Document 75878

Harold Ivan Smith, DMin, FT
Pouring Salt in an Open Grief:
The Traumatizing Antics of the Westboro Baptist Church
Harold Ivan Smith, DMin, FT
[email protected]
3 June 2014 UW La Crosse
“He turned the funerals of American military personnel into circuses.”
Leonard Pitts (2014 March 25), A13.
“No one should have to endure insults, harassment, jeers, and signs during
their time of mourning especially during funeral services. For that matter no
one should be subjected to ‘in your face’ pickets when they enter their
place of worship for any type of religious service. And kindergarten through
fourth grade children should not be exposed to the hatred of those who
routinely show up at the same time as children’s recess.”
Charles M. Yunger (2006 February 1)
“If the protesters want to get their message out, then why only to a small
number of people. On the day of the funeral, they could be on the busiest
street in town, preaching to thousands.”
Richard Strothman (2006 February 1)
• The Westboro Baptist Church, in Topeka, Kansas, claims to have
conducted 52,506 pickets in 925 cities.
• WBC initially targeted individuals who died of complications of AIDS
or LGBT persons.
• In 1991, desirous of gaining a wider national audience, WBC began
picketing military funerals.
• Key Point: WBC defines picketing as “preaching.”
“We preached outside another one of your carcass-worshiping orgies,
and it seems as if every videographer in a 50 mile radius wanted
interviews and b-roll of the only real action happening
in this sad, sick country.”
Fred Phelps [WBC website 2010 October 5]
Phelps manipulates media; gives great sound bites.
Phelps “gives good curse.” [Swenson, 2010, p. 14]
WBC “announces” their intention to picket.
Westboro does not have to “show up” to re-traumatize grievers. Just
Harold Ivan Smith, DMin, FT
the threat to picket ignites angst in family members, friends, so with
individuals who will participate in the services, funeral directors and
law enforcement officials.
• The funeral is a liturgical drama designed to get the dead to where
they are going and the living to where they need to be [Long & Lynch,
QUESTION: What is WBC’s potential to inflict lasting ritual wounds and,
perhaps, re-traumatize grievers?
“Their strategy works because it is expected that respondents’ verbal
assaults will wound the family and friends of the deceased and because the
media is irresistibly drawn to the sight of persons who are visibly in grief.
Justice Samuel Alito, dissent
Snyder v. Westboro [2011 p. 5]
QUESTION: Can grievers recall the funeral rituals without thinking of Fred
Phelps and his WBC?
Three elements of trauma:
• the Event
• the Experience &
• the Effect.
Observations: the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services
Administration [2014].
“Events and circumstances may include the actual or extreme threat
of physical or psychological harm or the withholding of material or
relational resources essential to healthy development.”
“How the individual labels, assigns meaning to, and is disrupted
physically and psychologically by an event will determine whether or
not it is experienced as traumatic.”
“Individual trauma results from an event, series of events, or set of
circumstances that is experienced by an individual as physically or
emotionally harmful or threatening and that has lasting adverse effects on
the individual's functioning and physical, social, emotional,
Harold Ivan Smith, DMin, FT
or spiritual well-being.”
WBC’s signs, pickets, presence . . . cause as much emotional
damage to a grieving relative as a physical alteration.
“No one is allowed to be physically harmed
by another person in this country.”
Rae Jefferson, Baylor Lariat [2010 October 13]
Objective 1: Define “ritual wound” and “ritual insult.”
“The Westboro Baptist Church is probably the vilest hate group in the
United the State of America. No one is spared, and they find people at
their worst, most terrible moments of grief, and they throw
this hate in their faces."
Heidi Beirich, Southern Poverty Law Center
[cited in Cavan Sieczkowski 2014 March 20]
• William Worden (2009) insists that anything which distracts from the
grief complicates the grief.
A ritual wound is something that “goes wrong” in a funeral, memorial
service, committal or visitation/wake that derails focusing on the ritual and,
over time, complicates morning. A ritual wound can be intentional or
The ritual insult is a deliberate act, preceding, during, or after the funeral
rituals, which inflicts emotional, psychological, financial, or spiritual distress
to grievers. A ritual insult is intentional!
