The Words of the LaGrotteria Family

A Note About Posting On The Internet

Frank LaGrotteria
May 3, 2007

Concerning the post recently found on the Internet by me:

Hello, let's start by saying I am foolish. If you think so, you are correct. I am a foolish person because I thought that something I read was wrong and I made a comment about it. It seems these days that doing so is a crime.

Continuing with the foolish line, well I am foolish because in searching for more information about a TV show I watched, "The Most Hated Family in America", I wound up on a Gay and Lesbian site without realizing it [don't laugh and say, sure-sure] it's true, I had no idea it was that kind of site, and furthermore I glanced at a few posts after re-watching the show I saw on TV and thought, "These guys have it all wrong, let me add my opinion here."

Foolish again when I posted in my own name, with my own email address ... the only one I have mind you ... I live and die in my public mission ... so I was foolish enough to say something honest, then sign it with my own name, and all on a Gay and Lesbian web site ... man was I foolish

No, there's more ... I kept thinking about Phelps, how could a guy like this tick ... what makes him so confident and how could he actually picket the funerals of dead soldiers ... so I foolishly I studied more ... I watched 'Fred the Movie' and came away with a completely different view from my first revolted impression. I came to think that only a pure person, a person who does not want to fall and does not want others to fall, could say and do the things he does. I was foolish enough to focus only on that, and not how his actions hurt others and give a bad name to serious issues, especially the troops currently on a heroic mission in Iraq.

Foolish enough to think that social movements, no matter how bizarre, appear for a reason, and a thinking man should naturally wonder why ... I was foolish enough to pursue that thought and honestly say my opinion ... that is, for the second time which is when all the brouhaha started.

Well, I will end the foolish line as it's getting old, even for me, and move on to the stupid line. So, I get an email from Jeremy who asks me if it was I who posted the follow up to the first comment about Phelps. Yes, I say and go on to explain my reasons. Big mistake ... now the world knows me, falsely associates our movement with Phelps and I cannot do anything about it, except perhaps say two things:

1. I do not endorse Fred Phelps, his picketing, his self righteous attitude, or his "hate" for anyone. His "hate" is what I call classic "biblical-narrow-view" which allows a person to pick out any passage that suits them and build a world around it - fully defended and confident of its infallibility. However, frankly speaking, and this is where it all started, I wanted to understand WHY. I mean that is what they taught us at the Seminary ... to ask, to questions ... Think about it, our Church has been endlessly criticized for producing members who lack critical thinking [don't get me started, I think we might have more 'critical' people in our church per capita then anywhere on the planet! - but that's another story] ... still I wanted to know WHY they thought and acted the way they did. My conclusion was quite simple - they want to stay pure and they feel threatened by everyone around them. To tell the truth, I feel the same way ... the world always wants us to fall and fall again ... so I felt I understood where they were coming from and said so in a follow up post and defended it when the email checking my authorship showed up.

2. Please read the comments yourself as posted here [with the spelling corrected - how embarrassing to have something you wrote quickly appear seconds later on the Internet, grammar and spelling mistakes intact!] Here is precisely what I said, you judge for yourself if I am endorsing Fred Phelps and his agenda:

First Post:

I read a lot of misinformed comments above. That is, it's easy to somehow think that America is being taken over by religious zealots because that is the popular view. I beg to differ. If America were being taken over by Christian people or religious zealots, as some put it, then we would never see the erosion of moral values, the devaluation of life, the corruption and acceptance of it in public life ... the list is endless ... I would say far from being taken over by religious people, we are being fully overrun by the forces of secularism and have blurred the lines of acceptable behavior. Now we can do anything we want without any accountability. The problem with this is that everything we do here, as much as we think we are doing it in the privacy of our homes or backyards, has global significance America is no longer a community that can be protected by vast oceans and borders ... America is the world and as goes America, so goes the world ... that is why it's so important for us as a nation to try to remember and cherish the values of our forefathers and study what kind of people they were and what there intentions were in founding this nation.
Now to my real point ... Phelps and the Westboro group, at the heart of all their biblical rhetoric and hate speech, are really people who simply and honestly want to stay pure. They do not want to fall anymore and do not want their children to fall. They, like so many others these days, find it hard to simply promote what they believe, and find it much easier to be against something or use something else to make their case ... yes they are honest, but not in the way presented by many of the writers on this blog ... they are honest in that they want to live in a world of purity, fidelity and true respect for others ... this is what makes them so strange ... because in our world, the world of selfish extremism, we cannot find such people ... I do not say more power to them because I think they do speak hate, but we should study them and other groups and go further into the reasons why such groups exist in the first place.

Second Post:

Well, I am so surprised by life ... I watched "Fred the Movie" at and have to revise my comments about Pastor Phelps being a hate monger. It's better to understand what he is saying and why than to label him a hate monger and thus miss the message and purpose for what he is saying. Please listen to his story and try to understand where he is coming from.


Nope its me ... I watched all those shows [Fred the Movie] and he keeps repeating on me ... I mean I am not much of a Bible person ... in fact over emphasis on Bible quotes can actually deter the listener from getting the point ... but somehow his sincerity caught my attention ... you know when a person is genuine or "full of it" so to speak ... he seems like the real deal so I felt it was worth listening and digging a bit more deeper ... for example the civil rights stuff ... of course any real Christian would not sit by and let that happen, likewise any real Christian could not stand by and let sexual sin go unchallenged..

I added the brackets and capitalized the "B" in bible, otherwise its exactly what I said.

Thanks all if you read to the end. I learned a lot and take it as a good lesson and strong reminder that I must think carefully about what I say, to whom I say it, and especially to be careful when what I say might appear to represent our movement and our True Parents.


Frank LaGrotteria,
CASE Assistant Secretary General for Operations and Conference Services Universal Peace Federation
New York Office
481 8th Avenue
New York, NY 10001

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