Journal of American History
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.
Copyright © 2017 Oxford University Press
Oxford University Press
Trollinger, William Vance, "Review: 'God Hates: Westboro Baptist Church, American Nationalism, and the Religious Right'" (2017). History Faculty Publications. 130.