Thursday, March 20, 2014

Well, hmm.

Fred Phelps, notorious founder and leader of the Westboro Baptist Church has died.  The church was made up mostly of his family who demonstrated at many, many places with signs that read "God Hates Fags".  Mr. Phelps had the philosophy that the attacks of 9/11, the resulting conflict in the middle east and generally anything bad that happened to the U.S. was because of the sins of the citizens, mostly the homosexuals.

I really didn't like Mr. Phelps or his message.  It wasn't a church.  It was a cult.  The members were mostly his family, but when he needed a webmaster, another family was allowed to join.  According to his estranged children, who snuck off in the middle of the night, he was a man with anger issues who regularly beat all of his children and his wife.  One of his sons referred to him as a "rage addict".

I've seen a few documentaries and read a bunch of articles about the church and they keep themselves segregated from the community.  When the granddaughters are asked if they think they'll marry, they reply "Who'd marry us?"  and giggle.

The oldest daughter, who is also the attorney for the family, was asked if any other kids would be allowed to come over and play with the passel of grandchildren she said "Who would let their kids come over to our house?"  When asked if the children's parents had the same beliefs and wanted to have fellowship with another family, she stuttered "Well..... yes. Yes, sure."

So, this group clearly knows that the rest of the world hates them.  But, they stick around and demonstrate at soldier's funerals and hold on to the belief that they are really trying to save the world.  Their message isn't that God holds hatred and dishes out punishment because he thinks same gender attraction is oogy, it's that they want to show the U.S. the error of their ways and help everyone get to Heaven, which is a very loving thing. 

Honestly, I think the man was nuts.  I think he was a megalomaniac who convinced himself that everything that happened was about him. 

I think he was insane and had himself a little cult that got a lot of media attention because they were easy to hate.  They were equally offensive to everyone.  Even conservatives who think being gay is oogy were upset that the church would demonstrate at the funerals of fallen soldiers. 

*Sigh*  Am I doing a little dance now that he's dead?  No.  No, I'm not doing that.   Do I think he made the world a better place?

That's complicated.

Hear me out!

Mr. Phelps brought people together in counter demonstrations to block the hateful messages.  People put on wings, formed human walls and revved their motorcycles so funeral attendees wouldn't have to see their signs.  There was legislation passed in areas that said any demonstrations have to take place at least 100 yards from a funeral in progress.  That was in direct response to the Westboro Baptist Church.  Was he a horrible person?  Yes.  Did good things come from his out there attempts?  Yes.

The family has said they will not have a funeral since they don't worship the dead.  This confuses me.  Isn't Jesus dead?  Oh no, he came back so they worship the UNdead. 

Many people are of the opinion that the reason there won't be a funeral is because the family knows there would be a really, really big demonstration at the ceremony.  I'm quite certain that there are parties going on right now to celebrate the fact that this dude has kicked it.

I don't know if he's gone to Hell or if his version of Heaven opened up or if he's just dead.  I don't know what I believe when it comes to the afterlife.  But, the next time he's sent to earth to have some more lessons, I don't think it will be pleasant.

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