Margie Phelps’ Speaks Out On Cordoba House, Illustrating Political Overlap

Margiephelps

Fred Phelps and his Westboro Baptist Church catch a lot of flack for their anti-gay, anti-America, anti-everything protests. The family shouldn’t be dismissed as simple right wing nuts, though, because their politics aren’t always so different than those found on the left.

Take, for example, Margie Phelps’ remarks about Cordoba House, the so-called “Ground Zero Mosque,” which she supports. “We say we’re the melting pot, we say you get the practice your faith according to your conscience with no restraint from the government, you have that liberty. Why, against that framework, would anybody be so un-American as to suggest that Muslim Americans cannot worship their God according to their conscience,” said Phelps, who argued Westboro’s case before the Supreme Court earlier this week. Similar arguments have been made by people on the left, like Keith Olbermann.

But of course Phelps, who’s Fred’s daughter, couldn’t resist getting in a low, decidedly discriminatory blow, telling Talking Points Memo, “Now [Islam is] a false religion, no question about that, but they don’t have to agree with me on that.”

As for the Supreme Court case, in which Westboro claims their First Amendment rights are being curtailed, Phelps said, “You’ve got 310 million saying ‘God Bless America.’ You’ve got 60 saying ‘God Curse America.’ That stinking First Amendment isn’t worth the paper it’s written on unless it protects those 60.”

If nothing else, the Westboro Church should show us that politics isn’t always black and white: people who are you rivals on one issue may be the closet ally on another.


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—  John Wright

Margie Phelps at Supreme Court: ‘Mark it down: Every death is in God’s hands, and he’s just getting warmed up.’

Kerry Eleveld was at the U.S. Supreme Court today to hear the oral arguments in the case brought against the Phelps by the family of Marine Lance Cpl. Matthew Snyder. He died in Iraq and the Phelps clan protest at his funeral. More on that subject here and here.

This is a First Amendment case and the Phelps were represented by one of their own, Margie:

Margie Phelps represented Westboro in front of the nine Supreme Court justices, displaying a mostly flat affect and decent command of the legal issues surrounding the case. But when she stepped in front of the microphones following the proceeding, Phelps switched on the more dogmatic and combative temperament that she and her church members are known for, even treating the mass of reporters to several lines of a variation on Ozzy Osbourne’s “Crazy Train.”

Here are some of the rantings that occurred outside the Court:

“Note to all — when you have a private funeral, we will not be there. When you have a public funeral and you broadcast to the nation that that dead soldier is a hero and that God is blessing America, we will be there and tell you, God is cursing America. It is a curse for your young men and women to be coming home in body bags. And if you want that to stop, stop sinning.”

“Look at you all right here. We don’t have to follow anybody. You follow us. We did not know any — we don’t know these families. We know this nation, whose destruction is imminent, has brought wrath from God. You have dead children coming home from that war. You have dead children. God’s promise to you is that if you would obey him, you would not need a standing army.”

“No, it’s not only the soldiers dying. God is bringing the trauma. He’s opened up his armory, and there’s no limit to the ways he can bring you trauma.… Everybody who dies, God kills. He holds the breath of life in his hands, and that’s what this rebellious nation is mad about, I think. You don’t want to say there’s a sovereign God with the breath of life in his hands. Mark it down: Every death is in God’s hands, and he’s just getting warmed up.

(Margie Phelps is joined by her sister Shirley Phelps-Roper in song.)

Cryin’ about your feelings / For your sin, no shame / You’re going straight to hell on a crazy train.

I think the Phelps are already on board that crazy train.




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—  John Wright