Talk:Westboro Baptist Church/Archive 9

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Archive 8 Archive 9 Archive 10


Recent legal development relevant to this page.

The third paragraph under the first heading ("Protest Activities") talks about Shirley Phelps-Roper's arrest and intended countersuit. The article below is about Megan Phelps-Roper (who is listed as Shirley's daughter on Shirley's page); either the AP was in error or Megan filed the suit instead of her mother. Either way, the paragraph should be updated.

From the AP, via the NYTimes:

"A federal judge has overturned Nebraska's ban on flag mutilation. Thursday's ruling is a victory for activists from a Kansas church who trample on the U.S. flag when they protest at military funerals. U.S. District Judge Richard Kopf said the state's flag-protection law can't be applied so long as members of Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kan., otherwise act peacefully. Megan Phelps-Roper filed the lawsuit in July, saying the law violated her right to free speech. Westboro members protest at soldier funerals across the nation because they believe U.S. troop deaths are punishment for the nation's tolerance of homosexuality. Members often trample on the U.S. flag, wear it and display it upside-down as part of their protests."

Link: —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:39, 3 September 2010 (UTC)

Interactions between Dove World Outreach Center and WBC?

Hello everyone. So I was reading through the Dove World Outreach Center article, and it has a section where the Church has engaged in protests alongside the Westboro Baptist Church, as well as endorses its actions on homosexuality. I'm unsure of the WBC's stance on the church, but could this be viewed as friendly relations between the two churches? Additionally, should this be added to the article itself? Your thoughts? Bkissin (talk) 13:53, 9 September 2010 (UTC)

Without any actual reliable sources it's all original research and can't be included. We're not here to theorize. — HelloAnnyong (say whaaat?!) 14:01, 9 September 2010 (UTC)

Number of members?


I just came to this article looking for infomation on the number of members of this group. I expected it to be right in the intro. Is this information known? It seems like something readers would want to know. Thanks. Wolfview (talk) 15:59, 9 September 2010 (UTC)

Odd – this was addressed in an archived talk page thread, though the article was never updated. Fixed. Adrian J. Hunter(talkcontribs) 11:48, 10 September 2010 (UTC)
Thanks.Wolfview (talk) 04:42, 11 September 2010 (UTC)

Well he/they did it! Westboro Baptist Church burnt both the Qur'an and the American flag

About 8:54 minutes into this 8:53 Youtube video.(removed youtube unofficial video - Off2riorob (talk) 21:46, 15 September 2010 (UTC)) They describe Terry Jones as a false prophet here. (talk) 21:40, 15 September 2010 (UTC)

Relevant AFD discussion page - The Most Hated Family in America

There is an AFD for The Most Hated Family in America, which is a television documentary film that was written and presented by the BBC's Louis Theroux about the family at the core of the Westboro Baptist Church (info from lede of article).

Thank you for your time, -- Cirt (talk) 18:16, 16 September 2010 (UTC)

"ruled constitutional"

Under the "responses" section there are a number of misleading and inaccurate statements. The first part outlines the steps that a few states and the federal government have taken, but it should be updated to reflect that upwards of 40 US states have either enacted new laws or revised old ones banning the picketing of funerals. More offensive, however, is the section heading below it which declares that "funeral pickets ruled protected speech." That subsection only discusses the snyder v. phelps case from the 4th circuit, and does not mention the strickland case from the sixth circuit holding that Ohio's criminal ban on protesting at funerals was constitutional. This heading gives the false impression that the constitutionality of the WBC's picketing of funerals is constitutional when in reality there is a legal disagreement between lower courts on this issue and the supreme court is going to consider the question in the upcoming term. This section should be tempered so it is a more neutral and accurate description of the current legal situation. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:55, 28 September 2010 (UTC)

Firstly, if you find the entry "offensive" [sic] your talent may, perhaps, be better applied to a different entry. Wikipedia entries should be approached with emotional detachment. Secondly, rather than editing, the entire "Responses" section should probably be spun-off into a 'funeral pickets' entry or something of that type. Having looked at the entries for a smattering of other religions I have yet to see one that includes an exhaustive itemization of legal and pop culture opinions it. The WBC entry should stick to format. Felixhonecker (talk) 09:47, 28 September 2010 (UTC)

Edit request from Tommykun, 1 October 2010

{{edit semi-protected}} Addition to "Funeral Pickets" section

In late September 2010, Westboro announced plans to picket the funeral of Senior Chief Petty Officer Blake McLendon in Thomasville, GA on October 1st. Several small groups were planning to stage a counter protest and followed through.


Tommykun (talk) 14:26, 1 October 2010 (UTC)

 Declined There's no reason to highlight this particular funeral over any others, and we're not going to use Wikipedia as a memorial in any capacity. — HelloAnnyong (say whaaat?!) 14:29, 1 October 2010 (UTC)

New edit request

Hi, sorry if this is not the place to point out a typo. But I noticed the following: In the last sentence of the 'Counter Protests' section; "Other signs included: "Superman died for you sins", "Odin is God", and "God loves Gay Robin".[117]" —Preceding unsigned comment added by Davidcharleswilliams (talkcontribs) 18:16, 13 September 2010 (UTC)

Fixed Thanks, Adrian J. Hunter(talkcontribs) 03:05, 2 October 2010 (UTC)

Edit request from Kennycantrell, 6 October 2010

{{edit semi-protected}} The Westboro Baptist Church (WBC) is an Independent Baptist church and hate group

Please change Independent Baptist to Primitive Baptist, because there is a huge difference between the two doctrinally and should not be confused with each other. You can see the definition of an Independent Baptist at You can see the definition of a Primitive Baptist at So you see you are confusing your readers when you call Westboro an Independent Baptist in the introduction and then a Primitive Baptist in the article. They are truly considered a Primitive Baptist Church and should be called such through out the article for a consistent flow.


Not done: please provide reliable sources that support the change you want to be made. All the sources in the article (eg see reference 8) state the WBC is an Independant Baptist church. Thanks, Stickee (talk) 01:19, 7 October 2010 (UTC)
We have sources that say both things, but there is difference between Being an independent baptist church and a baptist church that independent from others ones. I think kenny here is taking issue with lumping them with other "independent Baptist" which statement is wikilinked to as "independent Baptist" seem to be loose knit denomination where as Westborro is simply "independent" The Resident Anthropologist (talk) 05:00, 15 October 2010 (UTC)
Fixed article to reflect talk. PeRshGo (talk) 17:36, 15 October 2010 (UTC)

This article seems somewhat biased

The WBC isn't technically a hate group. (Well, not in their minds.) (talk) 17:42, 3 October 2010 (UTC)

I would imagine that the KKK and others feel the same way. Cults don't label themselves as cults, etc. LiteralKa (talk) 18:51, 3 October 2010 (UTC)
The Anti-Defamation league has them on their list of hate groups, and has a fairly wordy write up on them. [1] (talk) 02:48, 26 October 2010 (UTC)

A good source of various info

Look what I found: - maybe even a similar article should be created at Wikipedia? Some of this is VERY interesting, yet not mentioned at Wikipedia, such as the plot to bomb their one of their protests (at the funeral of Jerry Falwell) by a Christian extremist of another kind. Also, the Wikipedia article is actually much more mess than this, which is quite well organized. (But even this website forgot some things like WBC's Baathist Iraq adventure.) -- (talk) 20:58, 12 November 2010 (UTC)

Edit request from, 14 November 2010

{{edit semi-protected}} On November 13, 2010, in Mcalester,OK, WBC recently tried to protest against Sgt. Jason McCluskey, a deceased veteren of the Iraqi War. Only six members showed up, 4 kids and 2 women, to an awaiting gathering of over 1,000 counter protesters all surrounding the church in order to bar the members from ever reaching the family. Shortly after a few minutes of protesting, they left only to find two tires on their purple Honda Odessy slashed. Oklahoma Highway Patrol finally called a wrecking service for the van, as several tire or mechanic stores refused them service. (talk) 05:17, 14 November 2010 (UTC)

 Declined. Sorry, but this one protest doesn't deserve to be mentioned over any others. — HelloAnnyong (say whaaat?!) 05:22, 14 November 2010 (UTC)

Critcism of Dispensationalism

Is there any instance of either the WBC or its members criticizing evangelical leaders that adhere to a dispensationalist theology, especially reguarding support for Jews or the state of Isreal? If so, it should be included in the article. --Confession0791 talk 08:35, 17 November 2010 (UTC)

"Hate Group" Edit Request

{{editsemiprotected}} I do not think that calling this a "hate group" reflects a neutral viewpoint. The article can state that the group has been identified as a hate group by entities that undertake to identify hate groups. Which is not to say that I don't think their behavior hateful and insane. I just don't think that "x=hate group," footnoted or not, is a statement of fact. Avocats (talk) 03:04, 4 August 2010 (UTC)

I have been arguing that for while no one seems to care I think that should be directly attributed in text to the group that labels it as suchWeaponbb7 (talk) 03:11, 4 August 2010 (UTC)
Did you see the reference for that? It's reference #1. Nine different links are given to show that it's a hate group. Wikipedia articles are meant to reflect what the sources say, and if we have a plurality of sources that say WBC is a hate group, then the article says that. — HelloAnnyong (say whaaat?!) 03:53, 4 August 2010 (UTC)
Subjective labels are always subjective not fact, unfortunately are editing philosophies differ. Weaponbb7 (talk) 04:12, 4 August 2010 (UTC)
Not done: This has been brought up here in the past. The general consensus was to keep as "hate group". Summary of consensus: NPOV states that viewpoints should viewed equally. However, "hate group" is pretty much the only viewpoint for this case. --Stickee (talk) 05:59, 4 August 2010 (UTC)
Wow. I always thought that Wikipedia was supposed to be a neutral source of information. YES, I DID see the footnote references. No matter how many references you put in the footnote, there is no support for calling WBC a "hate group" because there is no process for determining what is a "hate group." It is pure opinion. "Several organizations contend that WBC is a hate group" is a fact. Can't wait to see what these folks write about the First Amendment. And I still abhor WBC. I also read the archive, and that was really disturbing; most of the posters entirely miss the point. But then I doubt that logic is taught many places these days. Avocats (talk) 22:35, 17 August 2010 (UTC)
I agree, I have edit warred over such statements in other articles but arguements over such things tend to end with WP:SPADE logic Weaponbb7 (talk) 22:39, 17 August 2010 (UTC)
I also agree in the strongest terms. While I may, myself, identify the WBC as a hate group, subjective labeling is not appropriate for wikipedia. Felixhonecker (talk) 03:59, 10 September 2010 (UTC)
If a large number of reliable sources say X, and no reliable sources say "not X", then saying "X" in wikipedia isn't POV, it's WP:V, WP:RS. I actually had some sympathy for your argument until I went to the sources, but from what I see, the sources back the application of the term to WBC. ;-) --je deckertalk 06:02, 10 September 2010 (UTC)
It seems, before we start looking at this question in a more thorough manner, the sources themselves must be addressed as there is a lot of chaff that would preclude a critical evaluation as to whether they meet the standards in WP:SOURCES. I would like to start by requesting consensus for deleting the following from the references: Southern Poverty Law Center website (the SPLC website is not a new organization and is not a publisher of academic research), Temple News (a student newspaper), (an unedited, "citizen journalism" site).Felixhonecker (talk) 15:24, 25 September 2010 (UTC) Felixhonecker (talkcontribs) has made few or no other edits outside this topic.

I want to throw my hat in this discussion ring and say that I have a problem with the manner in which they are presented as a "hate group" matter-of-factly. While I view them as a hate group, myself, the term is clearly subjective. I'm also sure that they wouldn't classify themselves as a hate group. So there is at least one source (no matter how despicable) that would differ on that classification. Wikipedia doesn't even call Hitler "evil" because it violates their policies concerning WP:NPOV. Instead, they spell out the facts of his life and let the facts speak for themselves. Why can't we do the same with WBC? Justifying the label with WP:SPADE is both a misnomer and a cheap cop-out. Shockeychap (talk) 16:35, 7 October 2010 (UTC) Shockeychap (talkcontribs) has made few or no other edits outside this topic.

