One Equal World

Fred Phelps, WBC Founder, Dead at 84. Should We Take the High Road?

Posted on: March 20, 2014

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The founding father of the Westboro Baptist Church, Fred Phelps, has died of natural causes at the age of 84. The pastor founded the church, renowned and reviled for their anti-gay and anti-military protests at public events, over 60 years ago and the WBC has picketed over 53,000 occasions.

It might be easy, even therapeutic, for some to want to enact a form of revenge on a man and church that even the White House has called “vile”, but is the best form of action to do nothing at all? George Takei, a famous gay author, actor and human rights activist, had this to say:

“I take no solace or joy in this man’s passing. We will not dance upon his grave, nor stand vigil at his funeral holding “God Hates Freds” signs, tempting as it may be. He was a tormented soul, who tormented so many. Hate never wins out in the end. It instead goes always to its lonely, dusty end.”

I agree Mr. Takei’s sentiments on the matter. And I would hope that a logical person would think that as well. But I can also empathize that it can be incredibly difficult, especially for those who were directly impacted by pickets or protests, to let it go or simply walk away.  Unfortunately, taking the moral high ground regarding Phelp’s death will more than likely bear no meaning on church members, who will continue to protest.

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