The Westboro Baptist Church is a 100-member Kansas-based church created by Fred Phelps, a former lawyer who was disbarred for perjury. Fred began protesting while a college student at John Muir college, preaching that students and teachers were engaging in such sins as cursing, telling dirty jokes, and heavy petting.

His church began regular picketing in the early 1990s, protesting churches, synagogues, and funerals in hopes of informing strangers that God hates them. They first received national media attention for protesting the funeral of Matthew Shepard, a college student who was murdered for being homosexual. They later became associated with protesting the funerals of U.S. soldiers who died in Iraq and Afghanistan, whom they say God killed as revenge for the existence of homosexuals in America. Fred and his daughter Shirley (who is married to "family friend" Brent Roper) regularly appear on news shows espousing their beliefs, often exchanging the cancelation of protests for interviews. Ex-members of the church such as Fred's son Nate Phelps, describe Fred as a rage-aholic, who gleefully whipped his family members for crimes including disrespect and being fat. Shirley's illegitimate son Sam attended public school, and petitioned to have his protests count as school extra credit. When asked what the definition of "fag" was, Shirley's 8-year-old son Noah answered, "a fag is a Jew, pretty much."

Among the WBC's beliefs are that Barack Obama is the anti-Christ and America's final president, 16 billion people lived on Earth previous to Noah's flood, God would provide a protective force-field for America if it executed its gay people, and that Fred Phelps is not hiding a shameful homosexual experience as the impetus of his highly vocal hatred of gays.