They do fit the description and there are multiple reliable citations reporting them as a hate group ...? Off2riorob (talk) 18:34, 7 October 2010 (UTC)

Hitler fits the description of evil. And there are multiple, reliable citations that report him as being evil. And yet, the Wikipedia article for Hitler doesn't say "Hitler is evil." Instead, it duly reports on the facts of his life and what many people have said concerning it. The article for WBC could accurately say the same thing that the article for Fred Phelps already says: "The church is monitored as a hate group by the Anti-Defamation League and Southern Poverty Law Center." That would be an accurate statement of fact. However, thus far, nobody with the ability to make the change has done so. That speaks to a deep rooted bias that the editors of this article refuse to acknowledge. Shockeychap (talk) 21:54, 7 October 2010 (UTC)

Good points, personally I don't support this hate group representation in the lede it would be better moved or tweaked but there was previous support for the reporting strength of multiple citations. Off2riorob (talk) 21:58, 7 October 2010 (UTC)
My biggest problem with Shockeychap's suggestion is that it suggests to me that the SLPC and the ADL are the only people who classify WBC that way. My reading of the breadth of sources on GNews suggests that the reality is broader than that. How would folks feel about "The church is widely described as a hate group and is monitored as such by the Anti-Defamation League and Southern Poverty Law Center."? --je deckertalk 23:53, 25 October 2010 (UTC)
I have no problem with "The church is widely described as a hate group and is monitored as such by the Anti-Defamation League and Southern Poverty Law Center." There could be ten paragraphs after that describing the various organizations who consider them to be a hate group. I do have a problem with the lead as it is right now. Calling them a "hate group" a. s part of the introduction about who they are makes it sound like hating is their self-stated purpose. While they engage in what many people, myself included, consider to be hate-oriented activities, their stated purpose is not to hate. And since they don't classify themselves as a hate group, and since the word "hate" is clearly a subjective term, the article should not open with a statement that they "are" a hate group - as though it was a statement of fact. (Even the article for the KKK doesn't do that.) The fact that it has stood this long unremedied is, in my opinion, shameful. Shockeychap (talk) 22:43, 26 October 2010 (UTC)
I see you made that (or a similar) edit, and I support that, thanks. I think it's an improvement. --je deckertalk 19:39, 27 October 2010 (UTC)
I was a little nervous about doing so given that its a semi-protected article and has been a debatable point for some time. However, I really did think it to be inline with Wikipedia's principles and I really appreciate you voicing your support. Shockeychap (talk) 02:32, 28 October 2010 (UTC)
I don't think I've commented on this matter before, but for what it's worth I also heartily approve of Shockeychap's edit. More scholarly, more precise, more encyclopedic in tone. Kudos for being so bold. Adrian J. Hunter(talkcontribs) 04:47, 28 October 2010 (UTC)

Re: 'Hate': The basics of how to report one-sided reported speech.

It is a misunderstanding of the nature of objective reporting, and of Englsih grammar ( to claim that multiple citations or 'consensus' can justify describing an entity by a perjoritive and subjective term. If a subjective term is to be included (subjective because 'hate' is in the mind of the hater), then there must be balance and their supporters' usage given too. We do not define minority political or religious groups solely by the terms coined by their opponents: to do so reveals the introduction as a biased entity. 'Hate group' is a subjective term, no matter how many hundreds of repetitions can be sourced. Nor is it the only viewpint: the Baptists believe differently: that the 'hate' is 'God's'. In the case of extreme views, we must present a third viewpoint: a neutral reporting stance. We should not enter onto the side of one or the other. Therefore, to be impartial, the word hate in the text should refer to it's subjective origen.

Let us be clear: Hate, here, is NOT A FACT, it reports an opinion of what opponents assume to be in the mind of the Baptists, and to be truthful should be truthfully reported as reported speech.

It should read: 'and has been described as a 'hate group Anything less is BIAS.

Come on editors, you can do much better than this. This is extremely disappointing. (talk) 23:07, 25 October 2010 (UTC) (talk) has made few or no other edits outside this topic.

It's misleading here to argue about what is and isn't a fact. We at Wikipedia don't deal in truth, we deal in reporting by reliable, preferably secondary sources. "What do those sources say?" is the important question. As there are, if you bother to look, hundreds [2] of such sources documenting the usage, I believe that the previous consensus that the lede was appropriate is correct and should stand. --je deckertalk 23:38, 25 October 2010 (UTC)
It's also misleading to frame this in the context of "truth." I understand that since Wikipedia is not an original source, it technically is unable to deal in truth. But it certainly does deal in facts; and it should, at all times, make clear within an article whether a statement represents an assertion of fact or whether it represents an opinion. (Without regard to truth.) The introduction for this article is misleading not because of any concerns over truth or preponderance of evidence, but because it presents as fact something that is opinion. This discussion is wrongly focusing on the merits and truthfulness of the assertion. Please fix the article. It's the only intellectually honest thing to do. Shockeychap (talk) 22:43, 26 October 2010 (UTC)
I fail to see how it is intellectually dishonest to label a group what it is. The statement is sourced, and the church is known literally for nothing else except their protests, which are undeniably about spreading hate for certain groups. The numerous sources and images speak for themselves. Beach drifter (talk) 22:52, 26 October 2010 (UTC)
It's dishonest because it is presenting something as fact, when it is actually opinion. Saying that it is "sourced" has NO BEARING on this problem. You said, "The numerous sources and images speak for themselves." So why not let them speak for themselves? Why not change the statement to "The church is widely described as a hate group and is monitored as such by the Anti-Defamation League and Southern Poverty Law Center."? It doesn't downplay the reality of what they are known for. I can't see any valid reason for refusing a change like this other than the willful desire of a few to present the popular view of WBC as a statement of fact. Wikipedia has enforced NPOV so thoroughly that even the likes of Adolf Hitler doesn't get blithely referred to as evil. It's one of the few concepts that enjoys being described as a "fundamental principle." I can speculate pretty easily as to what the members of WBC would say about their actions. They would say that they are trying to wake people up and save their souls. As such, they would consider themselves a "love group." I recognize the absurdity of describing them as a love group. However, it should also be recognized that calling them a "hate group" within the context of a sentence that is allegedly making factual assertions is just fooling oneself into believing that the weight of popular consensus overrides the need for clarity. Shockeychap (talk) 00:02, 27 October 2010 (UTC)
The reality is that they are a hate group. It is a fact. When a society as a whole labels something, so it is. I would argue that it would be dishonest to label them as anything other. "Hate group" has a well established definition that this group meets. Do you want to go into other articles and change the leads to "they are widely described as"? There is nothing ambiguous here. Beach drifter (talk) 00:17, 27 October 2010 (UTC)
So by your logic, Beach drifter, if society as a whole decided that 2+2=5, it would be a fact? At one time, society as a whole thought the earth was flat. Didn't make it so. Popular consensus <> fact. Why does nobody dare to broach the logic and reasoning behind the refusal to call Hitler "evil" as a statement of fact, but the willingness to do so with WBC? Shockeychap (talk) 00:33, 27 October 2010 (UTC)
I didn't respond to your Hitler/evil argument because I didn't think it was a good one. Society may agree that he is evil, but putting such a word in the lead would be silly, evil in that sense is an adjective (a very subjective one at that), while hate group is a noun defining the church. Typically I try to avoid arguments involving other examples, as they have no relation to this article. Of course from a scientific stand point we can not change reality, but that has no bearing here. An entity meets the definition of something, it is that thing. Beach drifter (talk) 00:57, 27 October 2010 (UTC)

My point is not that the term "evil" didn't appear in the lead for Adolf Hitler. It's that it doesn't appear as a statement of fact anywhere. In fact, the only place that the word is used within the article is the following:

Hitler, the Nazi Party and the results of Nazism are typically regarded as gravely immoral. Historians, philosophers, and politicians have often applied the word evil in both a secular and a religious sense.

Nevertheless, you imply that the article for Hitler is not a valid comparison. I think it's safe to say that the article for the Ku Klux Klan, a group that is equally regarded as a hate group, is a valid comparison. Here's what that article says concerning the group:

Ku Klux Klan, often abbreviated KKK and informally known as The Klan, is the name of three distinct past and present far-right organizations in the United States ... The current manifestation is splintered into several chapters and is widely considered to be a hate group.

So, why isn't the same treatment given to the article concerning WBC? Why not make a simple change to reflect that they are widely regarded as a hate group? Shockeychap (talk) 01:18, 27 October 2010 (UTC)

I have been lobbying for the reduction of "subjective terms as facts" for a while and agree with shockeychap completely. That as repulsive as these groups are they do deserve a fair neutral article The Resident Anthropologist (talk) 01:35, 27 October 2010 (UTC)

I would just like to preface these statements with a link to the wiki article on hate groups: Hate Group A hate group is an organized group or movement that advocates and practices hate, hostility, or violence towards members of a race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation or other designated sector of society. Charles 08:14, 22 November 2010 (UTC)

Edit request from Bigdog2330, 18 November 2010

{{edit semi-protected}} Westboro Baptist Church has been protesting in Oklahoma at children's funerals as well as military funerals in 2010. On November 17, 2010, members of Westboro Baptist Church went to Burneyville, Oklahoma to protest a funeral that was being held for an eight-year-old. The WBC proclaimed on their website "Thank God For More Dead Children In Oklahoma!" Bigdog2330 (talk) 06:32, 18 November 2010 (UTC)

Not done: If every time this church held a protest that got covered by a local newspaper were to be included, this article would be about 2GiB or larger in size. If you have a specific suggestion on incorporating that story into the current article, please do so on this talk page. Thanks. -Atmoz (talk) 15:21, 18 November 2010 (UTC)


Would it be appropriate to mention Phelps-A-Thons in the Responses section of the article, perhaps below Patriot Guard Riders. I listed a few of the bigger Phelps-A-Thons[1][2] in the counter-protest section, but believe it would make more sense to have a Phelps-A-Thon section, as is a website dedicated to counter-protesting WBC. has been organizing anti-WBC fundraisers for at least two years, since December, 2008.[3] I don't know of any other groups whose sole mission is to oppose WBC, expect for the Patriot Gaurd Riders, which does have a separate section. Please advise. --'Emilyg78 talk 08:40, 1 December 2010 (UTC)

Emily, it's quite clear that your main purpose here is to promote Phelps-a-thon. I don't know if you're involved in it or what, but Wikipedia has guidelines about having a conflict of interest and using Wiki for promotional purposes. No article is meant to be a chronicle of all the events Phelps-a-thon has done, so I've removed a bunch of the entries you added to this page. I don't think the website is nearly notable enough to get its own section here. As a side note, I've tagged the Phelps-a-thon article as not fulfilling the notability criteria. — HelloAnnyong (say whaaat?!) 12:55, 1 December 2010 (UTC)


There should be a history section, when the church was founded and such.--Tomvasseur (talk) 19:02, 3 December 2010 (UTC)

Elizabeth Edwards

The Westboro Baptist Church is protesting in Raleigh, North Carolina at the funeral of Elizabeth Edwards at Edenton Street United Methodist Church on December 11th. I think this should be added. Google it, it has recieve much news coverage. --Willthacheerleader18 (talk) 16:49, 10 December 2010 (UTC)

Anti-gay funeral (and other) protests

I first heard of WBC in the 1990's when they showed up at the funerals of gay men who had died from AIDS. Randy Shilts' funeral was one of the more prominent ones. They also showed up picketing Metropolitan Community Church congregations. (MCC is a church with a primary membership and outreach with LGBT people). The WBC was on our radar then, if not on most other people's. I don't have time to write that part of an article but would like to see it included. Djbos (talk) 06:59, 8 January 2011 (UTC)

Laramie Project Edit request

On October 23, 2010, The WBC planned to picket Buffalo Grove High School's production of The Laramie Project, over 150 students alone showed up to counter-protest, but the WBC failed to show. Please add this under "Counter protests" link to story — Preceding [[Wikipedia:Signatures|PresidentHanson44 (talk) 23:02, 8 December 2010 (UTC)]] comment added by PresidentHanson44 (talkcontribs) 22:58, 8 December 2010 (UTC)

As stated above, we aren't going to include every protest and counter protest. The fact that a protest didn't even occur makes this one exceptionally non-notable. Beach drifter (talk) 13:05, 9 December 2010 (UTC)
Then what about the "Theater Cedar Rapids" story where they counter protested, but the WBC was a no-show?. If that can be included, why can't this? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:25, 11 December 2010 (UTC)

