RELIGION
03/17/2014 05:10 pm ET Updated Mar 17, 2014

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

FILE - In a March 19, 2006 file photo, Pastor Fred Phelps preaches at his Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kan.  Albert Sny
FILE - In a March 19, 2006 file photo, Pastor Fred Phelps preaches at his Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kan. Albert Snyder of York, Pa., the father of a Marine killed in Iraq, is asking the Supreme Court to reinstate a $5 million verdict against members of the Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kan., led by the Rev. Fred Phelps, who picketed his son's funeral with signs like "Thank God for Dead Soldiers" and "God Hates the USA." The U.S. Supreme Court is hearing arguments Wednesday, Oct. 6, 2010 in the dispute between Snyder and members of the Westboro Baptist Church. The case pits Snyder's right to grieve privately against the church members' right to say what they want, no matter how offensive. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, File)

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."

HuffPost

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