MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow argued on
Friday that the anti-gay rhetoric of Westboro Baptist Church, and its
notorious leader Fred Phelps, aided the gay rights movement by
offending mainstream Americans.
Phelps, who founded the Topeka,
Kansas-based church in the 1950s, died on Thursday at the age of 84.
activist Fred Phelps dead at 84.)
“Westboro Baptist Church became an
object of national fascination and revulsion when the man who is
basically the cult leader for this extended family pseudo religious
compound in Kansas decided in about 1991 that the way he should
spread his particular version of the gospel was by trying very hard
to upset people, by trolling the country essentially,” Maddow told
“And their message was very simple.
They just hated gay people. They cited biblical justification for
hating gay people. They wished all gay people were dead. They
thought that anybody that didn't hate gay people as much as they did
were essentially aiding and abiding the terrible moral crime of
homosexuality and was equally damnable because of it.”
Maddow, who is openly gay, argued that
the church's ardent homophobia offended mainstream Americans and
“indirectly caused a lot of good works out of our own human
revulsion of their cruelty.”
the entire segment at MSNBC.)