Fred Phelps has died and so has my ability to write apparently. All I have wanted to do was write about his passing and what my feelings and thoughts are about it. Like many members of society, particularly being a member of the LGBT community and an Army son, I am not sad to see him go. None-the-less I do have a lot of feelings about his passing because of the hate he spewed and the revolting things he did in his life.
As the founder of one of the countries most notorious “hate churches”, which I consider to be a group that operates more like a cult mired in hate speech and rhetoric as oppose to an actual Christian church, has made a name for himself by way of his unbelievably un-Christian methods of preaching what he believes to be the word of God. He, along with his church named the Westboro Baptist Church, are responsible for picketing over 53,000 events from funerals of slain soldiers, to funerals for members of the LGBT community, and at events like Lady Gaga concerts. Let’s not forget when they planned to protest the funerals of 1st graders who lost their lives in the tragic school shooting in Newton, CT. All of this was done with the intent to protest America for homosexuality and spread hate.
I remember when Jerry Falwell passed away and many supporters of the LGBT community and other liberal groups rejoiced, but that “celebration” made me rather uncomfortable. Does celebrating the death of someone as horrible as Jerry Falwell of Fred Phelps make us no better than them? That’s a scary thought because I don’t want to be anything like either of these men. I want to live in a world free of prejudice, racism and hate. It’s a lofty dream, but one that won’t gain much movement if those of us that are on the right side of history are busy rejoicing in the death of men we hate.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have much sympathy for these men. They left the world with legacies that compete closely with those of men like Hitler, Stalin, Osama bin Laden, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, Jared lee Loughner, Timothy McVeigh, Rousas John Rushdoony, Jerry Falwell, and Rev. D. James Kennedy. It’s natural for people to feel relief or other positive emotions upon learning of the deaths of men like this.
Yet, does that mean we should protest Fred Phelps funeral? This is a question I have heard mentioned many times in the news and on social media networks. My answer is simple and straight forward. No, we shouldn’t protest the funeral of Fred Phelps. We would be no better than him and all the remaining members of the Westboro Baptist Church. While I don’t really know what my religion is I do believe that since he has died it is time for him to meet his maker and let his God cast judgement upon him.
Our job, now that he has passed, is to make sure we learn from him and this awful church. We need to use his life and failures as educational tools for our youth. We should show our children how the hate that he spewed did nothing but cause pain, anger and hurt. We should be the bigger people.
My dad, a retired colonel in the army, always told me to remember the golden rule:
Treat others how you want to be treated.
Rise above and don’t give his family, I mean his cult, I’m truly sorry but I actually mean his church a larger voice than they already have. Don’t think twice about it, they would rejoice in our copying their behaviors and protesting his funeral proving that we are no better than them.
Additionally, his daughter has stated that a funeral will not be held because her church doesn’t worship the dead. As a church that believes themselves to be Christian they should realize that Jesus Christ was a man and if they worship Jesus Christ then they worship the dead. This proves that we need to take this opportunity to educate people who he has brainwashed with years of hate speech. They are so desensitized they won’t remember their father’s memory with a funeral. They are so blinded by his preaching that they don’t even know what Christianity is.
I may be stuck on what to say about his passing, but what I can say is that we need to rise above him, above the Westboro Baptist church and all of its members.
Let’s end hate. Hate breeds hate and the only thing we will accomplish by returning his hate with our own is a continued escalation of negativity. We, Americans, are better than that aren’t we?