Westboro Baptists Diagnosed with Dyslexia; ‘Actually Pretty Nice People,’ Say Doctors

TOPEKA, Kans. — Several leading members of the much-maligned Westboro Baptist Church have been diagnosed with a form of dyslexia, a condition which hinders spelling ability and helps to explain the inflammatory signs the group is known for displaying at military funerals and other public events. Said one doctor who examined the group: “They’re actually pretty nice people, just totally, horrifically confused.”

Doctors said the condition has caused the Westboro Baptists to misunderstand their own signs. “For example: The most infamous placard reads ‘GOD HATES FAGS.’ Well, naturally, all this time we assumed they were bigots, attacking homosexuals.” But the particular form of dyslexia with which they’re afflicted often causes them to “see” letters out of order. “They thought the signs said, ‘GOD HATES GAFS.’ It seems their real problem has never been with homosexuals, but actually with the Global Assessment of Functioning Scale, which is a test to evaluate psychiatric health.”

Fred Phelps, minister and patriarch of the church—which is largely composed of his relatives—said in a statement that he and his followers are “mortified” by the confusion they’ve caused. “When I found out what our signs really said, I almost fainted,” Phelps said. “What a colossal misunderstanding! Let me be clear: We have no problem with homosexuals or their lifestyles. In fact, just last week we all got together to watch The Birdcage on cable. It was just delightful!”

Mr. Phelps said that his church does take issue with the GAFS, however. “We shouldn’t be assigning people an arbitrary number based on their performance on some test, branding some people ‘psychotic’ and others ‘normal.’ That kind of labeling hurts people, and God really does hate it.”

Dr. Gerald Harken said that some forms of dyslexia are believed to be hereditary, which would explain the prevalence of this condition among the Westboro Baptists. “There seems to have been a fair amount of inbreeding going in between them,” he said. “The mutation that caused them to develop this particular neurological quirk would have spread quickly through the church, leading to those unfortunate signs.”

The group has promised to be more careful when composing their signs in the future. “I swear to you,” Mr. Phelps pledged in a YouTube video. “Now that we know we’re disabled, every sign will be checked by a non-dyslexic before it’s displayed in public. We wouldn’t want people thinking we hate other admirable groups, like soldiers or Jewish folks.”