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Old 04 April 2009, 01:54 AM
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snopes snopes is offline
 
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Icon605 Fred Phelps is in it for the money

Comment: I just came across this page claiming that notorious homophobe
and all-around hatemonger Fred Phelps does not actually believe what he
spouts, but rather protests at people's funerals so that he can make money
by suing people, especially police departments:

http://www.kanewj.com/wbc/

It has all the classic signs: anonymity, lack of specificity, etc.

But OTOH, I know that Phelps's church/cult is notoriously litigious, and
it's hard to imagine how else they make money since I doubt they get much
in the way of contributions anymore now that they're putting the hate not
just on gays but on the entire US government and on the families of
soldiers killed in Iraq.

On the third hand, somehow I doubt that Phelps' Westborough Baptist Church
gets a lot of settlement money from all of their lawsuits -- certainly not
enough to justify the investment of time.

So it's kind of hard for me to parse out the fact from the fiction here.

Hopefully you'll find it interesting.
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Old 04 April 2009, 02:03 AM
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Dropbear Dropbear is offline
 
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How could you prove that Phelps did not believe what he was saying? You'd have to demonstrate that some aspect of his behaviour was completely incompatible with what he was preaching (eg he was caught in a seedy motel room with a male prostitute) and even then he could claim he simply fell from the path having been tempted by Satan. (It has worked for so many, many other social conservatives).

Proving that he makes money from litigation wouldn't establish what he fundamentally believes as gaining money from lawsuits would not contravene any of the principles he espouses as far as I am aware.

Dropbear
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Old 04 April 2009, 10:29 AM
Jonny T
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dropbear View Post
How could you prove that Phelps did not believe what he was saying? You'd have to demonstrate that some aspect of his behaviour was completely incompatible with what he was preaching (eg he was caught in a seedy motel room with a male prostitute) and even then he could claim he simply fell from the path having been tempted by Satan. (It has worked for so many, many other social conservatives).
Even that I wouldn't see as proving he doesn't believe what he says. It's entirely possible to utterly despise something and still take part in it. (Some drug addicts, for example...)
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