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RIP Fred Phelps (1929-2014)

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Good riddance. he and his church did no good for anyone whatsoever, so why should I be sympathetic for him? I'm surprised a bastard like him lived this long. He called himself a civil rights activist yet he cared less for the rights of other people.

 

To all the people who think I'm at the same level as that vile organization for being glad for this piece of shit's death, fuck you, you tree huggers.

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It's ironic that he was excommunicated for advocating kindness among his church's members before he died, but other than that, I feel nothing for him.

 

Nothing has changed; bigots as despicable as him still exist. I can only hope that the organization he created falls apart now that he's gone.

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Before I speak, I emphasize that this is a purely personal recollection, and does not reflect on Sonic Revolution or any other organization I represent.

Now then, let’s begin, shall we?

You all know me as Ogilvie. While I can be argumentative at times, I’ve been widely praised as being a polite, kind individual. Heck, I’d like to imagine that’s what I come off as even if I disagree with you.

But that’s a luxury of the fact none of you met me until 2012.

When I was younger, I was foolish. I was ignorant to levels unbelievable. I was… well, probably downright evil.

When I was in my early teenage years, I held the following viewpoints: that all poor people were poor because of their own decisions; that the unemployed should starve; that Communists and Christians should be imprisoned (or worse); that a war to unify the world would be worth it regardless of how much carnage would be caused in the process; that anyone of patriotic inclination needed to be silenced. Fairly certain I endorsed the mass murder of pedophiles somewhere along the line too. The list goes on… but the point is…

I was a monster. As much a monster as Phelps was. But I changed. Dear God, I changed. And it’s why I think anyone can, if they really want to.

It may be harder for an older person to change than a younger… but I still think they can. I’m the last person to wish ill will or eternal punishment on another for this reason; it would be hypocritical of me, when I was similarly misguided at one point. Where most see a monster to be destroyed, I see a vile beast that needs to be tamed. A beast that is inside everyone, but simply grows to larger proportions in certain individuals.

I know not where Phelps is now, but I hope that at some point his soul can feel remorse and begin the path to redemption.

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Okay, I'm seeing a lot of cheering towards a death here. Whether or not the man was good or evil, death in general is sad. You don't have to like the guy, and I certainly do not, and you can even hate the man, but cheering on his death is practically barbaric. Just remain apathetic and move on with your life.

 

As far as I see it, Phelps was an ass. A bigoted ass. But "dancing on his grave" is something I find quite undignified.

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As far as I see it, Phelps was an ass. A bigoted ass. But "dancing on his grave" is something I find quite undignified.

And I daresay that no one who is genuinely glad he is gone gives a shit, so you can park the high horse in its stable. We don't need half of the thread preaching at the other half because not everyone is enlightened enough to feel saddened that a complete piece of shit has finally been put in a position where he can no longer infect others with his thinking.

And I say this even though the majority of the time I found the increasing public idiocy of the WBC to be entertaining, compared to the outrage most people responded with (and, indeed, the WBC thrived on).

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Cole Phelps and Fred Phelps have much in common:

 

They both started as big deals (LAPD Detective/Golden Boy and Civil Rights Activist respectively), they went downhill in their later years (Disgraced due to adultery charges and WBC respectively), and they both die and are now given some respect due to their deaths.

 

The only difference is that the former was a guy who did the right thing most of the time but got screwed due to one major mistake, while the latter was a dick through and through who got hoist by his own petard in the end.

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And I daresay that no one who is genuinely glad he is gone gives a shit, so you can park the high horse in its stable. We don't need half of the thread preaching at the other half because not everyone is enlightened enough to feel saddened that a complete piece of shit has finally been put in a position where he can no longer infect others with his thinking.

And I say this even though the majority of the time I found the increasing public idiocy of the WBC to be entertaining, compared to the outrage most people responded with (and, indeed, the WBC thrived on).

I wasn't trying to be pretentious. Please don't be mad at me.

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I take absolutely no joy in bigots dying; I only celebrate bigots changing, which sadly did not happen before Phelps's death. To those still at Westboro and those who bravely left that hateful place, I wish them the best in this time of grief. 

 

What Fred Phelps stood for was beyond contemptible. But he was still a fellow human being, and I can't help but feel some degree of pity for his wasted life of bitterness and intolerance. As one of many people that he preached hatred against myself, I hold no ill will against Phelps or his family, and see them as tragically misguided more than anything. I can only hope that some of Westboro's current members come to the same epiphany that others in their family already have, choosing love instead of hate.

I admit that I was going to write something snarky, but after reading this post I realize that I want to be better than that. So thank you Dr. Mechano for giving me that bit of perspective I was lacking today.

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He gave up his humanity the moment he taunted grieving families.

 

Fuck this idealist bullshit, assholes exist, welcome to the real world.

True, and we're not sad that he died. We're sad that he died without rethinking his bigoted philosophy. None of us, and I mean absolutely none of us wish him well. And all of us are glad his "reign" is over, but it could've ended so much better.

