Fred Phelps Was Reportedly Excommunicated From Westboro Baptist Church For Advocating A 'Kinder Approach'

03/17/2014 05:10 pm ET | Updated Mar 17, 2014
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Fred Phelps has been excommunicated from Westboro Baptist Church according to his estranged son, Nate Phelps. Pastor Fred Phelps founded the church that has become infamous for picketing funerals and their slogan "God Hates Fags."

Though WBC has been tight-lipped about his membership status and the reasons behind his reported banishment, the Topeka Capital-Journal reported that he was thrown out for "advocating a kinder approach between church members."

According to an interview with Nate Phelps, who left the church 37 years ago, Fred Phelps was ejected from the group following a power struggle between a board of male elders and longtime spokeswoman Shirley Phelps-Roper. After the elders defeated Phelps-Roper, Fred Phelps reportedly called for "kinder treatment of fellow church members," a sentiment which was ill-received.

WBC spokesman Steve Drain declined to comment on Phelps, saying "We don't discuss our internal church dealings with anyone."

A media FAQ page set up about Fred Phelps simply said, "Membership issues are private."

Speculation about the funeral arrangements for Phelps may be pointless, as a WBC member previously told The Huffington Post that WBC does not believe in having funerals or memorials because "We don't worship the dead in this church, so there'd be no public memorial or funeral to picket if any member died."

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