable accuracy - the floor delagate statement and the 500 person fundraiser. If they are merely the claims of Phelps, that needs to be made more clear. JBKramer 20:52, 24 October 2006 (UTC)
No that is not true. There pictures of Fred Junior at the convention and there are pictures of Al and Tipper at the Phelps house.--Getaway 21:06, 24 October 2006 (UTC)
Sadly, interpreting pictures is a violation of WP:OR. JBKramer 21:07, 24 October 2006 (UTC)
Sadly, all information about Al Gore and Tipper Gore and their relationship with Phelps will stay in the article.--Getaway 21:45, 24 October 2006 (UTC)
The source you have included does not support the statement that "Fred, Jr. served as a Gore delegate to the 1988 Democratic National Convention." Please find a source for this statement, which I have now removed. JBKramer 22:02, 24 October 2006 (UTC)

FWIW - I agree with Getaway that the tag about accuracy should be removed. It is pretty clear that this section is accurate. What JBKramer is questioning, legitimately, is the significance. But that is not a reason to keep putting back the "accuracy" tag.


Who put that he was born in Omaha? Where did that come from?

And how does one get banned from an entire state?

Picture at convention

In his most recent edit summary, Getaway alleges there are pictures of Jr. at the 1988 DNC on a website. I am unable to find such. While the analysis of pictures is a violation of WP:OR, I don't believe Getaway is being dishonest in his edit summaries. Could someone show me the picture, please? JBKramer 21:14, 24 October 2006 (UTC)

Even if the picture exists, it needs to be at a reliable source. For example, Phelps posting the picture himself would certainly not count. Pictures are trivial to fake or alter these days. Derex 21:21, 24 October 2006 (UTC)
I would like to speak on this. I have a copy of the documentary, Hatemongers which can be obtained for free at
Pastor Fred Phelps as well as his son Fred Jr. speak in length about Al Gore. They do in fact say that Gore and his family stayed with them in Topeka. There are also photos shown during that segment of Al Gore with Fred Jr. It is true that Fred Jr. and Al Gore were friends at one time and there are in fact photographs of the two together at the DNC in 1988. I have also met Fred Phelps Jr. as well as several other members of the Westboro Baptist Church.
I would suggest that anyone interested cite the film Hatemongers as a source.
Thank you for allowing me to weigh in on this. Bart McQueary 07:25, 25 October 2006 (UTC)
Thanks. However, that film appears to be self-published, so it does not satisfy WP:RS. I wouldn't be terribly surprised if it's true though. Remember that Phelps did not begin publicly spewing his hate until after that time. At any rate, me believing it's not enough; we've got to have reliable sources. Derex 09:29, 25 October 2006 (UTC)
[6] He also supported the 1988 presidential bid of Al Gore, whose campaign used Phelps’ family office space. Consdiering this link I do not think a picture of them together anywhere needs to come from a WP:RS source as its already stated that they have been friends. Another issue is that the picture however has to be for free use however. --NuclearZer0 16:16, 26 October 2006 (UTC)
Also he was apparently a delegate for Gore at the DNC. --NuclearZer0 16:23, 26 October 2006 (UTC)
Source on delegate? Plus, all materials must come from reliable sources. I don't personally doubt he posed with a supporter. But, there is a history of forged digitial photo's, like one of Kerry listening to a Fonda speech. While the pic may be provided by Phelps or similar, the actual photo must have been seen and vouched for by a RS. Derex 22:43, 26 October 2006 (UTC)
I do not think pictures actually need to follow WP:RS unless they are asserting a fact. So if the picture is just being added as a picture of Phelps at the DNC, then that is fine. However if its being cited as proof of Phelps and Gore being buddies then it may need to be, even then considering its been established they were buddies it can be included. I guess it all depends on the picture and context, and of course most importantly if its a free use image in the first place. As for the delegate issue, you can google some sources yourself, I do not have time to butt heads. However if the picture shows Phelps there then I am sure delegates at the DNC are highlited in a particular manner to mark them as such, so again, depends on the pic it seems. --NuclearZer0 10:25, 27 October 2006 (UTC)

Further reading section

The further reading section contains some questionable statements. It says, "Bell sued the paper for monetary compensation for his work on it and in the process, the book was submitted as evidence and therefor became public domain, allowing it to be published on the internet". This doesn't sound true to me, I don't believe that submitting documents in a court case makes them public domain. --Xyzzyplugh 14:16, 5 November 2006 (UTC)

Not precisely. It depends somewhat on state laws, but generally court documents are open to the public, meaning anyone can order copies if they like, but they are actually copyrighted. Court records can be sealed, for example if they disclose trade secrets, but anything introduced in open court is free to view and charges for copying are generally minimal. The exact copyright status of anything that is free to view and/or widely available on the internet may be somewhat of a gray area. The statements of federal courts are always public domain, as with any work created by the US Federal Gov't, court opinions on the state level are not necessarily public domain. Tenebrous 06:28, 5 February 2007 (UTC)