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I take absolutely no joy in bigots dying; I only celebrate bigots changing, which sadly did not happen before Phelps's death. To those still at Westboro and those who bravely left that hateful place, I wish them the best in this time of grief. 

 

What Fred Phelps stood for was beyond contemptible. But he was still a fellow human being, and I can't help but feel some degree of pity for his wasted life of bitterness and intolerance. As one of many people that he preached hatred against myself, I hold no ill will against Phelps or his family, and see them as tragically misguided more than anything. I can only hope that some of Westboro's current members come to the same epiphany that others in their family already have, choosing love instead of hate.

Pretty much this. Think of his family who may or may not share his views. I have them in mind and wish them well in this bad time for them. I just pray no one "succeeds his place" or whatever. I have zero respect for the man and despise his thoughts but I'm sure his family is sad.

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He gave up his humanity the moment he taunted grieving families.

 

Fuck this idealist bullshit, assholes exist, welcome to the real world.

 

My stance exactly. 

 

If he feels entitled to taunt, damn, and insult other people that I see no need to pity him. The world is a better place without him.

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No offense, but yes you were. As was Mechano in the post on the first page. It is an inherent quality to the "don't sink to their level" argument; because intrinsic to the argument is the implication that you can judge what "sinking to their level" means better than the person whose opinions you are admonishing.

 

 

Fred Phelps was a man who, as little as 25 years ago (and arguably even sooner, but the end of the 80s largely closed the book on the age of anti-gay agendas being acceptable viewpoints to hold) would have been able to use his vicious viewpoints to do legitimate harm to people. A charismatic and intelligent man able to voice his abhorrent opinions in a way to gather a large and, if not powerful, at least notable following of people who were dragged to his views despite how abhorrent they are. My pity of him only extends to what a shame it was that he squandered his potential to use those talents for good. That pity does not extend to eulogizing said scumbag, or pretending that his choices were anything but his own, or acting as if his life was just as precious as anyone else's; or even censoring whether or not I feel the world is better off with him finally gone. Because despite my complete indifference to both him and the WBC, there's no doubt in my mind that him finally being gone is a net gain; and I likewise don't give a shit how uncultured that people want to portray that viewpoint as since I wasn't the one fucking picketing funerals to draw nationwide attention to an irrational hatred of anyone different from myself.

I never said I pitied Phelps. I'm not in anyway on his side, and I strongly disagree with his morals. I have no negative intentions.

 

I just don't like seeing humans cheer on the death of another human no matter who they are. It feels mean-spirited and inhumane to me.

 

I.E. My grandmother wasn't very fond of black people. Am I not allowed to be sad when she died?

 

I'm only putting Phelps' family into consideration here.

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My "joy" for this person's death is because I don't register somebody who abuses their children, taunts dead families and did nothing but manipulate others and spread hatred through the majority of his existence as much of a human, and more as scum.

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My "joy" for this person's death is because I don't register somebody who abuses their children, taunts dead families and did nothing but manipulate others and spread hatred through the majority of his existence as much of a human, and more as scum.

 It's hard to put this without making it sound like I'm sad for the bigot... It's like a sad ending of a story. You go on hoping this bad spirited protagonist changes his ways, but all that happens is he dies without rethinking.

 

I'm not sad that he died. I'm sad that he never changed his hateful ways before dying.

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No offense, but yes you were. As was Mechano in the post on the first page. It is an inherent quality to the "don't sink to their level" argument; because intrinsic to the argument is the implication that you can judge what "sinking to their level" means better than the person whose opinions you are admonishing.

Tornado, I feel you've misunderstood my post. I never claimed that hating Phelps would make me "as bad as he was" or would cause me to "sink to his level." I simply said that I felt pity for his wasted life as a fellow human being, and couldn't feel happiness at the death of another person, no matter horrible they were; Nowhere in my post did I admonish or condemn people who did feel differently than me about Phelps's death. Nowhere did I state that it made them "just as bad," or even bad at all.

 

You are completely justified in being glad Phelps is gone. I simply posted to state that I don't take any joy in his passing, and that I wished his family well (and more to the point, that some of them might see the error of their ways), and intended to leave it at that.

 

I'm not upset at you for calling me out at all. But I'm replying to you because I do want to clarify what I meant, as I feel that if you thought I was condemning others' feelings, then other members could have easily come to that conclusion as well; And I want to make sure they understand that wasn't remotely what I meant.

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I'm not celebrating but I'm not sad at all. I dunno if I ever found myself on the verge of celebrating someone's death, I just have to think back a year ago to the death of former British Prime Minster Margaret Thatcher, and remember being taken aback by the scenes of pure celebration on message boards, social networking sites, and worst of all "Ding Dong The Witch is Dead" from the Wizard of Oz reaching number 2 in the UK singles chart to commemorate her death. I couldn't believe it and it made me feel very uncomfortable. I never comprehended what Thatcher did to piss off so many people. I knew her for leading Britain in the successful defense of the Falkland Islands.

 

Can't remember what you guys would have said with what little or much you knew of Thatcher, but certainly don't see the general Thatcher level of celebration at Phelps' death.

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