• WBC skillfully inflict ritual wounds and ritual insults disguised as
“O = the nanoseconds of sleep that WBC members
loose over your opinions and feelings!!!!!”
The WBC website [2014 April 10]
Phelps vs the family of Carleton Douglas Beyer Frye
“My faith was being abused in the name of the faith I followed. I was
Harold Ivan Smith, DMin, FT
more angry about the pain inflicted on my sister” and the blemishing
of his nephew’s name.
Bill Tammeus [Personal conversation, 2014 May 1]
Objective 2: Explore the history of demonstrations by
Westboro Baptist Church.
“The members of the Westboro Baptist Church feel a sincere, deep, and
unshakeable compulsion of conscience to . . . fear God and keep his
commandments. It is our religion and the sole purpose of our existence is
to strive to obey the voice of God as it is revealed in the Holy Bible.”
Stephen Drain [2006 February 1]
WBC’s 4 strategic targets for protests:
• (1) churches which, WBC charges, defend or promote “the
homosexual lifestyle” and, in particular, anal intercourse; Phelps had
an obsession with anal intercourse!
• (2) funeral rituals for both prominent and obscure persons WBC
assumes to be gay or assume died from AIDS, especially, rituals
expected to draw crowds and significant media attention;
• (3) funeral rituals for members of the American military who died in
Afghanistan, Iraq or on active duty; and
• (4) funeral rituals for victims of natural disasters, floods, hurricanes,
tsunami, and acts of terrorism God unleashes on the damned.
Capsule of Fred Weldon Phelps, Sr. (1929-2014)
• Turned down appointment to West Point [Bell, 1994]
• Phelps’ street preaching against “widespread sin” at John Muir
College in Pasadena, California, profiled in [Time 1951, June 11].
• Fred Phelps, after serving as a traveling evangelist, moved to Topeka
in 1954 to co-pastor of the Eastboro Baptist Church.
• As pastoral counselor recommend “a good beating for the wife”
[Bell, 1994, p. 37]
• The preacher arrived in Topeka on the day the U.S. Supreme Court
Harold Ivan Smith, DMin, FT
delivered Brown vs. Topeka Board of Education. [Mann 2006 April 2]
• Phelps sold insurance, vacuum cleaners, dictating machines and
baby carriages door-to-door; litigation documents this.
• Phelps founded the Westboro Baptist Church in October 1955, as
“independent, fundamentalist, and premillennial!”
Fred Phelps, Attorney at Law:
• Fred interpreted the Brown as a sign that he should go to law school.
• Phelps graduated from Washburn University School of Law in 1965
and opened Phelps Ltd., a family law firm that has employed nine of
Phelps’ children as attorneys & and as employees.
The Phelps Tribe as lawyers:
• Fred W. Phelps Chartered developed a reputation across Eastern
Kansas as “winning lawyers.”
• Sued Ronald Reagan
• Sued Sears for $50 million; got $126.54 [Bell, 1994, np]
• Sought cases for quick out-of-court cash settlements.
• In 1979 Phelps disbarred. The Kansas Supreme Court charged that
Phelps "has little regard for the ethics of his profession" [Bell, 1994, p.
• Phelps Chartered formed.
• In 1989 Fred disbarred by federal courts after lying to the court.
• Intense negotiations spared the law licenses of his children and, more
importantly, the revenue produced by Phelps Chartered.
• In 1991, Phelps alleged that gays were having sex “everywhere” in
Gage Park!
• Early picketing provided strategic training for Phelps tribe to perfect a
protest-style to attract media attention, initially from the Topeka
• In October, 1998, Phelps gained national/international exposure at
the funeral for Matthew Shepherd, in Laramie, Wyoming.
The Westboro Baptist Church is:
• not a church;
• not Baptist; and
• not orthodox Christian.
Harold Ivan Smith, DMin, FT
“[I]n any meaningful sense” WBC is not a church but rather “a brutal
but highly effective tool for gaining the attention of the world’s media.”
