On Fred Phelps’ Passing
So apparently Fred Phelps, founder of the Westboro Baptist Church and homophobe extraordinaire, is on his deathbed. This was announced tonight during the closing keynote of CatalystCon with Carol Queen and Betty Dodson. It brought applause.
Now, do I think the world will be slightly better without him? Sure. Is it going to be dramatically better? No. His church lives on, and thrives on negative media just as it always has.
But more importantly, celebrating the death of another person does not serve us OR OUR CAUSES. He made his career around rejoicing in the death of others, and it has resulted in most of the world viewing him as an extremist lunatic. DO NOT FOLLOW THAT PATH.
Am I saying we should mourn him? Of course not. He was an asshole who caused emotional distress and trauma to countless people. But don’t celebrate his death. Never celebrate death like this. Letting him go quietly and without remark is better for us all.