Let’s not have schadenfreude over Fred Phelps’ illness

It’s tempting to hope that if Westboro Baptist Church leader Fred Phelps dies (as many have been thinking he will), there will be protests at his funeral. After all, the WBC has been protesting gay funerals and military funerals for years. But if Phelps dies, his family should be allowed to grieve in peace.


Because we’re all better than Phelps and his family and followers. We’re too good to behave like they do. To picket his funeral or to revel in his illness would make us like him – and us becoming like him, would be the worst thing that Phelps and his associates could ever do: no matter what accomplishments they’d achieve, having us act like them would be their greatest accomplishment ever. And we could never let him have that. And we could never let them win.

So if Phelps passes away, leave the Phelps family in peace. Let them grieve. They’ll probably use his life and death to push their hatred. Let them. We’re better than they.


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Filed under commentary, Nonfiction

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