Westboro's Phelps Beat, Abused Family: Son

Thursday, 17 Mar 2011 01:41 PM

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The anti-gay Westboro Baptist preacher known for protesting at the funerals of U.S. service members beat his children with an axe handle and also physically abused his wife, Nathan Phelps charged during an appearance on HLN's "Issues with Jane Velez-Mitchell." The estranged son of controversial preacher Fred Phelps said “I think what he does out there is evil."

Westboro, son, abuse, family, Phelps, photo
Westboro Protesters
Nathan, the seventh of 13 children, spilt from his family when he turned 18 and hasn’t had any contact with his father for 30 years. He is writing a book about the family whose practices of picketing soldiers’ funerals with anti-gay signs that say “God Hates Fags” and “Thank God for Dead Soldiers” was found to be constitutionally protected speech by the Supreme Court.

Nathan said his father physically abused the family, hitting them with “his fists. He used his knees and he used . . . the handle of a mattock. He used that in such a way that it split the skin on the back of the kid's legs so they bled. If they want to call that discipline, that's fine. But I call it abuse," he said on the show.

Velez-Mitchell read a statement on the program from Shirley Phelps-Roper, Nathan’s sister, that denied the charge. "This lie should not have come out of his mouth when he decided to reject the word of God. Nothing he can say will change the fact that God hates (homosexuals) and their enablers and therefore God hates America and America is doomed," the statement said.

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