Moral Low Ground

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Fox News Calls ‘God Hates Fags’ Westboro Baptist Church “Left-Wing” Cult

December 26, 2012 by Brett Wilkins in Mass Media, Protests, Religion with 0 Comments
Say what?

Say what?

The Fox News website has raised eyebrows and ire by falsely accusing the Westboro Baptist Church of being a “left-wing” organization.

Fox Nation, the Fox News website, recently published a story about bikers gathering in Newtown, Connecticut to shield mourners attending funerals of the 27 Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre victims from Westboro Baptist Church (WBC) protesters.

WBC, which has been designated a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, is notorious for picketing the funerals of US troops killed in Iraq and Afghanistan as well some celebrity funerals. The Topeka, Kansas-based church, which has about 40 members, is led by Fred Phelps, a disbarred lawyer whose motto is “God Hates Fags.” Church members claim to believe that dead US troops are God’s vengeance on a society that tolerates, rather than persecutes, homosexuals.

WBC is widely reviled and has even inspired legislation against its tasteless picketing, although some have defended the group’s First Amendment Right to carry on its odious demonstrations.

In what seems very much like an attempt to link the unsavory church to what is, for much of Fox News’ audience, an equally repulsive political ideology, Fox Nation subtitled its article on the Newtown protest, “Bikers Turn Out to Protect Newtown Mourners from Left-Wing Westboro Cult.”

“Conservative bikers turned out yesterday to protect Newtown mourners from Democrat Fred Phelps and his Westboro cult from protesting,” Fox Nation irrelevantly– and falsely– wrote.

While it is true that Phelps used to be a Democrat, even running for various public offices three decades ago, he, and his organization, are extremely conservative in their social views. Phelps and his church have also called President Barack Obama the Antichrist, not exactly progressive rhetoric.

Even if Phelps was a Democrat, the church leader’s political affiliation has no relevance to the story at hand. While it’s more than likely that some of the perpetrators of the recent US gun killings have been Republican or Tea Party supporters– and Ohio mosque arsonist Randolph Linn actually admits that Fox News influenced his decision to commit his hate crime, publishing such details so prominently in such a short story appears to be a baffling attempt to falsely link the hate group to progressives.

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