Personal Beliefs

the phrase "old school Baptist" probably isn't the most encyclopedic way of expressing that idea. I don't want to fix it because I don't know what would be appropriate, but I don't think that's it. Mike.lifeguard 00:49, 20 November 2006 (UTC)

The correct term for Phelps' theology is hyper-Calvinism, or double-predestination. This belief essentially says God has already predestinated both the elect and the damned and that evangelism as we know it is unnecessary. Phelps is not within the body of orthodox Baptists in believing the 1689 Baptist Confession. He is also not an independent Baptist or free will (duh!) Baptist, whose beliefs are more Arminian than Calvinist. Phelps calls himself a Calvinist, and refers to historical Calvinist and Puritan literature in his (long, rambling, boring, content-free) sermons, but does not hold to the beliefs of those he quotes. I would revise the article, but I don't want to edit something this controversial. Phelps' beliefs are quite contradictory - if he believes in hyper-Calvinism, why does he bother? So he is likely not an "orthodox hyper-Calvinist" if there is such a thing, since they would not protest or evangelize. Scott1329m 15:45, 19 December 2006 (UTC)
I will regret this, but I added a section on Phelps' doctrinal position. I have listened (yuck! you want to take a bath) to several of his sermons that are posted online and looked at his beliefs, and he is not what most Christians would call orthodox in any sense, and he is not any sort of Baptist I have ever encountered. At best, he is very confused. Scott1329m 17:13, 20 December 2006 (UTC)
I did not understand that "original research" included a summary of what someone else put on the web. So I deleted what I wrote. The difficulty in elaborating on Phelps' personal beliefs is that they're in .MP3 files of his sermons, and someone would have to transcribe them and put them on another web page so that someone here could reference it, and I doubt that would happen. Anyhow, Phelps reveals all in his sermons about his doctrine and beliefs. Anyone wanting to research this can listen to them. Unless you already knew Protestant doctrine, however, it might be hard to see his differences. Then again, maybe he'll go away if people quit paying attention to him.

"George Bush worships Mr. Peanut, whose name is the great god Goober."

I noticed that this quote is no longer in the article. Was it removed due to a lack of s source? --David Bixenspan 18:26, 24 November 2006 (UTC)

Probably. It is all over the internet however, along with his quote from the bible that the bible tells you to get a piece of kansas barbed wire and castrate yourself if you cannot behave, quoted with chapter and verse.--Filll 18:43, 25 December 2006 (UTC)


Look, I think Phelps is as loony as the next guy (thinks), but this section is pure unadulterated, uncited editorialism. When the only citation that editor can find is one that refutes his own point, it is time to remove the section.

I agree. This material is unsourced and is total speculation which does not fit in with the rest of the article, which is well documented. It should be taken out. Adlaistevenson 22:25, 23 May 2007 (UTC)

"Flaming homosexual"? Etc.?

Okay, is Phelps really a "flaming homosexual", as the article asserts? Factually speaking, what qualities must a homosexual possess to be considered a "flaming" one?

I'm coming into this argument pretty late, but the definition of a "flaming" homosexual isn't a concrete one. That said, Nathan Lane's character Albert in The Birdcage is a good example of "flaming" in this context (at least, when the character is not in drag). While it isn't clear if he is gay or not, Richard Simmons is another good example. Essentially, it means a gay man who is excessively effeminate, often to the point of making a big display of it. (Vanessaezekowitz 04:50, 28 January 2007 (UTC))

That and a lot of other "facts" in this article really do violate the BLP rules, unless they have sources. I don't see the sources. I don't see links to the sources.

Somebody's really got to put a lock on this page until every single thing can be sourced.

Fred Phelps party affiliation

Phelps' voting registration in Kansas is Democratic. [citation needed]

According to this site, Phelps is registered as a Democrat. Unfortunately. --RobbieFal 03:24, 27 November 2006 (UTC)

This information cannot be verified via that link.

Is Fred Phelps really Antifundamentalist?

I do sort of wonder. He is brilliant if he is. And he apparently is getting support from the ACLU, so I do sort of wonder. Not much different than Landover Baptist church. --Filll 18:47, 25 December 2006 (UTC)

Do you have a citation for his support from the ACLU? Argyriou (talk) 18:50, 25 December 2006 (UTC)

It is not a very good citation. It was on a Fox News Broadcast that I watched on Youtube. But it is interesting to ponder alright. If it is true, it is actually brilliant. It really paints fundamentalists in an awful light....--Filll 19:05, 25 December 2006 (UTC)

Here is a slightly better citation: [7] --Filll 19:20, 25 December 2006 (UTC)
The ACLU supports the rights of lots of people with whom they do not agree. Steve Dufour 17:35, 29 December 2006 (UTC)