is WBC a cult?
Does the way Fred Phelps was marginalised and excommunicated late in life show he wasn't the charismatic leader of a cult? The only other cult I've studied in detail is Scientology and there L Ron Hubbard was marginalised and lost effective leadership. Cults are notoriously secretive so it's likely to be difficult or impossible in many cases to find out if others have taken over and are ruling in the name of a former leader who's no longer effective. With WBC we get a steady drip of information from former members who leave and from former members who are still in unofficial contact with insiders. The most likely is that WBC has some features of a coercive cult and some family dynamics. Early in his life Fred Phelps probably was paterfamiliaris, dictator and charismatic leader, later he was just the aging grandfather with a limited role. Proxima Centauri (talk) 14:06, 26 March 2014 (UTC)
- I'd call it a cult disguising itself as absurd religious extremism. Zero (talk) 14:50, 26 March 2014 (UTC)
I hear this accusation thrown around not just by Christians, but atheists too. This has always sounded like a No True Scotsman to me, but that's not really my issue with it. It's an issue, sure, but not mine. Look at the vast amount of hatred, violence, genocide and evil in The Bible, all done in Yahweh's name. There's a lot. While sure, there is some good stuff, all Christians are violating so much of The Bible that none of them should think they're going to Heaven. While the WBC violates a bit of the love stuff, I think they might actually be violating less of The Bible. Like, in the original Hebrew, the same words are used to describe Jesus' assault on the temple and the torture of him, meaning either he wasn't tortured that badly or he was really damn violent against them. Jesus said that nobody could follow him without hating everyone else in the world. Jesus "came not to bring peace, but a sword". I think the WBC not only isn't "Not Christian" but they're actually MORE Christian than most Christians. Like, even if they're breaking parts, they're breaking less, and if they wouldn't get shot by the cops, they'd likely be gladly following all of the various "Kill these people" orders in The Bible. --PosthumanHeresy (talk) 21:27, 28 August 2015 (UTC)
- One of the "weirder" beliefs of theirs is "Those whom God chooses to condemn, he causes to sin by "hardening their hearts" against himself." Only, that comes directly from the story of the Exodus. The Pharaoh is about to let the Jews go, only, Yahweh hardens his heart so that he doesn't. "No human being can say who is among the elect" is another Biblical thing. The idea that there's a limited, predetermined number of people is in multiple Christian religions. A lot of Christians blame most/all natural and unnatural disasters on Yahweh's will. Plus, he's certainly demanded praise for being a dick in The Bible before. The first point in the article's description of their beliefs is bog-standard Christianity. --PosthumanHeresy (talk) 21:48, 28 August 2015 (UTC)
Pokémon Go and Westboro
http://www.abc2news.com/news/national/everyone-is-on-pokemon-go-even-the-westboro-baptist-church http://www.slate.com/blogs/outward/2016/07/11/pok_mon_go_reaches_westboro_baptist_church.html http://kotaku.com/pokemon-go-fan-trolls-westboro-baptist-church-church-f-1783449276 https://twitter.com/WBCsigns Look at the twitter feed. They like pokemon now.