I know this is a blog about goodness, but I believe we have to look at evil to understand good, particularly when that evil is couched in terms of righteousness. The Rev. Fred Phelps commits evil every day, and he does it in the name of good and God. This post looks into the heart of that evil, and links to a description of the details of life in the Hell on Earth that Phelps has created for his family. This is one of the reasons why I feel compassion for his children and grandchildren. For years now, I’ve thought that the only thing worse than being picketed by Fred Phelps and his family would be to be one of them.
This violence was a fact of life in our home, and is interwoven from my earliest memories as a child.
Nate escaped the family at 18. On his own blog, Nate has posted an account of his life at home and in the Westboro Baptist Church. Here’s just a bit:
(N)ot only did we not celebrate Christmas, but that we had to actively reject anything connected to it. So, for example, if they sang Christmas carols in class at school, we had to leave the classroom and go to the library. One of the effects of his policies – at least partially intentional — was to isolate his children and make us feel different….
I returned home from school to find my mother weeping in the church vestibule. My older brother, Mark, was trying to comfort her. She turned to him, her eyes red and swollen, her voice choked with rage. She yanked the stocking cap off her head, revealing that her long dark hair has been coarsely chopped off. “He cut my hair off”, she cried. Looking closer, I could see that in some places her white scalp has been exposed.
I don’t want to take traffic away from Nate, who had to live through so much, so I’ll end my quotes there. Nate describes beatings from his father, his father’s drug abuse, even worse instances of his father’s violence against his mother and more. Much more.
HT to Andres Almeida at Bilerico for providing the link.