when one responds to an extreme with the same extreme, nothing has changed. one has simply perpetuated the existence of said extreme.
that being said, hate begets hate. yes, Fred Phelps is dead. yes, he was a hateful man. but that is not all he was. when he was younger and, perhaps, more idealistic and less fatalistic, he was a big part of the civil rights movement in Kansas and was even recognized by the NAACP for his contributions. i cannot say how he came to be so vile late in life. perhaps he made choices that led him astray and he did not believe he could return to his former self. perhaps something in him broke along the way. perhaps he was always that way and simply stopped hiding it. i don’t know. but what i can say is that when one hates another who hates and revels in the loss of life, you are only strengthening their message.
do the hard thing. pity this past defender of civil rights. mourn his fall from grace. lament the passing of a human life. love everyone that you can, even the lost, misguided, and hateful. you don’t have to like them but love them. learn to draw the line between dislike and ill will. don’t continue his legacy of hatred. let it fade, just as he himself is fated to.
#fredphelps #stophate #lovethyenemy