Fred Phelps is Dead

As I’m sure you’ve heard by now, Fred Phelps, founder of the vile Westboro Baptist Church, is dead at 84. Am I sad about that? Not a bit. I’m sad for Nate Phelps, though, and I hope he can find some peace and solace, at least in the fact that he managed to become a kind, decent, compassionate person despite the influence of his father. Part of me really does want to dance on his grave, of course, but I’m choosing not to respond that way (which does not mean anyone else is unjustified in doing so). I think American Atheists said it well in their statement: If you want to celebrate Fred Phelps’ death, support separation of religion & government and the fight for atheist & LGBTQ rights—It’s the best FU there is.” In fact, you really wanna do something to counteract his legacy? Donate a few bucks to an LGBT group in his name, or better yet in Nate’s name.

POPULAR AT PATHEOS Nonreligious
What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Al Dente

    I didn’t attend the funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying that I approved of it. -Mark Twain

  • Shatterface

    Almost wish there was a Heaven just to know he’d be turned away at the Pearly Gates.

    There’s no moral equivalence between celebrating the death of people who caused harm and celebrating the deaths of those who did not; and it’s not necessary to behave like a saint to feel superior to a scumbag.

    Let’s not hear any posturing about how this makes us no better than him.

  • http://www.facebook.com/den.wilson d.c.wilson

    The Westboro Attention Whores issued a tweet about Phelps’ death:

    The death of Fred Phelps, a man who preached faithfully to a dark world, is nothing but a hypocritical hope for you!

    Can anyone tell me WTF that even means?

  • matty1

    Well I don’t know what the word hypocritical is doing in there but I think they mean “If you hope we’ll stop now Fred’s dead we won’t”.

  • BMcHell

    In recognition of the passing of Fred Phelps, and with my profound sympathies for the innocent young minds that have to grow up inside that cult, I offer the following commentary:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nHKzn8aHyXg&sns=em

    You’ve got to be taught

    To hate and fear,

    You’ve got to be taught

    From year to year,

    It’s got to be drummed

    In your dear little ear

    You’ve got to be carefully taught.

    You’ve got to be taught to be afraid

    Of people whose eyes are oddly made,

    And people whose skin is a diff’rent shade,

    You’ve got to be carefully taught.

    You’ve got to be taught before it’s too late,

    Before you are six or seven or eight,

    To hate all the people your relatives hate,

    You’ve got to be carefully taught

    – You’ve Got To Be Carefully Taught (South Pacific)

  • petrefax

    As coroner, I must aver

    I thoroughly examined her

    And she’s not only merely dead

    She’s really, most sincerely dead!

  • dugglebogey

    I hope he was in a lot of pain before he died.

  • coffeehound

    The death of Fred Phelps, a man who preached faithfully to a dark world, is nothing but a hypocritical hope for you!

    Only the simplistic believe that ignorance and hatred die with the death of any one person, so no, I don’t think anyone was harboring the hope that any remaining members of the church would suddenly become compassionate self aware, loving beings(you know, like the image of the Christ they worship).

    Condolences to Nathan, at least.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1360322113 aaronbaker

    Almost wish there was a Heaven just to know he’d be turned away at the Pearly Gates.

    Yeah; where is God when he’d actually be useful?

  • daved

    Until his imminent death made the news, I hadn’t realized that Fred Phelps had been booted out of his own church. I also don’t know whether the remaining WBC members have been out there, diligently picketing funerals and so on. Are they still doing that?

  • anubisprime

    I doubt the remaining clowns will suddenly grow up and behave with a modicum of rationality, that got kicked out of them long ago, but I do doubt they will be able to maintain the scam cos they are no where near as savvy as Fred was.

    That they waited until he was a, presumably sick, old man before usurping him speaks reams of their character, integrity and courage if not their intellect.

    They are bitter, damaged and twisted, they are not leaders and they are not clued enough to maintain the miasma surrounding their cult.

    The only one that might have kept it vaguely intact was apparently dumped from the steering council at the same time…Fred’s daughter!…the whole pack of cards will crumble, maybe slowly but it will disintegrate, the prime cancer of hatred has been excised, without that drive they are just another cult squabbling amongst themselves.

  • Randomfactor

    The Westboro Baptist Church has been taken over by its teabaggers.

  • Trebuchet

    Via Ken @ Popehat, George Takei’s take on Phelps:

    http://www.popehat.com/2014/03/20/takei-on-phelps/

    Like. Very much like.

    Also:

    Dispatches: Fred Phelps is Dead

    Pharyngula: Fred Phelps is Dead

    Is there an echo in here?