David Von Drele [2014 April 7 p. 25]
The WBC “is a hate group masquerading as a Christian church. . .
The group’s extremist views and despicable behavior
mark it as a cult.”
Fred Mann 2006 April 2, The Wichita Eagle online
Phelps was ordained a Southern Baptist at age 17, but severed ties to
that denomination at local, state and national levels.
“[WBC] were a kind of performance art of vitriolic hatred rather than any
kind of religious organization.
Russell Moore, president Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission,
SBC [cited in Lee 2014 April 28]
WBC’s theology can be summarized: Old School Baptist: eclectic, primitive
and Calvinist. Unlike traditional “Baptist” churches WBC’s ministry is not
focused on evangelizing “the lost” since only members of Westboro will be
saved from eternal damnation. Fred dismissed the idea that “God loves
everyone” branded as a “lie.”
Westboro subscribes to & violates 3 historic theological documents:
• The First Baptist Confession of Faith (1646),
• The Savoy Declaration of Faith and Order (1658), and
• The Philadelphia Confession of Faith (1742).
Significant reality: WBC recognized as a church by The U.S. IRS & and
the State of Kansas Department of Finance as a “church” and has tax
exempt status. Thus,
• All “ministry” expenses for members—airfares, motels, rental cars,
meals--are tax deductible.
• Six Phelps are employed by the State of Kansas; Fred demands 1525% of their salaries.
• After Fred’s disbarment, the Phelps children sold candy from after
school until 10 PM. Those who did not meet their quotas were beaten
by Fred. Some Phelps stole from homes and businesses where they
Harold Ivan Smith, DMin, FT
sold candy.
WBC has perhaps 40 [Dickson, 2013 March 24] members, primarily
members of the Phelps family who live within a secure compound in
Topeka. The congregation has atrophied due to excommunication.
• WBC condemns birth control as “sin” & urges large families; longterm future challenged.
• Only one family in WBC not biological kin to Fred Phelps [Dickson,
2014 March 24].
A bizarre theology: [Helling, 2014 April 15, A4]
• WBC does not practice orthodox Christian theology.
• Excommunication from WBC = eternal damnation in hell.
“I used to fear going to hell every single day, and that my family could fall
apart. The Lord could come tomorrow, and if I was not showing my faith
strongly enough” as demonstrated in her fervor of her picketing, I would be
doomed.” Indeed, that fear “was a very motivating, powerful drive
to do and say the things I did.”
Lauren Drain [2013, p. 284]
• WBC does not celebrate Easter, Christmas, or American holidays.
• WBC children attend public schools but excused from classrooms
when any discussion of Christmas or Easter. Picket during lunch.
• Phelps’ tribe are not patriotic; Shirley Phelps regularly pickets with an
American flag--tucked into her pants & dragged on the ground.
What fuels WBC’s disrespectful behaviors at funerals?
• Historically much of traditional Baptist preaching was about (and is
still about) accepting Jesus and avoiding eternal damnation.
• Follows Anti-Baptist tradition
“WBC does not believe in having funerals or memorials because we
don’t worship the dead in this church, so there’d be no public
memorial or funeral to picket if any member died”
[WBC Press Release, 2014 March 17]
Phelps/WBC obsession with homosexuality:
Harold Ivan Smith, DMin, FT
Phelps fixated on 6 Old Testament scriptures that refer to that era’s
understanding of homosexuality in Leviticus 8.
Jesus did not mention homosexuality [Theroux, 2014 March 24].
An exceptionalist, Fred has insisted that God will revoke his blessing
of America for “tolerating” wickedness.
“God continues to lift the curtain and allow the enemies of America to
give us probably what we deserve. . . The pagans and the
abortionists and the feminists and the gays and the lesbians who are
actively trying to make that an alternate lifestyle, the ACLU, People
for the American Way—all of them have tried to secularize America—
I point my finger in their face and say, ‘You helped this happen.’”
Rev. Jerry Falwell [2002 January 20 p. 27]
“Well, I totally concur.”
