Good Talks|May 27, 2014 10:30 EDT
Fred Phelps Excommunicated From WBC for Changing Stance on Homosexuality? Reverend's Grandson Says He had a 'Change of Heart' Before Death
The notorious Westboro Baptist Church minister Fred Phelps may have had a change of heart toward his view of homosexuals leading him to be excommunicated from the very church and principles he started.
This starling revelation comes from Phelps' grandson, Zacharias Phelps-Roper, who left WBC in February. He shared a story about his grandfather with Huffington Post where he explained Phelps thought the people at Planting Peace, a house next-door that was anti-bullying and pro marriage equality, were "good people."
"On the day that he was excommunicated, he stood outside of the front door of the church...he spoke words to this effect to the Equality House: 'You are good people.' I feel like he had a change of heart after my grandmother nearly passed away, and he felt the pangs of loss ... he waited for news of her every day and night while she was in intensive care," Phelps-Roper said. "I think this triggered a chain reaction whereby he developed great empathy for others... which would explain why he would support Planting Peace's anti-suicide and anti-bullying platforms, and their charities across the world.... I love my grandfather! And I believe people DO change, if they are inspired enough!"
Phelps died this past March and although was well known for the good work he did as a lawyer in the 60s and 70s for Civil Rights, he began to change in the 80s and 90s as his extreme views on Christianity and the church began to fuel hate toward anyone who was not part of Westboro Baptist. The members of WBC would picket soldiers' funerals, celebrities, suicide victims, and LGBT groups. Homosexual groups and people had it the worst from WBC as their website is titled, "GodHatesF**s." The Kansas group is reviled, debated and hate all over the world and on the news.
"I think that he got over that [homophobia]," Phelps' grandson said to Huff Post about maybe changing his views before he died. "I don't think he hated homosexuals by that point. Planting Peace, you know, the fact that it's a rainbow house kind of implies that maybe there is a homosexual connection there. So, yeah, I figured that he was supporting them, too. The day that he was excommunicated my family took great notice of that and they called it rank blasphemy that he was coming out in support of the homosexuals."
According to Phelps son Nate, the minister was excommunicated for asking for better treatment of fellow church members.