Community Post

Phelps Protesters at Mt. Zion

The forces of hate and anti-hate have staked out opposite corners at 19th & Madison across from Mt Zion Baptist Church. It’s part the Kansas-based Westboro Baptist Church’s current tour through the Seattle area. Led by Fred Phelps, they’re the extreme-right group that is known around the country for their protests against gays, Jews, and in recent years for disrupting funeral services for soldiers.

As for why supposed Christians are protesting at a Christian church? One of the Phelps members was chanting “God hates black people. Therefore God hates Mt Zion and all of its members.”

The members of the Phelps clan are badly out-numbered, with only seven of them vs about one hundred counter-protesters on the other three corners of the intersection. The counter-protesters appear to be mostly from local gay organizations and their supporters. Members of Mt. Zion are not visible, apparently choosing to ignore the situation and continue with their normal Sunday morning church services.

The next stop for the Phelps crew is at St. James Cathedral on First Hill. They’ll also be back in the Central District tomorrow morning for another bizarre protest at Garfield High School.

Here’s some more photos from the scene:


0 thoughts on “Phelps Protesters at Mt. Zion

  1. Interesting how one set of photographs is all about love and acceptance and the other is hate and hell. Not sure why someone would choose the latter when the former seems less fearful. But fear has a lot of power, doesn’t it? It keeps ruling our lives, unfortunately. Glad to know the love side was outnumbered by the hate side. Gives me hope that we can overcome fear.

  2. I couldn’t make sense of the Phelps pholks one bit. Their signs read everything from God Hates Fags to God Hates America, Thou Shalt Not Kill, God Hates Obama, God Hates You, God Hates Israel, etc. I guess it is true that people make God in their own image. Coming out to see them was a bit like going to the county fair freak show to see the two-headed calf. Seeing if they really do exist. They certainly do get a lot of publicity and I have mixed feelings about encouraging them while wanting to show solidarity with their ‘enemies’–which seems to be everyone else. I cannot for the life of me figure out why they think Mt Zion Baptist Church is a ‘fag church.’ I guess they really do not ‘think’ as most of us understand it.

  3. that the Devil takes everything that God created and twisted it into its opposite. Love became Hate, Hope became Fear.

    Whenever I hear about these protesters, I have to wonder which side of the argument they are on.

  4. he’s known to be a Democrat with ties to the Gore family. One was delegate to the national democratic convention to for Al Gore.

  5. I said “extreme-right”, which is the space they occupy on the political spectrum:

    – Deeply fundamentalist, calvinist theology
    – Extreme anti-gay focus
    – Racism, as demonstrated today
    – Anti-semitism

    A few of those are extreme versions of mainstream conservative philosophy. One major position that they don’t share with mainstream conservatives is their recent anti-military focus. But that’s an outgrowth of their anti-semitic views vis-a-vis the Iraq War, and loosely connects them to the Pat Buchanan wing of the right.

    Note that I also didn’t say they were Republicans. Hosting fundraisers and campaigning for a Democrat 20 years ago doesn’t make them Democrats either, especially if there’s nothing they hold in common with the party regarding policy or ideology.

    I know that it’s all the rage right now for conservatives to try and rebrand far-right extremists as actually being leftists. But that’s really a kind of newspeak and is a fundamentally incorrect and dishonest line of argument.

  6. Describing their planned action at Garfield High School – Remember last generation, God H8s U! 400 23rd Ave Yes! WBC is happy that Seattle has a later school year so we can visit the little brats before they begin their summer leave. We will be on hand to show the children of the disobedient rebels who run this nation – I say we will be on hand to show them exactly what “good” looks like. It is only fair that they are shown some truth and light and life for one time in their sad lives. That way when Obama destroys their foundations and establishes his new laws and policies (including killing and eating your babies) they will blaspheme God and have no excuse. You heard me?! We are about the business of the King, and part of that business is making sure not one of your children have any excuse for disobeying Him when they are called into Judgment. You refuse to do your duty to the children, so WE WILL – and YOU WILL pay dearly for NOT doing the job. You had better pay attention and behave when we are visiting you, too. Jesus Christ’s word for it! Mark 6:7 And he called unto him the twelve, and began to send them forth by two and two; and gave them power over unclean spirits; 8 And commanded them that they should take nothing for their journey, save a staff only; no scrip, no bread, no money in their purse: 9 But be shod with sandals; and not put on two coats. 10 And he said unto them, In what place soever ye enter into an house, there abide till ye depart from that place. 11 And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear you, when ye depart thence, shake off the dust under your feet for a testimony against them. Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city. Consider yourselves forewarned! AMEN!


