Just when I thought that Jocelyn Zichterman’s “IFB Cult Survivors” group couldn’t get any more pathetic, I was sent a post from their group page which essentially uses the tragedy of a bus accident in Indianapolis, Indiana that claimed the lives of several people from an Indiana Baptist church as an opportunity to rehash accusations against Chuck Phelps who lost 2 children in the accident and further vilify the fundamental Baptists.
While I am certainly not a fan of Chuck Phelps’ theology, and understand the ire against Chuck Phelps for his alleged* role in the cover up of the rape of Tina Anderson, to use the deaths of his children-who had nothing to do with any of Chuck Phelps actions-to slander Baptists and affirm that such actions were some kind of poetic justice is disgusting. Some of the group even went so far as to accuse Chuck Phelps of child molestation, and to my knowledge that is the first time that accusation has ever been leveled against Phelps.
The vitriol was started by Jon Weaver who reasoned that since Chuck Phelps had no compassion for Tina Anderson, then he has no compassion for Chuck Phelps. Not even Tina Anderson herself shared the sentiment of the members of Jocelyn Zichterman’s anti-Christian group  Even Darrell Dow of Stuff Fundies Like had the decency to avoid using this tragedy as an opportunity to jump on the bandwagon of those who hate Phelps. Dow wrote,
We’ve had harsh words in the past for Chuck Phelps but today I hope we can set those things aside and weep with those who weep. Nobody deserves to lose a child, a brother, a sister, a father or mother this way. Anyone who would follow the darker angels of their nature to find some sense of retribution here runs the risk of losing both their humanity and my sympathy.
Almighty God, look with pity upon the sorrows of those for whom we pray. Remember them, Lord, in your mercy; nourish them with patience; comfort them with a sense of your goodness; lift up your countenance upon them; and give them peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Melissa “God is a sick bastard” Fletcher, the sister of Jocelyn Zichterman and administrator of the group stated that, ” I had the same feeling Jon. It sounds heartless but I don’t have any sympathy for Chuck Phelps” as a follow up to Jon quoting a Stuff Fundies Like member, where Jon pens the following,
If I still believed in god, I would consider the following quote prophetic. Stuff Fundies Like “Tiarali April 23, 2013 at 8:35 pm
Chuck Phelps makes me sick. I’m just so thankful that the Lord sees his heart. He will be held accountable for his evil deeds one day. Not soon enough, though.”
Another blogger, Delaine Rae said,
When I heard about Chuck’s son dying, I fell back into the IFB mindset of everything bad being a direct punishment for your own sin. The good person in me feels bad just writing off 3 deaths and children being caught up in this, but then again, I learned to connect dots by the most imaginatively cruel people in existence.
Now I don’t know what church Ms. Rae has been to, but I know of no IFB church that holds that “everything bad” that happens to a believer is punishment for sin. I have debunked that sentiment on this site several times from those of a fatalist and deterministic persuasion, yet no Baptist I know of who is familiar with the book of Job plays the role of Job’s friends and lays all blame for personal tragedies on the sins of others.
It is sad and pathetic that groups like this that claim that the IFB is a “cult” display such a gross caricature of IFB churches, and use the tragedy suffered by someone they hate as a catalyst for further anti Christian rhetoric.
Our prayers go out to Chuck Phelps and his family, and the other families who lost their lives that day in Indiana. And for our critics who don’t like that sentiment, I hope your computer gets infested with a hundred viruses.
*Since Chuck Phelps was not convicted of any conspiracy in the event surrounding Tina Anderson, we are legally obligated to state that the accusations against Phelps are “alleged”. Chuck Phelps has written an exhaustive explanation for these events at http://www.drchuckphelps.com/