Westboro Baptist Church, based in Topeka, Kansas, preaches hatred against gay people. Its members are particularly known for picketing funerals—carrying signs that celebrate acts of violence as divine retribution.
Church leader Fred Phelps, who inspired the character Charles-Ray Turnbull in The Swede, died in 2014. Time magazine’s obituary, exposing him as a consummate media manipulator, begins: “Fred Phelps, a colossal jerk, died Thursday in Topeka, Kansas, at 84…”
His followers continue to stage protests and write hate-filled rap songs.
His son, Nate Phelps, has become an outspoken advocate of LGBT rights.
A highly-rated one-hour documentary about the church, The Most Hated Family in America, can be viewed online.
For another interesting read, see this piece in the UK Telegraph.