No Tears: An Open Letter to Fred Phelps

Perhaps I’ve failed to heed Christ’s warning in Matthew 7:6, but after stumbling across Fred Phelps’ rants at, I felt compelled to send him a letter and plead with him for the testimony of the Christian faith. Too many people claiming the title ‘pastor’ or the following ‘Christian’ are hijacking genuine Christianity in a not-so-subtle game of semantics. Here’s a copy of the letter:

Hi Fred.

I just happened to stumble across your site and I have a few sincere comments. I have worked for several years as a Baptist youth pastor and my father has been a Baptist pastor for almost 20 years. That’s not to brag, just to show you that I’m not blatantly ignorant of God’s promises, commands and abominations.

I too agree that unrepentant sodomy (where do you find Biblical license to call them fags?) is hated by God, specifically because those who practice are harboring sin and will not let it go. The same applies to all sins, pride, gluttony, etc. I believe that our church has fallen into great sin as well by embracing those that sin under the envelope of God’s love.

However, I must say that your tone is completely wrong. I think you realize (and revel in?) the fact that your site is an in-your-face attack on sinners. But look at the approach that all genuine men of God have taken. Jeremiah, the prophet you so proudly compare yourself too, was also known as the weeping prophet. Jesus wept over the lost house of Israel. Never once on your site do I sense grief or sorrow for the state of this country or the saturated wickedness within it. Your site is merely reeking with giddy explosive attacks on all who are steeped in sin. I have a feeling that were the woman in adultery brought before you, you would lambast her for her transgrassions and sit by smugly as they bounced stones off her head. Interesting that it was the Pharisees too who were quick to dole out judgement when Jesus himself accused them as being whited sepulchures.

I don’t know you, but I do know that the world does not love God any more because of your testimony. You are not following Paul’s command to “adorn the gospel” and you most certainly have forgotten Christ’s words: “By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, that you have love for one another.” Of all the things He could have chosen to highlight (i.e.”that you proclaim truth to the world”, “that you are the elect”) he chose love–not sarcasm, ridicule or shock tactics.

I’m asking you please, for the sake of Christ’s testimony, read James 3:13-18. Even if every single thing you’ve written on your site is true, you’ve become nothing more that a tinkling cymbal according to I Corinthians 13 because love suffers long, is kind, does not boast, is not inflated, discourteous or irritable. No one will repent because your message is not about repentance, it’s about hatred. Your desire (as is evidenced by the very title of your site) is not to see people come to repentance, it’s to mock sinners in their natural state. Think of the idiocy behind that!

It ultimately boils down to this verse: “He that loveth not, knoweth not God, for God is love.” You can speak the truth in love. I am not asking you to forsake truth for compassion, but I am asking you to present the truth in a way that helps others understand just how deep God’s love for us is. Your site certainly doesn’t convey that.

Thank you for your time.

Jesse Gardner