An Open Letter To Fred Phelps

Dear Fred:

I hear you want to bring your God Hates Fags circus to town for Sgt. Matt Maupin’s funeral.  Let me be blunt:

Don’t.  You’re not welcome here.  Matt’s visitation will be in my neighborhood.  His funeral will be near where I work.  I don’t want your hate-mongering inbreds in my town.

There is no threat here, Mr. Phelps.  I am being honest with you.  See, you claim God hates fags.  Well, I talk to God all the time, Freddie.  The subject never comes up.  More importantly, He never mentions you.  I take that as a sign He probably doesn’t like you very much.

I will do nothing, of course, to stop you, Mr. Phelps.  It is a free country, and you are free to express your opinion, even if it’s wrong.  You also have a right to be unmolested in your protests.  It’s what made this country great.

That said, I know there are those who are tempted to do you harm while you are in Cincinnati.  I don’t encourage that.

But I will kick in a big chunk of my savings to their defense fund.  Like Chris Rock says, I wouldn’t approve.  But I’d understand.  Do you?

Sorry I won’t be able to do the same for you.  I have a conscience, and my conscience wouldn’t permit me to help you get out of whatever charges will inevitably be filed against you while you’re here.

It’s a free country.  I’m allowed to do that.

This is about Matt, and about a community, and about his family, who’ve done so much for this community.  It’s about saying goodbye to someone who rallied us.  It’s about honoring sacrifice.  There will be antiwar advocates there.  They, too, will be honoring Matt, because it’s about Matt doing his duty.  Do you understand duty, Fred?  I don’t think you do.  I think all you understand is your hate speech is a sham to make money.  So take it elsewhere.  This one’s for Matt.  All you’re doing is stealing attention you don’t deserve.  The flags are at half-staff for Matt.  Will they ever fly half-staff for a man who soils soldiers’ funerals with ugliness?

Somehow, I doubt it.

UPDATE:  In my obsessive checking of stats for this blog, I followed a link back to a forum that announced Fred is, indeed, coming to town.  I wanted to check this, but BigHugeCo has blocked the Westboro Baptist Church’s web site as “Violent/Racism/Hate Speech”.  God bless our IT Security guys!

18 thoughts on “An Open Letter To Fred Phelps

  1. You know, I try to be an understanding, tolerant person – “Judge not lest ye be judged” and all that – but I wouldn’t piss on Fred Phelps if he was on fire.

  2. Part of me wants to say let them come, let them see just how many people hate, with their entire being, everything they stand for. They are nothing more than media-hungry, attention whores, who will receive their judgement one day. There will be a time and a place, for which they will reap what they sow. I hope I am there to see it.

    May God be with the Maupin Family during this time, and may SSgt Matt Maupin finally rest in peace.


  3. God Bless Matt Maupin. It’s sad to see that a hate group is going to use its freedoms Matt died for to denigrate and disparage the man himself.

  4. I understand that as citizens of America, people are guaranteed certain rights and can say whatever they want. But, I believe there are limits to what a person can say within his or her legal boundary. First of all, a funeral is a grieving process for anyone who knows Matt and it is his family’s right to have his funeral without disturbances. I know that if my brother came back from Iraq in a casket, I wouldn’t want some ignorant people coming to his funeral and disowning him. Matt just laid down his life for his country, and that deserves everyone’s respect. Everyone, including those who don’t agree, needs to have respect for individuals and do unto others what you would want done unto you. Matt is a hero and may he rest in peace. My prayers and thoughts are with his family.

  5. The first amendment gives the American public the right to free speech. How far should this be taken? Hate speech is a common technique used by angry radical people to degrade, intimidate, and frighten people and express ideas they don’t like which can lead into rioting or physical violence. Why would we want to handle situations in this manner? I think that is is morally wrong to disrupt a funeral to protest the war. Do they not take into consideration the the family’s feelings? I’m sure they would be upset if angry people were disrupting a service for one of their loved ones. I think that the letter is tastefully written to get the point across that this is unacceptable behavior. An interview on youtube with Shirley Phelps gives you a real inside to the way that these type of people think.
    God Bless the Maupin family

  6. Speech and language have very strong affects on people and their emotions; it can cause fear, hurt, danger and intimidation. “Hate speech is speech that attacks a person or group on a basis of race, religion, gender or sexual orientation” according to (Hate speech). The Westboro Baptist Church is known for traveling all around the country in protesting fallen soldiers and accusing them of being homosexual “fags”. The protesters main purpose is to protest homosexuality and how they view “fags” as evil. They also do not want homosexuals to be apart of the American culture, and for homosexuals to be in the military, which in the protesters eyes is considered wrong. I just think the church wants to gain attention and reactions from America. It is one thing to have views that people believe in but when they make public appearances and get the Medias attention, to stand out from the rest, they think that non-believers will realize that their beliefs are correct. According to the United States Constitution, every person has the right to freedom of speech and the freedom to protest, but there are certain boundaries that should not be crossed. I believe the protesters went have gone beyond their boundaries, when they show up to a funeral. A funeral service is a family and friend private occasion that should not include the media and the disrespectful protesters. A funeral service is for the people closest to the deceased to remember all the things that person has accomplished, as well as to pay respect and to say good bye. No one should be aloud to be anywhere near the funeral service that is time for the decease’s family to grief and morn. Our country has been through so much with shootings, terrorist attacks and now we are facing protesters that are against our countries soldiers, who our nation’s heroes. Our military personnel have put their lives on the line, to give every American the best possible life. My mother has been in Iraq for four and a half years helping our military, and if anything every happened to her and these protesters showed up to her funeral, I would freak out. No family should be put through a disrespectful confrontation like that. Here in the United States we have our own war happening with these protesters. I just do not understand why these people live here, if they do not respect our nation, its people and the way the culture is developing into. I just hope that the Westboro Baptist Church stays away and let Matt Maupin be honored for the great man he was. Matt will never be forgotten and God bless his family and friends.

