Thursday, March 20, 2014

An eye for an eye or prayers for my enemy

Apparently last night Fred Phelps passed away shortly before midnight. Many people are rejoicing at this. This is an interesting thing to me. I am not really sure how to react to the rejoicing. See, they are rejoicing for the wrong reasons. They are doing so because in their opinion the scum of the earth is dead. Well, do I disagree with this fact, not really. Do I think he did horrible things and made people feel horrendous and took advantage of situations that were already too difficult for people to stand? Yep. Do I think we should cheer when someone dies because they were a poor excuse for a human, and abused Christianity for their own agenda? NO.

There are a lot of bad things that can be said about Fred Phelps and the Westboro Baptist Church. I think that they use Christianity to hide behind bigotry and hate. I think that Jesus taught love and tolerance and would not approve of belittling people grieving or in any other state and the fact that this "church" chooses to do so is perverting the very foundation that Jesus Christ stood upon. That being said, I think that Christians cheering over the death of this man for the same reasons are doing the SAME thing.

If I want to picket and protest his funeral, how does that make me any better of a Christian than he was? Doesn't the Bible teach us to forgive and even LOVE our enemies? I am not saying that it is a simple task, but isn't that our instruction? How then, can stooping to his level be teaching Christianity to these misguided self-proclaimed Christians? We are doing what they are. I have to rise above and pray for his family, congregation, and his soul. I have to follow the Bible, no matter how hard it may be. I think he was a bigot, a fool, and needs to pay for his sins; but I am not the judge. He has passed and God will be his judge. I actually see him as lucky in some ways right now.

He now knows the truth. Something none of us really know. He knows exactly how God feels about his actions. He knows if he was justified, or if he was wrong. He is being judged for his sins. The Bible says the wages of sin is death. It never actually condemns anyone to hell. If Mr. Phelps was in fact saved he will go to heaven and answer for his sins. If he was not he will not. The only way to heaven is salvation. There is no alternative. All we know now is Mr. Phelps has the answers. He will answer for his sins. He will be judged. Not by you, nor by me, but by God.

I mentioned I was torn by the cheering. Many people believe, and I will admit here that I don't know the Bible well enough, that we are to rejoice at death. We are not to grieve at the passing of a loved one. How many of us actually follow this? This is probably because we are selfish by nature. We want to keep those we love around. We don't want to lose loved ones. Again, cheering for the death of Mr. Phelps here is not a pretty sight. We are cheering because we are glad to be rid of him.

Does being rid of Fred Phelps mean anything? We aren't rid of Westboro Baptist Church. I am led to believe they actually excommunicated him last year. So, they are going to continue being bigots, picketing, and spreading hate. How does helping them spread this hate rid us of hate? It doesn't, rather it furthers their agenda. So fellow Christians, I ask you this, look in your hearts and find the love that Jesus taught. Find forgiveness. Bestow it on an undeserving individual, Fred Phelps. Forgive him, forget him, move on. Spread peace, spread love. Rejoice in Christ. Amen.


  1. Marie,
    I am all for forgiveness. Forgiveness FOR one's self... not FOR the other person, or even because it's the moral right thing to do, but because forgiveness of another person, wether it's deserved or not, helps release the hatred in your OWN heart. It makes you a more peaceful person. So- yay! for forgiveness.

    I think my issue with this situation is the attention it's getting. Wouldn't it make more sense if we (collectively) just ignored Fred Phelps' death altogether? He made it so we couldn't ignore his life. His 'voice' was loud, hateful, abusive, etc. We had no choice than to stand against him, and no doubt like we'll have to do again with the "church" he created. But in his death, he should be voiceless. He doesn't deserve the attention he's receiving. The media, social media- facebook, twitter, blogs (no offense), are just giving him the hoopla of more attention. I'd guess he'd take a certain kind of pride about that. "Ha! Look at them! They're STILL talking about ME!" It's that self-serving mentality. Personally, when I heard he was on his death bed, and then passed, I sighed a sigh of relief and said "bless his soul." He's in God's hands now.

    I'm going to share this with you, because I find it extremely relevant. My mother's mother was a wretched, hateful, miserable person. She physically and emotionally abused her children, all of their lives - carrying the emotional abuse into adulthood because they could not break free from her. She had a powerful grip on the three of them and it ultimately led to alcoholism, drug abuse- (prescription and non), probably thousands of hours psychologist's office visits, a few suicide attempts, one suicide success, and the inability to have a "normal" relationship with spouses or their own children. She was the matriarch of a huge glob of family disfunction.

    She died alone, in her car, and no one knew she was there for over 16 hours. She sat in a bank parking lot in her Ford Escape, had a massive heart attack and died. The fire department was called by a bank employee.

    Perhaps you'll think I'm a bad person for thinking this, but it's the most poetic display of karma imaginable. Of course, the body had to be identified, but there was no funeral. No casket. No headstone. No flowers. No singing of hymns. No guy standing at a pulpit lying about what a great woman she was and how we'd all miss her so. My mother and her remaining brother could finally breathe.

    It's interesting that Freddie boy made me think about all this. I heard they aren't having a funeral for him either. Good.

  2. My whole irritation is people wanting to be just like him by doing what he did to them. Don't copy him and say you're different. Let him go. I kind of agree with the whole ignore him instead sentiment which I failed to do.