I’m not personally interested in damning him to pain and hellfire. I do agree that desiring that sort of thing is stooping to cruelty, which is immoral. I can, however, see his death as a good thing, not because I want him dead, but because it means he won’t be doing any of his shit anymore.
AP just reported he’s dead.
Yeah and, don’t get me wrong – I’m not judging people who judge him. I’m just telling you where I’m at with my feelings on the subject. And, like I said, my reaction to Timothy McVeigh’s death was not dissimilar from what a lot of people are feeling about Phelp’s death.
But I did none of that. I said that I didn’t forgive him because he’d shown no remorse and never asked for forgiveness. There was no gloating at his distress in my post.
(As an aside, the whole notion of damnation is so repugnant to me that it’s one of the main reasons I’m not a Christian. Infinite torment for finite offenses? This is a religion of love’s notion of justice? I wouldn’t sentence the worst of history’s monsters to an eternity in hell.)
He’s got a pretty vile family that I doubt will stop though.
edit: interesting article about his excommunication. It’s like a white trash version of The Borgias.
I did not mean to imply that you did.
Well, for not forgiving I don’t know, frankly. I think forgiveness is one of those things that demonstrates true humanity.
Regardless though, I read into your follow-on of Oghier’s points far more than I think you intended, particularly on re-reading, so I’m sorry there. I took your response to him to mean a complicity with his hope that Phelps suffered a lot, which I find to be an abhorrent viewpoint. A total misreading on my point, mea culpa there. I still think forgiveness is valid because it says more about you than it does the other guy, and I think the first part of being a better person is modeling that behavior, but I sure didn’t mean to imply that I thought a lack of forgiveness was hypocritical. Again, that was me missing the text of what you said for a context that I read into things, and I’m sorry.
Gus’s point about letting go of anger is essentially how I view forgiveness. It’s less about absolution, and more about acceptance that everyone is flawed and even the totality of someone’s flaws is not the totality of who they are. I think it’s possible to be vehemently against injustice without being vehemently against the person who practices injustice.
So, in summary: Mea culpa, sorry, and hating actions good, hating people bad.
Accepted with thanks, mouselock.
That’s some weird, nasty stuff. They ousted him because he was advocating being nicer to members of their own church. Not being nice to all the people they hurt right now, of course, nicer to their own. Because there’s something of a police state within the church where members are constantly afraid. And letting up on the oppression was not acceptable to the other members of the central committee.
This really shouldn’t be surprising to me, since hatred for outsiders is often fueled by abuse, but it is.
Punishment for evil acts has been part of humanity for a while, as well. It has practical justifications. It’s not wholly unknown in religious texts. So, perhaps you could forgive those of us less morally evolved than you, and avoid throwing out terms like “bigot” and “asshole” when others react in a perfectly natural way when confronted with unrepentant evil.
To be clear, I don’t give a toss about how you feel about it – feel free to send the man flowers, or perhaps a donation to the God Hates Fags fund. But implying that others are bigots or less than “true humans” is moderately offensive and arrogant behavior.
Huh, and all this time I thought their “church” was just Grandpa Phelps and his family members.
Right. I’m not going to celebrate - that’d be inappropriate afaik - but I won’t miss him. At all.
I don’t think that makes me a bad person at all, frankly.
(Of course, I’m not (c)hristian, Judaism isn’t really…how to put this… if you’re the one sinned against it’s not really for you to forgive)
He’s in a better place now, and so are we.
I don’t think we can assume he’s in a better place for preaching hatred and intolerance. That said, I think his final days after being excommunicated must have been gut-wrenching and soul-crushing, perhaps even more painful than his illness and he certainly suffered not just physically but emotionally and spiritually.
I just saw that phrase recently and liked its backhandedness. I’m not actually one for the whole afterlife thing, but if I were I wouldn’t believe in hell, for the simple reason that infinite punishment for finite evil is unjust. Anyway, his life on Earth was so miserable and hate-filled that I think nonexistence represents a better state.
Doesn’t surprise me. There’s an article floating around from a gay Christian that went and talked to one of them and had to convince the Westboro girl he was talking to that God actually loved her.
Sad that nothing will change since the next dude in line to run things is the one quoted.
I kept meaning to post about this but never quite got around to it – a fun little local story.
Wilson High School is in Northwest Washington DC. It’s made up of a wide cross-section of the urban area but pulls from some affluent areas of the city. For the second year in a row, the student government at the school planned to hold a “Pride Day” festival at lunch to showcase services and support for the LGBT community. Last year’s was a big success and so moved the principal of the school that he publicly came out as gay last week, standing alongside the mayor.
Predictably, the WBC folks announced that they would protest this year’s event.
And perhaps equally predictably – given that they are protesting high school students rather than grieving parents – the WBC protest actually had the opposite effect. When word got out that the Kansas church was going to do their thing, the Wilson High students took to Twitter. What was once going to be an internal school event largely relegated to the lunch room quickly turned into a big external counter-protest/street festival and parade. It attracted the mayor, several city council members, the national media, etc. Meanwhile the WBC “protest” was just four guys around the corner from the school holding signs. They did get some attention, but it was mostly from students who wanted to take “selfies” with the WBC signs in the background.
It really warms my heart that at this point, having WBC protest your event is taken as a sign that you are doing something right. It wasn’t too long ago that people were… well, if not “scared” of having WBC protest your event, they were at least concerned about it. How long until people start calling WBC and inviting them to protest their event in order to drum up more media coverage? Or has that already happened?
I love that story!