It might be relevant to include the numbers of people that actually show up on each side of these so-called protests. My personal experience is that it is only a few people from Westboro that show up. For all the media attention, you would think it is an invasion. Although they haven't explicitly stated it as such, I believe they simply are agitators who are looking for a legal settlement. -- Avanu (talk) 05:30, 16 January 2011 (UTC)


Is the Westboro Baptist Church Anti-Mormon as well? If so, I think there should be a section on the church's views of Mormonism under the religion section of the article. --Willthacheerleader18 (talk) 22:03, 30 December 2010 (UTC)

If someone wishes to add such a section, here's a link from one of the WBC's websites on Mormonism: --Xyzzyplugh (talk) 02:31, 2 January 2011 (UTC)
They are against alot of people, We dont have the space to cover them all sadly The Resident Anthropologist (talk) 02:38, 2 January 2011 (UTC)
Last time I checked there's still room on the servers for more information. So long as the information is proportional to other material in the article we can keep adding more, and split the article as appropriate.   Will Beback  talk  08:41, 2 January 2011 (UTC)
From a quick search, it looks like the correct weight might be just a line or two. They protested the funeral of LDS President Gordon B. Hinckley, which is the most notable anti-Mormon thing they've done that I can find.   Will Beback  talk  08:47, 2 January 2011 (UTC)

I doubt it is relevant to really mention Mormonism in this article. This 'church' isn't really preaching what most of mainstream Christianity considers valid doctrine. Whatever it is they want, it seems mostly to consist of calling attention to themselves and suing anyone who gets in their way. (many of the church/family members are licensed attorneys also) When they show up to 'protest', it is usually a group of about 6 or 7 of them, and they typically stand alone, while whatever community they are in, shows up in droves, hundreds of people. It seems clearly to be a goal of testing legal boundaries, like this newly enacted law in Arizona. -- Avanu (talk) 05:27, 16 January 2011 (UTC)

More prominence on the whole "Hate group" thing?

I think it's important that the first section is changed from:

"The Westboro Baptist Church (WBC) is an independent Baptist church known for its extreme stance against homosexuality" to: "The Westboro Baptist Church (WBC) is a hate group known for its extreme stance against homosexuality".

This would clear up confusion to new visitors. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Sk8r2000 (talkcontribs) 20:54, 18 January 2011 (UTC)

Wouldn't that violate WP:NPOV? I think it's fine the way it is, first sentence is how they describe themselves and what they are known for in neutral terms, second sentence is how others view them (specifically as a hate group). Bakkster Man (talk) 21:31, 18 January 2011 (UTC)
This has been discussed extensively in the past. Please see archive 9 for the most recent discussion. Adrian J. Hunter(talkcontribs) 04:44, 19 January 2011 (UTC)

Possible Social Criticism/Performance Art Project?

There seems to be no discussion in the article, and perhaps in the larger commentary on this group, that the Westboro Baptist Church may in fact, be a satirical organization. Possible similarities to the Yes Men may exist, which would account for the incredible ham-handedness of the organization's activities.

It seems very plausible to me that Fred Phelps is a PRO-GAY activist who has concluded that the best way to unite people against homophobia is to take an absurdly extreme stand, one that exaggerates the views of garden-variety homophobes, or takes them to their logical extreme. The military connection is brilliant, something that perhaps even a modern-day Mark Twain would have thought of.

Either way, whether Fred Phelps is a brilliant performance artist or a clueless and violent homophobe, I believe that he will be remembered in 20 years for having had a significant influence on reducing homophobia in this country. Further irony can be gained if you consider that the thousands of homophobes that send his "church" money for their activities are most likely funding the marginalization of their views. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:22, 25 January 2011 (UTC)

I've had the same thought several times, but Phelps's history is pretty well established. As over the top as they are I often think that no one could have such insane views. However there is nothing at all to support that these people are anything other than what they say they are. Beach drifter (talk) 02:33, 25 January 2011 (UTC)
Without reliable sources discussing this theory, this is all just original research, and inappropriate (read WP:NOR) for inclusion in the article. Sorry. ;-) --je deckertalk 03:58, 25 January 2011 (UTC)
Indeed, Guess We'll have to wait for the "tell all" book. lacking such verification it is indeed in WP:NOR. Think you could contribute this to Conspiracy Wiki. The Resident Anthropologist (talk) 04:06, 25 January 2011 (UTC)
Which is why the OP didn't add it to the article. I think it's a legitimate question—at least as legitimate as WP:REQUEST. Don't knock him for doing the right thing. As for my take on the question: I believe they're for real, but see Poe's Law. DES (talk) 09:33, 25 January 2011 (UTC)
Wow, I like Poe's Law need to keep that in mind The Resident Anthropologist (talk) 17:16, 25 January 2011 (UTC)
I've had all too many humorous opportunities to witness P's Law in action. With regard to WBC, however, one really interesting source for understanding that organization is "Addicted to Hate". It is, of course, only a single source and could be seen has having a non-neutral POV, but it is (so far as I've seen) coherent with the numerous interviews of current and past family and church members, the WBC's actions and statements, and so on. To the extent that AtH is accurate, generational abuse patterns come more to mind than performance art. --je deckertalk 19:10, 25 January 2011 (UTC)

Edit request from Krowblc17, 19 February 2011

{{edit semi-protected}} I would like the words and tag to be changed from "Primitive Baptist and Calvinist principles" to "Calvinist principles". Seeing that Primitive Baptists have Calvinistic views makes it redundant to mention Primitive Baptist. Being a representative of multiple members of the Primitive Baptist Church, we also do not want to be associated with Westboro Baptist Church. We do not support the actions of Westboro Baptist Church.

Krowblc17 (talk) 15:07, 19 February 2011 (UTC)

Not done. It honestly doesn't really matter whether or not you want to be associated with them. That's called a conflict of interest. If that's how they label themselves, then that's what we add to the article. ICYTIGER'SBLOOD 16:33, 20 February 2011 (UTC)

Protest activities

The first two sentences completely repeat each other. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:12, 19 February 2011 (UTC)

No they aren't? Could you please be more specific? ICYTIGER'SBLOOD 16:38, 20 February 2011 (UTC)
The first two paragraphs of the "Protest activities" section are virtual clones of each other, with minor changes in the numbers and different references cited. When the above request was first posted, I started to just delete the "older" versions (presumably the lower numbers), but noticed the dates of the sources were around the same time, and decided not to bother evaluating relative reliability or restructuring the content to "weasel" the numbers, but it needs to be cleaned up eventually... Fat&Happy (talk) 17:41, 20 February 2011 (UTC)

A couple of minor bits seem irrelevant.

{{edit semi-protected}} A couple of minor bits seem irrelevant. They were irrelevant enough to distract me from the article, wondering why someone felt these 2 mentions were important enough to include.

The may be meaningful, but I've never heard of the site, nor does there appear to be an existing Wikipedia page for it. If noone's considered it meaningful enough to make a Wikipedia page, is it still meaningful enough to be worth the prominent mention it gets here? I suggest striking that mention.

Also, the line "WBC has expressed its intention to contest such laws, and if victorious collect damages while the Phelps Chartered law firm collects attorney's fees under the Civil Rights Attorney's Fees Award Act of 1976." seems rather irrelevant, and redundant, given that there's already separate discussion of their previous pattern of such activity, using nearly the same language, ("WBC, through the closely related Phelps Chartered law firm, has collected fees under the Civil Rights Attorney's Fees Award Act of 1976 when their protests have been unlawfully disrupted.") but with it there making sense in the general flow of the article. I suggest changing it to simply "WBC has expressed its intention to contest such laws." (talk) 06:10, 20 February 2011 (UTC)

I'm not going to approve or deny this request, but I did want to comment on this statement, "If noone's considered it meaningful enough to make a Wikipedia page, is it still meaningful enough to be worth the prominent mention it gets here?" The existence or nonexistence of an article does not indicate the notability of a subject. Hundreds of new articles on notable topics are created every day. This project has no end. Whether or not someone's gotten around to creating a valid article on the topic does not necessarily mean it's not notable (the same goes for the flipside, just because something has an article does not mean the topic is actually notable, which is why we have WP:AFD). ICYTIGER'SBLOOD 16:37, 20 February 2011 (UTC)

DoneOn the first point, even though IP hasn't used the right terminology, that info should go. The site doesn't appear to meet WP:RS. More importantly, calling WBC a cult is an opinion, and, as such, has to meet WP:DUE in order to be included. However, I don't see any indication that the opinions of that website are important enough for inclusion. On the second point, I too find the sentence distracting, and since it isn't directly supported while the other one is, I'll take that one out. Qwyrxian (talk) 06:10, 21 February 2011 (UTC)

"God Hates The World" video

Should we link their song God Hates The World? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:38, 20 February 2011 (UTC)

My humble opinion is no... just the fact Ma'am... just the facts. CanadianLinuxUser (talk) 17:13, 22 February 2011 (UTC)
Probably not, under WP:EL. We have a link to their official website. WP:EL says that we shouldn't link to all sorts of subsidiary websites if the information is relatively easily available from the subject's main official site. Now, I have to be honest, and say that I don't know for sure that the WBC site has a link to the video, because I'm at work now and am not interested in opening their page where another person might see it. If someone can verify, though, that the song is linked somewhere off of their site, then a direct link to Veoh isn't necessary. If it's not linked anywhere on their site, the issue would be more discretionary. Qwyrxian (talk) 23:44, 22 February 2011 (UTC)
When the first message was posted the other day, I checked their official site(s); I can't guarantee it's not there, but nothing in their lists of songs, movies, or videos appears at first glance to be this particular performance. Given the number of video links that are on their site, though, I don't see that a link to this particular additional one adds much to the article. Fat&Happy (talk) 00:10, 23 February 2011 (UTC)

Edit request from Logicalatheist, 25 February 2011

{{edit semi-protected}} As of February 25th, 2011 the Westboro Baptist Church Official website, and its sister sites were 'seized' by a group known only as Anonymous. This was due to a derogatory letter towards Anonymous. During a live webcast of The David Pakman Show, a member confirmed the 'cease' of their websites and issued a letter to Westboro Baptist Church. The interview can be seen here Also the letter to WBC can be seen here

Logicalatheist (talk) 17:46, 25 February 2011 (UTC)

Already present, see Response → Counter Protests. Bakkster Man (talk) 17:58, 25 February 2011 (UTC)

FlySkyHigh777 (talk) 01:09, 20 March 2011

Current listing is incorrect, saying Anonymous only took control of one domain. All domains formerly controlled by WBC have been seized and removed. Edit?


