Fred Phelps did not run a normal church, so he will not be mourned like a normal pastor. The career hatemonger will not even receive a funeral. This is apparently Westboro Baptist Church doctrine, and it means that Phelps will die without any ironic picketing.
Adding some clarity to this story, the Topeka Capital-Journal has reported that Phelps was excommunicated by the WBC last year for advocating a kinder approach between church members, which sounds like exactly the sort of thing that Christian clergy are supposed to advocate.
The excommunication occurred after the formation of a board of male elders in the church. The board had defeated Shirley Phelps-Roper, the church’s longtime spokeswoman, in a power struggle, and Fred Phelps Sr. called for kinder treatment of fellow church members.
The board then ejected Fred Phelps Sr., who founded the church in the 1950s.
The power struggle and excommunication was revealed by Nate Phelps, a son of Fred Phelps Sr. who broke away from the church 37 years ago.
Nate blames his father’s rapid decline on the loss of his church, which seems to have surrendered whatever soul it ever had to a Satanic spirit of division and discord. The WBC, which Phelps organized to protest the private lives of others, will not respond to reporters’ queries, saying on its website that “membership issues are private.”