  8. I wish with all my heart someone could take legal action against these people who hate so much – but they break no laws with their hateful words. If they did they would be in prison over their anti-jew, anti-gay, anti-anyone-who-isn’t-them rhetoric. Not only them but neo-nazi’s would be in prison over their hateful views as well.

    Hate is sad. So much energy is consumed to be so angry and pathetic. But it isn’t illegal.

  9. That is the statement on the website of that group from Kansas. Not from people here. That whole website is full of that stuff. Awful to read it. I’ve personally avoided copying there crazy venom, but if that is what it takes so people understand how bizarre and scary they are….

    It is bad enough that there are groups based in this state with extremist views that have lead to outright acts of violence. and

    In the case of these Minutemen in Washington State, they held an “Anti-Immigrant Summit” in Everett, WA in June of 2007. Republican Presidential candidates that summer either sent representatives from their campaigns or “called in” to address Forde and her Everett Minutemen to thank them for their anti-immigrant beliefs.

    This Westboro group comes in from out of state and terrorizes our church goers, synagogue goers and children going to school. They have not acted, but we know the media loves to hype confrontation. That only gives these groups more publicity. So most people are ignoring them, shunning them, making them a non-media event. Or, expressing a message of love in a non-direct response way as shown above and also happened in the north part of Seattle today.

    There is work going on to track these groups, one can figure they are getting more and more aggressive and desperate since the majority of the people voted for Obama. Even McCain is too moderate for most of these folks. There are elements in the media who are also being scrutinized regarding their role.

    The Southern Poverty Law Center has been following (and litigating against) hate related groups for decades and is very credible and respected.

  10. Your collective Bible illiteracy is not WBC’s fault! If any of you would put down your filthy sin pipe for a brief moment and spend some time sincerely reading the Words of your Creator, you would find that every word in every one of our posts and on every one of our signs is pure doctrine — the doctrine that has existed since the beginning of time. Satan’s minions screeching about it does not change it. Satan’s minions playing the “that’s so crazy” role does not change it. Making laws against words from scripture — because it pierces through all of your layers of denial and causing your seared consciences to suddenly awaken in horror — does not change it.

    Keep it simple, stupid! God created you, and gets to set his standard on how you live. If you obey that standard, God will bless you. If you disobey it, God will curse you. God hates rebellious sinners — regardless of their race, sex, age, national origin, etc., etc., so give it a rest with trying to demographics this to death. There are only two demographics that count — those who are obedient to God’s commandments; and those who are disobedient. It is hateful to lie about God’s words — and yet you claim it is hateful when we tell you that! You’re vain and rebellious hypocrites that populate Doomed america. You will not have God’s word on the landscape anymore.

    Good luck on that.


  11. Pure doctrine? Looks more like a crazy-quilt Bible-mash to me. If “doctrine” means picking bits and pieces from a complicated and multi-faceted work and cobbling them together to say whatever you want, then I guess you’re right. Then again, the definition of doctrine is “a particular principle, position, or policy taught or advocated, as of a religion or government”. Synonyms are “tenet, dogma, theory, precept, belief”. So if hating people is a tenet of Westboro, and if you believe all the things you’re saying, sure – your bigoted dogma is doctrine.

  12. Not a hate crime says eyes open? That’s your opinion, and I have my opinion as we all do. But the only opinion that matters is that of the judge or jury because they should be arrested on a hate crime charge and let the judicial system decide their official opinion in a court of law!

  13. You are confused because it doesn’t make sense. Love outnumbered hate is what the OP was trying to say and she is hopeful because of that.

  14. Eyes, calm down. Washington’s hate crime law is defined under malicious harassment statutes. Here are the basics from the Revised Code of Washington, section 9A.36.080:

    A person is guilty of malicious harassment if he or she maliciously and intentionally commits one of the following acts because of his or her perception of the victim’s race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, or mental, physical, or sensory handicap:

    (a) Causes physical injury to the victim or another person;

    (b) Causes physical damage to or destruction of the property of the victim or another person; or

    (c) Threatens a specific person or group of persons and places that person, or members of the specific group of persons, in reasonable fear of harm to person or property.

    A sign held by a couple crazy people from out of state that says god hates black people is not a threat that places black people in reasonable fear of harm. Come on! It’s free speech. Do I like the message? Absolutely not. Am I in fear for my safety? Absolutely not.

    You know I don’t want a judge using his opinion to interpret the law, I want the judge to understand the law and enforce it based of fact and evidence.

    Now if you really think the police are allies to black people and would arrest someone because of an extremely offensive sign I am worried for your take on reality in the central district or the U.S. for that matter.

  15. …who taught the idiots how to use the internet? I thought this was the deal, we give them AM radio, and in return, we refuse to teach them how to use the internet. Who broke the rules?