Pat Robertson, 770 Club [2001 September 13]
• Christian fundamentalists & many evangelicals accept all 31103 as
“the word of God” without error.
“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine,
for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness. . . .”
[2 Timothy 3:16, King James Version]
• Many evangelical Christians say, “God loves the sinner but hates the
• WBC members never claim to hate gay people themselves, “only
that God does.” [Theroux 2014 March 24]
“The way to prove you love thy neighbor is to warn them they’re committing
sin. . . You’re not going to get nowhere with that slop that ‘God loves you,’ .
. . That’s a diabolical lie from hell. . .”
Fred Phelps [cited in Paulson, 2014 March 20]
“You can’t believe the Bible without believing that God hates people. It’s
pure nonsense to say that God loves the sinner but hates the sin. He hates
Harold Ivan Smith, DMin, FT
the sin, and he hates the sinner. He sends them to hell.”
Fred Phelps [cited in Paulson, 2014 March 20]
• WBC labels homosexuality “an abomination.” Abomination appears in
the Bible 52 times to describe behaviors “disgusting, loathsome and
absolutely intolerable” to God. Abominations include:
Dishonesty [Proverbs12:22]
Arrogant pride [Proverbs:16:5]
Ignoring God's law [Proverbs 28:9]
Devising evil and sowing discord [Proverbs:6:16-19]; and
Eating what the Bible calls "unclean" animals [Leviticus: 11:8, 11, 13]
WBC pronounces “bad things” —tsunamis, terrorist attacks,
hurricanes, earthquakes, floods and other tragedies—as the
“outpouring of God’s wrath” because America “tolerates fags.”
A bizarre politic
Fred Phelps, after being disbarred, ran for Topeka city council, Congress,
the U.S. Senate, and governor but lost in Democratic primaries. He lived
and died a Democrat.
In 1988, Phelps/WBC backed the Clinton-Gore ticket and sponsored a
fundraiser attended by Gore.
“Where does WBC get money?” Five revenue streams:
The WBC spends approximately $250,000 per year for their tax-deductable
picketing [Mann, 2006 April 2]
• From their legal practice: Phelps Chartered
• From picketing. Always station one family member (an attorney) as
“witness” and another to act as a cinematographer to videotape all
picket. They manipulate environment to provoke animosity to the
point that they are physically attacked so Phelps Chartered can file a
• From manipulation of property tax laws.
• From settlements from suits against municipalities that have
attempted to “limit” WBC’s picketing with restrictive ordinances.
• Phelps’ strategy: Go ahead and write your ordinance/law. We will
Harold Ivan Smith, DMin, FT
sue, we will win, and we will collect damages!
• From donations although the Phelps deny this.
“Why picket military funerals?”
"Military funerals are pagan orgies of idolatrous blasphemy
where they pray to the dunghill gods of Sodom
and play taps to a fallen fool.“
WBC Website 2006
“Soldiers’ funerals are the right place. The Lord has killed him.
The soldier shouldn’t be [serving in the military].”
“Look, what’s better than a dead solder lying there? And it’s a media lie that
we disrupt funerals. It’s undisputed that we picket 1,000 feet away.”
Fred Phelps [cited in Kors, 2010 August 20]
“. . . It’s just that, with these soldier funerals, we’ve generated such massive
media attention. At this point we’d get attention if we were picketing in the
Atlantic Ocean. You must understand, this is the response of an evil nation.
They don’t want me to say that they are going to hell.”
Fred Phelps [cited in Kors, 2010 August 20]
• Is intentional infliction of “emotional distress” on mourners,
particularly traumatized mourners, permitted under the understanding
of “free speech” or preaching held by the Founding Fathers?
• The Founding Fathers –given the churches’ control of funerals--would
never have tolerated interrupting a funeral or committal!
“The placards highlighted issues of public import—the political and moral
conduct of the United States and its citizens, the fate of the Nation,
homosexuality in the military, and scandals involving the Catholic clergy. . .
. Westboro conveyed its views on those issues in a manner designed to
reach as broad a public as possible.”
