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Rotting Cryptkeeper Phelps unleashes his filth in an Indiana forum

A crowd listens as Fred Phelps Sr. of Westboro Baptist Church takes his turn at the microphone during a gay rights debate Sunday at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne; Kathy Sarris, president of Indiana Equality, speaks Sunday during a gay rights debate at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne. Photos by Clint Keller/The Journal Gazette.

He came, he spoke, he continued to spew hate. At least people got to confront the man in a forum where he had to defend his views. He didn’t hold back. (Journal Gazette):

Fred Phelps Sr.’s visit to Fort Wayne ended quietly Sunday as the controversial pastor known for picketing funerals left with his supporters, leaving behind a small crowd of people discussing non-violence and tolerance.

…In a forum moderated by Rev. Terry Anderson, the associate director of Associated Churches of Allen County, Phelps debated Kathy Sarris, president of gay-rights group Indiana Equality, and Dan Funk, who is on the steering committee of the Interfaith Coalition on Non-Discrimination. After the panelists left, about 50 people stayed behind for an audience discussion sponsored by the Center for Non-Violence.

…Organizers said the debate, which drew about 150 people, was meant to explore the issue in a civil way instead of shouting past picket signs. Bleachers in the gymnasium at Indiana University-Purdue University, Fort Wayne where the debate was held were divided to keep the two sides separated. On one side sat more than 100 people, while the other half was empty except for nine Westboro teenagers and their chaperons who quietly read their Bibles before the forum started. Police watched the event closely but there were no incidents.

Funk drew applause when he said Christianity is not about hatred. “I am a gay man and I am a Christian and I am here to tell you God doesn’t hate fags,” Funk said.

Phelps said his message is not based on hate, but on love, saying the Bible requires us to warn our neighbors of their sinfulness. “If you love your neighbor as yourself, you will warn him his sin is taking him to hell,” Phelps said.

Sarris said Shepard’s slaying must be regarded as a tragedy regardless of one’s views on homosexuality, but Phelps said the only issue is that Shepard is being punished for his sins. All else, including “The Laramie Project,” he said, is homosexual propaganda taking advantage of Shepard’s “pitiful” life. “It has nothing to do with tolerance and diversity,” Phelps said. “We’re talking about a monstrous sin against God Almighty.”

Phelps quoted Scripture condemning homosexuality, but Funk said the quotations were taken out of context and that the Bible only condemns sex that is threatening or abusive. He called some passages “amazingly gay-positive.”

Responding to a question on same-sex marriage, Phelps said America’s tolerance is sending it “to hell in a fornicator’s hand basket.”

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding