Yup, and so is his little bevy of hate-mongers--mostly family members--that showed up yesterday to protest the introduction of the bill (Colorado Legislature) to require, among other things, that protesters of funerals (what pond scum would protest a funeral?) stay, at least, five-hundred feet away from the solemn ceremony.
Yes, they're queer.
Queer: Worthless, counterfeit; questionable, suspicious; mildly insane.
From the Rocky Mountain News: "The Phelps group's protest began minutes after a news conference by state lawmakers on the west steps of the Capitol to discuss the 'Right to Rest in Peace Act.'
"It would prohibit protesters within 500 feet of funeral sites an hour before, during and an hour after services.
"Similar legislation has recently been introduced in 26 other states because of the Westboro pickets.
"We believe in dignity. We believe in respect. We believe in privacy," said Rep. Buffie McFadyen, D-Pueblo West, one of the bill's sponsors.
"During the news conference, more than 50 members of a volunteer group called the Patriot Guard Riders flanked the speakers, holding American flags. On the flagpoles, yellow plastic ribbons held stickers with the names of fallen soldiers.
"The Patriot Guard attends troop funerals to support the mourning families and shield them from the Phelps protesters.
"When the Westboro Baptist Church members began protesting Thursday, the motorcyclists silently walked away.
"The Phelps group plans to protest at a benefit dinner Saturday at a Denver hotel for the Matthew Shepard Foundation, named after the young gay man slain in Wyoming. On Sunday, they said, they will picket eight churches in Lakewood and in and near Englewood."
I had decided to take a break from my usual daily ritual, and head downtown to see this spectacle, as reported in the News, above. I had also arranged with David, my partner, to have dinner in Lodo, so, making a day of it, I headed downtown at about 2 P.M. I parked in Lodo, and took the 16th Street shuttle to Tremont and walked to Civic Center Park.
Civic Center Park was constructed in the early part of the twentieth century as part of what was then called the, "City Beautiful" movement. The park is exquisitely open and gracefully bordered by wonderful examples of Roman and Greek architecture--a Greek theater on one end, a Greco-Roman fountain and pavilion on the other. The park sits between the Denver City and County Building to the west and, on a slight rise to the east, the Colorado State Capitol.
The pictures that precede this post were taken within Civic Center Park.
It was disturbing to walk through Civic Center Park and see, witness, experience the machinations of the homeless, the aimless youth, the drug dealers, the insane, the unemployed and unemployable lounging upon every marble or granite surface in the park and on the grass and huddling on the park benches like conspirators devising the overthrow of...what? Indeed, I felt the absolute need to continuously look over my shoulder and keep a firm clutch on my bag in which I had put my camera and extra digital memory chips. There was, for the entire time I was in Civic Center Park, not a single police officer circulating amongst the throngs of folks, many of whom were obviously dealing in chemical nirvana. Oh, well...
About 3 P.M. I climbed up the rise to the steps of the Capitol and witnessed the arrival of the Patriot Guard Riders who have--God Bless Them!--interposed themselves between the mourners at the funerals of those young men and women, soldiers who have died as a result of the Iraqi and Afghan conflicts and those nutcases from Fred Phelps' Westboro Baptist Church. The Patriot Guard carry American flags in order to block out the obscene message the Phelps pond scum are preaching. (The pictures above provide the thousand words that I can't express here.)
Well, by about four P.M. is was all over. For me, two poignant photos appear above: The first is of the young woman who sobbed throughout the vicious hate-filled antics of the Phelps' group. She held a sign that read, "I love my soldier."
The other photo is that of the two four or five year old children from the Phelps' group wearing t-shirts declaring, "God Hates America." Pity the children
Conclusions: Fred Phelps and his little bevy of shamefully indoctrinated family members who spew his/their particular hate, are--for whatever reason--seeking the publicity that the media is tripping over one another to give to them. And, one more thought: There's something about Fred Phelps that doesn't ring true; that bothers me; there's some little pathological secret or quirk or fear that has caused this angry, angry man to do what he is doing. Indeed, if you visit Phelps website, godhatesfags.com, you'll note his bio indicates he actually had an appointment to West Point. But, God intervened and sent him off to preacher school. I'm wondering if something else might have "intervened?" And, I'm reminded of Willie Nelson's, "Cowboys Are Frequently, Secretly (Fond of Each Other) in which part of the lyrics warns that you "...can't fuck with the lady that's sleepin' in each cowboy's head."
Come on, Fred, who'd yah wanna sleep with, way back when? Was the immersion into an essentially male existence at West Point just a wee bit threatening or, perhaps, even frightening?