I've removed the funding section added by Fgnievinski. Being entirely unsourced, speculative and not particularly encyclopedic in tone, it doesn't nearly belong in this article. Text like "This issue is obviously relevant" is not acceptable for Wikipedia. Maybe it can be readded when there are some actual sources, but until then, no. — HelloAnnyong (say whaaat?!) 19:58, 5 March 2011 (UTC)
"Fred Phelps and his small congregation provide WBC's funding; the group neither solicits nor accepts outside donations. In addition to this income, the church makes money by winning or settling civil lawsuits involving the church. During the 1990s, the group sued Topeka multiple times..." Fat&Happy (talk) 20:12, 5 March 2011 (UTC)
Is SPLC considered a reliable source in this case? — HelloAnnyong (say whaaat?!) 20:13, 5 March 2011 (UTC)
generally SPLC is considered a RS but another would be prefered since they are an advocacy group.
HelloAnnyong, thanks for (partially) accepting my second edit. Fgnievinski (talk) 20:27, 5 March 2011 (UTC)
Also thanks for the cleanup, the wording looks much better now! Fgnievinski (talk) 20:31, 5 March 2011 (UTC)
Your wording is still unacceptable. No article should say "It must be noted that". Do you actually have a source that they're an actual church that is tax exempt? — HelloAnnyong (say whaaat?!) 20:35, 5 March 2011 (UTC)
They are According to Slate. I suspect its the next battle in the Anti-WBC legal challenge. The Resident Anthropologist (Talk / contribs) 20:40, 5 March 2011 (UTC)
Great! Would you care to add that reference that to the article, please? I don't want to seem the only one who cares. Fgnievinski (talk) 20:46, 5 March 2011 (UTC)
As a side note, the $200k+/yr travel expenses thing already exists in the Protest activities section, and it is therefore unnecessary to have that information twice in one article. So stop adding it. — HelloAnnyong (say whaaat?!) 20:55, 5 March 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for pointing that first occurrence. I've moved it to a more pertinent section. Fgnievinski (talk) 21:02, 5 March 2011 (UTC)
Notice that ResidentAnthropologist justified the revert by saying that expenses are irrelevant to a discussion about funding, which I find a puzzling argument. Fgnievinski (talk) 21:06, 5 March 2011 (UTC)


Anything on them and the recent events? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:47, 24 February 2011 (UTC)

Since Anonymous claimed it was a hoax, I doubt this will be notable in a month's time. If that changes, then we can add something. Bakkster Man (talk) 22:56, 24 February 2011 (UTC)

I meant the recent goading of an Anonymous on a talk show (Or radio show, I am not too sure which) which led to him attacking another of their websites during the show. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:34, 24 February 2011 (UTC)

Anonymous has reportedly taken down their websites [3]. Section was added to article. I'm not sure which page resolves, though. — Preceding unsigned comment added by James Who (talkcontribs) 01:36, February 25, 2011
Sorry, I've pulled this down for now because I feel it's adding too much undue weight on the event. Not everything that Westboro is involved in needs to be mentioned in this article. — HelloAnnyong (say whaaat?!) 02:04, 25 February 2011 (UTC)

Its hardly placing undue weight. The WBC relies on the website to publicize their protests to the media and world at large. By taking it offline Anonymous has done what no one else has been able to do, deny WBC the oxygen of publicity. Judging by the video posted on Youtube, the Church member being interviewed seems to think its no big deal at the time. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Valfarly (talkcontribs) 05:20, 25 February 2011 (UTC)

Well, we need things that will be notable in the future, not just notable in the current 24-hour news cycle. If we still care in a week, then we should probably add it. If not, then why add it in the first place? Bakkster Man (talk) 14:16, 25 February 2011 (UTC)
So Wikipedia can be a current source of information, perhaps? (Annoying sticklers...) (talk) 16:42, 25 February 2011 (UTC)
Wikipedia isn't news, WP:NOTNEWS. If it's not going to be notable a year from now, it doesn't need to be here now. If you want to cover current events use WikiNews, not Wikipedia.
All that said, and looking over the article, it's probably time for cleanup. We don't need to (and shouldn't) explain every single event WBC is involved in, just the most notable, and a summary of their overall activities. I'll look into how much unnecessary information can be trimmed, and will probably leave the sources as well. Bakkster Man (talk) 17:20, 25 February 2011 (UTC)

You should at least give passing mention to the fact that their website, to which this article links, is now down, and the link will not function. — Preceding unsigned comment added by FlameHorse (talkcontribs) 20:56, February 26, 2011

Unless their site remain down, this doesn't by itself make the event notable. The link can be marked as dead until it returns. Bakkster Man (talk) 13:19, 28 February 2011 (UTC)

It's been a couple weeks and the site is still down. Should something be put up now? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:34, 8 March 2011 (UTC)

You mean beyond the paragraph that's been there for the last ten days? Fat&Happy (talk) 05:55, 8 March 2011 (UTC)

Replace Westboro for WBC?

Currently there is a mixed naming convention: sometimes the subject is referred to Westboro, most times as WBC. I'd find it beneficial to maintain consistency, and use only WBC. Any pros and cons? Fgnievinski (talk) 20:51, 5 March 2011 (UTC)

My only guess is that if I were to edit it, I might use Westboro as a shorthand for the full name. I think there is a lot of evidence that this supposed 'church' is nothing of the sort, so leaving out 'Baptist Church' or 'BC' would seem to be more accurate than perpetuating the fiction that they have much in common with what we normally percieve as a church. When you spend every other week driving people away it hardly seems to fit with
"'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.' The second is this: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no commandment greater than these." - from Mark
There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. - from Romans
I don't want to ramble, but stylistically?, Westboro seems a better and more accurate abbreviation. -- Avanu (talk) 04:39, 7 March 2011 (UTC)
No problem with either name personally, and we should aim for consistency according to Wikipedia:MOS#Abbreviations. We usually defer within reason to what the groups themselves prefer, so if their church has a preferred short form between the two we should lean that way. I can't get to their site, but the NYT (in the two articles I checked) abbreviates to Westboro. If we use WBC, the first usage should be something like "Blah blah blah Westboro Baptist Church (WBC) blah blah blah" and then WBC can be used after. I doubt that's required if we use "Westboro." --joe deckertalk to me 05:25, 7 March 2011 (UTC)
Whether we would consider them a 'church' in the Christian tradition, according to insiders or outsiders, makes no difference. They call themselves the Westboro Baptist Church, that is their name. As for shortening, I agree with using the standard acronym (WBC), to be consistent with how we shorten names for other churches and organizations, unless an alternative shortened name is used by the organization itself. See Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Southern Baptist Convention, United Pentecostal Church International, United Methodist Church for examples. Bakkster Man (talk) 15:16, 7 March 2011 (UTC)

I would love to be let in

I grew up in the WBBC for 13 years. Until I left due to conflict with the elders. I would love to provide some information that might not otherwise be available to the public. Thanks.

J.C —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:13, 3 March 2011 (UTC)

Wikipedia is not a first source, it's meant to compile the information that is already available elsewhere. Unfortunately, that means that whatever information you might have, you would need to get it published elsewhere by a reliable source first, then you could let us know where it is published and we can integrate it into this article. Note that self publishing isn't acceptable: WP:SELFPUB. Hopefully, you can get anything you have published for everyone to see, beyond Wikipedia. Bakkster Man (talk) 21:19, 3 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Please write a book, seriously. Geo8rge (talk) 01:49, 12 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Please drop a note on my talk page. I am always looking for new sources. Kael (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 05:17, 20 March 2011 (UTC).

WBC is a government recognized religious institution, and is therefore tax exempt.

I have not seen any evidence Westboro is a charity according to the IRS. This is the IRS charity search page Search for Charities, Online Version of Publication 78. The Slate article cited talks about 503(c) in general but does not name the exact organization Westboro claims is a charity. I could be searching incorrectly, or they may operate under a different name, but as far as I can see Westboro does not operate as a tax exempt institution, please correct me and post the link. There are articles like the one in Slate and on the ADL web site but they do not name the specific 503(c) Westboro operates under. Unless a link to the IRS page can be shown I do not think the article should say Westboro is tax exempt, I don't care what the SPLC, ADL or Slate say. The issue is of some theological importance as some organizations do not pursue 503(c) status, which involves submitting to government authority, for religious/doctrinal reasons which may be the case with Westboro. Geo8rge (talk) 01:45, 12 March 2011 (UTC)

That search is for charities, which can include religious charities. The search is not, as far as I can tell, for basic churches or religious organizations. Unless there's something I'm just missing, I'm not sure what point you're trying to really make by using an unreliable search engine as a source for the information you've presented here. EIther way though, the source is reliable and you're going to need more than your personal opinion to change the entry in the article. ICYTIGER'SBLOOD 06:30, 12 March 2011 (UTC)
Have another source. [4]. That's not based entirely on ADL, they also quote the mayor of Topeka who had the city attempt to challenge WBC's status. They're tax-exempt. --joe deckertalk to me 07:12, 12 March 2011 (UTC)
Right. From everything I can tell through several searches of my own, there's a lot more support that they are tax exempt, rather than they aren't. ICYTIGER'SBLOOD 17:29, 12 March 2011 (UTC)
The issue pops up in this article periodically and is cut out of the article. In the US you are taxed federal, state and local. I have never seen any report of Westboro having much income, they are not a 'Mega church' and do not solicit donations or sell anything. No income means no tax owed. Their tax exempt status is probably state and local which means property tax. At this point the tax owed on their vehicles occasionally pops up in the article but the amount in dispute is ridiculously small so mention of their constant vehicle tax disputes gets cut out. The big one for a charity is federal and specifically 503(c)3 which permits donors to a charity to deduct payments on their individual tax return. IMO unless you can show they are a 503(c)3 or have significant investment income their tax status in not interesting or unusual, and does not affect their operations as the amounts are too small. The articles you site are imo silly as there are plenty of odd ball non profits out there. Some seem to imply ignorantly they have 503(c)3 status but that does not seem to be correct. It is also worth noting that if WBC was not compliant with tax law they would have been busted years ago.Geo8rge (talk) 04:41, 14 March 2011 (UTC)
joe decker, would you care to cite that second source in the article, pls? thx. Fgnievinski (talk) 07:30, 15 March 2011 (UTC)

"The Right to Be Wrong" Website

Someone keeps editing '" out of the external links, describing it is the "private blog" of a non-notable individual. It is not a blog, but rather a website containing court documents, outside media links, and objective analyses of WBC beliefs from sources both notable and non-notable (with the latter being a freelance journalist). Moreover, the site is one of only two online - the other being Phags for Phelps - that exists to mount a defense of WBC pickets. That distinctive alone makes it worth keeping, in my opinion. Kael (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 05:15, 20 March 2011 (UTC).

Edit request from Geoff-vancouver, 20 March 2011

{{edit semi-protected}} Under "Counter Protests" I would like to add this paragraph:

In March 2010, a Richmond Virginia ad-hoc group formed to create a counter protest to an upcoming Westboro Baptist Church visit protesting against Jewish and LGBT organizations. Pennies In Protest took pledges for each minute of the WBC protest. The funds (approx $14,000) was then donated to those same Jewish and LGBT organizations that WBC was protesting.

Links: - - website of the ad-hoc group Pennies In Protest, Richmond Virginial

News stories:

Geoff-vancouver (talk) 23:35, 20 March 2011 (UTC)

DoneBility (talk) 00:49, 21 March 2011 (UTC)


The mention of relic and idol worship may indeed be WBC held opinions. But, there are also widely held opinions by mainstream religious figures within the Catholic Church itself that agree to some of these points. Some of the views seem extreme, but some mentioned are very common. The objection to relic worship especially, as this is a debate now even with PJII's artifacts. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:00, 25 March 2011 (UTC)


I'm wondering about the notability of parodies such as the now defunct (available on, the site pulls numeorus negative quotations about figs from the Bible), and also of counterportest slogans like "God hates cotton polyester blends (Leviticus 19:19)" and "God loves public nudity (Nahum 3:5)." --Scottandrewhutchins (talk) 18:49, 30 March 2011 (UTC)

Cite the actual Supreme Court judgement

The article contains a direct quote from the majority SC opinion written by John Roberts (ref 100 in the current revision). This is sourced from a news article that quotes the judgement. Wikipedia should definitely cite the original source, which is at although there is no reason to take the news article out, just add in the judgement please. I would do this myself but the page is protected. (talk) 09:31, 1 April 2011 (UTC)

Edit request from KitWriter, 14 April 2011

Parody occurrences for Westboro Baptist Church

With such large Media Coverage of the WBC's protests, their presence is now being parodied online and in other medias.


