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the girl with violets in her lap [userpic]

March 17th, 2014 (03:04 pm)

Fred Phelps, founder of the Westboro Baptist Church, is dying. Please please please don't picket his funeral.

Let's remember why all the funeral pickets were awful: because they made the funerals hell for those who were grieving. Picketing a funeral does nothing to the dead. But the people who grieve for Phelps are not all terrible. Many of his children have left the church,* but that doesn't mean that in some complicated way they may not still love their father, and whether they do or not, they deserve closure. A funeral can provide that. But not if it takes place with hatred being shouted in the background.

And above all: Phelps's protests were based in hate. LGBTQ activism is based in love, not hate.

Please don't picket Phelps's funeral.

_______________________


*Incidentally, VERY weird detail in that article: Phelps himself was excommunicated from the church in the middle of last year. No one outside the WBC knows the reason. Some are theorizing he had a change of heart, but that seems improbable to me, after a lifetime of fiercely determined hatred. Very interesting though.

Comments

Posted by: Tasha Rebekah Martin (lietya)
Posted at: March 18th, 2014 01:47 am (UTC)
Jenny

I have seen occasional people suggesting that the funeral be picketed with *loving* messages, as a way of taking the high road. I have to admit, I kind of like that idea. I don't want to see anyone returning the hate he dished out so readily, but it might make a real impression to react by turning the other cheek (even, perhaps especially, from those who don't identify as Christian).

Posted by: the girl with violets in her lap (slammerkinbabe)
Posted at: March 18th, 2014 02:34 am (UTC)

Oh, I love that idea. It's perfect -- people who want to picket to say how wrong he was could do it that way. I feel like that would have a lot of power. I hope it happens!

Posted by: Tasha Rebekah Martin (lietya)
Posted at: March 18th, 2014 03:01 pm (UTC)
Jenny

I do too. :)

Posted by: electric misfit love machine (eyelid)
Posted at: March 18th, 2014 03:59 pm (UTC)

Eh, I still think it is catty. People wouldn't be doing it to be loving. G-d sees your intention.

His grieving family should just be left alone.

Posted by: electric misfit love machine (eyelid)
Posted at: March 18th, 2014 04:00 pm (UTC)

I should add that to comfort a mourner is a very important mitzvah.

Posted by: the girl with violets in her lap (slammerkinbabe)
Posted at: March 18th, 2014 04:07 pm (UTC)

Oops, the anon comment is from me.

Posted by: ((Anonymous))
Posted at: March 18th, 2014 04:05 pm (UTC)

I suppose that's not untrue. I was thinking a little about it later, how members of his church aren't going to perceive love in those protests. I think it's way way better than "God hates Fred" or whatever, but probably still not the best idea. I hope not all the people suggesting that idea are being catty though. I didn't feel catty when I liked it, anyway. I think showing love for those most people would shun is a good, powerful gesture in itself -- just not the best idea in this case for the family's sake.

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