QUOTE TO NOTE: On the Passing of Fred Phelps

computer_key_Quotation_MarksFred Phelps, the founder of the virulently anti-gay Westboro Baptist Church, died this past week.   The National Catholic Reporter posted an article on Phelps’ history, which began in Topeka, Kansas, and then gained a national profile.

LGBT religious groups responded to his demise with compassion for the human sorrow that death brings and with calls to end the religiously-based anti-gay rhetoric that Phelps personified.  On the CNN Religion BlogJim Smith, DignityUSA‘s Associate Director, had this to say:

“There is a sadness as deep as the Grand Canyon over the harm that he has unleashed in our country, a sadness that can’t be quantified. But that still doesn’t mean I delight in his death. I’d delight in the end of the Westboro [Baptist Church] mission.”

To Smith’s sentiments, we say, “Amen!”

Fred Phelps

Taking a different perspective was a Kansas Catholic Church official,  who claimed that Phelps’ extremism harmed people who oppose marriage equality and other pro-LGBT issues. Jacksonville.com reported :

“Michael Schuttloffel, executive director of the Kansas Catholic Conference, said Phelps and his congregation still represent ‘an easy device’ for gay-marriage supporters to “short-circuit the conversation” on that and related issues in recent years.

” ‘People were justifiably, appropriately outraged by the things that they did,’ Schuttloffel said of Phelps and his church. ‘As soon as someone, then, is able to tar you as being related to them or thinking the same way as them, right away you’re starting behind the eight ball.’

So sad that Mr. Schuttloffel turned this occasion into a statement about marriage.  So sad that a Catholic official does not recognize the pain and harm that Phleps caused so many.

–Francis DeBernardo, New Ways Ministry

0 replies
  1. Sharon Willey
    Sharon Willey says:

    Thanks, Jim. You know I deplore that kind of thinking. In small faith group on Thursday we asked ourselves if people are so lacking in understanding and kindness because we have not prayed for them enough (or perhaps at all).

    Reply
  2. Friends
    Friends says:

    I would love to see the video of Fred’s “Qualification For Heavenly Ascension” hearings in the Court of Divine Justice! While I don’t necessarily think he’s “Hell-Bound”, I do think that he will be sentenced to return here to the earthly domain as a gay man or lesbian, in order to experience personally the pain and the grief that he inflicted upon other perfectly faithful and loving Christians, who simply happened to be GLBT. This is known as “The Law of Karmic Justice”.Trust me: it’s for real!

    Reply
  3. David Martin
    David Martin says:

    The death of Phelps will not stem the deep seated hatred and evil which is rooted the hearts of those who choose to insist that their beliefs – bereft of human/Divine – mercy, love, compassion. So it is – so shall it always be. It was existent at the time of Christ – the Crusades – Nazi Germany and throughout history. What is important in the end is EACH of us – persons of good will and Faith – stand firm in opposition. Love always conquers evil.
    Namaste

    Reply

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