A high-ranking member of the Westboro Baptist Church says Monday’s Oklahoma tornado occurred as a direct result of the state’s basketball team’s support for openly gay NBA player Jason Collins.
Fred Phelps Jr., son of Westboro Baptist Church leader Fred Phelps, tweeted his belief that the Moore, Okla., tornado was a form of divine retribution. According to Phelps, Oklahoma City Thunder basketball star Kevin Durant’s public support for Collins’ announcement that he was gay was to blame for the tornado that devastated Moore on Monday.
“OK Thunder's Durant flips God by praising f— Collins. God smashes OK. You do the math,” Phelps wrote. Later in the day, Phelps added to his statements, posting about what he described as “God’s wonderful wrath.” The second post contained the hashtagged phrases “God Curses U For F— Marriage” and “God Is Your Terrorist.”
Phelps’ declaration is reminiscent of a similar situation that unfolded in the aftermath of April 15’s Boston Marathon bombing. Just two hours after the explosion, the Westboro Baptist Church’s official Twitter account announced the group’s intention to picket the funerals of the attack’s victims.
“WestboroBaptist Church to picket funerals of those dead by Boston Bombs! GOD SENT THE BOMBS IN FURY OVER F— MARRIAGE! #PraiseGod,” the group wrote. By April 21, Westboro Baptist Church had issued an official press release claiming that the Boston bombings were visited upon the city by God because of President Obama’s support for same-sex marriage.
“He is chiefly to blame for bringing down the wrath of God on Boston, on Massachusetts and on USA,” the release reads. “[Mr. Obama] vows that those responsible for the Boston Marathon Bombs would feel the full weight of justice. Hello, Mr. Pervert-in-chief! GOD SENT THE BOMBS!”