RIGHT FRED'S DEAD! "HOW DO I FEEL ABOUT PHELPS' DEATH AND WHO'S GONNA STOP THE HATE?" Published March 20th 2014 By Xander Gibb
Today, March 20th 2014, will be prominent in the minds of many for it's significance, for different reasons. It's the first day of Spring, hurry up Summer! I wrote all night, so I slept in till 1pm! Along with the rest of The L.G.B.T.Q Community I woke up to the news that the Rev. Fred Phelps, former Leader of the Westboro Baptist Church had died at the age of 84.Phelps established The Westboro Bastard Church in 1955 & has systematically attacked gays, soldiers & anyone they could fit into a box of blame for God's alleged wrath & hatred on America for allowing homosexuality. Picketing at the funerals of soldiers who had served this country in an endeavor to keep us safe was for the families & onlookers the lowest blow.
The whole of The Phelps' clan were a part of this cult masquerading as a church & doing their twisted will in Gods name, claiming free speech, with the tiring slogan "God Hates Fags" The whole ideology was that all the bad things in the U.S were due to America's acceptance of homosexuality. So not Obama to blame in this instance then?
Not all of the Phelps clan approved of his methodology, namely his son Nate, who has spoken publicly of his opposition & his Granddaughter Libby, who was fundamental in forming The Rainbow House, across the road from WBC. Libby is a Gay Advocate & former protestor, who from the age of 8 was picketing funerals with her family. She decided enough was enough when her family wanted her to participate in actively praying for people to die.
Nate Phelps who left the group many years ago, along with Libby have been estranged from the family for some years now. Nate believed his Father was sincere in his beliefs, but could ot understand where his staunch radical interpretations came from. Nate is unsure whether The WBC should be classified as a hate group as he was unaware of the ramifications. One thing is for sure, these two Phelps' did not hold truck with Fred's perceptions on God & The Bible.
Whilst Phelps Senior clearly hated gays, even those estranged members of his family did not agree with him. Libby still loved him & shared this sentiment on Facebook today. Her moving status prompted me to think more about my responses to his death. She said she was sorry for the harm he caused, but was also able to see the good in him.
I am not sad that he has passed away, & am still concerned at the level of distress both he, his family/cult caused to not just me & mine, but the community as a whole. Should I, like some others be glad he is dead & want to dance on his grave? Emphatically & most definitely, yes, or so you would think!
He was a despicable man who spread hate & incited violence against gays & straights alike. He robbed service personnel's family of their privacy & final moments with loved ones. His behavior should not dictate mine & hating him will never change any of his actions or make the world a better place.
Hating him & those who support him would make me just as bad as him & those who followed him. To steal a line from a song I wrote (It's copyrighted so don't go stealing it yourself!) Hate it ain't great, it just tares us apart, we cannot question affairs of the heart. If we allow haters to make us hate & we become that which we despise, we are no better than those who oppress us.
In previous articles I have shared my shame for hating those who I differed with politically & this is really no different when you think about it. Not only has my evolution been political, it has been personal & emotional too. I have learned that how I feel about others, no matter how justified, affects me & the way I feel & behave. In no way do I condone WBC's actions, I just have to be a better person.
Whatever you believe God is so much bigger than the WBC & Fred Phelps & they, like all of us will be accountable for their actions. No need to picket his funeral or hate his family, but continue to voice your objections. It was announced today that there wont be a funeral for Fred, I wonder why? We need to be better than those who oppress us & a part of that is about not letting hate destroy us.
Every article I write I normally, give a challenge by asking what will you do/think/believe etc. I do this in order to prompt the reader to glean something from reading what I have written. Believe me, I gained something or even reaffirmed something from writing this. Love is louder!
What about you?
Tell me below!
Love and Peace, Xan x
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Xander Gibb has written for many publications and writes with an unapologetic response to the world around.