Justice John Roberts [2011 p. 3]
“Westboro stayed well away from the memorial service, Snyder could
see no more than the tops of the picketers’ signs, and there is no
Harold Ivan Smith, DMin, FT
indication that the picketing interfered with the funeral service itself.”
Justice John Roberts [2011[p. 3]
WBC’s picketing traumatized the environment of the funeral. Although
Snyder was “a member of a captive audience at his son’s funeral,”—a
father has to attend—Justice Roberts ruled that the captive audience
doctrine, used sparingly in past litigation, did not apply!
• The ruling says that a funeral procession is not legally part of a
funeral/memorial service—a factor the Founding Fathers would never
have accepted [Hoy, 2013; Long, 2013].
• Insult to injury: Snyder has to pay $17,000 in court costs:
Objective 3: Assess methods to diffuse the re-truamatization
to families, individuals, organizations, and communities
Seismic trauma: The Godsmacks
“God's judgments are everywhere. Just because you attribute the things
that happen in your lives to your mother nature doesn't mean God doesn't
do them. God is in charge of everything, including your tornadoes,
tsunamis, floods, famines, hurricanes, earthquakes, forest fires, mall
shootings, IEDs, etc., etc.”
WBC Website
The recipients of re-traumatization or Godsmacks:
“. . . the fundamental point that funerals are unique events at which special
protection against emotional assaults is in order. At funerals, the
emotional well-being of bereaved relatives
is particularly vulnerable.” Alito [2011 p. 11]
deceased’s friend network
peers and colleagues
funeral personnel and clergy
property owners
peers and colleagues
funeral personnel
Harold Ivan Smith, DMin, FT
• property owners
“Exploitation of a funeral for the purpose of attracting public attention
‘intrudes upon their grief’. . . and may permanently stain their memories of
the final moments before a loved one is laid to rest. Allowing family
members to have a few hours of peace without harassment does not
undermine the public debate.”
Samuel Alito [2011 p. 12]
Incoming missiles that re-traumatize:
The Phelps’ initial thrust, delivered via fax/multi-websites?: The threat “to
show up.”
• Funeral directors, police and grieving families attempt to devise
strategies to curtail the impact of protests;
“Kansas funeral directors witness up close the emotional impact the
picketing of a funeral has on the family and loved ones of the deceased.. . .
Such picketing has a negative emotional impact on the grieving families
who are already emotionally fragile.”
Pam Scott, Executive Director KFDA [2006 1 February]
“God hates the Kansas Legislature.”
Fred Phelps [2006 January 30, WBC website]
• Counter protests organized;
• WBC negotiates with local police;
• Emergence of the Patriot Guard, a 25,000 veteran motorcycle group,
is in the funeral environment as guests of the family, primarily to run
interference. PG is a barrier to drafting new anti-picketing laws.
Trauma bull’s eye: Parents
• “Blame the parent” is a tactical gold mine.
“I love to use words that send them off the edge emotionally.
There’s nothing better than that.”
Fred Phelps [cited in Minkowitz, 1994-1995, p. 44]
Harold Ivan Smith, DMin, FT
Trauma bull’s eye: Widows & Children
• Only God knows how many military families have experience “the
WBC treatment.”
• The reality for many family members: “This will happen to us if
something happens to [N]” = anticipatory anxiety.
“I thought I was prepared. I had experienced them before, but the raw
emotions of dealing with Chuck’s death left me vulnerable. Yet, in that state
of vulnerability, God provided grace. Rather than seeing and hearing their
hatred, I actually felt compassion and empathy. What could cause this
profound disrespect — even hatred — for other human beings?”
Phil Griffin [2014 March 21, Religious News Service]
Albert Snyder, following the death of his son Matthew, sued alleging
Westboro’s demonstration had violated four legal rights:
• deflamation;
• publicity given to private life;
• intentional infliction of emotional distress;
• intrusion upon seclusion & civil conspiracy
• Supreme Court ruled that to support a claim “for intentional inflection
of emotional distress” under Maryland statute, Snyder would have
had to demonstrate: “the defendant intentionally or recklessly
engaged in extreme and outrageous conduct that caused the plaintiff
to suffer severe emotional distress.”