KitWriter (talk) 23:57, 14 April 2011 (UTC)

 Declined. YouTube isn't a reliable source; also, Wikipedia isn't meant as a place to promote a video you or someone you know made. — HelloAnnyong (say whaaat?!) 00:25, 15 April 2011 (UTC)

Reference Links 4,5

Don't work. Piratejosh85 (talk) 22:01, 26 April 2011 (UTC)

Can you either recheck or clarify? Both "'Most-hated,' anti-gay preacher once fought for civil rights"[4] and "America's most hated family"[5] worked fine just now. Fat&Happy (talk) 22:28, 26 April 2011 (UTC)

Edit request from Sysaphyx, 6 July 2011

This is not a church it is a cult and should be listed as such. If all cults were listed as mainstream accepted religion it would give the wrong impression to nonbelievers and those from other cultures. This so called church and its members are disrespectful to heros that have died for our country, gay or straight. They do not share the beliefs of any other baptist church in the world and it is wrong and incorrect to put them in that category. They call themselves Baptist and Christian to gain the trust established by that community. -USA BAPTIST COALITION

Sysaphyx (talk) 00:31, 6 July 2011 (UTC)

Not done In order to categorize WBC as a cult, a reliable source that explicitly categorizes them as such is needed. An opinion on the matter isn't enough. Pinkadelica 04:14, 6 July 2011 (UTC)
I am not a member of Westboro Baptist Church. But Westboro Baptist Church is not a cult just because it is unpopular. Just because you feel slighted by the church doesn't mean we have too make your opinions the main source for this page. You have not given a single reason as too wether or not they are the cult except that they oppose the military, which is perfectly legal under the First Admendment. Just because the WBC has peculiar and extreme views doesn't mean they are a cult. Every organized religion on this planet, virtually, could be called a cult if one wanted too view it that way. It's unfair too charecterize a religion as a cult simply because they have unpopular views. Est300 (talk) 10:42, 25 August 2011 (UTC)

Edit request from Anonymous, 6 July 2011

Criticism section should be expanded to include the allegations that the Church Protests are a mechanism to generate business for the Phelps Chartered Law firm in the form of Civil Rights Suits. The allegations state that under Federal Law, the attorneys bringing such suits are paid with Federal monies, therefore all that is needed for the Phelp's law firm to profit is a reasonable excuse to bring a first amendment lawsuit.

I feel this is a significant and important point to make, as such puts the motives of WBC in a whole new light. It implies thet they are more of a for profit enterprise than a religious group. (talk) 20:55, 4 September 2011 (UTC)

Not done No sources provided for requested content. Fat&Happy (talk) 21:06, 4 September 2011 (UTC)


They are not a church but definitely a sect! Compare Wikipedia article on "sect". — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:12, 6 September 2011 (UTC)

Westburo Bastist Church as a terrorist organisation.

Seeing as they just seem to support terrorism by picketing at funerals, and about anything they hate, wouln't is be better is they were known as a Terroist Organisation.

WBC sole reason for existence is to demonize faith, to mock God, to humiliate Christians, to cause people to question their faith, to drive people away from God, to generate hate, to make people turn away from God and to violence, hatred and ultimately to Satan himself. (I'm athiest, but needed a way to discribe it) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:01, 9 September 2011 (UTC)

A few bizzare pickets aren't "terrorism". Look up "terrorism" and you'll see why. This a neutral site. If you want too look at a website devoted too hatred of WBC, it's not very hard to find. Est300 (talk) 17:05, 15 September 2011 (UTC)

flag upside down is desecrating?

"The Westboro Baptist Church (WBC) is an independent Baptist church known for its extreme stance against homosexuality[1] and its protest activities, which include picketing funerals and desecrating the American flag."

following the link on the desecration, it turns out that flying the flag upside down is constitutional and not illegal or whatever. Is it still desecrating? (talk) 14:00, 11 May 2011 (UTC)

Good catch, flying the flag inverted is a sign of distress, not desecration. It's no different from using the term 'SOS' for political speech instead of as a mayday signal for a ship. Either we need a link to the WBC actually desecrating a flag (burning, cutting, stepping on, etc), or the wording needs to be removed. I will put a cn tag on it for now. Bakkster Man (talk) 14:46, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
Correction Fixing the second link which was dead. Shows flag desecration:
Phelps wasn't at the protests eight months ago, but members of his Westboro Baptist Church stood outside the school. Five held "God hates fags" signs. They stomped on an American flag. They chanted about dead babies and how America's lapsed morality was causing the deaths of its soldiers.
Fising the dead link. The question now would be whether flag desecration is descriptive enough of their common protest activities to be placed in the first sentence, or if it should be moved later. Bakkster Man (talk) 14:52, 11 May 2011 (UTC)

I've seen two documentaries by Louis Theroux about "the most hated family", it could be that they are willingly not desecrating flags in front of the camera. On the other hand, they are saying whatever they said before, so I doubt it. I think desecration is not descriptive at this moment. (talk) 16:54, 18 May 2011 (UTC)

I think an argument can be made that such a gesture is desecration ("desecratory" isn't a word, but it ought to be) because they intend it so; that is their motivation and what they are trying to express by it. If they're getting it wrong (big surprise there), it's their ignorance talking, not their position (unless you like the fanciful notion that they are subconsciously aware of the insanity of their stance and are sending an SOS to some force to help them straighten themselves out, not exactly something I would put any money on.)
Even stomping on the flag (or burning it, or whatever), however offensive, is also constitutional, and the Supreme Court ruling bears that out. Desecration is political speech, and protected.
Rhsimard (talk) 23:21, 22 September 2011 (UTC)


I'd like to help improve this article, like I did for Snyder v. Phelps, which involved going through the sources and doing a copyedit. To that end, I have a question about the first source that perhaps one of the regular editors of this article can answer because I haven't been able to find the answer with a cursory search of the talk page archives. I understand that there needs to be lots of sources that support statements like the first sentence of the lead, but where was it decided to use WBC's own webpage to support it? There's WP:SPS to take into account, but I can understand using it because it supports the statement that WBC is against homosexuality. However, the infobox lists their webpage, as does External links. Christine (talk) 22:25, 17 September 2011 (UTC)

I don't think there's a WP:SPS problem there. The WBC page is being cited as evidence to help demonstrate to the reader that the conclusion expressed in the first sentence is valid, and not as an argument for it. The conclusion that they have the stated extreme stance against homosexuality is expected to come from the reader's observation and analysis of the page, not from the content itself. If, hypothetically, the citation were for a page reading, in its entirety, "We have an extreme stance against homosexulity," citing it would fail WP:SPS because the conclusion comes from the content (they do because they say they do), as opposed to the reader's observation and analysis (they do because, as one can see for oneself, the cited page is a clear demonstration of such a stance).
Rhsimard (talk) 23:00, 22 September 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for the response, Rhsidmard. It's a good one, and very reasonable, but I still have issues with using WBC's webpage to help the reader make the above-mentioned conclusion. Doesn't the ancillary sources listed below it do that? If so, why is it necessary to include it? If the reader goes to the trouble of going to their webpage, which is listed in the infobox, they'll get that they have an extreme view of homosexuality. Christine (talk) 23:33, 22 September 2011 (UTC)

Edit request from Mgumbo, 26 September 2011

On September 26th, 2011 at approximately 12:15 pm (CST) Westboro Baptist Church members arrived in Mustang, Oklahoma and picket protested during the funeral of Sgt. Mycal Prince. Please add this to the Wikipedia page (possibly under "Other Protest Activites"..?) because I feel it's relevant to the history of the the protesting acts.

Mgumbo (talk) 22:31, 26 September 2011 (UTC)

Not done Not only have you not provided any sources for that specific protest, but, IIRC, WBC claims to have engaged in some 40,000+ protests over the years. It's impractical and completely unnecessary to list every one of them. Fat&Happy (talk) 22:58, 26 September 2011 (UTC)

any attempts to minimize media coverage?

It occurs to me that the Westboro Baptist Church has a lot in common with your classic internet troll. They -- quite successfully -- tap into various knee-jerk responses, and in particular, those of the media, which doesn't seem to be able to help itself when it comes to giving the WBC all the free publicity it wants and needs. For example, I just saw a headline in PC Magazine: "Gay-Hating Westboro Church to Picket Steve Jobs' Funeral" [5]. (Why is PC Magazine covering the Westboro Baptist Church, at all?)

I'm wondering if there's been any substantial criticism of the mainstream media for their role in enabling WBC's harassment campaigns. (In other words, have there been any attempts to, in effect, teach the mainstream media about WP:DENY?) And if so, does this bear mentioning in the article? That is, I can imagine a sentence or section saying something like "It has been observed that the WBC's protests would not be nearly so effective without the extensive media publicity which their actions inevitably invoke, and there have been attempts to convince mainstream media outlets to downplay their coverage", except of course there'd need to be sources for that. —Steve Summit (talk) 17:00, 7 October 2011 (UTC)

Interesting observation. I'm sure if you could find a reasonably authoritative source saying so, that would be a suitable addition to the criticism section. Bakkster Man (talk) 20:57, 7 October 2011 (UTC)

Edit request: Twitter attacks on Harry Moseley

{{Edit semi-protected}}

Harry Moseley was a little boy with an inoperable brain tumor, who started a charity to raise money for cancer research. He died on Oct 8, 2011 and his mother notified his 67,000 Twitter followers. While support and wishes flowed in, Margie Phelps sent Tweets suggesting that Harry was in hell.

No #RIPHarry for Harry Mosely.Hating parents made him an idol;now you raise $$ on his dead body! #shame #nooneisinnocent @birminghammail Oct 9 via web

What Harry Mosely needed more than cancer treatment was the TRUTH about God, Heaven & Hell. He didn't get that. Now it's too late. @BBCWorld Oct 9 via web

No phony "emotional tributes" @DarrenBent @WayneRooney @JackWilshere! #toolate Should've told Harry Moseley to obey God! @Sunday_Mercury Oct 9 via web via @birminghammail If UK didn't ban WBC,u wouldn't need $$ for cancer. God is cursing you! Harry deserved truth. #deal 3 hours ago via Twitter for iPhone

Harry's mother saw the hateful tweets, and was outraged by them.

-- (talk) 13:13, 10 October 2011 (UTC)Happyturtle

Not done: please be more specific about what needs to be changed. --Jnorton7558 (talk) 22:50, 10 October 2011 (UTC)

I'm not a wikipedia editor. I don't know how to write an article. I just think the above information should be incorporated into this page. -- (talk) 00:50, 11 October 2011 (UTC) Happyturtle

Ask yourself this question: what makes this particular even more notable than any of the others? WBC does a lot of stuff that upsets a lot of people, and if we covered it all this page would be a million words long. I'm not aware if Harry Moseley is particularly notable, care to expand? Bakkster Man (talk) 12:11, 11 October 2011 (UTC)
In accord with the above comments, the edit request is declined; if consensus can be shown here, please re-request.  Chzz  ►  00:12, 14 October 2011 (UTC)

The purpose and neutrality of the "Funding" section

It's a very short section, but in my opinion highly controversial because of the prevalence of the opinion elsewhere that the WBC is a business designed to generate revenue via lawsuits.

This section provides ammunition for those who wish to make that case. The sentence that is most suspect is, "The church also makes money through lawsuits and legal fees".

I don't think this is relevant unless it is shown that their use of the courts in these cases is predatory. By mentioning these awards in that section, there is some implication that it is, but no evidence for this is provided. At very least, the section should be sensitive to the idea that this impression could be given, and it is not.

I sometimes argue these points with other people, and I have had this section used against me in support of the argument that the WBC is in the lawsuit business. It is frustrating to find myself arguing with what amounts to an insinuation in the Wiki.

