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Fred Phelps to Protest Memorial Service in Joplin, MO

May 26, 2011 14 comments

by Noah Lugeons

There is no level of vile, inhumane, despicable, heinous, venomous heartlessness that would be considered unreasonable for the Westboro Baptist Church. There is no limit to their thoughtless bigotry. There is no act so unconscionable that we would put it passed Fred Phelps and his loyal band of homophobes.

No sooner had the dust settled over the devastation in Joplin, Missouri than the WBC was loudly proclaiming it to be the latest act of their spiteful and small-minded deity. Their website proudly proclaims this vast smiting to be yet another example of their fag-hating-god and his insatiable blood lust.

Filled with phrases like “We pray for your destruction…”, “God will not acquit you evil beasts of MO (who have sex with animals among your filthy sins)…” and, perhaps most telling of the dark and tortured part of the psyche their religiosity comes from, “Too many dead bodies to bury! That’s God’s Glory!”, their letter of praise to their vicious and petty lord reads like a love letter to death.

And they make it clear that this occasion requires the use of their most familiar weapon; bigoted picket signs.

It amazes me that our nation’s admirable defense of open-mindedness is such a ready tool for the small-minded. Our principled refusal to shut these people up exonerates our nation from the charges that Phelps levels against it (though I’m not sure it exonerates Obama from the charge of being the Anti-Christ). We, as a nation, are considerate even of the inconsiderate.

That is admirable if problematic. Putting up with the ranting, inbred fucktardery of people like Fred Phelps is a small price to pay for free speech and open dialogue. I just hope that there are plenty of us who are willing to stoop to Phelps level when he dies.

I’ve heard a lot of talk about protesting at Phelps funeral… or at least using it as an excuse to have a party as close to his funeral as legally allowable. I might be in for that, but ultimately it would be pointless. He’ll be dead and decomposing and won’t have the remotest inkling that anything ever happened. If you really wanted to turn the tables on him, it would have to be the funeral of his wife or a beloved son. Only then could he glean the slightest understanding of the suffering he’s caused to so many grieving parents.

But even then, his moral absolutism would shield him. When people speak for god, they are invincible. All who speak of god are in some way responsible for the misanthropy of douche-nozzles like Phelps. By empowering an invisible, fictional character with absolute ethical authority you leave a void where any lunatic who chooses to can stand in and speak for him. After all, it’s not like god can speak for himself. Does it matter if two people who claim to speak for the same imaginary space-daddy say different things? How can one message be more valid than the other?