Thank you, Fred Phelps. Thank you for enraging us, empowering us and uniting us. Thank you for bringing together LGBT and civil-rights activists, veterans and pacifists, bikers and schoolteachers, Republicans and Democrats, atheists and believers.
Washburn University sophomore Zach Phelps-Roper spent his Wednesday morning like many other college students: glued to his cell phone. But he wasn't getting texts about last night's party -- he was waiting for a ruling from the Supreme Court.
A funeral is an occasion at which mourners should be free to grieve without having to confront offensive messages. As a matter of common sense, this is reasonable. As a matter of First Amendment law, however, it is flat-out wrong.
Pastor Fred Phelps led the congregation that gained notoriety in recent years for picketing the funerals of soldiers who died in Iraq and Afghanistan. He spoke with me about hell, homosexuality, and the Supreme Court.
Fred Phelps and his "church" are the ones who arrive at various places and events all across the country, waving hate-filled signs which convey his belief that God hates the US, homosexuals, the U.S. military, and dead American soldiers.