Brucemo (talk) 21:41, 20 October 2011 (UTC)

Edit Request: Number of members

I personally think the number of members of the church needs to be changed to 69, because Louis Theroux made another documentary in 2011, "The Most Hated Family in Crisis", which told the story that two further people, Lauren Drain and Libby Phelps, had left the church and were now estranged from their family. Therefore, I think that the number of members should be changed to 69, as this would be more accurate. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:18, 26 August 2011 (UTC)

  • I updated the membership totals to reflect a number (~40) reported by the WBC as of 27 October 2011. Joefridayquaker (talk) 04:38, 11 November 2011 (UTC)

OWS counter protest

Can we add that Westboro will be protesting Iraqi Soldier SSGT Cowdery's funeral in La Junta, CO on 10-29-11. Here is the link to the press release and mention that Occupy Pueblo ( will be counter-protesting Westboro. This will be the first counter-protest, of Westboro, by the Occupy Movement. I think it is a big step showing Occupy's solidarity with the military and needs to be added. Thanks (talk) 03:38, 29 October 2011 (UTC)

No; that's not nearly notable enough. — HelloAnnyong (say whaaat?!) 03:44, 29 October 2011 (UTC)

How is this not notable? The Occupy movement is worldwide and they are counter-protesting the most hated cult in the US. Is this a Fox News affiliate? LOL — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:53, 29 October 2011 (UTC)

Edit Request: Update number of protests and number of cities visited

Under protest activities, the article reads the WBC has participated in over "30,000" protests in over "500" cities. According to their website, the most recent count is over 46,000 protests in over 800 cities. My suggestion is this be changed to reflect a more accurate and clear figure. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:21, 12 November 2011 (UTC)

Edit Request: George Tiller's funeral should be added to Funeral Pickets

In 2009, 17 members from the church picketed murdered abortion doctor, George Tiller's funeral, with signs that included "Abortion is bloody murder", "God sent the shooter", and "Baby Killer in Hell". This was widely covered in the news media and should be included in the article. Here are some sources: ;[4] — Preceding unsigned comment added by Showbiz3271200 (talkcontribs) 01:46, 15 November 2011 (UTC)

War in Afghanistan (2001-present) and Iraq War

They often picket funerals of American servicepeople killed in Afghanistan and Iraq. What is their opinion of the military action in those countries and US involvement in it? Are they trying to demonstrate an opinion regarding the wars? What do they want to happen in regard to military action in those countries? The fact they predominantly target funerals of Americans killed in those conflicts seems to indicate they have an agenda regarding the wars, but what is it exactly? If they were merely celebrating death, they could choose anyone's funerals, but they don't show up to funerals of people who died of cancer or heart disease (unless the person was a political figure / celebrity they hate). This article and Fred Phelps' article don't address why they target military funerals in particular nor their opinion of US miltary action. (talk) 12:33, 4 April 2011 (UTC)

They do target other funerals. For example, see from 34:10 to 35:58, where they talk about picketing the funeral of the wife of a Muslim man who died shortly after he'd objected to them burning a Qur'an. There are numerous other statements in that film and its prequel The Most Hated Family in America where they talk about rejoicing in deaths from cancer, for example, as being the righteous judgement of God. I suspect they tend to target military funerals because it is particularly shocking to US public sensibilities about the military and so gets them more publicity, and also allows them to attack the whole country as sinful (God is punishing the country by killing its troops) rather than just individuals who've died of cancer (God is punishing an individual and their family). (talk) 13:04, 4 April 2011 (UTC)

Demonstrating against KIA cases for getting killed in that not a treehugger thingy? -- (talk) 21:11, 13 June 2011 (UTC)

I agree. I came to this article knowing nothing about these people. I noticed from the article that they are notorious for gay-bashing and for denigrating dead soldiers. The homophobic aspect is covered extensively in the article, but the rationale for gloating over dead soldiers is barely presented at all. Does anyone have information on this? (talk) 02:33, 21 July 2011 (UTC)

Problem is: does THEY have a rationale for it, outside the publicity it carries? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:53, 16 November 2011 (UTC)

Change Request: Change Theology from Calvinist to Hyper-Calvinist.

Currently theology is listed as Calvinist. This is not correct. They can be correctly categorized as hyper-calvinist. Calvinism is considered part of orthodox Christianity, whereas hyper-Calvinism is not.

"I have called your attention to hyper-Calvinism in order that we may realise that the Bible teaches that Christ is to be preached to all." David Martyn Lloyd-Jones, God the Holy Spirit (Wheaton, Ill.: Crossways Books, 1997), 50-51. In this quote, David Martyn Lloyd-Jones, whom is an authority, defines hyper-calvinism as the believe that the Christ is not to be preached to everyone. Westboro Baptist Church preaches condemnation to many people, but does not believe in sharing the Gospel with them.

"hyper-Calvinism: A radical form of Calvinism that emphasizes the sovereignty of God so completely that it leaves only limited responsibility or choice to human beings. It makes no real distinction between the secret and revealed will of God and obviates the need to evangelize." -George Thomas Kurian, Nelson's New Christian Dictionary : The Authoritative Resource on the Christian World (Nashville, Tenn.: Thomas Nelson Pubs., 2001). George Thomas Kurian in Nelson's New Christian Dictionary shows hyper-Calvinism is a position that "obviates the need to evangelize." In the same dictionary, Kurian defines evangelize as: "1. To preach the gospel. 2. To convert to Christianity." Westboro Baptist Church does not preach the Gospel or attempt to convert to Christianity, rather, they proclaim God's judgement.

Calvinists would indeed point out sinful activity, but they would also evangelize. Calvinists proclaim the death burial and resurrection of Jesus for the forgiveness of sins. Hyper-Calvinists do not see a need to do this. Westboro Baptist Church is hyper-Calvinist in theology, not Calvinist. Please make this update.

Egorasthete (talk) 02:44, 15 November 2011 (UTC)

Request refused - while I appreciate your point of view, and could find various discussions calling Westboro "hyper-Calvinist", I could not find that as a descriptor in anything that was obviously a reliable source. To simply apply your analysis to the situation would be using original research, against Wikipedia policy. We tend to let people and groups self-identify (which serves to duck the question of who is a "true" Christian, phew!), and Phelps seems to reject the hyper-Calvinist brand. --Nat Gertler (talk) 03:20, 15 November 2011 (UTC)

I would like this request reconsidered. First, I point you to the leader of this group's Wikipedia page. In it, Fred Phelps is identified as a hyper-Calvinist:

Secondly, I point you to the following reliable sources: 1) "The vehemence with which Westboro Baptist Church denies God’s compassionate love for all people and declares others’ position of salvation reflects their belief in hyper-Calvinism." 2) "It seems like a strange mixture of hyper-hatred + hyper-Calvinism put into a blender and mixed together" Pastor Josh Buice 3) "However, one common error that exists in many circles is to lump any Calvinist into the same group as a Hyper-Calvinist. That is simply wrong! Many good people have been damaged and perversely affected by such attacks. That type of logic would be the equivalent of putting all Baptists in the same category with Westboro Baptist Church" 4) "They are what are called 'Hyper-Calvinists', who does not believe in the necessity of preaching the gospel to every creature, despite the Lord Jesus' command to do so."

Finally, I point you to Westboro Baptist Church's own website. The definition of hyper-Calvinism is well agreed upon and above cited as being theology which includes the lack of need for evangelism to all people. On Westboro Baptist Church's website, the church has posted a "Letter to Earth Dwellers." In this letter, they condemn homosexuals making it clear there is no need to share the Gospel with them because they believe God soverignly chose them for hell. Such belief meets the definition of hyper-Calvinism. See the letter here: See pages 35-36.

Please change theology from "calvinist" to "hyper-calvinist." Allowing the Calvinist label to be falsely used by this organization confuses people concerning what Calvinism truly is. The false teachings of Westboro Baptist Church being called Calvinist incorrectly is slanderous to Calvinism and Calvinists.

Thank you! Egorasthete (talk) 17:24, 15 November 2011 (UTC)

The sources that you use do not qualify as reliable sources (not even Wikipedia: WP:Wikipedia is not a reliable source.) is a competing theological group, as is the hereiblog piece. The Fightingforthefaith quote you give is a user comment. The deliveredbygrace cite doesn't even call Westboro hyper-Calvinist. That you choose to read the writings of the WBC and decide that they qualify as "hyper-Calvinist" makes that your own original research, and Wikipedia is not a place for original research. (And if we were to accept the definition of hyper-Calvinism as simply being the lack of a need for evangelism to all people, then hey, Judaism would be hyper-Calvinist!)
I request that some other regular editor review my reasons for having initially closed this request and react accordingly. --Nat Gertler (talk) 18:19, 15 November 2011 (UTC)
Not done for now: Egorasthete, I agree with you that this should be corrected, and the distinction made, but Nat Gertler is correct in determining that unfortunately we need more reliable sources than the ones presented thus far. One idea for a reliable source in this matter is: the Westboro Church has had, much to their joy I'm sure, millions if not billions of words printed about them in the press, could you find some articles in the mainstream press that mention them being hyper-Calvinists, or even better, specifically make that distinction? --Ella Plantagenet (talk) 00:23, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
I think we have to be very careful here, because as our entry on Hyper-Calvinism points out, it's a pejorative. It appears to be a term that few if anyone embraces for themselves, but is used by those who claim to be within the Calvinist tradition to charge that others who claim to be are outside of it. There may be many pejoratives that could be well and properly applied to the WBC, but doing so would be outside of Wikipedia standards and tone. Just as we wouldn't label anyone a Cafeteria Catholic or a RINO, we should avoid that label. If we have a reliable source describing how they vary from more mainstream Calvinist belief, then we should cover that in specific terms, rather than becoming the arbiter for what is proper Calvinism. --Nat Gertler (talk) 02:38, 17 November 2011 (UTC) Added note: while the descriptor "Hyper-Calvinist" was on the Phelps article, it was there fairly briefly, lasting less than a month before being deleted as problematic POV. --Nat Gertler (talk) 14:37, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
Agreed, the term is considered pejorative, it's not appropriate to apply the label unless they self-apply it. Bakkster Man (talk) 14:22, 18 November 2011 (UTC)
In case anyone reboots this, let me note that it may be worth taking a look at the discussion at Talk:Hyper-Calvinism; a number of years back they covered the question of whether Phelps/Westboro should be included in that article, and decided not to, and that the term did not apply. --Nat Gertler (talk) 00:15, 19 November 2011 (UTC)

Edit Request: Suggestion to add Geraldine Ferraro's funeral to section "Funeral Protests"

The WBC picketed former Vice-Presidential candidate and congresswoman Geraldine Ferraro's funeral in 2011. Mainly for her support for abortion rights and her Roman Catholic faith. This information should defiantly be added to the article. There are many sources for this picket, here are only a few: These are just a few sources, there are many more. Thank you very much! Boopydoo1234 (talk) 01:00, 30 November 2011 (UTC)

Not a particularly notable event, though. Aside from the Washington Times (blog) post, the other two aren't reliable sources. Her funeral isn't nearly as noteworthy as, say, most other people. — HelloAnnyong (say whaaat?!) 01:08, 30 November 2011 (UTC)
Thank you for the response. I am going to have to disagree with your statement on two points. First, you say that the protest was not nearly notable enough, but I feel a public politician (who was running for the second highest office in the land, and being the first woman to do so.) is a far more notable event then some other individuals' funerals (IE Steve Jobs and LDS president Gordon Hinckley). Second, we have a disagreement on the fact if The New Civil Rights Movement article is a reliable source. If you go to the link, you'll find the article includes a photograph of the the protest, not to mention one of the protesters is holding a sign that reads, "Ferraro in Hell". I feel this is photographic proof that the protest occurred. I would also point out that there are MANY more sources out there, I will be happy to provide more if you desire. Thank you very much for the reconsideration! Boopydoo1234 (talk) 02:43, 30 November 2011 (UTC)
Wow, one whole sign! I don't doubt that the protest happened, but it's your own opinion that you find it more notable than the other people who you mentioned. I don't know if you're here to use Wiki as a memorial for Ferraro, but it's not getting in. — HelloAnnyong (say whaaat?!) 02:52, 30 November 2011 (UTC)

I apologize if I've come off as pushy. I simply read about the protest and was surprised it wasn't included in the article. I felt that it would be a good edition to the article and would make it more complete. Boopydoo1234 (talk) 03:20, 30 November 2011 (UTC)

Edit request on 1 February 2012

I would like to edit the Section about Parodies of the WBC. In its current state the section reads that the sign "God hates Figs" refers to the fact that God literally hates figs. This is false. In this section of Mark (Mark 11:12-25) Jesus is using the fig tree to teach a point. Jesus reaches the fig tree hoping to eat some of the fruit, instead he finds that it had "nothing but leaves" (Mark 11:13, NIV). Jesus curses the fig tree because the fig tree was appearing to be healthy (that it had leaves) but it had not borne any fruit. Jesus uses this as an allegory for those who appear to be holy on the outside, but are fruitless and evil on the inside. Directly after Jesus curses the fig tree, Mark tells the iconic story of Jesus driving the money-changers out of the temple exclaiming, "My house will be called a house of prayer... but you have made it a den of robbers"(Mark 11:17). Directly after this interaction, Mark tells of Jesus and His disciples returning to the now wilted fig tree. This technique of sandwiching an idea between two similar interaction is intended to tie the two ideas together while pointing the reader to the middle point as the main idea. This passage is not about figs. It is about the hypocrisy that Jesus witnessed in the temple. By showing that the fig tree was completely dead later shows that Jesus did not intend to redeem the Temple - but the destroy it.

The people displaying the signs "God hates figs" are not referring to Jesus' dislike of a certain food. They are calling out the WBC's false faith. They are saying that the WBC is twisting something holy and making it evil. They are saying that the WBC is deserving of destruction.

