So the news came in today that Fred Phelps is dead. I was wondering how I would feel about this. Would I cheer from the rooftops? Would I hug my partner? Or would I be one of those people who suggest picketing his funeral (which, as wrong as his beliefs were, that’s not something I want to suggest doing. I don’t want to do the same thing he did to so many but, at the same time, I can understand why there are people who want to — certainly the families of people he’s picketed are ready to march to his grave with signs of “Good Riddance,” and I don’t blame them for feeling that way. No one does. Your feelings are your own).
Surprisingly, I feel pretty calm about it, and I think it’s because I imagine that, in the afterlife, this hateful man is going to have the sheer pleasure of realizing how wrong he was. I do believe in a higher power, and I can just see that higher power looking at this man and telling him that his hateful beliefs have been ridiculous and wrong over all of these years. He’s been spending so much time hating people over such trivial things, and now his life is over and he’s wasted so much time being bitter and ugly. Now he’s going to spend eternity watching from wherever he is as the world grows more accepting and pretty much crapping all over his “teachings.” It’s a slow process, but it’s making progress. More places are becoming more accepting and now this terrible man has a front row seat to equality and can’t do anything about it.
Well done, Fred Phelps, all you’ve done with your hate is make us stronger.
Now I’m not saying that there won’t be imitators. What I am saying is that we’ve become much stronger over time after dealing with this man and the Westboro Baptist Church. Now we have our own organizations and leaders who fight for us. During his time alive, spreading this hate, we’ve become stronger and we’re still here. We made it through his awfulness and are going to continue to spread our message of love and acceptance.
So, to you, Fred Phelps, I say goodbye. Enjoy watching us from wherever your soul ends up because things are just going to get better from here.