Kansas Must Be So Proud of Fred Phelps and His Band of Bigots.

Sorry: Buzz was hoping to bring you our usual 425 words of thoughtful, impactful reportage on Issues of Major Importance, but it turns out that all the people involved in IMIs are on vacation or out of town for the July 4 holiday. Now, deadline approaches, and we're left scraping the bottom of the barrel, which at this point leaves us contemplating writing about the city Landmark Commission's lengthy discussion of operational-looking shutters and the mounting brackets to install them.

Ugh. Not to discount the commission's volunteers and the yeoman's work they do keeping the shutters of democracy flapping, but let's turn over the ol' news barrel and see what's crawling around underneath instead.

Why look, everybody! It's Fred Phelps, wriggling around in the muck with the cockroaches and grub worms!

That's right, folks: Those merry cutups from Phelps' Kansas-based Westboro Baptist Church will be in town beginning Friday, carrying their "God Hates Fags," "God Hates Jews" and "God Hates America" signs outside local churches, synagogues, the Dallas Holocaust Museum, etc. Apparently, the greater Dallas area has been lucky enough not to have any local troops killed in Afghanistan lately, so we will be spared any protests at military funerals, as Phelps and company are wont to do.

Organizers have set up a Facebook page at to arrange counter-protests, and more than 300 people have signed up.

Now, some of you are probably saying to yourself: "Why not just ignore these guys till they go away? They're insignificant shit-eaters who thrive on publicity. Don't get sucked in, Buzz."

That's true, of course. On the other hand, a discussion of how non-functional decorative shutters should be made to appear functional doesn't allow us to use quotes like this one, from a Westboro press statement: "Whatever righteous cause the Jewish victims of the 1930s-40s Nazi Holocaust had...has been drowned in sodomite semen."

Buzz is no doubt belaboring the "doth protest too much" point that has been made about 8 zillion times about Phelps' mission, but we gotta say it: What sort of straight person comfortably uses the words "drowned in semen?" (Outside fans of a certain genre of Japanese-inspired pornography, we mean. Not that we've ever seen such pornography. We, um, just read about it somewhere.)

Anyhoo, that's about all the space we have to discuss crazy assholes. Back to news next week. All you counter-protesters out there this weekend—be sure to stay hydrated and reasonable. No using Super Soakers to drown anyone in spunk, you hear? We're pretty sure that would be against some law.

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Patrick Williams is editor-in-chief of the Dallas Observer.
Contact: Patrick Williams

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