BrandonKyte (talk) 06:28, 1 February 2012 (UTC)

The section doesn't say that God literally hates figs; it does say what verses the protestors using that sign are citing, and summarizes what those verses relevantly say, to explain what the protestors are invoking. Analysis of the message of those verses can be found in the linked-to articles on them; as for your statement of the intent of the protestors, do you have any source that that is their intent, or is it your analysis? --Nat Gertler (talk) 06:39, 1 February 2012 (UTC)

Edit Request: Planned norway protests

In Denmark, we heard about this particular church when they were planning to protest at the funerals of a number of the victims of Anders Behring Breivik. I noticed this is not mentioned, but it is proberbly where scandinavia and parts of europe are familiar with this particular family. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:04, 24 January 2012 (UTC)

I'm not sure we need to republish every publicity-seeking press statement made by this group.
The first two pages returned by Google for westboro baptist church norway are all along the lines of "plans to picket". Do you have any reliable sources that they either 1) actually picketed/protested at any of the victims' funeral(s); 2) attempted to do so, but were prevented, e.g. either by police or counter-protest actions or by denial of a visa; 3) were pretty much unheard of in the area prior to this, but have increased their recognition factor significantly as a result of the announcement alone? Fat&Happy (talk) 17:27, 24 January 2012 (UTC)
No just the american ones. Right, Fat and Happy? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:16, 4 February 2012 (UTC)


The final sentence of the article is: "The WBC is considered a nonprofit organization by the federal government, and is therefore exempt from paying taxes.[183]" This is true but very unremarkable. All churches are tax exempt in the United States. It's the WBC's religious views themselves, and their efforts to promote them, that so many people find offensive. Anyone with some understanding of American law will understand that the tax exemption is not an important issue that even needs to be mentioned. Steve Dufour (talk) 19:21, 2 February 2012 (UTC)

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Edit request on 5 March 2012

I would like to edit the article on the Westboro Baptist church to include the threatened picketing of the funeral of Danny Parmentor, who was killed in the Chardon High School shooting on February 28th, 2012. Also would like to add details about the Human Barricade that was formed, via Facebook, by Adam Pavlick, and a brief description of how the barricade deterred the Westboro Baptist Church from protesting at this funeral. I was part of the barricade, and helped to organize and run this event. I would like to add this:

In response to the Chardon High School shooting on February 28th, 2012, the Westboro Baptist church threatened to picket the funeral of the first victim, Danny Parmentor. Local residents of Northeast Ohio, led by a Facebook group formed by Adam Pavlick, planned and organized a human barricade to peacefully block the protestors from interfering with the funeral. On March 3rd, 2012, the day of Danny Parmentor's funeral, it is estimated that between 1,500 and 3,000 people showed up in front of St. Mary's church to support the family of the deceased. It was reported that the Westboro Baptist church had begun to approach the funeral, but seeing how large of a crowd had gathered against them, decided not to protest this particular funeral. Photos were taken of the Westboro Baptist church’s bus getting on the freeway and leaving northeast Ohio before the funeral had even ended.

References: The event itself is well documented on local news stations. Here is one such link documenting it:

Also in reference to the WBC threats, their Website has a list of the twitter accounts of many members. Many of the members stated their intention to come picket, and then on the day of the funeral made mocking comments towards the crowd via twitter, though they never actually showed their faces. One such twitter account is!/MargieJPhelps which talks about the Chardon incident from 2/28/12 to about 3/5/12. Other members can be seen confirming this, including Fred Phelps, the preacher/leader of the WBC. I hope this is what you’re looking for as I feel this is a historically significant event, as well as a moral victory against a notorious hate group. MalachiHolder (talk) 19:11, 5 March 2012 (UTC)

While interesting, material like this would at the very least have to be sourced, both for the facts and to suggest a relative significance to this (as WBC threatens to picket many funerals); do you have references for this? --Nat Gertler (talk) 19:35, 5 March 2012 (UTC)
Not done for now: per above. mabdul 21:33, 5 March 2012 (UTC)
For what it's worth, I agree with Mabdul on this. — HelloAnnyong (say whaaat?!) 05:20, 6 March 2012 (UTC)

Westboro Baptist church: Funeral Picketing

I would like to edit the article on the Westboro Baptist church to include the threatened picketing of the funeral of Danny Parmentor, who was killed in the Chardon High School shooting on February 28th, 2012. Also would like to add details about the Human Barricade that was formed, via Facebook, by Adam Pavlick, and a brief description of how the barricade deterred the Westboro Baptist Church from protesting at this funeral. I was part of the barricade, and helped to organize and run this event. I would like to add this:

In response to the Chardon High School shooting on February 28th, 2012, the Westboro Baptist church threatened to picket the funeral of the first victim, Danny Parmentor. Local residents of Northeast Ohio, led by a Facebook group formed by Adam Pavlick, planned and organized a human barricade to peacefully block the protestors from interfering with the funeral. On March 3rd, 2012, the day of Danny Parmentor's funeral, it is estimated that between 1,500 and 3,000 people showed up in front of St. Mary's church to support the family of the deceased. It was reported that the Westboro Baptist church had begun to approach the funeral, but seeing how large of a crowd had gathered against them, changed their minds. Photos were taken of the Westboro Baptist church’s bus getting on the freeway and leaving northeast Ohio before the funeral had even ended.

References: The event itself is well documented on local news stations. Here is one such link documenting it:

Also in reference to the WBC threats, their Website has a list of the twitter accounts of many members. Many of the members stated their intention to come picket, and then on the day of the funeral made mocking comments towards the crowd via twitter, though they never actually showed their faces. One such twitter account is!/MargieJPhelps which talks about the Chardon incident from 2/28/12 to about 3/5/12. Other members can be seen confirming this, including Fred Phelps, the preacher/leader of the WBC. I hope this is what you’re looking for as I feel this is a historically significant event, as well as a moral victory against a notorious hate group. MalachiHolder (talk) 19:11, 5 March 2012 (UTC) MalachiHolder (talk) 15:51, 12 March 2012 (UTC)

Not done Westboro is mentioned in the article once; as such, this is not in-depth coverage or analysis of them. Further coverage of something not happening is unlikely to be detailed. Dru of Id (talk) 16:18, 12 March 2012 (UTC)

edit request on external links

The external links needs some cleanup. ("The Signs of the Times") is a broken link and I believe this is the new URL for that content-> the Westboro Baptist Church) is a dead link and I cannot find its replacement on I also would like to add This is an academic article that addresses WBC from a religious studies/sociological point of view and would provide the viewer of this wiki an unbiased analysis of history, beliefs, and events. Atellefsen (talk) 01:23, 18 April 2012 (UTC)

yellow tickY Partly done. I fixed the Signs of the Times link and removed the Time one. But I don't think that 'academic' (note the quotes) article belongs. — HelloAnnyong (say whaaat?!) 02:39, 18 April 2012 (UTC)
Here is a Wayback machine archive of the Life/Time site. --joe deckertalk to me 03:33, 18 April 2012 (UTC)

Scare quotes

I think this article uses scare quotes much too frequently. Just because someone is stating a controversial opinion, doesn't "mean" that "unnecessary" quotes should be "put" around random words. This seems to skew the neutrality of the otherwise unbiased article.--Yutsi Talk/ Contributions 01:59, 15 May 2012 (UTC)

Considering how many direct quotes from the hatemongers (and others) are in this article, I'm having trouble determining which random words with scare quotes you're referring to. Could you show us an example or three? --jpgordon::==( o ) 02:24, 15 May 2012 (UTC)

Edit request on 7 June 2012

In section 1.2 - Funeral Pickets, there is a spelling mistake in the following sentence, near the end of the section:

"Megan Phelps-Roper explained to Louis Theroux in her America's Most Hated Family in Crisis interview that herself and the other members of the WBC picketed at the funeral of a Muslim man's wife simply because the man had witnessed and scolded them for ententionally burning a copy of the Quran in public a week earlier."

The mistake is as follows: "ententionally" should read "intentionally" (talk) 03:02, 7 June 2012 (UTC)

Fixed, thanks for pointing that out. --NeilN talk to me 03:09, 7 June 2012 (UTC)

"Attempted" to distance themselves from racism?

What does that mean? To me it implies they are closet racists trying to prove otherwise. Is there proof of this?-- (talk) 12:55, 20 June 2012 (UTC)

I struck that clause and moved the remainder of the sentence to the following paragraph, which already used a citation to the same source. Fat&Happy (talk) 16:37, 20 June 2012 (UTC)

Patriot Guard Riders

They were not originally formed in response to the WBC at reference 154. Please visit their website to confirm this information. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Themocksta (talkcontribs) 23:27, 21 July 2012 (UTC)

Never mind - information on page is correct. Thanks. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Themocksta (talkcontribs) 23:29, 21 July 2012 (UTC)

A small addition of context.

In section 1 "Protest activities", in the first paragraph the article mentions that the WBC has conducted pickets "in all 50 states".

I would like this article to elaborate on that by explaining that they have allegedly picketed in all 50 states of the USA, or something to that effect. Currently, the "50 states" are without context.

This is a small change but I feel it's important to make the distinction. There are many more than 50 states on this planet. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:17, 22 July 2012 (UTC)

Done. --Nat Gertler (talk) 13:51, 22 July 2012 (UTC)

Other Protest Activities

The page wouldn't allow me to edit the "Other Protest Activities" page, but in the interests of NPV, you might want to add the fact that on July 28, 2012, Westboro, along with Code Pink, showed up to protest radio host Glenn Beck's "Restoring Love" event. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:23, 30 July 2012 (UTC)

Also, in 2006, Westboro protested at Walter Reed Army Medical Center but were driven away by a counterprotest from the DC Chapter of Free Republic. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:34, 30 July 2012 (UTC)

The problem – or good news, depending on your viewpoint – here is that we can't possibly even list, let alone describe, every one of the thousands of protests this group holds. What makes these two events in particular deserving of mention? Fat&Happy (talk) 04:47, 30 July 2012 (UTC)

Desecrating the American flag.

The word desecrating should not be used because it is not neutral and suggests burning the american flag is wrong. A more objective verb, such as burn or destroy should be used instead of a verb heavily connotated with being a "patriot" — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:34, 25 July 2012 (UTC)

Agreed. It's inappropriate for an encyclopedic article. angrykeyboarder (a/k/a:Scott) (talk) 08:33, 2 September 2012 (UTC)

The real problem is that stamping on a flag is trivial compared to calling Jews Nazis, so I've replaced the flag bit with a bit about anti-Jewish protests. This reflects the article better, see WP:LEAD. Dougweller (talk) 09:30, 2 September 2012 (UTC)
That's a bit of personal opinion. The fact is, they are a lot better known for things other than anti-Semitic statements, including stomping on the flag, and the sentence is about what they are well known for. Fat&Happy (talk) 15:23, 2 September 2012 (UTC)
Have you read WP:LEAD? I'm not saying the lead is good enough, just that my change made it a better summary. There is no section on the flag (nor should there be, in my opinion). Your reversion just made the lead worse, and ignored the fact that including me 3 posters don't think 'desecration' is the right word - you had no consensus for replacing it, only objections. Dougweller (talk) 18:41, 2 September 2012 (UTC)
No, my reversion did not "make the lead worse", it restored a stable lead which was initially objected to by one anon IP with a single post and one other editor with minimal previous activity, both of whom objected to the verb used, not to the actual content. You had no justification for deleting something they are indeed well known for in their primary area of operations, the U.S., and substituting an apparent personal opinion that their denigration of Jews is somehow more well known (and from your explanations, more horrible) than their denigration of Catholics, Muslims, Russians, Australians, and practically any other group you can name.
A true summary of the article could probably just drop "and desecrating the American flag" without any substitution, or – if something more is needed – expand funerals to include those of celebrities and other high-profile individuals. Fat&Happy (talk) 20:16, 2 September 2012 (UTC)
You don't AGF much, do you? I just picked something I saw, thinking I would expand it later (I've been out all day). And attacks on people are much worse than stamping on a flag. Dougweller (talk) 20:44, 2 September 2012 (UTC)
I'm not sure their attacks on groups of people are as noted as their other, more public, antics. The attacks, while sometimes reflected almost randomly in protest signs, seem to be mostly on their various web sites. How about something like "... known for its extreme ideologies, especially those demonizing homosexuality; its protest activities, which include picketing funerals of American servicemen as well as celebrities and other high-profile individuals; and its multiple websites on which it attacks a wide variety of religions, nationalities, and ethnic groups"? Fat&Happy (talk) 21:14, 2 September 2012 (UTC)

Edit request: Congress Passes Restrictions On Military Funeral Protests 8/2/2012


Pretty big and relevant news article. Hopefully someone with an account can tackle it. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:58, 2 August 2012 (UTC)

Done ~Adjwilley (talk) 23:20, 21 August 2012 (UTC)

Edit request on 12 September 2012

Please change or add a new heading for "Counter Action". The reason for the change is that J4J is NOT a protest group (protesting involves the use of picket signs, which J4J does not use). Then add this this heading and text for the group Journey4Justice.

