Hatin' with the Phelpses: Epilogue... | News | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Hatin' with the Phelpses: Epilogue...

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...wherein Lauren waxes philosophical and crap about hanging with the haters.

Now that the charming and affable Phelps clan of Westboro Baptist Church infamy have finished up their whistle-stop tour of hate here in Vermont and have zoomed out of the state in their peppy little Kia minivan, it might be appropriate to reflect on the day. Other people more introspective and cerebral than I might offer some sort of analysis about hate and peace and love and all that junk, but I can only tell you what I took away from the day. And in order to tell you what I took away from the day, I have to tell you what the day entailed. So here goes. Apologies if you nod off.

I hauled my fanny out of bed at 6 a.m., which for a reporter is like being asked to do math or not make stuff up. I hit the road to Montpelier by 6:45 a.m. so I could make it to the high school in time to watch the Swiss Family Bonkers picket students as they rolled into school for their first day back from summer vaykay. Of course when I arrived I was the last media person on the scene. Everyone was there- radio, TV, the daily print papers from around the region. No one was going to miss the most exciting thing to happen to sleepy Vermont since gay marriage.

Everything about the scene was predictable. The signs the four adults Phelpses waved were the same ones they trot out for every soldier's funeral, football game and Catholic church they picket. They read "God Hates You," "Fags Wed," "Antichrist Obama" and "Mourn for Your Sins." I quite liked the sign that read "You Will Eat Your Babies." Still not sure why I might be inclined to eat my babies, but I truly hope it never comes to that; I'm a vegetarian.

My personal favorite was the sign that read "Bitch Burger" and showed a picture of a hamburger with a baby making up half the bun. When I asked Shirley Phelps-Roper, the multi-childrened daughter of church founder Fred Phelps — Shirls to me — what that meant, she broke into some tirade about people in California eating baby eyeballs. Right, then.

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