Skip to main content

Left to His Own Devices


Fred Phelps, founder of the Westboro Baptist Church, is dead.

To say that Fred Phelps dabbled in hate is akin to saying how a dog is pretty fierce with a bone. The main object of the man's hatred were people like myself: gay people. I'm not sure why. He and his church used the cloak of religion, but there was obviously something else going on there. A few months ago, Phelps was excommunicated from Westboro Baptist, leading some to speculate the reason why. Was he secretly gay? Did he have a change of heart regarding his treatment of people during his 84-year-long life?

Who knows? Honestly, as someone who never knew the man, the reasons for Phelps' excommunication matters not to me. So why am I taking the time write about him? Because, just this once, I'm going to acknowledge his existence, since he chose to acknowledge mine (and others), even if it was in a vile and contemptible way.

Honestly, I just want to say that I forgive Fred Phelps. That's not easy to do, but the struggle of emotions running through my veins since hearing first of his ill-health, and now his death, are mainly those of sadness. The sadness is for him, oddly enough. Yes, it's terrible that he spewed a philosophy of hatred. Yes, I feel terribly for the families and friends of those whose funerals he picketed. But let's be honest: anyone who does that is a sad spectacle of a human being. All is not right with their world.

Some say that it's wrong to feel pity for anyone but, more than anything, I pity Fred Phelps and his ilk. Their lives must be miserable. They attempt to inflict misery onto others, but many people are stronger than he was, and rise above it. This is why I forgive Phelps. He lived (to my estimation) a miserable life, and died a slow, probably painful death in hospice. I don't take any comfort or glee in that and, frankly, neither should anyone else.

I don't believe in a Heaven or Hell. I don't really believe in an afterlife, but if there is one of some sort, I hope that it's a continuing journey, not a final destination where folks are sorted into eternal glory or punishment. My hope is that spirits such as Phelps grow and learn. It would be nice to run into him at some point, and have it be a pleasant experience. He wouldn't have to apologize. Instead, we'd take solace in knowing that he'd become a more loving soul.


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

3/4

Ok, we're now three-fourths of the way through this year's calendar, so I thought I'd rank the thirty-eight 2017 movies I've seen so far.

Here they are....


1. A Quiet Passion
2. Baby Driver
3. Dunkirk
4. Get Out
5. Kedi
6. A Ghost Story
7. Wonder Woman
8. Columbus
9. Brad's Status
10. Marjorie Prime
11. Maudie
12. Logan
13. Spider-Man: Homecoming
14. Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2
15. Brigsby Bear
16. Atomic Blonde
17. The Big Sick
18. Split
19. Kong: Skull Island
20. It
21. Wind River
22. A Cure for Wellness
23. The Hitman's Bodyguard
24. Norman
25. Kingsman: The Golden Circle
26. Logan Lucky
27. Alien Covenant
28. Ghost In the Shell
29. War for the Planet of the Apes
30. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
31. Life
32. Annabelle: Creation
33. Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets
34. My Cousin Rachel
35. Baywatch
36. The Bye Bye Man
37. mother!
38. It Comes at Night


It will be interesting to see what the last three months of the year brin…

Walk and Chew Gum

Yesterday marked a touchstone moment in the U.S., as students across the country participated in "walkouts." This was an occasion for students to express an array of thoughts and emotions, ranging from a desire for stricter gun control, to simply sorrow over the loss of so many of their peers to school shootings. They were peaceful protests, but protests nonetheless. Where you're at on the spectrum of agreeing or disagreeing with what they did may vary, though not wanting to get shot in your school seems pretty reasonable to me.
Some folks have taken to sharing a meme on social media platforms this week -- in direct anticipation and response to the walkouts -- that encourages students to "walk up, not out." Following are suggestions provided for the walk ups:

Walk UP to the kid who sits ALONE and ask him to join your groupWalk UP to the kid who never has a voluntary partner and offer to be hersWalk UP to your teachers and thank them!Walk UP to someone and JUST …

The Best Superhero Movies of All-Time, Revisited

We are just a few days away from the North American release of Avengers:Infinity War. While I am dutifully going to see it opening night, it's not a film I'm looking forward to. It is (spoiler) part one of two, which means we can expect plenty of plot threads left dangling when the credits roll. In other words, part two will probably be better, and provide some actual resolution. Also, Thanos looks like a CGI yawn-fest. Hopefully, I'll be proved wrong.
Nevertheless, this is a good opportunity to rank (again) the major superhero movies (Marvel and otherwise) that we've had so far. As you know, I love making a list, and this one is going to be a definitive one! If you don't see a film on here, it's because I haven't seen it (the first two Thors, Iron Man 2, some of the X-Men features, etc.).   Alright, here we go.