Fred Phelps, the founder of the infamous Westboro Church, died on Thursday at the age of 84.
I have no doubt it's a very sad day for his family, and as a fellow-human I feel bad for their loss and hope that they find comfort.
I also wouldn't be saddened if the date and location of his funeral is discovered, and that it is protested by thousands of gays and lesbians and anyone else who wants to send off Mr. Phelps in much the same way he lived his life, sort of as an homage to him.
Westboro Church, you may recall, is the group who callously gathers at the funerals of others, often those who were in the military, it seems, and protests them for reasons known only to them and their Maker, having something to do with them being gay or lesbian or whatever it was that the hate-filled group was against.
My initial reaction was, no, show the coal-headed followers of Mr. Phelps what decency and honor and love is all about by staying as far away from the funeral as possible, and let the family mourn as all families should be allowed to mourn. But as I thought about it, I realized that the Phelps family and others can mourn all they want and for as long and deeply as they need to in the time leading up to the funeral and beyond. But if funerals are to remind the departed's loved ones and the world what it was that made him special, what better what than to stage the very same kind of act the man himself was known for!
Perhaps too they could all bring a candle and help light the way to hell for him.
So, gather ye all who wish to pay such a tribute to Mr. Phelps. If you, or any members of your protest group are caught, the Secretary will admiringly recognize full knowledge of your actions...
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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