The organization is monitored by the Anti-Defamation League, and classified as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. The group has achieved national notice because of its picketing of funeral processions of U.S. soldiers killed in action in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The church bases its work around the belief expressed by its best known slogan and the address of its primary website, “God hates fags”, and expresses the opinion, based on its Biblical interpretation, that nearly every tragedy in the world is God’s punishment for homosexuality – specifically society’s increasing tolerance and acceptance of gay, lesbian, and bisexual people. It maintains that God hates homosexuals above all other kinds of “sinners” and that homosexuality should be a capital crime. Louis Theroux stated that the Phelpses are the most extreme people he has ever met.