But I never wished any Phelps dead. I will not celebrate Phelps’ death or the death of any member of Westboro Baptist. Iwill also not miss him.
I didn’t agree with him but I’m all in on the First Amendment, I fought and would continue to fight for his right to express his hateful rhetoric.
1. Phelps almost single highhandedly turned extreme public perceptions of LGBT people toward tolerance through his hateful acts. Tolerance, however, is much different than acceptance. People began to empathize with LGBT people. But Phelps did not end homophobia. His kind, no matter how violent or extreme will never do that.
At the same time, I recognized that we, as Americans, gained something every time he fought efforts silence him. Because of Phelps, we have greater buffers between us and fundamentalist religion, more legal precedents for keeping religion out of schools, expanded rights to assemble and petition government for wrongs done to us, and expanded free-speech rights. He did more to protect our First Amendment rights than you or I have, or ever will.
In the end, I am a poor sinner just as he was a poor sinner. I see him and his ilk as I see myself, a person lost and in need of salvation. I also understand that some, even among my friends, will celebrate his death. I ask them to remember that all of us need redemption.
I also believe that the most hopeless sinner, drug addict, greed-addled bond trader, unsentimental banker, fiery preacher, and corrupt politician or lawyer has a chance at redemption all the way to the moment they expire. I was hopeless once. Miracles happened. I am still flawed but I’m trying. I’m trying real hard.
And, remember, at my house, it’s always OK to be gay.
Please allow the following capitalist to destroy you.