• During the trial, the father described the severity of his emotional
injuries & testified to inability “to separate the thought of his dead son
from his thoughts of Westboro’s picketing”, and “often becomes
tearful, angry, and physically ill when he thinks about it.”
 Justice Roberts [2011, p. 4]
“I think of (Westboro). I have to think of the shock that was on my
daughter’s face when she saw the signs. I have to see the hurt in my
dad’s eyes when his grandson gets killed and then he
has to go through this.”
“To me, what they did was just as bad, if not worse, than if they had
taken a gun and shot me.”
Albert Snyder [cited in Arnett, 2014 March 20, p. x]
Harold Ivan Smith, DMin, FT
• Roberts’ understatement: the messages on the placards “may fall
short of refined social or political commentary.”
• Some who saw signs “You’re Going to Hell” and “God Hates You”
would not have inferred that the words were targeted specifically to
Matthew Snyder or to the Snyder family. [Roberts. 2011, p. 9]
“Speech is powerful. It can stir people to action, move them to tears
of both joy and sorrow, and—as it did here—inflict great pain.”
[Nevertheless] “We cannot react to that pain
by punishing the speaker[s].”
John Roberts [2011, p. 15]
Justice Alito’s spirited rebuttal:
“Mr. Snyder wanted what is surely the right of any parent
experiencing such an incalculable loss: to bury his son in peace.
But respondents, members of the Westboro Baptist Church, deprived
him of that fundamental right.”
Samuel Alito [2011, p. 4]
Intentional re-traumatization.
“When grave injury is intentionally inflicted by means of an attack like the
one at issue here, the First Amendment should not
Interfere with damages.”
Samuel Alito [2011, p. 4]
Fred’s Legend
“Phelps had not had a life of comforting the mourning, but “of showing up at
newsworthy events to shout abuse and attack innocent people
he had never met.”
David Von Drehle, Time [2014 April 7, p. 25].
“God knows I don’t like the way I’m doing it. I have apprehensions and
trepidation every day about whether I’m serving the Lord properly and
doing it right. … But I don’t know any other way.”
Fred Phelps [cited in Arnett, 2014 March 20, p. x]
Harold Ivan Smith, DMin, FT
“My dad likes to hurt people. And he needs to hate them. Why, I don’t
know. But you can be sure of one thing: he’ll always do it with the Bible.”
Mark Phelps, estranged son [cited in Bell, 1994, p. 107]
Re-traumatization of clergy
• “Conducting funerals is one of the most important acts a pastor
does.” [Century Marks, 2014 April 16, p. 8]
Re-traumatization of WBC children
Two biblical foundations:
• “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will
not depart from it.” [Psalm 22:6]
• “He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him
chasteneth him betimes.” [Proverbs 13:24]
• Westboro indoctrinates their children/grandchildren in theology &
political ideology from an early age.
• Attend public schools but denied opportunities to integrate into
• Young children are “shields” during picketing.
• These children casually use the words "fag" and "dyke" in interviews.
• The children only relationships are almost exclusively within family.
• WBC do not experience a “normal” adolescence [Drain, 2013]
“Man, I couldn’t stop these kids from doing this. They’d get rid of me.”
Besides, ‘they are happy little ducks. It amazes me. They are so enthused
about this stuff. You try to keep them away from those pickets, they fight.”
Fred “Gramps” Phelps
“The natural bonds of family have been braided into this twisted thinking so
that children who love their parents and siblings can't separate those
feelings from their sense of obligation to the church and its creed. And
when they leave they also take with them the nagging guilt and fear that
haven't just lost a family: they have lost their only chance of salvation.”
Louis Theroux [2014 March 24].
The potential for future re-traumatization
Harold Ivan Smith, DMin, FT
"Fred’s ideas have not died with him.”
Nathan Phelps, son
“To say that a death in Topeka rarely generates the national, and even
international, attention that is accompanying the passing of Fred W.
Phelps, Sr., would be a gross understatement.”
