History Faculty Publications

Document Type

Book Review

Publication Date

9-1-2017

Publication Source

Journal of American History

Abstract

America is Doomed. God Hates Obama. Fags Doom Nations. Thank God for Dead Soldiers. All these are signs held up at military funerals by members of the infamous Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kansas. In God Hates sociologist Rebecca Barrett-Fox gives us the first full-scale examination of Westboro, and it makes for fascinating and horrifying reading. She begins her study with an ethnography of the church, including a biography of founding pastor Fred Phelps, that makes use of interviews with church members to delineate Westboro’s hyper-Calvinist theology and its understanding of the connection between individual sin (particularly, homosexuality) and national tragedy (particularly, the death of soldiers), a point that the church seeks to bring home with its picketing. ...

God Hates is a disturbing book, more for what it says about the Religious Right than for it what it says about Westboro Baptist. It is worth reading.

Inclusive pages

568

ISBN/ISSN

0021-8723

Document Version

Postprint

Comments

This is a pre-copyedited, author-produced version of an article accepted for publication in the Journal of American History following peer review. The version of record is available online at: https://doi.org/10.1093/jahist/jax298 or https://academic.oup.com/jah/article/104/2/568/4095560/God-Hates-Westboro-Baptist-Church-American.

Permission documentation is on file.

Publisher

Oxford University Press

Volume

104

Issue

2

Embargoed until Sunday, September 01, 2019

Link to published version

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