Fred Phelps, the founder of aggressive hate-mongering “religious” group Westboro Baptist Church, has passed away at the age of 84 – and the celebrity reactions have been decidedly cold.
The Church has, of course, been rampant in their bid to speak out against homosexuality and in favour of catastrophic disasters; last year thanking God for the tragic Boston marathon bombings and celebrating the death of so-called “f*g-enabler” Cory Monteith, also urging his girlfriend Lea Michele to “kill herself”.
They’ve picketed a string of celebrity funerals and events, let alone the funerals of soldiers and children. This week they threatened to protest at a Lorde concert; a threat the singer responded to by asking her fans to come wearing rainbow-coloured clothing.
Chrissy Teigen, Roseanne Barr and Andy Cohen have been among those who have commented via Twitter on the news of founder Phelps’ passing.
“good riddance, fred (sic)” wrote Teigen, while Cohen mused: “Maybe Fred Phelps’ life dedicated to evil & intolerance will teach others to be civil & kind. If there is a hell, then he is there.”
Roseanne Barr suggested: “Fred Phelps has illuminated the hateful & obsolete theology of Patriarchal religion for ppl to see, identify & vacate. #unintentionalGood”.
Stand-up comedian Anthony Jeselnik said: “RIP Fred Phelps. The Martin Luther King of the opposite of that.”
And Saturday Night Live writer Paula Pell wrote: “Bye Fred Phelps. I hope you like retirement communities in warm climates.”
Two members of the group were guests on Russell Brand’s chatshow in 2012, and the YouTube clip has since gathered more than 4.7 million views.
Former member Lauren Drain appeared on Piers Morgan’s chatshow last year speaking out about the “brainwashing” that happens to those who come into contact with them. Her father, who is a member of the ‘church’, has disowned her.