Maricopa official shamed by his social media post

FILE - In this March 19, 2006 file pazhoto, Rev. Fred Phelps Sr. preaches at his Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kansas. Phelps, who founded a Kansas church that’s widely known for its protests at military funerals and anti-gay sentiments, is being cared for in a Shawnee County facility according to Westboro Baptist Church spokesman Steve Drain on Sunday, March 16, 2014. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, File)
FILE - In this March 19, 2006 file pazhoto, Rev. Fred Phelps Sr. preaches at his Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kansas. Phelps, who founded a Kansas church that’s widely known for its protests at military funerals and anti-gay sentiments, is being cared for in a Shawnee County facility according to Westboro Baptist Church spokesman Steve Drain on Sunday, March 16, 2014. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, File)

MARICOPA, Ariz. (AP) — The vice mayor of the small Arizona town of Maricopa says he was confused when he praised the late leader of the Westboro Baptist Church in Kansas.

Ed Farrell explained his controversial Facebook post to the Maricopa Monitor newspaper.

The Rev. Fred Phelps Sr. died last week at age 84. He drew international condemnation for outrageous and hate-filled protests that blamed almost everything on America’s tolerance for gay people.

Farrell praised Phelps in a social post Monday, saying “We need more Fred Phelps in this world. May you rest in peace sir.”

But Farrell says he initially thought Phelps was just a Kansas-based minister and really had no clue about him.

Farrell also says he didn’t realize the obituary he posted on was a fake article and he shamed himself.

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