Tuesday, 4 November 2008

The parable of the Westboro Baptist Church and the prodigal son

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Here's something I didn't know until today, although maybe I should have done – Fred Phelps (AKA Mr Westboro Baptist Church) has a son, Nate Phelps, who is an atheist and outspoken critic of his father and his church.

I learnt this by reading this interview with Nate from Canadian website Ubyssey Online. It's a pretty horrific story of hellfire, manipulation and abuse (Phelps Snr once beat Nate with a pickaxe handle 200 times, on Christmas night), but it gives you a sense of how Phelps has maintained his control over his cult (despite their "Baptist Church" name, it seems more accuarate to call them a cult).

And if you need any further indication of what Phelps has done to the minds of his children, look at the first comment on the interview with Nate, from his sister Shirley Phelps-Roper. You may remember her as the awful woman leading proceedings during Louis Theroux's time with the cult.

It's all fairly depressing stuff.