GLEN ELLYN, IL, August 17, 2005 ( – Illinois Family Institute Executive Director Peter LaBarbera is condemning Kansas-based Fred Phelps, whose message, “God Hates Fags,” as one that “paint(s) any opposition to ‘gay rights’ as hateful.” LaBarbera adds that he wonders if Phelps’ is a “gay plant.”

“Politically and culturally speaking, Phelps and his protesters serve as a crude caricature of pro-family traditionalists who oppose the normalization of homosexuality,” LaBarbera stated in his column Monday. “Fred makes an easy target for the media and secularists who are tempted (partly by their own prejudices) to paint any opposition to ‘gay rights’ as hateful. For this reason, I have sometimes wondered if Phelps and his lawyerly clan are ‘gay plants.'”

More than a “gay plant,” it appears that Phelps may simply be unbalanced, as evidenced by the following statement, which appears on his web site: “Thank God for the bombing of London’s subway today . . . wherein dozens were killed and hundreds seriously injured . . . Wish it was many more.” Phelps’ stunts and messages, his use of the most inflammatory means possible to spread his message – to the point he even announced that he would picket the funeral of a slain US soldier who had served in Iraq – makes one wonder why the media continue to focus attention on this fringe individual.

LaBarbera condemned Phelps’ drive to deny homosexuals any hope of redemption. “By denying change for people caught up in homosexuality, Phelps denies the love and power of Jesus Christ Himself—a cruel message that is as ‘hateful’ toward homosexuals as any of his preposterous signs.”

Not wanting Phelps’ aberrant message to detract from the real aim of the Illinois Family Institute, LaBarbera adds, “For the record, we consider the ‘gay’ theological construct that says homosexuality is a ‘gift from God’ as similarly cruel in that it turns the Creator’s moral law on its head.”

Read LaBarbera’s column: