I warn you now before you continue reading that this is going to be a rant post. If you don’t want to read that I suggest you stop reading now. On top of that I should warn you that my views on this hot button topic might not jive with yours and again if that will upset you please stop reading. With that being said, I would like to weigh in on the excitement surrounding Fred Phelps death.
For anyone who does not know who this man is, he was the founder of Westboro Baptist Church. This church was highly religious but had all their beliefs backwards and full of hate. They were known for showing up and protesting soldiers funerals with signs that read “Thank God for Dead Soldiers” and Homosexual funerals with sings that read “God Hates Fags.”
The protesting didn’t stop there either, this group was known for praising such tragedies as Sandy Hook saying it was punishment from God for society accepting the homosexual lifestyle. Needless to say this guy had a lot of disgusting views and the way he went about preaching was reprehensible and offensive to so many.
That being said, as I look through my Facebook news feed the last few days leading up to his death and following his death I am really disappointed at what I see. Many people are hoping to protest this man’s funeral to give him a taste of what he did to the many people he hurt with his protests. There is a lot of celebrating surrounding his death and a lot of commotion being made. Although I can certainly see the reason for this reaction I am really disappointed that is how our society has chosen to react for a few reasons:
1) This is EXACTLY what he wanted. In fact in an interview he was asked what he would do if people protested his funeral. Want to know what he said? According to this article on CNN he said, “”I’d love it. I’d invite them,” Phelps told the reporter, according to the Wichita Eagle. “I said: ‘I’ll put in my will to pay your way. But not first class.’ “
Knowing this, why on earth would we give him exactly what he wants? If society hates him so much we should do everything in our power to make sure he goes without even a peep. The media attention he is getting is only what he would have wanted. He should go with the least amount of controversy as possible. He thrived off controversy in his life, why hand it to him in his death?
2) Hate breeds hate. I know this is hard to hear but just because he did hateful things doesn’t mean we need to retaliate with hate. I remember an old saying that said the best way to get back at your worst enemy is kill them with kindness. That being said we should wish that in his death he finds some sort of peace that was clearly missing in his life. Hating him will not change what he did. Hating him will not restore the funerals he protested at. Hating him will only fill our own hearts with anger but it will do nothing to him or the church he leaves behind. If anything it will fuel their fire further. Lets be the bigger person here.
3) Finally, please try and remember that no matter how disgusting his beliefs were, he believed in them. He believed that what he was doing was for the right reasons. There is no doubt he was absolutely wrong and he hurt many people but he did believe in them. That being said, just because we believe we are right in hating him doesn’t make us right for doing it. Try and remember that even if we can’t agree with or understand someone they have their own reasons and in turn their own consequences. For those who believe in heaven and hell, he will be sure to pay there. For those who don’t remember that his punishment will come to him in another way. It is not our job to pass judgement or punishment.
I saw an interview done with this group by Russel Brand. And while I was shocked, the interview was actually extremely well done and I think we can all take a que from him. Check it out here:
I know this post might offend or insult people but I had to get it out. It really upsets me to see the way people are reacting and I am hoping at least one person will change the way they feel after reading it. If you made it through this whole post please let me know your thoughts on this below!