It's said that only the good die young. Luckily, even the very old, like Fred Phelps, get sick and die. That's right, if you haven't heard already, Fred Phelps, high lord of the bigots, is dying. And, apparently, he was excommunicated from the Westboro Baptist Church last August.
Many of us think that Fred is one of the best argument for the Christian faith simply because he makes us want there to be a Hell for him to go to. But, I'm going to take a moment and point something out. Fred will be spending his final days largely alone and unloved. And for that I do feel a twinge of pity for him.
Typically when someone horrible dies someone tries to remind us that the deceased did have some family who have lost a loved one. Not this time. Fred's family is huge. He's had a lot of children and grandchildren. Some of them eventually escaped the family and have reported on how physically and emotionally abusive Fred and the whole Westboro Baptist Church society is. Those members of his family are not going to be sad to see him go. He's been kicked out of his own temple of hate. So the family he's been close to is not going to be sad to see him go. Fred Phelps has almost done for homophobia what Adolf Hitler accomplished for anti-semitism, so the anti-gay rights crowd won't be sad to see him go. In fact, most of America finds his behavior so reprehensible that they're reserving a dance floor to set up at the cemetery after his funeral.
His funeral will be populated mostly by people who are there to make sure he's really dead and protesters there to give him some of his own medicine. The only people who will mourn his passing will be gay rights supporters who probably wouldn't have made such great strides in recent decades without Fred Phelps there to show bigots the kind of company they were keeping.
Some reporters might try to get in to see him and get some idea of his thoughts and motivations before he's gone. But, apparently, the church is keeping people out. It may well be that he was excommunicated for finally coming out of the closet. It wouldn't be surprising at all to find out that his whole campaign against gays has been to cover his own feelings. Nor would it be a surprise to find out that he's lived this life to promote a pro-gay agenda. He did start his career as a civil rights lawyer, after all.
But, I'd put my money on him blaming all those around him for not honoring thy mother and father rather than him owning up to driving away everyone with a pulse. And I'm betting more than one nurse will show up a bit tardy with his pain medication.
Fred, you're a horrible human being and I hope that your church soon follows you to the grave. It does suck that you'll be alone at this point of your life, but you brought it on yourself and you deserve it.