  • grumpyoldfart

    It always pisses me off that Christians never get to know the truth before they die. Right up to the last moment they remain convinced they’re going to heaven. Not even one second of insight.

  • generalfactotum

    Somehow, the following came to mind:

    “As when death smites the swollen brooding thing that inhabits their crawling hill and holds them all in sway, ants will wander witless and purposeless and then feebly die, so the creatures of Sauron, orc or troll or beast spell-enslaved, ran hither and thither mindless; and some slew themselves, or cast themselves in pits, or fled wailing back to hide in holes and dark lightless places far from hope.”

  • Anthony Burber

    @Trebuchet #13:

    Yes, except that Dispatches used heading capitalization (“Fred Phelps is Dead“), while Pharyngula used sentence capitalization (“Fred Phelps is dead“).

    As I’m sure you can see, this reveals a catastrophic failure of the FtB hive mind links. In fact, a brief perusal of the FtB reveals a massive schism hiding in plain sight between the heading caps and the sentence caps. We must round up the deviant miscapitalizers and re-educate them, just as soon as we figure out which side the deviantd occupy.

  • http://polrant@blogspot.com democommie

    Fred is dead. Good. Now can we work on Frank Luntz?

  • benjamincano

    Ding Dong! The Witch is dead. Which old Witch? The Wicked Witch!

    Ding Dong! The Wicked Witch is dead.

    Wake up – sleepy head, rub your eyes, get out of bed.

    Wake up, the Wicked Witch is dead. he’s gone where the goblins go,

    Below – below – below. Yo-ho, let’s open up and sing and ring the bells out.

    Ding Dong’ the merry-oh, sing it high, sing it low.

    Let them know

    The Wicked Witch is dead!

  • flyv65

    Put simply, he was a bad man, and broken. And I won’t give his mistake something to resound against: he is gone, and his hate will die with him. My thoughts are for the people who will feel pain at his passing-no matter what a douche he was.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1246980039 caseyboucher

    I’m sorry for his family’s loss, I really am. But, in light of how much he hurt me and my people, I have to say that I’m not sorry at all to see him die. Good effing riddance!

  • devilsadvocate

    What legacy? The guy was a troll… Even the right wing hated him because he hated Jews and mocked soldiers. This isn’t Falwell – nobody actually followed this guy.

  • sugarfrosted

    He died too late to make a difference, so I find myself not caring. No justice was had. He lived longer than I probably will and I strive to minimize suffering of others and he did the opposite. So… eh?

  • sugarfrosted

    I forgot to mention this. A friend of a friend on Facebook claimed that he led people away from Christianity, but I think this is garbage, as they were too extreme for most people to even really connected them to Christianity. So yeah, he just made people’s lives worse and he lived a long life.

  • Michael Heath

    sugarfrosted writes:

    I forgot to mention this. A friend of a friend on Facebook claimed that he led people away from Christianity, but I think this is garbage, as they were too extreme for most people to even really connected them to Christianity. So yeah, he just made people’s lives worse and he lived a long life.

    Bullshit. The Phelps clan are fundies that express what the rest don’t say out loud in polite company. Sure they’re more extreme, but only by a few degrees where the hatred of gay people amongst all fundamentalist groups is a defining attribute of this group.

    Fundamentalists and conservative Christians in general, along with the politicians to target this demographic, are the sole impediment to gays securing equal protection of their rights in the U.S. They are also the prime enabler of cultural demands to get gays back in the closet. The Phelps clan is not an outlier in this regard and they are not standard-issue Christians, but they are most certainly Christians.

  • http://polrant@blogspot.com democommie

    I wonder if the Morons of Salt Lake City have posthumously made Fred one of their own. He’s at least as big a piece-of-shit as Joe Smith.

  • matty1

    I wonder if the Morons of Salt Lake City have posthumously made Fred one of their own. He’s at least as big a piece-of-shit as Joe Smith.

    Too late I already posthumously baptised Fred into the Temple of Loki.

  • http://polrant@blogspot.com democommie

    Well, with apologies to the late, great Curtis Mayfield:

    Freddie Phelps is Dead (That’s what I said!)

    Hey, hey

    Hate, hate

    Ah, ha

    Freddies dead

    That’s what I said

    Let the rap a plan

    Said GOD hatez them homos.