Editorial, Topeka Capital-Journal (2014 March 22) 4a
• A string of right-wing voices currently mimicking WBC
“To be sure, there are others in Topeka, Kansas and across the
country who agree with what Phelps was preaching, although no one
copied his outlandish and hateful methods.”
Editorial, Topeka Capital-Journal (2014 March 22) 4a
• WBC is the family business.
• Just as any business has a succession plan the Phelps Tribe will not
“fold its tents.”
Things won’t be the same without Fred Phelps. The Topeka Kansas City
Council on May 2l, 2014, passed ordinances establishing a city domestic
partnership registry and for discriminating in employment and hiring based
on gender identity. [Associated Press, 2014, May 21]
References cited
Alito, Samuel. (2011 March 2). Dissenting opinion. Albert Snyder, Petitioner v. Fred W.
Phelps, Sr., et al. Supreme Court of the United States, 1-14.
Arnett, Dugan. (2014 March 21). Westboro’s Fred Phelps dies at 84. The Kansas City
Star, A1, A8.
Associated Press. (2014 May 21). Topeka, Kan., home of Westboro Baptist Church,
approves LGBT ordinances. Http://.www.lgbtqnation. Com/2014/05/Topeka-kan-homeof-westboro.
Barrett-Fox, Rebecca. (2010/2011,). Anger and compassion on the picket line:
Ethnography and emotion in the study of Westboro Baptist Church. Journal of Hate
Studies, 9(1), 11-32.
Harold Ivan Smith, DMin, FT
Bell, Jon Michael. (1994 June 29). Exhibit A. Jon Michael Bell v. Stauffer
Communications. Case number 94CV766. Shawnee District Court. Topeka, Kansas.
Biles, Jan. (2014 March 17). What will legacy of Phelps be? The Topeka CapitalJournal, 9A.
Biles, Jan. (2014 March 21). Preacher of hate dies: From respect early on to notorious
villain. The Topeka Capital-Journal, 1A.
Biles, Jan, & Hrenchir, Tim. (2014 March 17). Community leaders address impact:
Equality House officials urge privacy for Phelps family. The Topeka Capital-Journal, 8A.
Christian Century. (2014 April 16). Century marks. Christian Century, 8.
Dickson, Caitlin. (2014 March 24). This man is the future of Westboro Baptist Church.
U.S. News/Daily Beast.
Drain, Lauren, & Pulitzer, Lisa. (2013). Banished: A memoir: Surviving my years in the
Westboro Baptist Church. New York: Grand Central.
Drain, Stephen. (2006 February 1). The testimony given in opposition to Senate Bill 42l.
The Kansas State Senate Federal and State Affairs Committee.
Editorial. (2014 March 18). Phelps’ death closes an era. Topeka Capital-Journal, 4A.
Falwell, Jerry. (2002 January 22). News of the year: Far right.The Advocate, 26.
Fry, Steve. (2014 March 17). What’s next for the church? Topeka Capital-Journal, 1A,
Fry, Steve. (2014 March 18). Power struggle leads to Phelps’ ban. The Topeka CapitalJournal, 1A, 12A.
Fry, Steve. (2014 March 21). Estranged relatives shut out at end. The Topeka CapitalJournal, 9A.
Fry, Steve. (2014 March 21). Preacher of hate dies: No funeral for founder of church.
The Topeka Capital-Journal, 1A, 9A.
Fry, Steve, & Biles, Jan. (2014 March 21). Estranged relatives shut out at end. The
Topeka Capital-Journal, 9A.
Harold Ivan Smith, DMin, FT
Helling, Dave. (2014 April 15). Reporting on extremism: Ignore it, or expose it. The
Kansas City Star, A4.
Hoy, William G. (2013). Do funerals matter? The purposes and practices of death rituals
in global perspective. New York: Routledge.
Jefferson, Rae. [2010 October 13]. There’s no such thing as the freedom to hurt. The
Baylor University Lariat. Lariat digital archives.
Kors, Joshua. [2010 August 20]. ‘God hates fags’: Q & A with Pastor Fred Phelps. The
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