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Monday, November 28, 2022
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Rejoice Not At The Death of Fred Phelps

Commentary
By Gary Kopycinski

"I take no solace or joy in this man’s passing. We will not dance upon his grave, nor stand vigil at his funeral holding ‘God Hates Freds’ signs, tempting as it may be. He was a tormented soul, who tormented so many. Hate never wins out in the end. It instead goes always to its lonely, dusty end."

–George Takei

George Takei said it all.

The death of Fred Phelps, founder of the Westboro Baptist Church, is not something that any of us should rejoice in.

Not at all.

The Park Forest connection?

Members of the Westboro Baptist Church dared to protest the funeral of our own Connie Woolfolk, and students from HF showed up to bravely spread the message of love.

Their message was ineffective that day, February 10, 2008.

The message of hate remains ineffective today.

March 20, 2014.

The man, the founder of the infamous church, was actually excommunicated from the church he founded for reportedly advocating "A ‘Kinder Approach‘" to people. GLBT people.

All people.

His son, Nate Phelps, reportedly left the WBC 37 years ago.

On learning of his father’s terminal illness, Nate Phelps reported:

I’ve learned that my father, Fred Phelps, Sr., pastor of the "God Hates Fags" Westboro Baptist Church, was ex-communicated from the "church" back in August of 2013. He is now on the edge of death at Midland Hospice house in Topeka, Kansas.

I’m not sure how I feel about this. Terribly ironic that his devotion to his god ends this way. Destroyed by the monster he made.

I feel sad for all the hurt he’s caused so many. I feel sad for those who will lose the grandfather and father they loved. And I’m bitterly angry that my family is blocking the family members who left from seeing him, and saying their good-byes.

We should not, nor need, respond with hate.

Fred Phelps is dead.

The sad, sad message of hate remains.

But that’s okay.

The monster is hate.

And nothing, nothing, can supercede love.

"But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love." (1 Cor. 13:13)

And love remains.

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