City Council Considers Appeal From Fred Phelps' Church

Idaho News 2/April 4, 2004
By Tami Doty

Boise -- They're the Westboro Baptist Church, under the direction of Fred Phelps. But before the city council even met, church members grabbed their signs, for an afternoon of protest at city hall.

"America! America! God showed his wrath to thee!" sang members of the church. They were armed with signs that read, "God Hates Fags" and "Thank God for September 11th." Members of Phelps' church brought their message back to Boise. "God is hateful, that's our message," said member Timothy Phelps.

But the Boise City Council has ruled, that message will not be expressed in the form of a monument in Julia Davis Park. Phelps explained, "It speaks about Matthew Shepherd, but it's a monument to hell."

And church members said despite the city council moving it's Ten Commandments monument out of the park, their fight is not over yet, "Too little, too late, the horse is out of the barn, they don't get to close the barn door now, that's what the Supreme Court says."

But these protestors were also met with human rights activists, who said they're not exactly protesting, they're ignoring. "These people don't reflect Boise values, so we don't really, why should we be down here giving them an audience, but we do understand that sometimes people need a way to respond, we're trying to give them a positive way to respond," said Javier Smith.

"Oh wicked land of sodomites!" The church members continued to sing. Phelps said it's his obligation to travel to cities like Boise and spread his message, "My job, as a preacher of the gospel is to give this message to every creature on earth."

But the human rights activists said, they too have a job. Javier Smith said it's his duty to spread this message, "Thanks for coming, enjoy your stay, clean up after yourselves. Go back home."

The city council voted to deny the church's appeal, and wouldn't even hear testimony on the issue. Phelps told us they will now decide whether or not to return to Boise and file an action in federal court.

To see more documents/articles regarding this group/organization/subject click here.