Will Phelps’ Westboro hate cult disappear? +more religion news

The death of hate-monger and ousted cult leader Fred Phelps has sparked speculation that the Westboro Baptist Church he founded may disappear into the sunset.

That may be a case of wishful thinking, especially when you take into account that Phelps was excommunicated from the church after a power-struggle in August, 2013.

Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center, a human rights organization that monitors hate groups, points out that Phelps’ group was, to some extend, a “cult of personality.”

But the surviving members of the cult, which is made up almost entirely of Phelps’extended family — appear quite committed to their cause.

By the way, Phelps’ daughter Margie Phelps says there will be no funeral for her father. That’s bound to disappoint a few people who had planned to stoop to his level. As the Washington Post points out, people have better things to do anyway.

And here’s something to ponder: Business reporter Wayne Laugesen says, “Though Phelps hurt people, he became an unlikely asset to the LGBTQ community. He was a standalone public relations campaign the gay rights movement could not have afforded.”

Today, March 21, 2014, is Naw-Rúz — the first day of the Bahá’í year.

One month ago a judge dismissed a lawsuit brought by eight Muslims who claimed discrimination based on their religion. This after New York Police Department (NYPD) officers reportedly attempted to infiltrate 20 mosques, Muslim student groups, and other targets to spy their activities.

The group is filing an appeal today. They’re also putting pressure on New York mayor Bill de Blasio.

Christians should copy Muslims, and shout ‘human rights abuse!’ at every critic

Cristina Odone, journalist, novelist and broadcaster

Want to help make an anti-Scientology cult conference possible in May this year?

Here’s why many people in the Netherlands and beyond compare right wing, anti-Islam politician Geert Wilders to Hitler.

A Muslim, a Christian, a Buddhist monk, a Hindu and a Taoist priest gather in the courtyard of a shopping mall. In front of hundreds of worshippers they each say a prayer — for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, which disappeared March 8 with 239 people on board.

Associated Press reporter Eileen NG says

Tuesday night’s interfaith ceremony would have been inconceivable 11 days ago in the country of 28 million people where religious differences and bigotry have often been on open display.

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Religion News Blog posted this on Friday March 21, 2014.
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