I take no joy in the fact that Fred Phelps died the other day. As the founder of the Westboro Baptist Church, he created an organization that as a whole acted reprehensibly. However, everything that they did, from preaching that gays should be put to death to protesting funerals, only made him and his church look bad. Yes, what they did probably hurt those at the funerals in ways I cannot begin to understand, but I still do not hate him. Why do I not hate this man? Well, he is not worth the time and effort it takes to hate him.
I have admitted that I am an atheist, so I don’t believe this guy is suffering damnation. I personally believe that he just died, that’s it. It is obvious that the man was suffering in this world. He couldn’t even practice what the bible preaches. He couldn’t love his fellow man. I never got how people can claim parts of the bible should are set in stone, but other parts are just metaphor. It is entirely possible that this man also believe slavery should be allowed, and that tattoos are sinful, but the majority of what he spoke out against was the gays. He had a vendetta, and I just do not get it.
According to most religious extremists, God loves all, provided you believe in the same religion, aren’t gay, and so on and so on. If there is an afterlife, I don’t know where Phelps would go. Me being me, I do have a bit of a vengeful side and I hope he is suffering now in ways that he caused others to suffer, but that seems beneath me. I honestly hope that he is just at peace, and I hope the people he terrorized are at peace now too.
The WBC is still around; it’s not going anywhere. Yes, Phelps founded the church, but he didn’t make up the entire church. There are still plenty of “crazies” who belong to this particular church. They will still protest funerals, call for the lynching of gays, and just become a general nuisance. But they are also the butt of so many jokes. Every time they open their collective mouths, they just show how far beneath the rest of us they are.
If George Takei takes no joy in this man’s death, I have no right to. And while I would find it ironic if people protested his funeral, I think it would be better if no one showed up.
So no, I don’t hate this man. And no, I don’t care if he is suffering or not. I am better than that, and I am better than he was. It’s time to let go of the hate and move on with life.