    But his hope was a rope

    And he should’ve known

    It’s hard to understand

    why there’s so much hate in this man

    I’m sure all would agree

    That his misery was his

    Wastin’ life hatin’ GAYZ

    Now Freddie’s dead

    That’s what I said

    His kids misused by him

    Ripped up and abused by him

    Another GODLY plan

    Pushin’ Fred’s hate for his fellow man

    A terrible blow

    But that’s how it goes

    A fundies on the corner now

    If you wanna be a hater, wow

    Remember freddies dead

    We’re all built up with progress

    But sometimes I must confess

    We can deal with rockets and dreams

    But “GOD hates Fags!”, what does it mean

    Ain’t nothing said

    ‘Cause freddies dead

    Hey, hey

    Hate, hate

    Hey, hey

    Yeah, yeah

    Ha, ha

    Hate, hate

    Yeah, yeah

    Ha, ha

    Yeah, yeah

    Freddies dead

    All I want is some peace of mind

    With a little love I’m trying to find

    This could be such a beautiful world

    With a wonderful girl or guy,

    Why I need a woman child

    Don’t wanna be like freddie now

    ‘Cause freddies dead

    Hey, hey

    Yeah, yeah

    If you don’t try

    You’re gonna die

    Why can’t we brothers

    Protect one another

    No one’s serious

    And it makes me furious

    Don’t be misled

    Just think of Fred

    Everybody misused by him

    Ripped up and abused by him

    Another hater plan

    Pushin’ hate for his fellow man

    A fundies on the corner now

    If you wanna be a hater, why

    Remember freddies dead

    Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha

    Freddies dead

    Hey, hey

    Ha, ha

    Haterz hatin in hell

    Ha, ha…

  • Michael Heath

    democommie:

    Freddies dead

    Hey, hey

    Ha, ha

    Haterz hatin in hell

    Ha, ha…

    I think it’s horrible to celebrate Fred Phelps suffering for eternity; not that you believe this. Here I object to the sentiment expressed. Mr. Phelps did nothing even remotely deserving of such torment.

    The Christian promise of eternal suffering towards non-believers is exactly why I think it’s evil that Christians celebrate their god. It doesn’t matter that it’s not true. What matters is their behavior, where they celebrate an entity they believe will cause eternal suffering.

  • http://polrant@blogspot.com democommie

    Michael Heath:

    Fred IS dead; I’m only sorry that he got to live 84 years and hurt so many decent people in that period. If building a fire and roasting him over it, then feeding the remains to hogs, hyenas or feral kittehs would make the world better for somebody, I’d be all for it.

    As is, his family are entitled to mourn his death and use the event of his demise as a platform to use for launching MORE of their hatred. Others are entitled to make mockery of his life and disrespect his passing with whatever circus of 1st Amendment protected distractions are may be employed to make hisfamily and their “church” understand what it’s like to be on the receiving end of such brutal and senseless hatred as they habitually practice.

    I’ve never made a secret of my visceral and longstanding enmity for people like Phelps, Orel Roberts, Billy Graham (and that spermdribble of his), Jerry Falwell and the rest of that ilk of KKKristianist charlatans. Nor have I been apologetic about my dislike and disdain for most polticians, especially conservative (so called) republicans who spend their lives trying to hurt others for personal gain and fame.You are perfectly right that I don’t believe for a moment that Fred and his fellow haterz are hatin’ in hell or anywhere else–but, gee, can’t a guy DREAM of what might be once in a while? Even if my arthritis and various spinal problems would ALLOW me to do so, I wouldn’t dance on his grave. However, if I happened upon it with a full bladder….

  • Wylann

    I honestly doubt any of the Phelps clan currently still in the group really mourn his death. I suspect the only ones who might are those that escaped and learned compassion.

    He and his ‘church’ were and are a horrible bunch, deserving of scorn, and as adults, very little pity or sympathy. Yes, psychologically, it can be hard to escape that kind of indoctrination, but that doesn’t mean it should be tolerated, and the adults then have to take responsibility for their actions. Many of my good friends have been directly harmed by this foul excuse for a family, and continue to have to live with the legacy of hate they have wrought.

    Good riddance.

  • https://www.facebook.com/EvnBelgard Evan Belgard

    Ding dong! The Fred is dead. Which old Fred? The Wicked Fred!

    Ding dong! The Wicked Fred is dead.

    Wake up – sleepy head, rub your eyes, get out of bed.

    Wake up, the Wicked Fred is dead. He’s gone where the goblins go,

    Below – below – below. Yo-ho, let’s open up and sing and ring the bells out.

    Ding dong the merry-oh, sing it high, sing it low.

    Let them know

    The Wicked Fred is dead!

  • petrefax

    As long as we’re paraphrasing movie quotes…

    Whose suspiciously overblown homophobia is this?

    It’s a closet, baby.

    Whose closet is this?

    It’s Fred’s.

    Who’s Fred?

    Fred’s dead baby, Fred’s dead.