Journey 4 Justice is a anti-WBC group that focuses on getting out-of-state teams from around the United States to travel to Topeka, KS, in order to "express their rights of free speech". They do this by displaying proudly the American flag, along with state flags. By doing this through weekend rallys and an annual national rally, Journey4Justice has been able to disrupt the protesting of the WBC in Topeka[5] . Drmmr763 (talk) 01:57, 12 September 2012 (UTC)

Not done: Picket signs are not required to protest. There are other forms of protests, such as marches or sit-ins. Just because a group does not use picket signs does not mean they are not protestors. RudolfRed (talk) 02:07, 12 September 2012 (UTC)

Opposition to same gender marriage

Categorizing this gorup as opposed to same-gender marriage goes against the text of the article. The only in text mention is to a protest against a same-sex ceremony that A-was not a marriage and B-was not government recognized. Since opposition to same gender marriage is part of the political higherarchy it clearly refers to stances on government recognized marriages. Opposing other Christian Churches holding same-sex commitment ceremonies is a purly religious stance, and is not at all relevant to the politcal issues involved in the category.John Pack Lambert (talk) 18:31, 13 September 2012 (UTC)

Common sense applies. – MrX 20:18, 13 September 2012 (UTC)


The sidebar abstract cites the group's theology as "Calvinist." How does this fringe group exhibit Calvinist ideology? Is the entry accurate? (talk) 00:45, 23 June 2012 (UTC)

I find that curious also. I can't think that Calvin would have approved of what they espouse. I also am disturbed by Baptists who identify as Calvinists since Calvin insisted on the propriety of infant baptism in witness to the sovereignty of God. Sterrettc (talk) 01:20, 23 June 2012 (UTC)
Ours is not to judge which interpretation of "Calvinism" is true. They identify as Calvinist. They also identify as Christian, and I certainly know people who think that Christ would have a word or two to say about that... --Nat Gertler (talk) 01:27, 23 June 2012 (UTC)
The article does say "mainstream Primitive Baptists reject the WBC and the Phelps family". What sort of scholarly study or pronouncement by authority would be required for a similar disclaimer about the other self-identifications? Fat&Happy (talk) 01:37, 23 June 2012 (UTC)
Having looked at the Primitive Baptists statement, I found we had insufficient basis for including that, and have axed it. One PB source rejecting another PB group does not make the one making the pronouncement "mainstream". What we would need for any of these sorts of statements is a reliable third-party source. --Nat Gertler (talk) 00:45, 25 June 2012 (UTC)
Actually, they say they follow TULIP - total depravity, Unconditional election, limited atonement, irresistible grace and Preservation of the saints. Of course, with this group I say it very lightly... Bu they do claim to be Calvanist. - (talk) 18:02, 30 June 2012 (UTC)
Hardshell/Primitive Baptists by definition are NOT "mainstream". Mainstream churches(although in a minority)are liberal churches. There is a Wikipedia article on the subject of mainstream Christianity. -- (talk) 14:02, 18 September 2012 (UTC)


Light bulb iconBAn RfC: Which descriptor, if any, can be added in front of Southern Poverty Law Center when referenced in other articles? has been posted at the Southern Poverty Law Center talk page. Your participation is welcomed. – MrX 17:40, 22 September 2012 (UTC)

True Blood Mock?

I don't know if anyone has noticed, but in HBO's True Blood the opening shows a church at which the sign says 'God Hates Fangs' could this be a parody of the WBC? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:08, 23 October 2012 (UTC)

Unless there is a reliable source discussing this, we don't have anything to discuss here. - SummerPhD (talk) 01:24, 24 October 2012 (UTC)

Views on women

It might be worth noting their views on women, especially as it relates to their hair and positions in the church. There have been a few protest notices on their site in which they condemn churches who allow women to cut their hair or preach. They see it as a violation of God's will according to 1 Corinthians 11:15 and 1 Corinthians 14:34, respectively. This is also noted on their FAQ page. Both are these are located at that website. Dab8fz (talk) 23:23, 3 December 2012 (UTC)

Not an Independent Baptist Church?

Westboro Baptist Church is not an Independent Baptist church and is not even officially recognized as a church by either the government or the Coalition of Independent Baptist Churches. This needs to be corrected on the article as those of us who are Independent Baptist's find it highly offensive to be associated with this hate group. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Jhathcock (talkcontribs) 19:24, 16 December 2012 (UTC)

Note, I've moved this and added a section heading. See our article Independent Baptist. It seems to be independent and Baptist, so it matches our article. I can understand the problem but we can't say it isn't an independent Baptist church. Dougweller (talk) 20:01, 16 December 2012 (UTC)
It is obviously possible to be "independent" without belonging to a coalition (in fact, that would be, um, "independent" of them).
As for the government supposedly not recognizing them as a church, it's really quite easy to be a "church" in the eyes of the U.S. government. Step 1: Call yourself a church. Step 2: You're a church. Yes, using that as a tax status (being a 501c3) does place some limits on them, but that's easy enough too. They can make as many simple, declarative statements as they'd like about who loves who, who is going to hell, whatever. They can't say "Vote for _______."
The only question remaining here is whether or not they are Baptist. Much like being "Christian", there is no central authority on this. If they say they are Baptist, they are. - SummerPhD (talk) 22:28, 16 December 2012 (UTC)

Edit request on 25 December 2012

fuck these people delete this page please they dont deserve to have it Mrman2323 (talk) 06:46, 25 December 2012 (UTC)

Not done. WP:Notability doesn't have a no asshole clause. That's why we keep Joseph Stalin around. Trinitresque (talk) 07:30, 25 December 2012 (UTC)

The third paragraph

The paragraph immediately preceding the History section needs a rewrite as to make it easier to read and more grammatically correct and unambiguous. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2A00:C440:20:1116:E953:818A:61C9:44B (talk) 22:54, 4 January 2013 (UTC)

Hate group

I think in spirit of the petition of changing westboro too a hate group it should be edited too as such as of now, why should we disgrace the name church by wiki identifying them as such. List them for what they are a hate group — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:27, 18 December 2012 (UTC)

hate group is a political label like terrorist. in essence its assumed meaning is so profound as to serve as a partisan label. if they are labelled as such officially then that carrys weight in itself. however if they are not, then calling them a hate group is like calling them evil. its a dumb value judgement. opposing them is better achieved by noting their words, actions, critics and controversy. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:53, 19 December 2012 (UTC)

We as Wikipedia editors cannot decide that an organization is or isn't a hate group, since that would be engaging in WP:OR. Instead, we can only report that it is seen as a hate group by other notable organizations or publications. Trinitresque (talk) 07:36, 25 December 2012 (UTC)
We can say that SPLC calls them a hate group, but we clearly cannot say that they are a hate group. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 14:08, 28 December 2012 (UTC)
When even Fox News calls you hateful ([6]) you know you're in trouble. The problem appears to be that there's no federal law that allows an organisation to be officially branded a "hate group". [7]. Black Kite (talk) 14:27, 28 December 2012 (UTC)
This has been discussed at length in the past. See /Archive 5#Hate Group and /Archive_9#.22Hate_Group.22_Edit_Request. Adrian J. Hunter(talkcontribs) 18:05, 28 December 2012 (UTC)

Edit request on 22 December 2012

Westbro Baptist Church is a well, Baptist Church, not Calvinist like it is stated in the side bar. (talk) 00:33, 22 December 2012 (UTC)

Not done - Their own web site claims they are adherents to Calvinism. Do you have reliable sources that say otherwise? - MrX 00:49, 22 December 2012 (UTC)

I can say I'm a Calvinist, that doesn't mean that I actually am a Calvinist. (talk) 02:42, 9 January 2013 (UTC)

As no one owns the term "Calvinist", calling yourself a "Calvinist" does make you a "Calvinist". If, however, you call yourself a Calvinist and reliable sources say you are not, we would say that you identify as a Calvinist while _____________ says you are ___________.
For this article, all we have is the church's own statement. - SummerPhD (talk) 04:03, 9 January 2013 (UTC)

Edit request on 13 January 2013

Canada has also banned the WBC and its members from entering the country, in response to the WBC announcing its intention to picket the funeral of a murder victim in Winnipeg in 2008. Fearing arrest from the application of Canada's strict anti-hate speech laws, WBC skipped the protest despite claiming to have made it into the country (which was highly doubtful). cites:; (talk) 16:45, 13 January 2013 (UTC)

Partly done: I added a mention of this, but did not use your exact wording. I only added text that was verifiable by the sources you provided. —KuyaBriBriTalk 22:32, 14 January 2013 (UTC)

Leaving members

I didn't see any reference to the members estranged or having left the organization. In my opinion, leaving this group is an interesting fact, as the WBC acts like a sect and is very small. My only source is Louis Théroux' documentary, which is poor, and probably outdated. Gwalarn (talk) 13:49, 29 December 2012 (UTC)

That does seem like an oversight. See Nathan Phelps (which possibly should be titled Nate Phelps per COMMONNAME), you'll find he's quite visible and I expect there's fair coverage out there of him at least. --j⚛e deckertalk 02:57, 9 January 2013 (UTC)
I agree. There should be a separate section on defectors. It should also include Lauren Drain, who is quite vocal and is releasing a book about her time in WBC. Also, one of the most prominent members, Megan Phelps-Roper left the cult, along with her sister, source here: Jsawiuk (talk) 00:55, 11 February 2013 (UTC)

Libby Phelps Alvarez interview on NBC

I don't know much about this subject, but I just wanted to mention that former WBC member Libby Phelps Alvarez, the granddaughter the group's founder, Fred Phelps, was featured on the Today show this morning.[8][9] As you'll see in the video, in the intro to the piece the show's anchor used the phrase, "what may be the nation's most controversial church". The reporter who covered the story then said in her intro that the group "is known for its hatred of Jews and gays, and its infamous protests of military funerals". -- (talk) 15:36, 6 February 2013 (UTC)

Edit request on 7 February 2013

In the sections "Islam" and "Funeral pickets," statements about a Koran-burning incident and the death of a Muslim woman made in Louis Theroux's documentary The Most Hated Family in America are erroneously attributed to Megan Phelps-Roper. In fact, it was Jael Phelps who detailed the incident to Theroux. Because of a close physical resemblance, the two are often confused; however, a viewing of this clip from the documentary shows Jael (in the blue football jersey) to be the speaker, while Megan is seen in the hallway at the thirty second mark. (talk) 22:31, 7 February 2013 (UTC)

Done Thank you! Vacation9 02:51, 22 February 2013 (UTC)

redundancy in the second paragraph

i'd just fix this, but the article is locked.

"Protests have also been held demonstrating against"

a protest is a kind of demonstration, after all, and the word "demonstrating" should be dropped.

05:14, 8 March 2013 (UTC) Michael Christian — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

 Done Pinkadelica 09:51, 13 March 2013 (UTC)

Gay house In Counter Protest

Shouldn't the Pride flag painted house across the street from their church be added to the Counter Protest Section?


  1. ^ [ Cantabrigians counter anti-gay church protest
  2. ^ [ Hundreds protest anti-gay, anti-Jewish group’s arrival
  3. ^ [ Anti-gay group pickets Boston production of Laramie Project
  4. ^ Cite error: The named reference undefined was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  5. ^ Retrieved 12 September 2012. Missing or empty |title= (help)