The saying goes that one shouldn’t speak ill of the dead. But there are a select few people who have inhabited this planet of whom it is difficult to find nice things to say. One of those died today.
Regular readers will know that I have, many times, been highly critical of the odious Fred Phelps and his gang of reprehensible Reichsjugend, aka the Westboro Baptist Church. Rightly so – they are a bunch of unfeeling, uncaring god-botherers with a farcically twisted view of the bible.
Fred used to be a lawyer, with a record of fighting civil rights cases, (See? There is something nice to be said!) but something snapped in his head and he shagged up his career and turned into a bitter and extreme homophobe. (A former church member has expressed the opinion that this might be because Fred was a Friend of Dorothy himself.)
Now, I couldn’t really give a rat’s arse what they believe – all religions are waffle as far as I’m concerned – but Fred took to taking his little bunch of shitbags out to picket funerals, and of all the possible shitty ways of getting a shitty point across that HAS to be the shittiest.
What is saddest of all is that all that effort – all those signs made, all those thousands of miles travelled, all that money spent – has achieved precisely two fifths of five eighths of fuck all. Nobody outside the church takes them or anything they have to say seriously.
There is a benefit which comes from the efforts of others – thousands of dollars have been raised for charities by counter-protestors and whole communities have come together to shield grieving families. In the end, though, Fred’s has been a wasted life, sacrificed on his own altar of bigotry.
I would not blame anyone for wanting to give the family a well deserved dose of their own callous medicine.
Personally, I will settle for a snifter and the thought that the world is just that bit nicer this evening.