Fred Phelps of Westboro Baptist reportedly near death, as told in social media

[caption id="attachment_26217" align="alignright" width="220"]Fred Phelps, founder of Westboro Baptist, photo courtesy of Wikipedia Fred Phelps, founder of Westboro Baptist Church. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia[/caption] (RNS) Fred Phelps started (and continues) his signature campaign against homosexuality with the most old-fashioned of methods: picket signs. Graphic, offensive and visual picket signs about how God “hates fags” and America, but picket signs nonetheless. Now, amid reports that the founder of Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kan., is near death, the old-fashioned protestor is getting the instantaneous social media treatment: 1. The Facebook post that told us he was nearing death.   2. Westboro is calling reports about Phelps’ impending death “speculative.”   3. Earlier on in his life, Phelps took a different approach in his career, as noted by Huffington Post religion reporter Jaweed Kaleem.   4. On Monday, an earthquake shook L.A., connecting the dots for some tweeters, comedian Kyle Kinane noted.   5. There’s debate about how various groups should respond. Should people who are gay, for instance, picket his funeral?   6. Jeff Chu, a gay Christian who wrote a book about his experience, tweeted the following.   7. Jared Wilson, a pastor who blogs at The Gospel Coalition, tweeted the Bible verse about judgement: “Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment.”   8. Artist Derek Webb, who is a Christian, tweeted about how people might respond to Phelps’ impending death.   9. And another post from Webb:   10. Expect some reflective blog posts to come soon, including this one from Jayson Bradley.   The post Fred Phelps nears death, as told in tweets appeared first on Religion News Service.
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