Monday, March 31, 2014

Fred Who?

Well, it has been a less than stellar week for me.  A week ago, my computer suffered a hard drive failure, and well, I just didn't really feel like messing with my back-up PC that much.  Besides, I had the week off, and I figured, might as well rest up a bit...  But, as my vacation draws to a close, and my Mac is back among the living, I am ready to get back to posting.

Of course, by now everyone knows that a certain infamous person died.  Fred Phelps, the leader of Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kansas died on March 19, 2014.  Phelps, and his, uh, "church" (it was more like a compound where his family lived, as most, if not all of the members were his immediate family) were known for traveling about, protesting against various groups they considered sinful, in particular gays and lesbians.  I first heard of Phelps when he started picketing the funerals of AIDS victims back in the 1990's, and quite frankly I was appalled at the idea that someone would do such a thing.  Over time, the protests increased, and eventually included those of military personnel killed in the line of duty, which, it was claimed, was part of God's judgement on the United States for allowing homosexual behavior. 

Phelps and his cult have spent a number of years spewing what can only be called hatred.  They have misrepresented Biblical teachings, and have, behave like those the Apostle Peter described as "the untaught and unstable (who) distort, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction."  Phelps probably did more, in the long run, to further gay rights than to hinder them, but he still caused a lot of pain for the loved ones of those whose funerals he, and his followers, picketed.

There was briefly some talk of having protests at his funeral, but thankfully enough people were smart enough to point out how counter productive such an act would be.  When it became obvious that his death would not result in people lowering themselves to his level, it was quickly announced that there would be no funeral.  I rather suspect that no one showing up would have been an embarrassment.

In the end, Fred went out with more of a whimper than a bang.  His death resulted in a brief flurry of attention, and then quickly faded.  Many publications didn't even mention his death. And I was somewhat surprised that there was not some sort of celebration in the Castro District.  In short, this rather nasty little man got the attention he deserved.

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