Thursday, March 20, 2014

Death of a Hatemonger

I don't think anyone reads this anymore, but I didn't feel confident enough to post this idea to Facebook, but still had to get it out

Fred Phelps, famous hatemonger from Kansas, has died. People all over social media and just plain media have a LOT to say about it. George Takei's quote got me thinking...

"I take no solace or joy in this man's passing.

We will not dance upon his grave, nor stand vigil at his funeral holding 'God Hates Freds' signs, tempting as it may be. He was a tormented soul, who tormented so many.

Hate never wins out in the end. It instead goes always to its lonely, dusty end."

Phelps' association with Kansas has always associated him with me...along with other ridiculous Kansas news stories and a transplant living in NYC. I've heard "What's the Matter with Kansas" many times over the years. As a person who grew up in a liberal, Quaker-oriented family, all of that hate went completely over my head. It was sickening, embarrassing, and defeating to be generalized and marginalized by others' actions. More than anything--like SO MANY people in Kansas--I wanted to distance myself, my family, and my life experience from this garbage. "We are not all like that!" Said so, so many times.

With the passing of this hateful man, it is easy to say "Let's picket his funeral," "May he burn in Hell," or other similar sentiments. They aren't wrong. But wouldn't it be something if we did something completely contrary to what this man's life stood for?

I would love to see a global vigil, by candlelight or I-Phone light whatever, held by people gathered together--not to celebrate his death, but to stand up against inequality, hate, and fear. Maybe a part of it would be to lend a gesture to a person who would never grant the same to his fellow man: Perhaps not forgiveness (that would be asking for too much), but to see a tortured, twisted spirit out of this world on a note of positivity, strength, and unity to do unto others as we would have done unto us. Respect, acceptance, loving thy neighbor.

Probably a babyish wish, but this hateful man made a platform out of the deaths of others...wouldn't the greatest legacy be to turn his passing into a moment of solidarity and kindness?

Just a thought, but that's where my head is at.


Blogger Toby said...

I still read it! You're in my blog feed. And I agree, totally. My brother in law posted a "burn in hell" response to his death, and though I think his consciousness just faded into the darkness like all of ours eventually do, that it probably a fate worse than hell for true believers. In any case, I agree, the answer for hate should never be more hate.

9:43 AM  
Blogger Shiny said...

YAY, I still have one reader!!

7:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No, you have me too. I'm not consistent but I'm still a fan.

11:19 AM  

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