Hail storm was an act of God

The Brooklyn Paper
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Hail hath no fury like a bigot scorned.

Midwood may have collectively given the finger to five members of the Jew-hating Kansas-based Westboro Baptist Church last Monday, but that’s not stopping the church from claiming victory — thanks to God’s intervening by dropping hail on Brooklyn.

“You saw what God did,” said Shirley Phelps-Roper, daughter of church founder Fred Phelps, referring to the freak hailstorm that pummeled parts of Brooklyn later that evening. “He threw rocks on those rockheads and dented all their cars. It’s as if someone put a target right on Brooklyn.”

The fringe church chose to demonstrate outside Yeshiva Rabbi Chaim Berlin on Avenue I and E. 13th Street as part of its Godsmack Tour, a reminder to Jews that many “will be cast into everlasting fire in hell,” according to its website,

The demonstration began with Assemblyman Dov Hikind (D-Borough Park) charging the police barricade in a failed attempt to grab the group’s inflammatory signs. The perturbed pol also called Phelps-Roper a “whore,” and warned the group to “be careful” the rest of its day in Brooklyn.

No one was hurt, but Phelps-Roper said someone slashed her car tires, a person kicked the vehicle, while another dented it with a cane.

The church said it did not plan to press charges.

“We will not seek to avenge ourselves,” she said. “God is the avenger.”

Hikind scoffed at the church’s claim, noting that forecasters were already predicting the hailstorm — which didn’t even strike Midwood.

“It is bizarre and weird but it goes along with the rest of the weirdness and outrageousness of this group,” he said. “If they think God is happy with them, they are more out of their minds than I thought.”

The group, which targeted Jews and Israel at last week’s demonstration, has also been picketing funerals for soldiers killed in Iraq, claiming they are dying “for the homosexual and other sins of America.”

Excluding last week’s hailstorm, there have been only five instances of hail in the borough in the last 25 years, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The Oct. 11 storm mostly affected areas north of Midwood, such as Brooklyn Heights, Boerum Hill and Park Slope, where quarter-sized pieces of hail fell from the sky.

Phelps-Roper insisted the hail had nothing to do with an unstable air mass.

“It is not a coincidence,” she said. “There is no such thing as a coincidence.”

Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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