    “Hate Speech” Unabridged (V1.1). Random House, Inc. 3 March. 2008.

  7. I agree that it is Westboro Baptist Church’s 1st Amendment and we can’t stop them from what they say. Where does your 1st Amendment stop? Does it stop when people come to your son’s funeral and protest him for being in the war? How much pain and suffering can his family endure? The 1st Amendment shouldn’t let this Church express their feelings to the family of the deceased soldier. The speech they are using is hate speech, which is hurtful and can cause emotional pain. This Westboro Baptist Church should stay away from Matt Maupin’s funeral. Funerals are for close family and friends it is a very private matter and should not be open for the public. Matt Maupin was a very courageous soldier and will never be forgotten. God Bless his family and friend during this time.

  8. I agree with you all completely. I don’t think that many people are aware of this hate group, that preaches words of hate speech everyday. Hate speech in my definition is more than just using the curse words or the Lord’s name in vain; it can also be derogetory worfs or expressions towards a specific gender, race, or group of people. The Phelps family and Westboro Baptist Church are demonstrating just that or hate speech. They are operating on the assumption that the Bible is God’s literal word. They believe that they are the final authority in interpreting the Bible. They abuse the words of Bible and interpret it in their own way. Using different Bible verses and interpreting them in the way they want to in order to influence people.

    I feel that everyone has the right tor speak freelu, until you corss the line. In my opinion, the Phelps family has crossed the line many times, not only trying and influece people to agree with their views towards the United State’s involvement in the Middle East. Westboro Baptist Church have gone out a spread words of hatered in many places but performing these acts at a young man’s funeral is outrageous!! I think it is terrible and wrong for them to perform these acts in front of his family and friends. Respecting others and treating them they way you would want to be treated is in the Bible as well, and I think that if the memebers of Westboro are going to follow the Bible then they should pay attention to ALL OF IT!!!

    God Bless Matt Maupin and his family. I will be praying for you this weekend.

  9. There is a law now in effect that you cant come within 500 feet of a funeral procession and say or do bad things. I just thought I would addd my two cents worth and god bless you matt and your family, I also salute you. John

  10. I agree with you Trish about the Westboro Church taking the bible to literally. they do know know what God wants or what the Bible means. they show so much hate speech it is horrible that people have to be around these people. John that great to hear that they cannot be within 500 feet of the funeral and they cannot disrupt it while they are laying him to rest.
    My prays are with the Maupins.

  11. Our military is serving our country and putting their lives on the line, to give the Americans freedom. I think it is heartbreaking that our countries heroes are serving our nation to protect us when have cowards like the Westboro Baptist Church.
    I did not know that there was a law stating that protesters have to stay 500 feet away. I am very glad there is a law but I just would like to see that law changed to have the protesters demonstrate on another day, and not at the funeral or burial.
    I was in Cincinnati and it was extremely quite which I found to be almost scary. I did get to see Matt’s procession, with the many motorcycle riders, which I thought was nice and thoughtful. It is just wonderful to see a community come together and honor Matt. I just really feel for the Maupin’s family because they had to witness the protesters. I think there should be something done to keep the church away from events that are for family and friends.

    R.I.P Matt Maupin. We will never forget you; you will remain in my heart forever. I am very happy that you are now home where you belong.

  12. WOW, im glad to know that law is now in effect. I hope that it will help the decrease the amounts of protesters.
    So the protesters did indeed come to town?
    It is so sad to think about what the Maupin family must be going through. I agree Waylon, there needs to be something done to prevent these protesters from coming to these young soliders’ funeral’s. I feel for all their family and friends that have to go through this heartache.

  13. “So the protesters did indeed come to town?”

    There was a group of bikers who also make it a point to come to soldiers’ funerals, most of them veterans from Vietnam and the Gulf War. They gather with huge American flags on their bikes and usually block the Westboro nutjobs from view. When they casket goes by, they fire up their motors and blare their horns in salute.

    But they do more. Matt Maupin’s burial was a private affair, and the bikers escorted the family to the graveside. So maybe Fred Phelps has done some good in spite of himself. If he hadn’t outraged the original group of bikers, they might not be a part of the soldiers’ funerals now. They certainly were a welcome sight regardless of why they were there.

    The yellow ribbons along State Route 32 are inspiring.

  14. I personally think that it is amazing to see all of these citizens of Cincinnati come to support the family of Matt Maupin. I am disgusted with the acts of the Phelps and what they do to the families of grieving families. Personally i think all of them should be arrested for the antics that they try to pull. It is sad that they found the remains of Matt Maupin but at least now his family is at peace and do not have to worry every day if there son is alive or dead.

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