Nate Phelps on growing up in 'the most hated family in America'
By KEVIN LIBIN - NATIONAL POST
Added: Sun, 21 Mar 2010 00:00:00 UTC
Thanks to Lynell Gramlich for the link.
When celebrity nonbeliever Richard Dawkins finished addressing his hundreds of Godless followers at the American Atheists Convention at Atlanta's Emory Center last April, the follow up act was a man virtually no one in the room had ever heard of. Onto the dais walked a middle-aged, doleful-eyed cab driver from Cranbrook, B.C., by the name of Nate Phelps. He had come to talk about how his childhood in a religious household had brought him to atheism.
Mr. Phelps was not from a typical churchgoing family, but from what a BBC documentary once called "the most hated family in America." His father, pastor Fred Phelps, leads the Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kan. The family, and a handful of followers, has held nearly 43,000 demonstrations, mostly in U.S., a few in Canada, once in Iraq, picketing synagogues and Holocaust memorials, disrupting the funerals of American soldiers killed in action, and of murdered Amish schoolgirls. They are infamous for their hatred and cruelty. Their signs insist that "God Hates Fags," and hates America, too, for tolerating homosexuality. They chant "Thank God for 9/11," and for the bombs killing U.S. marines. They tried infiltrating the Winnipeg funeral in 2008 of Tim McLean, who was brutally murdered and decapitated on a Greyhound bus, calling it God's punishment for Canadians' sins, but backed off over fears for their safety. They march with broad smiles on their faces, their young children beside them, delighting in the outrage they provoke.
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