(GP Correction: Fred Phelps is not a “rightwinger”, he’s a Democrat. And the Westboro Church is not a Christian group – It is a sick cult.)
It is well known that Fred Phelps has run for office as a Democrat several times.lol.
Shame on the Cochrane Times for labeling him rightwing!
Many people of the conservative persuasion try to make this type of argument. I've referred to this in the past as the "If Rush Limbaugh is so racist, then why was Abraham Lincoln a Republican, HMM?!" gambit.
Basically, the argument states that the thing that characterizes a person is not their beliefs, their principles or their actions, but simply their label. Abraham Lincoln was a Republican, Rush Limbaugh is a Republican, therefore by the transitive property, Limbaugh is exactly like Lincoln, and therefore can't possibly have any racial issues with Black people.
Similarly, because Democrats in the 1800s were fighting to suppress the rights of Black people, that means Democrats in present day also continue to try and suppress the rights of Black people.
This is how Hoft arrives at his mangled conclusion that Phelps and his church aren't right wing, cause he called himself a Democrat at some point. Seriously. That's it.
Even by right wing standards, it takes quite a bit of imagination to square this circle. I mean, I'd like to take this opportunity to remind everyone that we're talking about a guy who's made a name for himself as the "GOD HATES FAGS" guy. Correct me if I'm wrong, but that doesn't appear to sound very tolerant of the homosexual community. Let's go down the list of other things Mr. Phelps isn't a fan of:
-Most of the key people in the Clinton Administration
Oh, and also Barack Obama. Yeah...
Now, mind you, I'm not saying that you can't be a member of a party where you find yourself opposing major portions of its plank (see: Log Cabin Republicans), but it does tend to make things a little awkward, I'd imagine. At the very least, we can probably agree that Mr. Phelps is a very confused individual.
By the way, while I would never say that Phelps religious views describe that of the vast majority of America's Christians, I do wonder if perhaps Phelps called himself a Muslim, would Mr. Hoft make the same distinction with those who practice mainstream Islam?
Somehow I'm doubtful he would.