Ottawans who remember August 1999 and Parliament Hill will know the name Shirley Phelps-Roper, and the woman who has been called The Most Hated Woman In America is back in the news again with her anti-homosexuality crusade, this time over the death of actor Heath Ledger, but she has some new shots against Canada as well.
Reached on the phone to explain the link God Hates Canada on the website of her Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kansas — headquarters of her war against the homosexuality she and church members say is destroying the world — Phelps-Roper, 50, lawyer, mother of 11, says: “Canada is like the United States, a filthy, perverted, immoral, nation. America is doomed. The Bible prophesied all of this, the end time. God chose America to show the way, the Christian principles, but it’s over, America is collapsing from within. Canada is doomed, too. I was so thankful to get out of your sick country. It has no hope.”
Phelps-Roper had just got back from Los Angeles where, the night before, she and six others from the church, focusing on Heath Ledger, picketed the SAG (Screen Actors Guild) awards, Phelps-Roper quite proud of her own signs that said God Hates Fags and Heath In Hell and God Hates Fag Enablers.
Ledger’s sin? He played a homosexual in the movie Brokeback Mountain. Phelps-Roper: “God hates the sordid, tacky, bucket of slime, seasoned with vomit, known as Brokeback Mountain, and He hates all the persons having anything to do with it.” (God watches movies? I wonder if he puts butter on his popcorn.)
Phelps-Roper says God delivered his punishment against the “fag agenda” in America through divine homicide: Hurricane Katrina, the 9/11 bombing of the World Trade Center, and — get ready — the Iraq war so He could kill thousands of U.S. soldiers, hoping the nation gets His message.
Don’t pick yourself up off the floor just yet — she also states: “It’s the same with your country’s soldiers who’ve been killed in Afghanistan; it’s God’s command against the fag agenda in Canada.”
Phelps-Roper was in the local news back in ’99 when she dispatched her father, Westboro Baptist Church pastor Fred Phelps, and one of her kids to Parliament Hill to protest the Supreme Court decision granting homosexuals equality and the right to use the word “spouse.” The kid stomped on the Canadian flag.
A month after 9/11 Shirley Phelps-Roper and seven others entered Alberta where they waved God Hates Fags signs outside six Calgary churches and the Prairie Bible Institute in Three Hills where her dad graduated after, she says, “the American college he enrolled in wouldn’t accept blacks and he said ‘I’m outta here.’ ” The Institute now, she says, “has lost its way.”
I ask if she’s sure God really hates poor, little Canada. Yep, and she refers me again to her church’s website: Warning! To God’s elect: Leave Canada now!!! followed by “Canada hoisted a filthy fag finger in the face of God by passing a law making any criticism of homosexuals a crime punishable by fines and imprisonment … for years WBC has warned that Canada is a homo-fascist state where the filthy fag agenda has become the law of the land … God hates Canada.”
If one of Phelps-Roper’s own children told her he/she was gay?
“They wouldn’t tell us, they’d know better. They’d just slip away under the cover of darkness.”
You’d disown them? “I wouldn’t have to. They’d have disowned themselves. They’d be gone on their own.”
How nice. The gospel according to The Most Hated Woman In America.
Jan. 29, 2008 Column