"[Marriage's] not happening, dude," she told me, laughing. "The Lord is coming."

Sara didn't know much about Tempe's Obama-death-wish preacher Steven Anderson, so I told her that he believed the president was deserving of death for his abortion stance, as were gays, adulterers, and then some. Sara concurred, in general, but she seemed to part ways when it came to praying for Obama to die, as Anderson says he does.

"Obama is the Antichrist," she said, sounding a lot like one of those crackpot Tea Party types. "He is going to lead this nation to its destruction. This government is already too far gone . . . What I want to happen to him is exactly what the Lord has willed. So we wait patiently on our God to deliver his righteous judgments."

The 2009 Bull Connor Award, presented to Sheriff Joe Arpaio in Houston by activist Liliana Castrillón.
Liana Lopez
The 2009 Bull Connor Award, presented to Sheriff Joe Arpaio in Houston by activist Liliana Castrillón.
Sara Phelps, granddaughter of Westboro Baptist Church pastor Fred Phelps, protests "the Jews" outside Tempe's Temple Emanuel on September 4.
Stephen Lemons
Sara Phelps, granddaughter of Westboro Baptist Church pastor Fred Phelps, protests "the Jews" outside Tempe's Temple Emanuel on September 4.

After Sara and her family members skedaddled, I ambled over to the sane side of the street. I spoke briefly with Sally Oscherwitz, president of Temple Emanuel's board of trustees. She told me that though she knew the WBC members were traditionally nonviolent, they still like to instigate violence by inflaming counter-protesters.

"We're an inclusive community," she explained. "We're diverse. We have wonderful, beautiful relationships with mosques and other churches and synagogues in the Valley. And what [the WBC does] is foreign to us. It's not what we're about."

Others present worried about me covering the demonstration, about giving ink to the WBC, which is notoriously media-hungry. I considered not writing up the group's visit, but then I saw Channel 3's footage of Captain Jenkins' funeral the next day, in which the reporter showed one quick shot of Sara Phelps, saying that "protesters lined the streets" without explaining there were only a few, and that they were emissaries from this deranged Kansas pastor, not anti-war lefties.

I reckoned it was better for people to know what these WBC idiots are actually about.

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10 comments
FGRANT1939
FGRANT1939

GOD BLESS JOE ARPAIO..LET HIM SEND ALL THE DAM ILLEGAL MEXICANS HOME IN A BOX.THEN SEND HIM TO UTAH TO ARREST THE LEADERS OF THE LDS CHURCH AND PUT THEM IN PRISON FOR LIFE

Gore
Gore

Isn't it ironic that Fred Phelps was a Gore delegate at the 1988 DEMOCRATIC Convention. Phelps also ran for US Senate in Kansas as a DEMOCRAT and received 30% of the vote from those voting in the DEMOCRATIC Primary.

To the Radical Left: He's all yours...

Shane
Shane

God forbid you ever talk about the 90% of Christians who are out there doing charity work, feeding the homeless or taking care of orphans. We're not all like Fred Phelps, the abortion clinic bombers, or whatever other sensational fringe element of "Christians" that you choose to focus on in your column. How 'bout a little equal coverage, eh? You know, a little journalistic integrity? Or did you miss that day in college?

Jesus
Jesus

J DUB from Scottsdale... it is YOU that's full of hate. Relax.

K.Smith
K.Smith

You are an ugly, nasty person. As a journalist you should not be using derogatory slang terminology. I don't know what you race is, but you sound very much like the racist in this article. May Bill O'Reilly smite you.

Kenneth Jaeger
Kenneth Jaeger

As an ex-Topekan, I am proud to have received free tickets to the showing of "The Laramie Project" at Washburn University for being one of the counter protesters who got their early enough to take up all the corners within view of the universitiy's performing arts center and relegating Fred & Co to being out of sight and out of mind.

Besides being a "pastor" Fred was an attorney by trade (later disbarred). When then Senator Al Gore first ran for President in 1988, his Kansas campaign headquarters was the offices of Phelps Chartered. It is amazing how today Gore is thought of as a liberal icon because of one issue (environment) when on social issues he has been just another reactionary dixiecrat (anyone remember when he tried to censor rock n roll???).

Emil Pulsifer
Emil Pulsifer

The Bird wrote:

"And all this time I thought it was the Romans who nailed the Man from Galilee to a cross. And wait a sec, wasn't Jesus a Jew? Sara reluctantly admitted that he was, but apparently that doesn't count because he was � you guessed it � the Messiah."

Weren't most of the apostles also Jews?

J DUB
J DUB

Jesus Bird, I get so fucking sick of your same ol' ranting. Can't you come up with ANYTHING new, you tired old fuck?! Active vocalization of border security does not a racist/hater make, you belligerent lump. You know who's the racist? You know who's the hater? YOU DUDE! You're the one with the unending venomous prose. You must hate your mirror - having to look at that pasty white body everyday. Knowing that we (Caucasians) ruined literally every other race in the world, that we've polluted every ethnic people ever to wander planet earth - and to be part of THEM! It really must eat you up having to apologize all the time. You're the bitter one, man. You're the one pouring countless time and energy into slamming people who've had a gutfull of watching their country exploited by drug trades, resulting murder, kidnapping, torture, rape (read: La Familia, Azteca, etc) from across the border. Fins something new to hate on cuz you've got nothing original left on this dead horse. Oh yeah, almost forgot - fuck you.

Hank Hill
Hank Hill

I don't know what sickens me more, a racist and mornonic sheriff or Christians who endorse hate.

Regarding the gay and Jewish protests... dudes, don't you have anything else to do? Here's a tip, if you don't like those folks then don't hang out with them. I was raised in a strict Protestant home and hate was NEVER endorsed. In fact, we were taught to pray for and love our enemy.

Here's a question, if Hitler and the Nazis were tools of God, and murder is a sin, does that make God a sinner? Just wondering because I don't remember the 10 Commandments qualifying sin according to who the victim is.

One more question, why all the hate? Hate is tired.

Cyrus
Cyrus

All I can say about these kind of people is..

Be afraid, be very afraid

 
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