  16. Are you kidding me? You want us to accept humans over God? You people are deluded if you think that by putting some words out there that are both perverse and inconsistent – you can change the mind of God? You have no choice! God Hates You or God Loves You – no choice, silly. Read the Bible, Obey the written words, Fear God. Have a nice day. God Hates Fags! Tah Dah! :)

  17. You silly goose! You must read the Bible and see Psalm 68:11! We get the AM, FM, WIFI, Internet, Pony Express, snail mail, email and all other forms/ways of communication. All these things were created by and for God. If you don’t like it – go live in a cave and put your head in a hole. Meantime, The LORD gave the word (of truth and life for all you unthankful brute beasts) and GREAT WAS THE COMPANY THAT PUBLISHED IT. Have a nice day and remember God Hates Fags! Ta Dah!

  18. Antipas, your words mean nothing. Of course you can still hang around and type- that’s your choice. And of course most everyone wishes you would just go away- that’s their choice. But either way you are of no real consequence here or anywhere else. Safe travels and god bless you.

  19. You know who I am, and I am tired of reading this crap from the WBC tying me to their political, racial and gender issues. I am the Devil, Satan, shooting, drinking, whoreing, hell yes, that me! This hating gig is all yours WBC, but don’t be surprised to see me soon, oh hell ya!!!

  20. God does not hate anyone. He is not capable of hate. The devil is capable of hate and instills hate in others. God cannot be corrupted by the devil. I hope these people ask for forgiveness for what they are saying about God before they take their last breaths…. God loves you if you love and respect him. God does not hate you for saying negative things about him and for putting words in his mouth and for hating others, but he does not have to let you through those pearly gates.

    God loves gays, blacks, jews…. he loves us all. He loves you too but does not have to forgive your sins if you do not ask for it. I pity you all….Please go back to Kansas and pray for yourselves.

  21. Your trite and predictable responses are boring me now. I’m going to go back to my Jewish drinking, smoking and sodomizing day. See you in hell!!! :)

  22. i bet the bars in hell are about a million times better than the ones upstairs.

  23. “(c) Threatens a specific person or group of persons and places that person, or members of the specific group of persons, in reasonable fear of harm to person or property”.
    They spawn this! How many lynchings, murders, etc. are the result? MLK, countless gays, etc. This is not political disagreements, and yes free speech has to be protected. This is a deliberate intent to spawn violence and reap the rewards in court. To deliberatly spawn violence, “(c) Threatens a specific person or group of persons and places that person, or members of the specific group of persons, in reasonable fear of harm to person or property”.

  24. Dear lost sheep of WBC:

    I’m sorry for your loss. Whatever gave you fear, whatever haunts you even now, is a powerful toxin. Someone helped you find a way, the way you travel now. Someone’s made you believe you understand, and has alleviated some of your fear. You have an answer now, a calling, and that’s surely a comfort compared to the dark you stumbled in before.
    Please know that their ‘understanding’ is false, their testimony incomplete: because true understanding creates compassion and tolerance and faith, and pushes fear, all of it, back to the depths of hell where it belongs. Be fearless and god will reward you. This doesn’t mean brash. It means humbly and quietly confidant.

    The words of the creator make clear that parables are being given. Not rote law, but vague allegory and lessons designed to speak to your soul and heart, not your mind. No where does the word command questionable, hateful, skittles-colored graphic-design artisanship. Jesus did not stand outside Rome with a placard proclaiming “Caesar is hated by God” or “Romans are the devil” or “Legionnaires are an abomination”. No. He did his work differently, didn’t he?

    Please, your lord wants you to close the good book and search your god-made heart for the good work. The good work should be done without needing anything but a healthy love. Best of all, it’s simple and intuitive. An unbaptised child could do the good work, having heard a single fairy tale. Follow the advice and role modeling of apostles and prophets and the embodiment of god. Do good work that contributes no fear, no hate to the world. Scare and rant tactics will not bring people to your cause, it brings them against you instead.
    True good work helps bring more people to the faith, and there’s no greater way to serve.

    Peace be with your soul, for now and always.

    Reverend M. Angelo Smith

  25. If God doesn’t hate us, why did he destroy Sodom and Gomorrah?

    Thank god for atheists!

  26. …but unfortunately you’re not the first to try to talk sense into these people. They decided that they were God’s elite long ago, and no matter how intelligent or devout we “outsiders,” or “hellbound mockers,” or whatever we are, happen to be, they never listen. Eventually, on their deathbeds, they’ll realize their lives have been wasted on hatred and snobbishness, and then they’ll despair. When a fool adheres to a path, nothing can dissuade him.