Thursday, March 20, 2014

Fred Phelps Is Dead

Fred Phelps, patriarch of the Westboro Baptist Church, has finally died.  

He will not go to Heaven.  He will not go to Hell.  He did not have a soul that will live on in any form, corporeal or spiritual.  

He will be buried.  His body will decompose (is, in fact, already decomposing as I write this).  In fifty years, he will scarcely be remembered, and the people he tormented will be gone too.

His ultimate fate is no different than my own will be.

His death gives me no satisfaction or hope.  His death does not mark the end of human cruelty and malice.

“Life ... is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.”

Especially the life of Fred Phelps.


  1. I'm not sure how to feel about this one. For one thing, I'm not sure it will herald the end of his cult, given that they've kept going since they cast him out last year.

    I feel sad for Megan Phelps-Roper, and all the ex-cult members who were barred from going to see him. He was family before he was their ex-pastor.

    I think the behaviour of the current members during this time shows just how horribly damaged they all are, I gather they won't be holding a funeral for him or showing any kind of mourning. Their Twitter feed said: 'Westboro Baptist Church thanks God for Fred Phelps Sr.’s passing'. If they did hold a funeral for him they would be making themselves vulnerable to all kinds of ridicule and retaliation.

    I will be interested to track this group's progress, see if it does last beyond him. I gather his excommunication had something to do with power struggles within. If young members are leaving, and the ones who stay behind get dragged into infighting, then maybe they will fade into obscurity. I would like the WBC to disappear, they do add more than their fair share of misery to the world.

  2. The most amazing thing about this guy, to me, is that he was born in Meridian, Mississippi (brutally anti-black place) and grew up to become a stand-up, outstanding lawyer for black plaintiffs in cases of overt racial discrimination. I mean, go figure! (I'm black, so this is pretty remarkable to me.) The Westboro Baptist business I can't figure out at all. But what a biography.

    1. Yes, it makes us wonder, What the hell happened here? That's the big question. The human psyche is endlessly fascinating to me.


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