Not to celebrate the passing of Fred Phelps?

(36 Posts)
summerbreezer Tue 18-Mar-14 13:20:54

It seems that Fred Phelps, founder of the Westboro Baptist Church, is on his way out:

www.nydailynews.com/news/national/westboro-baptist-church-founder-fred-phelps-reportedly-death-article-1.1723451

Since this news broke, I have heard lots of "I hope he rots in hell" type comments.

Phelps spent a lifetime condemning to hell those whose values were different to his own.

It is ironic that we should fall into the same trap. Will I be sad at his death? No. But I will not celebrate it.

LouiseSmith Tue 18-Mar-14 13:26:15

I won't be sad, not will I celebrate.

But his actions were terrible, I can see why people would be happy. It's like Margaret thatcher all over again

The best, most fitting, reaction is to be tolerant and kind. In memory.

Ohbyethen Tue 18-Mar-14 13:31:39

I agree with you for myself. But I can't say I'll be judging the reactions of the people his actions hurt directly (although I feel their actions and doctrine hurt us all indirectly). If the families of those whose funeral he picketed, friends of those people, people he said disgusting, abhorrent things about - if they wish to holler in the street they will get no condemnation from me. Although I suspect they will be a sight more dignified.

Topaz25 Tue 18-Mar-14 13:36:58

YANBU. I understand the impulse to celebrate, after all his organisation pickets funerals, but we shouldn't sink to their level. I won't be celebrating either but I think he will get a shock in the afterlife when things aren't as he expected!

flipchart Tue 18-Mar-14 13:37:59

I don't think many outside his congregation will mourn his passing.

Even his son Nate is on record as having mixed feelings about how he will feel.

DioneTheDiabolist Tue 18-Mar-14 13:38:03

I agree OP. I will not mourn nor will I crow.

feathermucker Tue 18-Mar-14 13:41:45

The amount of pain and suffering that this man has wished on others, the displays of hate that he has organised, the heinous way in which he conducted his 'church' all combine together to make his death a cause for relief. Perhaps not celebration, but relief.

He does NOT, in any way, deserve to be remembered with any kind of respect whatsoever.

MaidOfStars Tue 18-Mar-14 13:42:59

I won't shed any tears and I'm happy to admit that I will secretly feel that the world is a slightly better place.

summerbreezer Tue 18-Mar-14 13:46:50

feathermucker he actually did a lot of good work for the civil rights movement in the 1950's and 60's.

In any event, I think that the impact of the WBC has been overstated. They themselves were excellent at playing the media and getting us to sing to their tune.

They are just another cult - no more or less offensive than thousands others the world over. It's just that unlike most cults, we've actually heard of them.

RabbitPies Tue 18-Mar-14 13:50:07

I'll admit to being quietly pleased. He is a vile man. I'll have some sympathy for his family,though some of them are equally ghastly,but picketing his funeral would be very wrong.

Nennypops Tue 18-Mar-14 13:56:46

I do quite enjoy the thought of him turning up at the pearly gates confidently expecting to be ushered in only to find himself firmly being sent down to Hades. I equally hope that there will be at least a moment when he realises that actually neither exists.

No, I'm not going to celebrate, but I'm definitely not going to mourn either.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Tue 18-Mar-14 13:58:57

These are such clumsy threads when posted (for traffic) in AIBU. It's not an AIBU, is it? It's a discussion about somebody's death/life. Baffles me that a poster has to compose a title because it doesn't fit.

Why would anybody celebrate the passing of anybody? So mawkish. If you want to say that you didn't like him (I've never heard of him) be upfront, no? confused

Goblinchild Tue 18-Mar-14 14:01:23

He did harm to many by preaching his poisonous and toxic, twisted version of Christianity. I think he did huge harm to the image of Christianity.
But because of them, he was also responsible for some wonderfully iconic images of ordinary and not so ordinary people standing up against him and his followers.
The funerals ringed by bikes, and their silent riders, to ensure that the mourners were not going to be disturbed is one that springs to mind.
It's uplifting when spite and hatred are challenged by sanity and rational thought.

winklewoman Tue 18-Mar-14 16:45:33

For God's sake, don't dare say you found his views distasteful else you will have the mob from the Dickson Wright thread berating you for "speaking ill of the dead".

Goblinchild Tue 18-Mar-14 16:50:34

I'm not a revisionist, I speak of the dead exactly how I spoke of them when they were alive.
Never been much good at hypocrisy. smile

OlympiaFox Tue 18-Mar-14 17:15:17

It's very strange how he started out good and transformed into someone full of hatred and judgement. Maybe he was always bad but hid it until he created his own cult or perhaps something happened to set him on that path? If it was the latter then that's quite sad.

Hopefully his death will allow his family the ability to realise that he was full of shit and open their eyes to the world as it really is rather than viewing it through his perverted lens.

Goblinchild Tue 18-Mar-14 17:24:25

His son seems to be a brave man

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nathan_Phelps

Ploppy16 Tue 18-Mar-14 17:26:33

George Takei had a good post on his FB page about how he won't celebrate Phelps' death and why. The Mommyish blog has a good post as well:
www.mommyish.com/2014/03/17/dying-westboro-baptist-church-leader/
He'll die alone and hated by those who should be closest to him and knowing that he made the lives of so many people hell at a time when they should have been left to mourn. I wonder what he thinks is waiting for him?

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 20-Mar-14 21:16:58

YABU. Let's not waste too many actual words on the evil bastard but I think a quietly satisfied punch of the air is in order.

themadcaplass Thu 20-Mar-14 21:23:25

YANBU. People celebrating this man's death are just sinking to his level. The best way to treat it IMO is to ignore it as much as is possible.

DrSeuss Thu 20-Mar-14 21:26:42

I believe that someone far greater than me will be dealing with him at this time.

picnicbasketcase Thu 20-Mar-14 21:29:17

I think the world is better off without hateful people like him, it's just a shame he's passed on those views to his gullible family members who no doubt will carry on spewing bile at bereaved families. I won't be dancing a jig at his death or anyone else's though.

Hmm. I must admit I don't like gleeful celebrations when an unpleasant person dies, it just seems a bit icky, somehow. The most Id manage would be a shrug and a 'no great loss' type comment.
Funnily enough, an acquaintance of mine has just died, and it's all a bit weird on FB at the moment (regarding him, not Fred Bigot). Because to many people he was a charming, lovable stalwart of the social scene. He was charming, or could be when he wanted to. He could be kind, and he could be funny, and he was very clever.
He was also a DV perpetrator, a liar and a conman whose MH issues got progressively worse. I never saw his bad qualities at first hand, but have heard horrifying stories from people I trust about things he did. I can feel some pity for him, because towards the end the inside of his head must have been a pretty terrifying place to be, but I can't say I'm grieving.

rinabean Thu 20-Mar-14 21:49:29

YABVU. I guess he never held up a sign saying you should get the death penalty, that god hates you, or picketed the funeral of someone you loved. Forgiving would be one thing, but only if you have something to forgive. You can't forgive him for what he did to OTHER people, obviously.

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